According to data from the Texas Department of Transportation, 6,687 semi truck accidents in 2016 involved an injury of some kind (including fatal injuries). When an 18-wheeler truck collides with a smaller passenger vehicle, the majority of injuries are sustained by those in the smaller vehicle.¹ Needless to say, such accidents are incredibly dangerous for the average driver and can leave the victims with serious injuries and long-term chronic issues.
Common Injuries Sustained in Semi Truck Accidents
Because an 18-wheeler is much heavier and bulkier than most other vehicles, the force of the impact is much greater than that of the average car, even if the trucker is strictly observing the posted speed limit. As a result, the injuries can be especially severe.
The following are just a few examples of common truck accident injuries:
- Spinal neck or back injuries (e.g., disc fracture or whiplash), potentially leading to chronic pain or paralysis
- Broken, fractured or crushed bones (limbs, ribs, pelvis, skull, etc.)
- Loss of limbs (amputations)
- Head and brain injuries (e.g., concussions), sometimes resulting in permanent brain damage
- Organ damage and/or internal hemorrhaging
- Bruising and lacerations
- Permanent physical and/or mental disability
- Triggered medical events like heart attacks (particularly in the elderly or those with diagnosed heart conditions)
Sadly, some victims of trucking accidents are especially fragile; seniors and children are far more susceptible to serious injury in an accident than a healthy young or middle-aged adult. A senior who suffers a fracture as a result of an accident may need significant medical intervention to regain mobility, as bones become more brittle and heal less efficiently in old age. Similarly, a child’s body is not yet prepared for significant trauma, and what might cause a concussion in an adult can lead to permanent brain damage and/or fatality in a toddler.
In the most severe of cases, the injuries sustained can lead to death, leaving the victim’s family to deal with the legal and financial issues that follow. In these cases, especially, families can benefit from the support and guidance that a good 18-wheeler accident lawyer can provide.
The Physical, Emotional, and Financial Strain of Injury
When you’ve been through a serious trucking accident, you may find yourself dealing with a number of stressful physical, emotional, and financial repercussions. Regardless of the severity and details of your crash, you may face struggles like the following:
- Pain, discomfort, and/or disability due to injuries sustained
- Medical bills and other recovery-related expenses
- Automotive repair costs
- Loss of income due to time away from work
- Difficulty returning to work, or a complete loss of livelihood
- Emotional and mental trauma, potentially leading to conditions like PTSD
- General stress and frustration from dealing with injuries, insurance companies, financial troubles, etc.
- Increased symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other existing conditions
- Permanent physical damage requiring ongoing management
- Chronic pain
- Limited mobility as a result of injuries
- Transportation issues due to loss of a totaled vehicle
- Accumulation of debt
- Legal battles with bill collectors, etc.
Issues like these can compound upon one another, leaving you struggling to make ends meet, dealing with bill collectors and fighting with insurance companies over automotive and medical coverage. Especially if you provide the sole or primary income for your family, the repercussions of your accident can have a drastic effect on not only your financial life but on the stability of your entire family’s day-to-day function.
As the injured victim of a semi-truck accident, you shouldn’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay for your own care during recovery. With the help of a professional 18-wheeler accident lawyer, you can get the coverage and damages you need to be made whole again.
What to Do at the Scene of a Trucking Accident
If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, the things you’re able to do on the scene may be limited. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may not be capable of exiting your vehicle to take pictures or speak to the driver as you might in any other car crash. Here are a few things you should try to do as best you can before leaving the accident scene:
- Call 911. If anyone in your vehicle is severely injured, provide as much information as you can so that they can give the right medical assistance.
- Take note of as much detail as you possibly can, even if you cannot exit your vehicle or are told to stay still by paramedics. If you are able to move, take photos and videos with a cell phone to document any damage, skid marks, or other unique details, as well as the final resting positions of the vehicle.
- No matter to whom you’re speaking—the police, the trucker, paramedics, or even your passengers—don’t make any statements that could be interpreted as an admission of fault on your end (e.g., “I can’t believe I didn’t see the truck coming”).
- Contact a Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyer immediately before you speak to anyone else about your accident. You don’t want to accidentally do or say anything that could ultimately hurt your case.
Move Forward with the Help of an Experienced 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer
When you enlist the help of an experienced Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyer like those at Johnson Garcia LLP, you’ll receive not only professional guidance but also valuable peace of mind. Our attorneys will take over the legal aspects of your case so that you can focus primarily on healing and moving forward in your life. Meanwhile, we’ll work on building a strong case to get you what you deserve as the victim of a large truck accident.
Even if you’re tempted to let the whole thing go and take the path of least resistance, it’s important to hold truckers and insurance companies accountable for their actions. Every time a crash victim lets a company get away with unfair treatment, it enables them to continue shortchanging people when they are vulnerable.
Johnson Garcia LLP Will Fight for Your Rights as a Truck Accident Victim
If you’ve been injured in a semi-truck accident in the Houston, TX area, you need a smart legal representative on your side. At Johnson Garcia Law, our attorneys have the experience and expertise to help you get the money you deserve as a victim.
We know Texas trucking laws inside out, which means we won’t be manipulated by companies trying to pin the blame on you. We’ll help you build a complete picture of what happened during your accident and defend your right to be repaid for your injuries.
As trusted personal injury lawyers in Houston, we’ve helped hundreds of people with cases involving car accidents, workplace accidents, wrongful death, insurance coverage disputes, business disputes, and much more. If you’re ready to discuss your case with an 18-wheeler accident lawyer, call Johnson Garcia LLP today at (832) 844-6700 to schedule your free initial consultation.