Common Truck Accident Injuries in Houston
Trucking collisions happen every day in Texas. In fact, the Texas Department of Transportation reports that, on average, 97 large truck crashes happened daily in 2017. As we have seen over the years at Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C., these crashes can have devastating consequences.
Due to the difference in size and weight between tractor-trailers and standard passenger cars, the occupants of passenger cars tend to suffer the most severe injuries in a collision. The following are some of the most common types of truck accident injuries.
Head and Brain Injuries
Among the most common injuries caused by crashes with large trucks are head and brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), including concussions, blunt head trauma and lacerations to the face or scalp frequently occur. Traumatic brain injury is a physical injury to the brain. Tiny lesions to the brain may be almost imperceptible in regular X-rays and CT scans. Special types of brain imaging tests must be used to detect these changes in a person’s brain. Symptoms of TBI can include headaches, memory and mood problems and difficulty with sleeping or concentrating. While invisible to the naked eye, head trauma injuries are serious and can wreak havoc on a person’s life.
Back and Neck Injuries
When a large tractor-trailer collides with a small passenger vehicle, the impact alone is enough to kill people. Fatalities are uncommon in semi-truck crashes. Those who survive these trucking accidents are often left with muscle strains, tendon injuries and ligament injuries. They also suffer damage to other soft tissues of the back and neck. The spine is protected by vertebrae, which are bony structures. In between each of the vertebrae are discs, which are rigid cartilage cushions with a gel-like substance inside. These discs act as a shock absorber between the bones of the spinal column, allowing flexibility and ease of motion. However, when discs are injured, they can leak, bulge and become fully herniated, meaning they collapse. The space between the vertebrae narrows, and nerve bundles get pinched. It can lead to painful and debilitating symptoms.
Broken bones may sound like an injury that should heal naturally. However, not all fractures do heal without assistance. In fact, some broken bones require expensive surgeries to repair address. These excruciating injuries can lead to having rods, pins and screws inserted into the body in order to hold bones together. Broken bones can be non-displaced, meaning the bone cracks but does not entirely separate into distinct pieces, or they can be displaced, meaning the bone entirely fractures. Compound fractures occur when the bone punctures the skin and becomes exposed. All fractures have the risk of causing internal bleeding, infection, nerve damage and permanent deformity if they are not treated quickly. Even with the best of care, a broken bone will tend to show that it was broken.
Shattered glass, sharp metal, auto frames, hard plastic interiors and dash panels can all cause severe lacerations and puncture wounds. Many trucking accident survivors suffer for a long time afterward, and they are left with permanently disfiguring cuts all over their bodies. Facial lacerations are often the most severe because they are visible and because the head and face are exposed the most.
Due to fire and explosion upon impact, many people suffer severe burns in collisions with tractor-trailers. People can also suffer friction burns if they scrape against the vehicle interior or if they are ejected from the car and scrape against the pavement. Burns can be challenging to treat and may require surgery. Some burn victims eventually undergo some form of plastic surgery. Burns can also lead to complications such as infections.
A spinal cord injury is perhaps the most severe injury a person can suffer. It occurs when the spinal cord is actually damaged or severed in some way. These injuries can result in total or partial paralysis at and below the point of the spinal cord damage. Essentially, the messages that must be communicated from the brain to the rest of the body are all transmitted through the central nervous system, meaning they travel through the spinal column. So, if the spinal cord is damaged, it’s like a kink in a hose. It cuts off the communication past that point. Some of these injuries result in people being unable to walk, while more severe cases can lead to quadriplegia, a condition where the person loses use of all extremities. Some people require assistance with breathing, eating, bathing or even speaking.
Many highway fatalities each year can be attributed to large commercial vehicles. Fortunately, when a person is killed in a trucking collision, the family can seek redress by filing a claim for wrongful death compensation. This can help the surviving spouse, children and other close relatives obtain money for funeral and final expenses, medical costs, loss of financial support and income, and even the pain and emotional agony that come from losing a loved one. But these cases are complex and often include a number of court proceedings. Also, insurance companies frequently fight harder when the stakes are higher.
Get Help from a Texas Truck Accident Attorney Today
When you contact Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C., we will initiate an immediate investigation of your truck accident. Insurance companies and trucking companies move very fast, often concealing evidence and hiding things. You need a team of trained investigators on the scene as soon as possible. Our law firm can determine why your trucking accident happened and who should be held responsible for it. We can also help you to get the medical care and treatment you need for your injuries as we fight for full and fair compensation for you. Contact us today to speak with a Houston truck accident attorney at Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C., about your case free of charge. Remember, we only get paid if we help you to collect compensation, so there is no risk or obligation for making the call.