While any type of vehicle accident can cause severe damage and injury, truck accidents are significantly more dangerous than passenger car accidents. Commercial trucks can weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger vehicles. When they are involved in a vehicle accident, the likelihood of fatality or injury for people in passenger vehicles is significantly higher.
Of the 4,014 fatalities in large truck crashes nationally in 2020, 68% of these deaths were passengers in smaller vehicles. Truck accident victims can suffer a wide range of injuries from a collision with a semi-truck.
Injuries Caused by a Truck Accident
You likely sustained severe injuries if you were injured in a truck accident. Injuries in truck accidents are more frequent and often more catastrophic than injuries that result from passenger vehicle accidents. These injuries can have long-term and even lifelong effects.
Several common types of truck accident injuries may entitle you to damages, which include:
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury is typically the result of a jolt or violent blow to the head or body. Minor brain injuries can affect your brain cells temporarily, but a more severe brain injury can result in bleeding, torn tissues, or bruising to the brain that can have lasting complications or result in death.
A traumatic brain injury can cause changes in personality, speech, cognitive function, and motor function that can last for months or even years after an accident and severely impact day-to-day life.
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries are also common in truck accidents due to whiplash or the impact received from the airbag or the vehicle. A spinal cord injury can be temporary or permanent and result in: paralysis, muscle weakness, decreased sensation, and loss of bodily function below the injury.
Spinal cord injuries require long-term medical attention, resulting in expensive treatments such as surgeries to repair damage to the spinal cord and physical therapy to help regain muscle control.
Broken bones are a prevalent injury in vehicle accidents because of the sudden impact with an airbag or hard object inside the vehicle. Depending on the type of break, you could face short-term or long-term effects.
Minor fractures may take four to six weeks to heal, while complicated fractures where the bone moves, twists, or punctures the skin may require surgery and hardware such as pins, screws, and rods and many months of immobilization to heal correctly.
An injury from a truck accident can result in severe disfigurement caused by severe burns, nerve damage, or lacerations. Treating a disfigurement may require multiple surgeries or extensive medical treatments. Victims with lifelong scars may have emotional trauma that can affect their confidence, future relationships, ability to get a job, and overall quality of life.
The blunt force trauma from a car accident can result in organ damage that requires medical attention. The most common organs injured in car accidents are the liver and spleen, with possible injuries being lacerations to the organs leading to internal bleeding, bruises to organs that impact their function, and possible rupture of organs that may cause loss of function or death.
Very severe cases may need a transplant or surgery to stop bleeding and improve organ function. For minor cases, medical observation is required to ensure proper healing and no further complications.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Big truck accidents cause a significant amount of damage to other vehicles, property, and people. The cause of the accident may significantly impact the type of damages and injuries sustained in the accident and the amount of compensation one receives as a result. Truck accidents can be caused by several factors, including:
- Driver fatigue
- Illegal maneuvers
- Jackknife accidents
- Tire blowouts
- Cargo shifting
- Driver inattention
- Brake failure
How Injuries are Calculated in Truck Accidents
Car accident compensation is broken down into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are compensated based on the financial impact of your injury or accident. This can include:
- Medical expenses for your injuries
- Lost wages during recovery
- Car repair or replacement
- Loss of future income if unable to work due to permanent injury
Noneconomic damages are harder to quantify. These can include:
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death of a family member
Who Pays for Injuries in Truck Accidents
Illinois is an at-fault state, meaning the person liable for the accident is responsible for paying the injury expenses. Typically, the at-fault driver’s insurance will pay for the damage to the car and the costs of receiving treatment for injuries sustained in the accident. Several parties could be responsible for a truck accident, including:
The Truck Driver
The truck driver could be responsible for the accident if they were distracted, tired, driving recklessly, or making an illegal maneuver. Federal regulations enforce an 11-hour driving limit to prevent drivers from experiencing fatigue that can lead to accidents.
The Trucking Company
The trucking company can also be liable if they are required to maintain their tractor-trailers or if they contributed to the driver being overworked.
There are also situations where manufacturers of defective or faulty equipment could be at risk. If a manufacturer is responsible for defective equipment that led the driver to lose control of the truck, they could be liable for the damages related to your personal injuries.
The company or people responsible for loading the truck could be at fault for the accident. Overloading a commercial truck can lead to jackknifing, brake failure, and rollover accidents. If cargo is improperly secured and shifts while the truck is in motion, this could cause the driver to lose control of their vehicle.
Other Vehicles Involved in the Accident
If other passenger vehicles were involved in the auto accident, they could also be liable if their actions contributed to the accident. To navigate this complicated process, it’s essential to have an experienced attorney who can assist you and ensure that you receive the appropriate compensation from the responsible parties.
Receive the Compensation You Deserve
To ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, it’s essential to have the assistance of a skilled truck accident attorney. An experienced truck accident lawyer can evaluate the complicated aspects of your case to determine who is at fault and help you navigate the complex claims process.
Nessler & Associates has been helping victims of truck accidents in Illinois, Texas, Florida, and Colorado for more than four decades. If you or a loved one have been involved in a collision with a truck, contact our law firm at (800) 727-8010 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your circumstances and learn your next steps.
Our knowledgeable and compassionate injury lawyers have over 100 years of combined legal and successful trial experience, so you can rest assured that we will fight to maximize your settlement. Our no fee unless your case is settled or won promise means we don’t get paid unless we win or settle your case.