Types of Truck Accident Injuries
Did you suffer severe or catastrophic injuries in a truck accident in San Antonio? Our powerful team of experienced personal injury lawyers at Ketterman Rowland & Westlund help victims of truck accidents demand the compensation they deserve for medical treatments, lost wages, and other damages caused by their crash.
If you have suffered an injury in a truck accident in San Antonio or anywhere in Texas, you need to learn about your legal rights to compensation. Contact our skilled 18-wheeler accident attorneys to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation so we can discuss your legal options.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Some of the most common injuries that victims suffer in truck accidents include:
Traumatic brain injury
Trauma to the head during a truck accident may result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI), in which there is significant damage to the brain tissue. TBI may lead to cognitive and physical impairment, personality changes, seizures, and even death.
A TBI victim may experience symptoms such as:
- Persistent headaches
- Loss of consciousness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Slurred speech
- Memory loss
- Anger or anxiety
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light and sound
Back and neck injuries
The sudden impact that happens when a vehicle is struck by a large truck is likely to cause neck or back injury. In addition to being extremely painful, these injuries can sometimes be difficult to diagnose and treat. The force of impact in a truck impact can cause whiplash – a rapid forward and backward movement of the head and neck.
Truck accidents can cause disc injuries and dislocation, which are typically very painful and distressing over the long term. Neck and back pain can result in an inability to work for an extended period, or even a lifetime.
Spinal cord injuries
Truck accident injuries to the spinal cord can be particularly devastating as they may result in paralysis, which is loss of the ability to move a part of the body. Spinal cord damage is not always immediately apparent, which is why anyone who is involved in a truck accident should get immediate medical attention. Depending on the severity of the spinal cord injury, it may cause short-term or permanent symptoms, including but not limited to:
- Chronic pain, pressure, and stiffness
- Inability to move arms or legs
- Difficult walking
- Loss of control of the bladder or bowels
- Severe headaches
- Loss of sensation
- Signs of shock
- Muscle spasms
- Difficulty breathing
- Heart rate issues
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Loss of sexual function
Among the most serious injuries caused by truck accidents, amputations can be caused directly by the accident, or they can be the result of injuries suffered in the accident. Amputation can occur instantaneously with the onset of trauma. More commonly, though, a limb is damaged to such an extent that it must be surgically removed.
The blunt-force trauma involved with many truck accidents can result in a person suffering a fracture or broken bone. A person with a simple broken arm, for example, may need to spend several weeks in a cast. However, if they suffer a compound or complex fracture, they may require surgery and hospitalization.
It is common for truck accident victims to experience fractures of:
- Facial bones
Internal organ damage
Powerful blunt trauma from crashes can cause internal bleeding to organs like the liver, spleen, and kidney. Every organ performs its own special function. When an organ is injured, it’s unable to function and can keep the body from working properly. Many internal organs are delicate. Organs in the abdomen, especially, can easily be punctured or crushed during a truck accident. Depending on the organ that is injured, it may need to be repaired or removed.
A truck accident can damage or sever your body’s blood vessels, causing them to rupture. When blood vessels are damaged, they may not be able to repair themselves by clotting. Internal bleeding may lead to organ failure. Symptoms associated with internal bleeding include:
- Trouble breathing
- Blood in urine
- Blood in vomit
- Pain in the abdomen
- Pale complexion
- Feeling cold
If a truck accident victim is jostled, thrown about, or ejected from the vehicle, he or she can suffer sprains, strains, and tears of muscle, ligaments, and tendons. These are known as soft tissues. In many truck accident cases, victims experience these injuries after being struck by objects like loose cargo, broken glass, or sheared metal.
Tanker trucks may carry flammable cargo that makes them susceptible to explosions and fires when crashes occur. Many truck accident victims suffer burns due to contact with hot water or steam that escapes from a ruptured radiator, or even from hot metal sheared from the truck’s body. Third- and fourth-degree burns are very serious, involving long recovery times and potential for infection or other complications.
Cuts and lacerations from truck accidents can be very painful and may leave scars that never fully heal.
If you or a loved one are severely injured in a truck accident, it’s critical that you hire a qualified personal injury lawyer to handle your accident claim. Truck accident victims are often left with costly medical bills, property damage, loss of work, pain and suffering, and other damages that can have long-lasting impacts on their lives. It is crucial to have a Texas truck accident lawyer who has experience handling these complicated cases and has a proven track record of success.
Which Collision Types Are Considered to Be the Most Serious?
Some of the more serious truck accidents are head-on collisions, rollovers, and underride accidents.
- Head-on collisions, also known as “frontal crashes,” occur when a truck and another vehicle traveling in opposite directions collide into each other. Because of the significant size differential, the occupants of passenger vehicles are more likely to suffer serious harm in a head-on collision than the driver of the truck.
- Rollover truck accidents occur when the rotation of the truck is 90 degrees or more, on a sideways or longitudinal axis. These types of accidents can be very dangerous, especially when the truck is carrying heavy loads that may fall onto other vehicles. Rollover accidents typically occur when trucks take curves too fast and over-steer, but the chance of a rollover accident increases when the load is not secured properly.
- Underride accidents happen when a smaller vehicle slides underneath the back or sides of a trailer, often crushing or shearing off the roof. These are terrifying and devastating accidents that could result in serious or fatal injuries to the occupants inside the smaller vehicle.
Which Organ Is the Most Frequently Injured During a Motor Vehicle Accident?
The spleen and the liver are the most commonly damaged organs in motor vehicle accidents. Severe injuries to internal organs can be fatal if not treated by a doctor as soon as possible after the accident, so it is vital that anyone who is involved in a crash seek medical attention right away. Some symptoms of severe injuries are not immediately noticeable after a crash, so getting a thorough checkup is crucial.
Texas Truck Accident Statistics
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), fatal crashes in Texas for a recent year involved:
- 133 trucks
- 465 truck-tractors/semi-trailers
- 3 fire trucks
- 10 buses
- 2 school buses
TxDOT reports that suspected serious injury crashes in Texas in 2018 involved:
- 460 trucks
- 786 truck-tractors/semi-trailers
- 11 fire trucks
- 38 buses
- 15 school buses
In Texas in another recent year, 649 fatalities occurred in crashes involving large trucks, according to the Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). During that same year, there were 556 fatal crashes, 103 single-vehicle fatal crashes, and 453 multiple-vehicle crashes involving large trucks. This was the highest of any state in the country.
According to the FMCSA, driver-related factors play a role in a significant number of commercial truck accidents throughout Texas. The eight most common driver-related factors recorded in fatal crashes were:
- Speeding (299 crashes)
- Distraction/inattention (263)
- Failure to yield (208)
- Impairment (fatigue, alcohol, illness) (184)
- Careless driving (183)
- Vision obscured (by weather, road design, vehicles) (167)
- Failure to stay in proper lane (136)
- Failure to obey traffic signs, control devices, or officers (125)
At Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, our knowledgable lawyers understand the complexities involved in truck accidents and how difficult the aftermath of an accident can be for you and your family. Our compassionate truck accident attorneys will help you determine all the parties that should be held accountable for your injuries and fight for the full compensation you are entitled to receive.
Contact our trusted truck accident lawyers today to schedule your free consultation. Our personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t owe us a dime unless we secure financial compensation for you.