There is a range of injuries that can occur in an accident. When it comes to accidents involving trucks, it’s not uncommon for someone in a motor vehicle to sustain significant injuries.
For example, a serious collision with a truck on a major roadway like the Joel Cowan Parkway in Peachtree City can leave the driver of a smaller passenger vehicle suffering from serious damages, including head injuries. The type of head injury can determine not only the victim’s prognosis but may also impact a claim.
Common Head Injuries Suffered in a Truck Accident: Open Head Injuries
Open head injuries are easy to spot. Although a laceration generally isn’t serious, it can turn serious if an infection develops. That is one of the biggest risks with an open head injury.
The infection may occur at the site where sutures were used to repair it or the infection could spread to other parts of the body if not treated, even the brain. One of the risk factors for an infection is when foreign material gets into the wound.
A subset within the open head injury category is skull penetration, which can lead to a fracture or even damage the brain. The type of fracture will determine the outcome. It is even possible for there to be minimal injury to the skin but the skull severely damaged. Sometimes the bone or fragments depress into the brain, which can complicate matters.
Common Head Injuries Suffered in a Truck Accident: Closed Head Injuries
In a closed head injury the skull remains intact but the impact may shake the brain, resulting in a concussion. These can range from mild to severe. The effects may present themselves immediately or take time to manifest. Sometimes an accident victim will briefly lose consciousness. A concussion is a type of mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI).
A severe TBI it can cause:
- mental; and
- social impairments.
For some, the damage is permanent. Those who lose consciousness may eventually awake, though some may be in a permanent vegetative state.
Bleeding in the brain is another type of closed head injury. This can be a life-threatening condition that requires emergency surgery to reduce pressure in the brain. In severe cases, the prognosis can be very poor. But it does depend on how fast it’s treated, the location, and type of head injury.
How a Head Injury Will Impact a Truck Accident Claim
The impact of a head injury on a claim against the trucking company or other liable party depends on a few factors. The high amount of medical bills generated by a head injury can impact both the victim and the likelihood that a victim will have all of his or her medical bills covered.
Medical bills can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars through:
- ambulance rides;
- initial treatment in an emergency room;
- surgery; and
- ongoing treatment such as speech therapy or rehabilitation.
It’s important to consider both the current and any potential future medical expenses incurred when addressing these costs in a truck accident claim.
A second factor is the amount of time the individual missed from work. In the case of a minor head injury it could be just a couple of weeks. But for a more serious injury it may turn into months. If the person sustained permanent brain damage, it might be possible to seek compensation for lost earning capacity.
A final factor that impacts a claim is the effects the injury has on a person’s life that can’t be quantified. Dollars and cents can be placed on bills incurred and lost wages. But it’s much harder to determine the worth of a permanent disability or the pain and suffering endured.
Other examples of non-economic damages are:
- mental anguish;
- reduced quality of life; and
- emotional distress.
If your loved one suffered a severe head injury in a truck accident for which the truck driver – and in many cases by extension, the trucking company – is liable, talk to Jason R. Schultz in Peachtree City about your options to recover compensation. Call (404) 474-0804 to set up a free consultation about your case.