Thousands of people are involved in truck accidents yearly. While many survivors have minor injuries, others face much more serious and even life-threatening ones. Fully loaded oversized trucks can weigh 20 times more than a passenger car, so anyone who has mild injuries after a truck accident can consider themselves lucky. Here is what you need to know about the most common truck accident injuries.
These can be mild or more significant, and quite painful. People who experience these kinds of injuries in truck accidents might end up in emergency rooms and have to undergo extensive treatment afterward. For some, the disfigurement or scarring can be permanent.
Rear-end truck collisions have been known to cause whiplash injuries, a common condition associated with all kinds of rear-end motor vehicle crashes. When this happens, the neck and head get jerked awkwardly forward and backward, impacting the soft tissue. The symptoms include pain, dizziness, headaches, and stiffness. Serious whiplash injuries may require surgery.
Some bone fractures heal within about six weeks, and that could mean not being able to handle the daily activities of living or going to work during that time. When surgical intervention is necessary for complicated breaks and crushed bones, the recovery times can be much longer.
A spinal cord injury from a truck accident can lead to loss of motor function, loss of sensation, and paralysis. The physical damage is only part of it since emotional scars are common when these things happen. It is not unusual for people with spinal cord injuries to be confined to wheelchairs after accidents. Back injuries caused by truck accidents can also require extensive medical care; examples include herniated discs and displaced vertebra.
A minor trauma can lead to a serious traumatic brain injury (TBI) when a survivor experiences a skull fracture or a concussion. Time and rest can heal these in some cases, but a major TBI can cause long-term cognitive, communicative, physical, and behavioral impairments that can last for months or much longer.
Truck accident survivors can also have collapsed lungs from the traumas they have faced, as well as breathing problems after inhaling toxic fumes and smoke. Lost limbs and amputations can also happen and are more common than you might think. The associated psychological damage should also be mentioned here since a traumatic truck accident can leave long-lasting emotional scars and lead to conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Sadly, some truck accident injuries are fatal and survivors and loved ones might want to pursue wrongful death lawsuits.
As with other motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents are caused by driver error. This can include everything from misjudging a turn to tailgating to driving while fatigued. Driver distraction one of the main causes of these accidents, cannot always be blamed on cell phone use. Truck drivers spend a lot of time on long hauls, where losing focus and daydreaming can be a real problem. Others might be eating food while driving, arguing with a dispatcher, driving while fatigued or under the influence, or adjusting the controls on their GPS.
You have probably witnessed aggressive truck drivers speed, change lanes inappropriately, or tailgate. This behavior becomes even more hazardous when they are on unfamiliar roads or when the roads are slippery.
Besides truck driver error, truck accidents can occur from a vehicle malfunction like brake failure. Because trucks have such long stopping distances, they are more likely to roll over in these kinds of situations. Trucking companies and truck owners are responsible for keeping these large vehicles in good working order, but sometimes maintenance work is either skipped or not up to par. Another reason for truck accidents is defective parts made by manufacturers. Recalls are issued from time to time, but sometimes the instructions are not followed.
Every state has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims and in Georgia, it is two years after the date of the accident. The “clock” countdown of those two years begins ticking immediately, so if you are thinking about seeking damages, time is of the essence. For wrongful death suits, the time period begins on the date of the person’s death, which could be after the crash.
Georgia has a fault-based system for car accidents, so the person held responsible generally pays for the injured party’s injuries and would cover the losses, following the driver’s liability coverage limits. This is used to pay for medical expenses, loss of income and other economic losses, and pain and suffering.
If it is determined that you are partially at fault for the truck accident though, Georgia’s comparative fault rule will come into play. Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, and this guides judges and juries in civil lawsuits. The majority of these cases do not end up in court, and claimants end up getting settlements. When they do go to court, a percentage of damages could be deducted if you are found partially responsible for what happened.
For example, if you were speeding and tailgating a truck and were found to be 30 percent responsible for the accident, you would receive that much less in damages. If your percentage is 50 percent or more, you will not be able to recover any damages. This is just one reason why it is so important to gather as much solid evidence as possible to build your case in truck accident personal injury claims. A truck accident lawyer can help you build your case more thoroughly by gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and handling the legal process for you while you recover.
A truck accident can change your life forever. If the truck driver or another party was at fault, we may be able to help. Our experienced Macon truck accident lawyers will fight to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call Childers & McCain, LLC at
478-254-2007 or complete our online form. We are located in Macon, Georgia, and help clients in Macon, Savannah, Albany, and Atlanta.
Facing the aftermath of a serious accident can be overwhelming. Before you speak with the insurance companies, make sure you schedule a free consultation with the Macon personal injury lawyers at Childers & McCain. We can protect your rights while anticipating the insurance company’s tactics to make sure you get the full compensation you deserve. You don’t have to navigate this tough road alone – let our team of professionals help you move forward.