September 14, 2019

Common Injuries in Commercial Truck Accidents

When a passenger car and a commercial truck collide, the accident often causes catastrophic injuries. Truck accident lawyers who litigate vehicle accident liability cases can attest to the medical complications faced by survivors and the complicated legal issues.

Simple physics demonstrates why truck accidents can be so destructive and are thus often litigated. Cars weigh, on average, around 4,000 pounds. Commercial trucks weigh up to twenty times more, 80,000 pounds with a heavy load.

When two masses collide moving at highway speeds, the colossal force differential causes the larger mass to almost pulverize the smaller vehicle.

Although not all truck accidents result in fatalities, there are specific injuries more common than others.

Head Injuries

Head injuries often occur due to the inertial forces of the impact violently snapping the head back and forth. Hitting an object in the car, such as the steering wheel or roof cause blunt force trauma to the skull.

Some of the types of head trauma seen include skull fractures, concussions, bleeding on the brain, and nerve damage.

Whiplash

The most common neck injury is whiplash. Whiplash injuries are due to the uncontrolled snapping of the neck back and forth when the truck and car collide.

Whiplash victims suffer a loss of the range of motion of the neck in addition to neck pain and stiffness.

Other problems include headaches, pain or tenderness in the shoulders, fatigue, dizziness, and other issues. Some victims suffer memory loss, blurred vision, and depression.

While some people recover from whiplash after a few weeks of treatment, others can experience lifelong debilitating problems due to whiplash.

Back Injuries

Spinal injuries, along with head injuries, are some of the most severe injuries you can have if you are involved in a truck accident. Sprains and strains are common, but you can also fracture vertebrae. Spinal injuries may cause debilitating soreness, tightness, and stiffness. Sometimes the victim never fully recovers although the symptoms can be managed with proper treatment. In the worst cases, a spinal injury can cause paralysis.

Lacerations

Cuts from broken windshield glass are frequent. You may need stitches. Lacerations can cause scarring. Seat belts can cause lacerations and scarring by rubbing against the skin. Bruising occurs frequently.

Broken Bones

Simple and complex fractures of the spine, legs, arms, feet or ankles occur with high frequency. Your legs or ankles can break due to jamming them on impact. Hairline fractures to bones can happen without the victim being fully aware of the injury.

Some fractures can take months to heal and may require you to remain in bed for extended periods. You may also need physical therapy after the bone knits.

Shoulders

Hospitals report many fractured clavicles, dislocated shoulders, and torn rotator cuffs during accidents involving trucks. Rotator cuff injuries are excruciating and may require surgery to correct.

Knees

Knees can get sprained, broken, or the ligaments or cartilage tear. Sprains prevent you from running or even walking without pain.

A torn ligament does not always require surgery. However, sometimes it may partially heal but not enough for you to put a lot of weight on the knee as you could before the accident. In these cases, you need surgery.

Another injury requiring long-term therapy to recover is a torn meniscus. The meniscus is connective tissue in the knee that absorbs shock.

Contact an Attorney

If you have suffered injury or harm after being involved in a commercial truck accident, call Eileen Kroll, a registered nurse and personal injury trial attorney, at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. at 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529) for a no obligation case evaluation. Our law firm never charges a fee unless a recovery is made.

Hannah Johnson has her Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs with a specialization in civic engagement. Her career has focused on labor-related research, including unions, workers’ compensation, and contract law. She is now broadening her career to include research and policy analysis in East Asia, specifically in countries like South Korea and Japan where the aging population is creating a new frontier in economic trends and public policy innovation.

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