In 2020, 107,000 large trucks were involved in crashes that led to injury, per the National Safety Council (NSC). The most serious injuries that can result from a big rig truck accident in Florida include traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries, burns, and amputations.
The size and weight of big rigs or semi-trucks make them much more unwieldy than passenger cars. Truck drivers have to maneuver a large vehicle that is 20 to 30 times heavier than passenger vehicles, meaning the risks of an accident are greater and so is the potential damage to both people and property.
Serious Injuries That Result From Big Rig Truck Accidents
Heavy-duty commercial vehicles like semi-trucks, often referred to as big rigs, tractor trailers, 18-wheelers, and mack trucks, cause severe damage when colliding with other vehicles. The risks of suffering serious injury are much greater with these large vehicles though the number of crashes is far fewer than with smaller vehicles. Occupants of vehicles involved in truck accidents may suffer the following types of severe injury:
Traumatic Brain Injury
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of brain injury resulting in hospitalization, according to a report on brain injuries in the United States created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A TBI is a common injury from semi-truck accidents, as the impact of a big rig collision can cause the brain to suffer tear or impact injuries.
Research from the Mayo Clinic and the University of Alabama at Birmingham recounts some of the causes, classifications, and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries. These victims may suffer brain injuries that range from mild to severe. Mild TBI is called a concussion. It is not generally not life-threatening but can lead to temporary cognitive disruption and serious health effects. A moderate traumatic brain injury often involves loss of consciousness from 30 minutes to 24 hours in addition to other serious symptoms. Finally, a severe brain injury may result in loss of consciousness for more than 24 hours, usually indicating the patient is in a coma.
Information from the Air Force Center for Excellence of Medical Multimedia (CEMM) confirms: moderate and severe TBI can be a lifelong condition, resulting in serious cognitive problems, disability, loss of independence, and an inability to work. They also increase the likelihood of death from other complications, such as seizures or infections.
Spinal Cord Injury
Serious damage to the spine can occur in a big rig accident, particularly if the victim is hit from behind. The severity of the damage varies. Some people may experience nerve and mobility problems while others may suffer partial or complete paralysis.
Per the Mayo Clinic, paralysis occurs below the injury site, so damage to the spinal cord in the lumbar region would result in paralysis of the lower body/legs, a condition known as paraplegia. Damage to the cervical spine (neck) could result in paralysis of the entire body (arms and legs) except the head and neck, a condition known as quadriplegia.
The loss of limbs is a rare, but a significant catastrophic injury that occurs in commercial vehicle crashes. Head-on and rollover accidents have the highest prevalence of limb amputations, according to research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Amputations occur when a victim experiences severe damage to the bones or ligaments of a limb, or if they were trapped beneath a vehicle.
Sometimes, medical practitioners must remove the limb or digit in order to save the victim’s life from further health complications.
Severe burns can occur from semi-truck accidents. In addition to the ordinary risk of a vehicle exploding after impact, many big rigs carry flammable and hazardous chemicals. If a tanker carrying fuel or a truck hauling industrial chemicals is damaged, it can ignite an explosion or a large fire that’s difficult to contain. Vehicle occupants may suffer second or third-degree burns as a result. The risks are often greatest for truck drivers who are closest to the combustible product.
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Passenger Car Occupants Suffer the Most Injuries in Big Rig Accidents
Occupants of passenger vehicles suffer the majority of the injuries in semi-truck accidents. According to the National Safety Council, 68% of the injuries and 71% of deaths occurred to occupants of vehicles other than large trucks. Truck occupants suffered 30% of injuries and 17% of deaths while non-occupants, such as pedestrians and bicyclists sustained 2% of injuries and 12% of semi-truck deaths.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Can Help You If You’ve Been Injured in a Truck Accident
Injuries from commercial truck accidents are often life-threatening or fatal. Survivors often have a long road to recovery ahead of them. Medical bills and lost income could create a significant burden for you and family members. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you file a claim for financial compensation from the at-fault party. Call us today for a free consultation.
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