Unfortunately, truck drivers cause serious truck accidents on our busy Atlanta-area roads and highways on a regular basis—with victims paying the price when they suffer serious injuries or death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,903 people were killed and 111,000 people injured in truck crashes in 2014. While fatalities decreased two percent from 2013 to 2014, injuries increased by 17 percent during this period. In addition, approximately 73 percent of the victims were occupants of other vehicles and 10 percent were non-occupants, such as pedestrians and bicyclists. If you or a family member become injured in one of these tragic wrecks, you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent trucker and the trucking company.
Why Do Truck Accidents Cause More Serious Injuries?
Truck wrecks are different from motor vehicle accidents for a number of reasons. A major difference is the size and weight of the truck. A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh 80,000 pounds or more and is a much larger vehicle than the passenger vehicles that share the road with it. As a result, the force of the impact is going to be much greater than when two smaller vehicles collide. In addition, a truck could be transporting hazardous materials and chemicals that could spill or catch on fire. Finally, trucks cause unique types of accidents such as jackknife accidents, which can also cause the truck to roll over, or an underride or override crash to occur. These factors contribute to truck accident victims suffering horrific injuries or death.
Common Injuries That People Suffer in Truck Wrecks
Victims’ injuries are often more severe in a truck accident and they are also more likely to result in a decreased quality of life—sometimes permanently. Common injuries that people suffer include:
- Head and brain injuries. Victims can suffer many head and brain injuries—such as concussions, brain hemorrhages, comas, and traumatic brain injuries. Some injuries could be life-threatening or cause permanent limitations in the person’s mental, emotional, and reasoning abilities. Many injuries could also cause limitations to a person’s vision, hearing, or mobility.
- Fractures and broken bones. Fractures, crushed bones, and broken bones are common injuries in a truck accident. Sometimes the person suffers multiples fractures and broken bones. In serious cases, individuals could require surgery and might never fully recover from their injuries.
- Amputations. If not severed in the accident, a person could need a limb or other body part amputated if it was severely crushed or burned in the crash. This can seriously limit a victim’s ability to work and engage in his normal day-to-day activities.
- Neck and back injuries. Because of the force of the impact and the jarring to a person’s back and neck, he can suffer muscle and tendon strains, tears, sprains, or whiplash. These injuries can require long-term treatment and result in the victim suffering chronic pain.
- Spinal cord injuries. Injuries to the spinal cord in a truck accident can be devastating when they cause long-term limitations in movement or even worse, partial or complete paralysis.
- Internal bleeding and organ damage. Because the force of the impact is so great in many wrecks, the victim could suffer internal bleeding or organ damage—often life-threatening.
- Burns. A truck accident can result in the fuel tank rupturing or hazardous substances and chemicals exploding or leaking. Victims could suffer devastating burns that can cause long-term complications, scarring, and disfigurement.
Because your injuries will most likely be more serious in a truck accident, the value of your claim could be higher. This increases the likelihood that the insurance company for the trucker and the trucking company will fight harder to deny or reduce your claim. You need an experienced attorney who has handled truck accident cases and understands the complexities unique to them, including many federal regulations governing truckers and trucking companies. Call our office or start an online chat today to schedule a free consultation with David Brauns.