Truck accidents are some of the most catastrophic crashes on the road. A collision between a heavy 18-wheeler and a typical passenger car will result in much more significant damage to the latter. Every year, tens of thousands of truck accident victims ended up in hospitals due to serious and life-threatening injuries. In 2017 alone, 4,657 truck accidents took victims’ lives. Although every victim is unique, truck accidents tend to cause certain types of personal injuries most often.
A bone might break in a commercial truck accident if the crash forces the victim’s body to collide with objects at high force, such as the steering column or dashboard of a vehicle. External trauma could lead to bone cracks, breaks and compound fractures. Some of the most common broken bones in truck accidents are ribs, leg bones, fingers and wrists. The spinal cord, neck or skull could also fracture in a truck accident, potentially causing catastrophic injuries. A broken bone may fully heal within several weeks to a few months after a truck accident. In severe cases, however, a bone fracture could cause long-term or permanent disabilities.
A broken bone is what a physician will sometimes refer to as a hard-tissue injury. A soft-tissue injury, on the other hand, affects the softer tissues of the body. These include the skin, tendons and muscles. A truck accident could cause many soft-tissue injuries. Some of the most frequent are lacerations, scrapes, burns, strains and sprains. Severe soft-tissue injuries can cause permanent scarring and disfigurement.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
One of the worst injuries involved in 18-wheeler accidents is a traumatic brain injury. The head and brain could sustain an injury if the head connects with objects inside the vehicle during the accident or elements outside the vehicle in a motorcycle or ejection accident. External trauma to the skull could cause a fracture or open head injury. The brain could also be injured if it bounces around and strikes the inside of the skull. The most common brain injury associated with auto accidents is a concussion. Traumatic brain injuries can include contusions, hematomas, edemas, diffuse-axonal injuries and coup-contrecoup injuries. Many brain injuries cause permanent disabilities.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord could suffer life-altering injuries in a truck accident in Idaho. If the truck crumples the passenger vehicle, for example, the crash could crush or fracture the victim’s spine. In high-velocity accidents, the seat belt could cause a catastrophic injury such as a severed spine. A spine or neck injury could permanently paralyze the victim. Even more minor back injuries, such as ruptured or herniated disks, could cause severe and chronic pain.
A driver’s internal organs travel at the same speed as the vehicle. If a truck accident causes the vehicle to abruptly stop, the organs continue traveling at the same speed until colliding with internal elements, such as other organs or the skeletal system. This can cause serious internal injuries, including hemorrhaging and organ damage. Seat belts can also dig into the body and cause organ damage in a collision. Shrapnel and debris could pierce the body and injure the organs as well. Internal injuries can cause irreversible loss of important bodily functions.
Physical injuries are not the only risk involved in truck accidents. Survivors could also have significant emotional distress or trauma from the collision. Emotional injuries can include anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, distress, mental anguish, loss of consortium and lost quality of life. In Idaho, an injured truck accident victim may be able to recover for both physical and emotional injuries. You may have a case if you have serious injuries or a loved one died in a truck accident. Contact a Layton truck accident attorney near you to discuss your recovery.