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Sadly, car accidents are a common occurrence on Texas roadways. Most of these accidents involve regular-sized vehicles such as pickup trucks, four-door sedans, SUVs, and minivans. While these accidents do have the potential to be serious and deadly, many of them are minor fender benders that allow both drivers and passengers to walk away with minor injuries.
18-wheeler accidents are a completely different story. Semi-trucks are the undoubted kings of the road. All drivers can agree that giving these massive vehicles plenty of room is the safest option. Many drivers become nervous when they are around, and rightfully so.
Weighing up to 80,000 lbs, 18-wheelers are a force to be reckoned with. Any accidents they get into with smaller vehicles often result in serious, life-threatening, and fatal injuries. This danger only increases if the 18-wheeler is carrying hazardous materials, such as volatile chemicals. Consider these statistics on 18-wheeler accidents from the National Highway and Safety Administration: In 2017, out of 450,000 police-reported accidents involving 18-wheelers, 4,237 (1%) of those were fatal crashes. Injury crashes accounted for 344,000 of those accidents (23%). The injuries from these accidents ranged from minor to life-threatening.
Most individuals involved in an 18-wheeler accident walked away with these common injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
The sudden force of an 18-wheeler accident can cause a severe blow to the head. This can result in the brain moving suddenly and violently in the skull, resulting in serious damage known as a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries are serious and can be life-threatening if not treated properly. Even with treatment, traumatic brain injuries can be life-altering and lead to horrible side effects such as paralysis and behavior changes.
Most individuals are unaware that they have had a traumatic brain injury right after an accident. Adrenaline pumping through the body masks tell-tale symptoms like headaches. It is extremely important to see a health professional as soon as possible after your accident to get checked out. Additionally, keep an eye out for these symptoms that may be an indication you have a traumatic brain injury and should seek medical care immediately:
Immediate Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
- Ringing of the ears
- Slurred Speech
- Difficulty forming words
- Loss of consciousness
Delayed Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to sound or light
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty waking up
- Mood changes
- Memory loss
- Loss of coordination
- Memory loss
Side Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury
- Memory loss
- Difficulty reasoning
- Difficulty communicating
- Parkinson’s disease
Back and Neck Injuries
Your back and neck have small bones and ligaments that are vulnerable to injury from the brute force of an 18-wheeler accident. The force of the accident can cause a driver or passenger’s neck to snap forward while the torso remains in place due to the seatbelt. This causes a condition known as whiplash.
Whiplash, back injuries, and other neck injuries might not be immediately apparent after an accident. It is important to go get checked out by a medical professional after a car accident to ensure any hidden injuries are caught and treated before they worsen.
Not only will your injuries be treated, but you will also have medical records to prove injuries and damages after your accident. These can ensure that you get the compensation you deserve from the negligent party.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can occur due to the force of the accident. These injuries are always severe and can lead to lifelong pain and paralysis. Due to the nature of spinal cord injuries, there is very little that doctors can do to treat these injuries. The only thing that can be done is to manage the pain.
If you were in an accident and noticed any of the following symptoms in yourself or a loved one, seek out medical attention immediately:
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Difficulty moving
- Loss of control of the bladder and or bowels
- Constant pain or a stinging sensation in the nerves
- Difficulty breathing
- Extreme pressure or pain along the spine
- Loss of sensation in the extremities
- Twisted back or neck
Disfigurement and Burn Injuries
18-wheeler accidents are often violent, resulting in vehicles being flattened, glass shattering, and fuel tank ruptures from blunt force trauma. Individuals involved in these accidents may suffer severe lacerations from glass, become disfigured due to the twisting metal, or suffer from extensive burns.
In many truck accidents, the small vehicle will either get crushed under the 18-wheeler or twist from the sheer force of the accident. This dented and collapsed metal can crush limbs or even completely sever them from the body of the victim. Even if an individual does not lose part of their limbs during the crash itself, any trauma or burns they may have accrued may need surgical amputation to prevent further damage.
In either case, the result is a life that has been completely altered. Extensive medical treatment and physical therapy will be necessary to help the individual adapt and function in everyday life. Some individuals may suffer from severe depression from the loss of their limbs. They may also not be able to return to work.
Texas’s Most Trusted 18-Wheeler Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been involved in a horrific accident with an 18-wheeler and sustained severe injuries, you do not have to face recovery alone. The experienced 18-wheeler accident attorneys at the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. can help you get the compensation you deserve. We use our expertise to collect all of the facts of the case so that we can prove the negligence of the responsible party and ensure that you are taken care of. Allow us to focus on fighting for your compensation while you focus on your recovery. Contact the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. for more information on our services, or to schedule a free no-obligation consultation.