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Common Injuries in New York Truck Accidents and How to Seek Compensation

October 06, 2023

Common Injuries in New York Truck Accidents and How to Seek Compensation

New York’s bustling highways are always alive with traffic. Among the numerous vehicles on the road, trucks stand out due to their sheer size and weight. When accidents involving these behemoths occur, the results can be devastating. At Marvin A. Cooper, P.C., we have witnessed firsthand the devastating impact truck accidents can have on victims and their families. Here, we shed light on the common injuries sustained in these accidents and guide you on how to seek the compensation you deserve.

Understanding the Magnitude of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are among the most severe and devastating incidents on the road. Due to the size, weight, and mechanics of large trucks, collisions involving these vehicles often result in significant damage, severe injuries, or fatalities. To comprehend the gravity and impact of truck accidents, let’s delve into the various factors that underscore their magnitude.

Physical Size and Weight

  • Comparative Size: Large trucks, especially semi-trucks or 18-wheelers, can be 20-30 times heavier than passenger vehicles.
  • Braking Distance: Due to their massive weight, trucks require longer distances to stop, especially when fully loaded.

Catastrophic Injuries

  • Severity: Accidents involving trucks more frequently result in catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, and multiple fractures compared to other vehicle accidents.
  • Long-term Consequences: Victims might face lifelong disabilities, require continuous medical care, or undergo multiple surgeries and rehabilitation sessions.

Economic Impact

  • Medical Expenses: The severe injuries from truck accidents lead to substantial medical bills.
  • Lost Wages: Victims might be unable to return to work, leading to lost current and future earnings.
  • Property Damage: Given the force of a truck collision, the damage to passenger vehicles can be extensive, resulting in hefty repair or replacement costs.

Complex Liability Issues

  • Multiple Parties Involved: Liability isn’t restricted to the truck driver. Trucking companies, truck manufacturers, cargo loaders, or maintenance providers can also be held accountable.
  • Regulatory Factors: Trucking is subject to state and federal regulations. Violations of these regulations can play a role in determining liability.

Environmental and Infrastructure Impact

  • Hazmat Concerns: Trucks often transport hazardous materials. An accident can lead to spills, contaminating the environment and posing health risks to people nearby.
  • Infrastructure Damage: Collisions can result in significant damage to road infrastructure, bridges, or buildings, requiring costly repairs.

Emotional and Psychological Consequences

  • Post-Traumatic Stress: Victims, as well as witnesses, can experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and other psychological traumas.
  • Loss of Life: Fatalities are more common in truck accidents than in collisions involving smaller vehicles, leading to immeasurable grief for the loved ones left behind.

Common Injuries in Truck Accidents

Truck accidents, given the massive size and weight of the vehicles involved, can result in severe and sometimes catastrophic injuries. While every accident is unique, some injuries tend to be more common than others in truck-related collisions. Here are some of the most frequent injuries sustained in truck accidents:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): These can range from concussions to severe brain damage. TBIs may result from the head striking a part of the vehicle, flying debris, or the sheer force of the collision.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: The impact from a truck accident can damage the spine, leading to partial or complete paralysis. This might include paraplegia or quadriplegia.
  • Broken Bones: The force of a truck collision can break or fracture bones. Commonly affected bones include ribs, arms, legs, and pelvic bones.
  • Internal Injuries: The impact can cause internal bleeding or damage to internal organs. Such injuries can be life-threatening and may not show immediate symptoms.
  • Lacerations and Abrasions: Broken glass, metal shards, or the collision’s force can lead to deep cuts or scrapes. While some might be minor, others can be severe and lead to significant blood loss or scarring.
  • Burn Injuries: If a truck is carrying hazardous materials or if the accident leads to a fire, occupants can suffer burn injuries, which can range from first-degree to third-degree burns.
  • Crush Injuries: Given the size and weight disparity between trucks and passenger vehicles, parts of the smaller vehicle can get crushed, leading to severe injuries or amputations for those inside.
  • Neck and Back Injuries: Whiplash is a common injury in many vehicle accidents, including truck collisions. It occurs when the neck snaps forward and then backward due to the force of impact. Other back injuries can include slipped or herniated discs.
  • Chest and Rib Injuries: The impact can cause chest trauma, leading to broken ribs or even damage to the heart and lungs, especially if the person was wearing a seatbelt (though it’s crucial to note that seatbelts save lives and reduce the severity of injuries in many instances).
  • Psychological Trauma: Beyond physical injuries, survivors of truck accidents often grapple with emotional and psychological scars, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and phobias related to driving or being on the road.
  • Fatalities: Given the severe nature of truck accidents, they unfortunately have a higher likelihood of resulting in fatalities compared to other types of vehicular accidents.

Seeking Compensation: Know Your Rights

In the aftermath of a truck accident, victims might face mounting medical bills, lost wages, and the emotional toll of recovery. New York’s legal framework allows victims to seek compensation for these challenges.

  • Establishing Liability: New York operates under a “comparative negligence” system. This means if you’re partially at fault, your compensation might be reduced by your fault percentage. However, the primary blame could lie with the truck driver, the trucking company, maintenance providers, or even the vehicle’s manufacturer.
  • Medical Bills and Rehabilitation: You’re entitled to compensation for immediate medical care and future rehabilitative services. This can encompass surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and counseling.
  • Lost Wages and Earning Capacity: If your injuries force you to miss work or reduce your capacity to earn in the future, you can claim these lost earnings.
  • Pain and Suffering: This refers to the physical pain and emotional distress experienced post-accident. While it’s intangible, it’s a significant component of compensation claims.
  • Property Damage: You can also seek compensation for the damage to your vehicle and other personal belongings.

Partner with a Trusted Legal Advocate

To navigate the complexities of New York’s legal landscape post a truck accident, it’s vital to have a trusted partner. Marvin A. Cooper, P.C., has been advocating for truck accident victims for years, bringing a deep understanding of the intricacies involved.

  • Gathering Evidence: From accident reports to witness testimonies, medical records, and expert opinions, we ensure a thorough compilation of evidence to bolster your claim.
  • Negotiating with Insurance: Insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts. Our experienced team ensures your interests are fiercely protected during negotiations.
  • Litigation: If a just settlement isn’t achievable, we’re prepared to take the battle to the courtroom, advocating relentlessly for your rights.

Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer at Marvin A. Cooper, P.C.  for a Free Consultation About Your Case Today

The aftermath of a truck accident can be overwhelming. However, armed with knowledge and backed by a robust legal team, you can chart the path to justice and adequate compensation. If you or a loved one has been impacted by such an accident in New York, Marvin A. Cooper, P.C., stands ready to guide, support, and fight for you. Reach out to us today, and let’s embark on the journey to justice together.

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