Semi-trucks are subject to both the normal road rules and federal regulations. These rules and regulations aim to prevent accidents. Federal regulations guiding semi-truck drivers limit their hours of operation, driving speed, and other factors. These rules improve the quality of life of the drivers and also keep other road users safe. If you’ve ever wondered why the rules surrounding operating semi-trucks are stiff, a personal injury lawyer notes that it is because of the severity of injuries associated with semi-truck accidents.
Unlike normal car crashes, semi-truck accidents often lead to fatal and catastrophic injuries. In most cases, victims may lose their lives. These regulations are put in place to prevent fatigue and to make sure that semi-truck drivers are active and able to make safe decisions on the road. If you or a loved one has been involved in a semi-truck accident, the chance of sustaining injuries is high. Below are some of the common injuries in semi-truck accident cases.
Neck and Back Injuries
Semi-trucks weigh several times the weight of a normal car. Whether the semi-truck was at full speed or was at a normal cruising speed, the chances of neck and back injuries are high. Upon impact, a jolt of force is sent through the semi-truck into the other vehicle. Passengers may be dislodged from their seats, even with seatbelts on, and this can cause them to hit their neck or back against any part of the car. The result may be in the form of severe injuries to the neck or back region. Some of the common injuries affecting the neck and back region include
Whiplash – Whiplash injuries occur when a jolt of force causes the neck to snap or jerk from the head. This injury causes the stretching and tearing of tendons, muscles, and connective tissues in the neck region.
Herniated disc or bulging discs – Herniated disc injuries are one of the common and most painful injuries sustained in a semi-truck accident. This injury is a result of the tearing away of the delicate material between the discsOnn the other hand, bulging discs occur when the spinal disc on the outer edge stretches beyond the vertebrae.
Neck Fractures – The force of impact or collision can cause the neck to move in any direction at great speed. This force can fracture any of the bony vertebrae in the neck.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Many people suffer temporary or permanent spinal cord injuries on account of semi-truck accidents. This type of injury, depending on its severity, can alter the victim’s life permanently. There are chances of lifelong health complications associated with spinal cord injuries. Some of the common types of injuries include;
Tetraplegia – This is the most fatal kind of spinal cord injury. The complete fracture of the spinal cord causes total loss of control over the limbs, hence total paralysis.
Paraplegia – This injury leads to the loss of control of the lower limbs.
Triplegia – This is characterized by the loss of control in three limbs.
Brain and Head Injuries
Brain and head injuries are as worse as they come. The force of impact from a semi-truck collision can send the passengers in the other vehicle in different directions. Depending on what the head is hit against and the severity of the impact, victims may suffer brain and head injuries. Some of the common types include;
Traumatic Brain Injuries – Traumatic brain injuries can be mild or fatal. In severe cases, the victim may lose their memory or die. It could be caused by hitting the head too hard against the dashboard or steering wheel.
Open Head Injuries – Victims may also suffer an open gash from a broken skull. This is most common when the head is hit hard against a piece of metal or when a piece of metal penetrates the brain through the skull.
Closed Head Injuries – These injuries do not necessarily leave a physical impact. However, it may cause internal head bleeding, brain bruises, concussion, or other complications.
Burns and Disfigurement
In some semi-truck accidents, fires may start from the spillage of fuel, chemicals, and other toxic substances. Victims may suffer mild or extensive burns. They may even be disfigured as a result of the accident. With burns, there are different degrees based on the severity of the injury. First-degree burns are the worst kinds, while fourth-degree burns are mild and may not require comprehensive medical action.
Other common injuries in semi-truck accidents include;
- Internal injuries like hemothorax, hemopericardium, cardiac tamponade, liver or spleen lacerations, or organ perforations. Others include rib fractures, cuts, bruises, lacerations, broken bones, flail chest, and others
- Soft tissue injuries