commercial truck accidents

5 Common Injuries After a Truck Accident

Commercial trucking accidents are far more likely to result in death or serious injuries than accidents between two passenger vehicles. And according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), approximately three out of every four people killed in large truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants. Those who survive these accidents often suffer catastrophic injuries that have a devastating impact on their lives. Many injury victims and their families face mounting medical bills, lost wages from time missed from work, rehabilitation costs, and the cost of ongoing medical care if the victim suffers from a debilitating condition.

There are several types of injuries that can occur after a truck accident, here are five of the most common:

Head and Brain Injuries

Trucking accidents often cause a jolt or blow to the head, which can result in a condition known as traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI is a unique injury because very often, it is not discovered until some time has passed after the accident, and it manifests itself differently in each individual.

More mild forms of TBI (commonly referred to as concussions) may result in temporary loss of consciousness or memory. Severe forms can last for months or years, resulting in a wide range of symptoms; such as dizziness, nausea and vomiting, extreme and lasting headaches, difficulty with concentration/focus, frequent agitation/irritation, fatigue, mood/behavioral changes, and many others.

Neck and Back Injuries

Because of the jarring force that affects occupants of passenger vehicles when they crash into a truck, neck and back injuries are common in truck accidents. Injuries can range in severity from minor aches and pains to debilitating conditions. Even relatively minor back and neck injuries can result in high medical costs and cause victims to miss work for an extended period of time.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The high impact of a crash with a truck also makes injuries to the spinal cord fairly commonplace after a trucking accident. Like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries are not always detected right away, and often require a full medical exam that includes an MRI. Severe spinal cord injures can result in partial or full paralysis.

Burn Injuries

Burns are more common with truck accidents because of the size of the truck and the damage it can cause the other vehicle on impact. During a crash with a truck, there is a greater risk of rupturing the fuel tank and causing explosions and fires. Some burn injuries are minor and only penetrate the first layer of skin (epidermis). These are called first-degree burns. Second-degree burns penetrate the epidermis and the layer below (dermis). Third-degree burns are more severe, penetrating through both layers, charring skin, and often requiring multiple medical procedures and an extended recovery time.

Internal Injuries

Another injury that happens more because of the sheer force of the truck on the body of occupants of the other vehicle is an internal injury. Internal bleeding and damage to internal organs is not always known right away, again underscoring the need for those involved in a truck accident to seek immediate medical attention.

Determining Fault in Truck Accident Injury Cases

Trucking accident cases are typically far more complicated than standard auto accidents. Often, there are multiple parties that could be responsible, and it can be difficult to uncover the root cause of the incident. Some of the parties that could potentially be at-fault in a truck accident include the driver, trucking company, truck owner, transport company that loaded the truck, or the vehicle/vehicle part designer, manufacturer, supplier, or distributor. To get to the bottom of the case, it is important for the victim to work with a skilled professional who knows what to look for and has a successful track record representing other truck accident victims.

Contact a Seasoned Truck Accident Lawyer in Alabama

When someone is injured in an accident with a truck, it is often a life-altering event, and because of the complexities involved with these types of cases, strong legal representation is necessary in order to ensure you receive full compensation. At Alsobrook Jackson, Attorneys at Law, we have represented numerous truck accident victims in Alabama. We thoroughly understand federal trucking regulations and state laws, and we put our extensive experience to work to explore every potential legal avenue and aggressively pursue damages on behalf of each client we serve.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys, call our office today at 334-737-3718, or send us a secure and confidential message through our web contact form.

commercial truck accidents

Questions to Ask After an Accident with a Truck

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident is one of the most traumatic experiences an individual can go through. This is especially true if the accident involves a large commercial truck. Truck accidents are among the deadliest that occur on the roadways because of the sheer size and strength of the vehicle involved. These types of accidents can result in serious injuries and in the worst cases, wrongful death.

Though a trucking accident can be unsettling (to say the least), it is important to regain your composure and gather as much information as possible about the incident. Assuming you are physically able, write down in detail what just happened while it is still fresh in your mind. In addition, take multiple photographs of the accident scene from as many angles as possible, and obtain the contact information of anyone nearby that may have witnessed the event.

In addition to extensively documenting what just occurred, there are some questions you should ask after an accident with a truck. Here are three of the most important:

  1. Have the police been called?

After a truck accident, the first priorities are to obtain immediate medical attention for anyone who was hurt, and to gather as much information as possible. Once you have made sure everyone who was injured receives treatment, it is important to notify the police. If a truck driver caused the accident, there is a chance they will not want to involve the police. There are several reasons this could be the case.

Truckers are required to comply with federal regulations regarding vehicle maintenance, how many hours they are allowed to be on the road, and many other rules. If they were driving while drowsy or fatigued or did not properly maintain the vehicle for example, they might not want a police report filed. This is exactly the reason law enforcement should be involved. If a truck driver caused an accident while in violation of federal regulations, this should be officially documented in a police report.

  1. Does the driver have the right commercial license to operate the vehicle?

Truckers are required to have a commercial license to operate a big rig truck. In addition, the driver may need special endorsements (that indicate they underwent the proper training and obtained the required certifications) when they are transporting various types of goods. Some trucking companies fail to perform their due diligence and allow drivers on the road who are not properly licensed.

  1. Is the driver the owner of the vehicle, or is he/she an employee or independent contractor of a trucking company?

In a trucking accident, there are several parties who could potentially be at-fault. These may include the truck driver, the trucking company, the owner of the truck, the transport company that loaded the truck, the vehicle or vehicle part designer, manufacturer, supplier, or distributor, or a combination of factors. One of the first steps in determining who is responsible is to figure out the relationship between the truck driver and other parties involved.

In some cases, the truck driver may be the owner/operator of the vehicle who accepts jobs from multiple trucking companies. In this case, the driver would most likely be an independent contractor. In many cases, however, the driver transports exclusively for one trucking company and displays their placard in their truck. In this instance, even if the trucking company maintains that the driver is an independent contractor, they may actually be an employee (based on their relationship).

Speak with a Knowledgeable Alabama Truck Accidents Attorney

There are several other questions that need to be asked after an accident with a truck to determine who is responsible for damages. This can become a complex web to untangle, because very often, multiple factors converge at just the wrong time and in just the wrong place to cause the accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, the best thing to do is contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, so you can ensure that the rights questions are asked, and your rights and interests are fully protected.

At Alsobrook Jackson, Attorneys at Law, we have several years of experience successfully representing clients injured in truck accidents in Alabama. We have extensive knowledge of this area of the law, and when we accept a case, we go to work immediately to thoroughly investigate the circumstances and explore all potential legal avenues toward recovering full compensation. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at 334-737-3718, or send a secure and confidential message through our online contact form.