When a commercial 18-wheeler, which can weigh up to 40 tons fully loaded, collides with a smaller passenger vehicle weighing around 4,000 pounds, the impact is violent and potentially deadly for the occupants of the passenger car. They’re likely to sustain any number of severe injuries, including broken, fractured, or crushed bones.
Specific Causes of Truck Crash Bone Injuries
Common truck accident scenarios that result in broken bones include:
Impact with windshield, mirrors, dashboard, steering wheel, or other parts of the car’s interior can break or fracture bones in the legs, arms, hands, and feet.
When a car occupant’s neck snaps back and forth as a result of a head-on or rear-end crash, the stress on the upper spine can result in broken vertebrae that could damage the spinal cord, leading to partial or complete paralysis.
Because an 18-wheeler sits much higher off the ground than a passenger car does, the smaller vehicle can end up getting trapped underneath the tractor or trailer of a semi-truck. If the car is crushed beneath the truck, there’s a good chance that the bones of the car’s occupants will be crushed, as well.
While seat belts are always recommended for safe vehicle travel, they can also cause fractured pelvises, hips, collarbones, or ribs, which can, in turn, puncture a lung in a car-truck crash.
If the head bounces against a hard, interior surface, a fractured skull can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Bracing for impact
If the driver anticipates a head-on or rear-end truck crash and grips the steering wheel tightly to brace for the impact, broken hands, fingers, arms, or shoulders can result.
Even a minor bone break requires immediate medical treatment and can result in pain, immobility, and weeks or months off work. Severe breaks can require surgery to set or reconstruct the bone, sometimes with the help of metal plates or screws.
Types of Bone Breaks
Bone breaks can be divided into categories on the basis of their severity. A complete break is more serious than an incomplete fracture, while a compound break is more serious than a simple one. More specific subcategories of bone injury include:
One side of the bone is only bent, while the other side is fractured. Such breaks are common in small children, whose bones are still flexible.
Also found commonly in children, this is a bending rather than an actual break of the bone.
Internal contact between two bones causes a diagonal fracture in one or both.
A bone is broken into two pieces at a right angle to each other.
A violent impact or extreme pressure breaks a bone into multiple pieces.
A minuscule crack might be revealed only by an X-ray. If left untreated, it can get worse and weaken the bone.
Ligaments and tendons can be torn away from the bones.
A bone is fractured and bent but remains in one piece.
Seeking Fair Compensation for Damages From Multiple Defendants
If you’ve suffered bone injuries in a South Dakota truck crash, you’re entitled to file a claim against the at-fault trucker’s insurance company for your losses: property damage, medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. The truck driver, however, might not be the only party liable for your wreck. If you’re hit by a commercial truck, you could also have a claim against the trucking company, a rental or leasing company that owns the truck, a parts or vehicle manufacturer, a mechanic or repair service, or cargo-loading personnel.
For the average person recovering from severe truck-crash bone injuries, pursuing even one damage claim can be very difficult. You have to organize and present your evidence, put a monetary value on your pain and suffering to evaluate your claim, demand a reasonable settlement, negotiate with the insurer to seek a fair award, and perhaps file a lawsuit and go to trial if the insurer doesn’t cooperate. For these reasons, the services of an attorney are highly recommended in a serious truck accident claim.
Have You Sustained Broken Bones in a South Dakota Truck Accident?
An experienced truck accident lawyer can organize your evidence, present it convincingly, and seek compensation from multiple defendants and insurers while you focus on getting well. Contact us online or call us at 605-306-4100 to schedule a free consultation. You pay no attorney fees until we win your case.