I’m no physicist, but I learned in high school that force equals mass times acceleration. If you take a tractor-trailer that can weigh anywhere from 10,000 pounds to 80,000 pounds and allow it to churn down the interstate at the speed limit of 70 miles an hour, you don’t need to be Albert Einstein to know that generates an eye-popping amount of force. When that force slams into you, it can wreak devastating havoc on your body.
Before we get to the injuries, you should know these wrecks occur in astounding numbers all over the country. Here are just a few of the horrifying injuries that result from semi-truck accidents across South Carolina:
- Wrongful death. Sometimes an innocent motorist’s vehicle is reduced to such a mangled mass of metal, he is crushed to death or suffers so many internal injuries he cannot survive. Sadly, these crashes occur with shocking frequency. The trucker and possibly his employer can still be held accountable by the victim’s loved ones for certain aspects of their loss, like lost financial support and lost companionship. The victim’s estate can recover for the victim’s conscious pain and suffering as well as medical treatment and funeral bills.
- Paralysis. The enormous force of 18-wheeler collisions can be carried through the victim’s car directly into his spine, shattering the bones protecting the spinal cord, called vertebrae. When a bone shard or collapsed vertebrae severs the spinal cord, paralysis results. This permanently life-threatening condition leaves the victim totally dependent on others for major aspects of personal care, if not all of it—plus enormous costs for extensive, lifelong medical treatment. In these cases, we will work to develop a life-care plan to hold the trucker’s insurance company accountable for these costs, in addition to permanent loss of enjoyment of life, suffering, lost income, and other losses.
- Traumatic Brain Injury. Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, can take many forms and come in various degrees of severity. As a result of the recent NFL player lawsuit, probably the best known is a concussion.
The best way I ever heard a doctor describe one for a car crash victim is this: imagine your brain is a peach in a Mason jar filled with water. Take the jar in both hands and shake it violently. The bruising to the peach from hitting the sides of the jar is like the damage to the brain from a concussion.
But I can also give you a more clinical description on how wrecks cause brain damage.
Sometimes that damage is so profound it can cause a brain hemorrhage—a brain bleed—which is life-threatening condition. Shockingly, sometimes victims of these injuries appear pretty normal right after the crash.
Symptoms to watch out for include severe headache, confusion, dizziness, mood changes, and irrational behavior. This type of injury is the chief reason you should seek immediate medical help after a tractor-trailer crash, even if you think you’re fine. You may be in extreme danger and not know it.
- Herniated Spinal Disc. Spinal discs are the "shock absorbers” protecting the delicate spinal cord. They look like a jelly donut. If you throw a jelly donut on the floor, it bursts and the jelly leaks out. The same can occur to a spinal disc from the shockwave of impact—but when you blow out a spinal disc, it’s a lot harder to clean up. Because the ruptured disc compresses nerves leaving the spinal cord, it causes extreme pain, weakness, numbness and tingling—and sometimes these problems can only be fixed with extremely serious spinal surgery.
- Rotator Cuff Tear. The impact slams you violently forward against your seat belt as it jerks tight on your shoulder, which then throws you just as hard into your seat, causing your shoulder joint to pop loudly as the muscles and ligaments surrounding it rip through and collapse.
- Broken Bones. The impact crushes the front of your car so hard your feet jam against the floorboard and your leg bones cannot withstand the force, not just splintering but tearing through the backs of your legs.
These are only some of the most severe injuries that can result from a crash with a tractor trailer. Some of these injuries can involve developing complex medical evidence and sifting through hundreds of pages of medical records to compile a compelling case to get you the very best settlement offer or highest verdict possible.
Contact An Attorney If You’ve Been Injured in a Truck Accident
If you've been seriously injured in a truck crash, you owe it to yourself and your family to meet with an experienced lawyer to thoroughly investigate the trucking company and the trucker, develop the medical evidence to show the full extent of your injuries for proper compensation, and keep you from being shortchanged by the trucker’s insurance company. Don’t add insult to injury by letting the insurance company run over you after the trucker did. For more info, check out our free report on South Carolina car accident cases, which includes a chapter on 18-wheeler accidents.
If you’re hurt too bad or overwhelmed by the prospect of dealing with the trucker’s insurance company, you don’t even have to get up from the computer to contact us. Send us an email or start a live chat to see about a free meeting with us to discuss your rights and getting the most compensation you can for all you and your family suffered. You can also call us at toll-free at 888.230.1841. If you’re too hurt to come to us, we will gladly come to you.