Tampa Truck Accident Lawyer
Hurt by a big rig? Let us help you hold the responsible parties accountable
Truck accidents have the potential to cause devastating injuries. Not only do trucks substantially outweigh passenger vehicles. Trucks also carry cargo which may create additional hazards on the road. Like auto wrecks, truck accidents may cause up to three separate impacts in one strike. The initial impact occurs between the truck and the other vehicle. A secondary collision may take place between the vehicle occupant’s body and a surface on the inside of the vehicle. A third impact may occur inside the body as the body’s organs collide due to the jolt of the collision. Any of these impacts may cause injury. Common injuries in commercial truck accidents are:
- head injuries
- back and neck injuries
- spine injuries
- broken bones
- brain injury
- internal injuries
- loss of limbs
If a truck accident occurs as a result of negligence and causes injury, the injured party may file a claim to receive compensation for his or her injury. Tampa injury attorneys represent accident victims against insurance companies, commercial trucking companies, and other third parties who may be liable for the victim’s injury.
Tampa jackknife accidents
If a tractor trailer is traveling at a high speed and the driver maneuvers quickly, the trailer may swing wildly. The trailer folds forward toward the cabin and realigns at an angle, creating a shape that is similar to that of an open jackknife tool. Jackknife collisions are especially dangerous. The truck trailer may strike other vehicles as it swings forward, causing several injuries in one incident.
Common causes of Tampa commercial truck accidents
Some commercial truck accidents are caused by the same factors that result in passenger vehicle accidents. Speeding, intoxication, distractions, and drowsy driving all have the potential to cause a truck accident. Demanding schedules place truck drivers at even more of a risk of the effects of fatigue and becoming drowsy while on the road. Other unique factors that cause accidents specifically in the commercial trucking industry are:
- improperly loaded cargo
- improper truck maintenance
- manufacturing defects
- inexperienced drivers
- improper training
Back and neck injuries caused by truck accidents
The forceful impact of a truck accident can easily cause a soft tissue injury in the neck and back. High-speed crashes generally cause the most severe damage and injuries. Disc herniation, whiplash, muscle strains, sprains, and other soft tissue damage are among the most common injuries caused by these accidents.
Disc herniation caused by truck collision impact
Discs are the rubbery cushions that separate the vertebrae, allowing the bones in the spine to stack comfortably. The structure of a disc is comprised of a jelly-like center encased by a tough, rubbery exterior. Herniation occurs when the center pushes through the outer casing. A herniated disc may also be referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc. Symptoms of a herniated disc depend on the location of the injury:
- arm pain
- leg pain
- pain in the buttocks
- foot pain
- shoulder pain
- radiating numbness or tingling
- muscle weakness
Most herniated discs occur in the lower back. If the injury is located in the lower back, symptoms may include pain, numbness, or tingling in the lower half of the body. Muscle weakness in the lower extremities may cause stumbling when walking. A herniated disc in the neck may cause sharp, burning, or shooting pain in the shoulder or arm. If there is resulting muscle weakness, the individual may have difficulty holding items in the affected hand.
Whiplash caused by Tampa truck accidents
Whiplash can occur in a car or truck accident. The force of the head being flung forward and then backward following a collision causes muscles, tendons, and ligaments to extend beyond their normal range of motion. Whiplash can have many symptoms:
- neck pain
- muscle stiffness
- jaw pain
- low back pain
Because whiplash can have multiple symptoms, diagnosis can be complicated. Symptoms do not always appear right away. Therefore, it is possible to have a neck injury and be unaware until days later. Medical professionals are able to detect signs of whiplash that may not be detectible to accident victims. Having a thorough medical exam after an accident allows Tampa truck accident victims to avoid the worsening of undetected injuries and receive early treatment if necessary.
Truck accidents can cause strains and sprains
Muscles, tendons, and ligaments are often referred to as soft tissue. Ligaments connect adjacent bones at the joint. The impact from a truck accident may cause a ligament to stretch beyond its normal range of motion and become injured or torn, resulting in a sprain. A strain is a pulled muscle or tendon. Similar to sprains, the impact of a truck collision may cause connective tissue to stretch beyond its comfortable limits. The major difference between sprains and strains is the different types of soft tissue in which each injury takes place.
Compensation for head injuries in Tampa truck accidents
A head injury may occur if a vehicle occupant strikes his or her head against a hard interior surface like the dashboard or window glass. The resulting injuries may range from mild to severe. Examples of common head injuries sustained in Tampa truck accidents are:
- brain injury
Whether minor or severe, a Tampa truck accident victim may receive compensation to cover medical expenses and time away from work due to a resulting head injury. Accident victims who have more severe injuries may receive additional compensation for current and future lost wages long-term medical expenses and, in some cases, emotional damages due to resulting lifestyle changes.
Concussions caused by Tampa truck accidents
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that is caused by a blow to the head or by a forceful jolting of the torso and head. While concussions are usually mild, they can cause temporary impairment and possible loss of consciousness. Concussions affect the normal functioning of the brain. Impairment may last from hours to several months. Some symptoms of concussion are:
- difficulty thinking
- difficulty walking
- vision problems
- mood changes
- memory problems
- changes in sleep pattern
Many of the symptoms of a concussion are similar to symptoms the high-stress level of an accident may cause. Therefore, a truck accident victim can easily overlook the signs of injury. For this reason, every accident victim should immediately receive a medical exam to either rule out the possibility of a concussion or receive the appropriate medical supervision and treatment if necessary.
Most concussions resolve with extra rest and mild painkillers. Nevertheless, truck accident victims who sustain a concussion may be required to take time off from work. A Tampa truck accident lawyer can help accident victims receive compensation for doctor visits and time off the job.
Truck accidents can cause contusions
The same actions that cause concussions can cause contusions. A contusion is a general term for a bruise. Contusions occur as a result of the body striking the dashboard, steering wheel, or other hard surfaces in a vehicle. The force of the airbag deploying can also cause a contusion. Though bruising can occur nearly anywhere on the body, some bruises are more serious than others. A blow to the head or the motion that causes whiplash can also cause a brain bruise. An initial bruise occurs when the force of the collision causes the brain to strike one side of the skull. A second bruise occurs when the brain strikes the other side. In rollover collisions, there can be several bruise-causing impacts on the skull.
Hematomas in the brain
A hematoma is a large collection of blood that forms under the skin and stays inside the muscle tissue. The body walls the collection of blood off instead of draining it. A subdural hematoma occurs when blood forms around blood vessels in the brain and collects around the skin. Because the body does not clear the blood out, it must be drained by a medical professional. Subdural hematomas are particularly serious because they can apply pressure on the brain. Symptoms include:
- a worsening headache
- generally feeling sick
- unexplained personality change or mood swings
- loss of consciousness
Brain hemorrhaging after a truck accident
Brain hemorrhaging refers to bleeding within the brain or the skull and neighboring areas. Bleeding can occur as a result of striking the head against a hard surface or if the head whips forward and backward as a result of the force of an accident. The impact can cause the blood vessels to rupture and blood to drain into the brain. Symptoms may include:
- sudden severe headache near the back of the head
- sudden decrease in or loss of alertness
- sudden decrease in or loss of consciousness
- difficulty moving
- mood or personality changes
- muscle aches
- slurred speech
- sensitivity to light
- nausea or vomiting
- vision problems
- stiff neck
Brain hemorrhaging may cause coma or death. Therefore, people who have been involved in a truck accident should be thoroughly examined immediately after the accident to rule out a serious head injury. It is imperative that a medical professional obtain images of the brain to determine whether there is a serious injury.
Spine injuries in Tampa truck accidents
An individual who sustains a spine injury in a Tampa truck accident may require very intensive, long-term treatment. The individual may be disabled and require major lifestyle modifications. From ongoing rehab to mobility assistance, individuals who sustain severe spine injuries in a truck accident may incur hefty medical bills and be unable to return to work. Courts often award medical expenses, compensation for lost wages, and emotional damages to truck accident plaintiffs who have severe spine injuries.
Compensation for broken bones in Tampa truck accidents
Broken bones may seem like minor injuries in the grand scheme of truck accident injuries. However, fractures can vary in severity. A severe or complex fracture can take months to heal. Some fractures require surgery. A broken bone may also interfere with the surrounding soft tissue, further complicating the injury. Truck accident victims who sustain broken bones in an accident may be required to take time off from work. The injured party may be required to take pain medication. If the injury is more severe, the individual may require several doctor visits and rehab. A Tampa truck accident attorney can help accident victims receive the compensation they need to cover expenses and provide support during their recovery process.
Contacting a Tampa truck accident lawyer
If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck accident, after receiving medical attention, the next step should be to contact a Tampa truck accident lawyer. Commercial truck accidents are unique in that there are several parties who may be liable. Your lawyer will determine who is liable and file a claim for compensation. Personal injury attorneys can also negotiate on the accident victim’s behalf in the interest of obtaining an equitable settlement. If the insurance company is unwilling to offer a fair settlement amount, your lawyer will represent you in court and fight for your right to receive the compensation you deserve.
After a truck accident, the accident victim should be resting and focusing on healing. Contact us to receive a free case evaluation. We will determine potential next steps in your case while the injured party focuses on recovering. Call today to learn more!