Often a traffic accident between a passenger vehicle and a commercial truck is caused in part by driver error. Injuries resulting from truck accidents are usually much more serious than those resulting from car crashes and are often fatal. In fact, large commercial vehicles have the power to crush passenger cars due to their massive weight and momentum. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA), a large percentage of victims killed in trucking accidents are individuals in the other vehicles, not the truck drivers.
Common trucking accident-related injuries that can lead to paralysis and require life-long medical care include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and devastating burn injury.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury is a result of a sudden blow to the head or whiplash, which causes the brain to collide with the inside of the skull, tearing nerve fibers and causing significant damage. Traumatic brain injuries can vary greatly depending on the part of the brain affected and the severity level. TBI is considered a serious injury that can limit an individual’s cognitive, psychological and physical abilities. The outcome of traumatic brain injury can range from complete recovery to permanent disability, persistent vegetative state and, in some cases, death.
Spinal Cord Injury
Trucking accidents may also lead to spinal cord injury. Trauma to the spine can cause major fracture and/or nerve damage. These injuries often lead to significant physical and emotional pain and suffering and require life-long medical care, therapy and extensive rehabilitation. Individuals who sustain spinal cord injury in a trucking accident often lose sensory or motor reflexes below the site of the injury and are therefore left permanently paraplegic or quadriplegic. Spinal cord injury victims often are unable to function independently and/or restore functions lost at the time of the injury.
During trucking accidents, fires and explosions often occur due to the spillage fuel and other flammable materials. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, fires following a collision are the leading cause of devastating burn injuries and deaths. Burn injuries sustained in a trucking accident often cover large areas of the victim’s body and consist of third and fourth degree burns, which not only cause irreversible skin damage but can also affect nerves, muscles and, in some cases, bones. Serious burns lead to a number of complications, including shock, dehydration, chemical imbalance, and deadly infections.
Although passenger vehicle drivers may share the blame for causing some truck accidents, a disturbing number of such accidents are caused by carelessness on the part of trucking companies and their drivers. This is because a number of trucking companies fail to follow federal laws and often impose deadlines on their drivers, which lead to speeding, reckless driving and the operation of poorly maintained vehicles.
Pensacola Trucking Accident Attorneys
If you or a family member have sustained injuries in a trucking accident, you may be able to hold the trucker and/or the trucking company responsible for your pain and suffering. Contact us today at Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon at 850-444-HURT(4878) for a free trucking accident injury consultation.