More than 10 million trucks traveled on U.S. roads in 2012 and have continued to increase their road presence in recent years as businesses move more goods across the country to meet growing market demands. The combined annual mileage of trucks in the U.S. is over 163 billion miles, mostly run on highways. Their increased road presence expose motorists and passengers of smaller motor vehicles to risks of serious and fatal injuries.
An estimated 500,000 truck accidents occur every year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that nearly 4,000 people were killed in truck accidents in 2012 and over 100,000 suffered injuries in the same year.
Commercial trucks are typically larger and heavier than the ordinary passenger car, each weighing anywhere between 1 to 4.5 tons, without cargo. The sheer size and weight of a truck, trailer, tractor, or similar equipment can cause catastrophic injuries when they crash into smaller cars, motorcycles, or pedestrians. In many cases, passengers of the lighter vehicle suffer more serious injuries such as spinal cord injury.
The spinal cord is an important component of the human body’s central nervous system. It is made up of soft tissue and nerve cells that connect the brain to various parts of the body. During a serious truck accident, the sudden traumatic blow to the body can damage the spine directly or crush parts of the vertebrae which surround the spine, causing spinal cord injury. Additional damage to the spine may occur after the blow when bleeding, swelling, inflammation, and fluid accumulation surround the spine.
The spinal cord injury can damage nerve fibers passing through the injury site, impairing the corresponding muscles that control parts of the body such as the arms, legs, torso, and bladder. Weakness may be experienced in some parts of the body, often developing into paralysis also known as quadriplegia (affecting arms and legs) hemiplegia (affecting one side) or paraplegia (affecting the legs).
Passengers of smaller vehicles suffer the most during a collision with delivery vehicles, with passenger deaths making up 97% of all truck accident deaths in 2014. When a fatal truck accident claims the life or lives of a car’s occupants, the loved ones they leave behind must deal with grief and loss.
Anyone who is involved in a truck accident and develops spinal cord injury, paraplegia, hemiplegia, or quadriplegia will incur huge costs for treatment, care and rehabilitation. If you or a loved one is seriously injured in an accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can assess your situation and provide important information about your rights and legal options.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, your attorney may determine whether the other driver, vehicle owner, or operator is legally responsible for your injuries, and whether you may be entitled to compensation.
The amount of compensation that you may claim can cover not only medical bills associated with your accident, but also lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, your pain and suffering, loss of companionship, or loss of affection of a loved one who did not survive the accident.
If you are in Southern California, the law firm of Glotzer & Leib, LLP has offices in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Burbank, West Covina, Costa Mesa, and Lancaster. Our firm has over two decades of truck accident experience, helping clients recover from catastrophic injuries in the most complicated truck accidents.
We invite you to call us at (213) 447-2320 to schedule a free consultation with one of our friendly attorneys.
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