Personal Injury Lawyers Pennsylvania and Maine

How Truck Accidents Can Lead to Serious Brain Injuries

Neurologist and neurosurgeon review an MRI of a patient's brain following a serious trucking accident.

These factors have the potential to raise truck accident TBI risk

Motor vehicle accidents are the third leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in Pennsylvania. Among these accidents, collisions involving semi-trucks often result in more serious and fatal brain injuries due to the sheer size and weight of commercial vehicles. The impact of a truck accident can cause severe trauma to the head and brain, leading to devastating consequences for those involved. With car, motorcycle, and truck accidents related to almost 32 percent of TBI-related deaths, it's important to understand how these accidents happen and how victims can hold responsible parties accountable.

In Pittsburgh, the experienced truck accident lawyers at Romanow Law Group help crash victims fight for the justice and compensation they deserve. We handle many truck accident cases that result in serious, devastating injuries, including head and brain injuries. If you or a loved one sustained a TBI in a crash with a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, dump truck, or some other type of commercial big rig, you may be eligible for compensation. Here's what you should know.

Truck accident TBI factors

Traumatic brain injuries describe damage typically caused by a rapid brain movement within the skull, leading to a disruption of normal brain function. In Pennsylvania, more than 138,000 new TBIs are sustained each year, according to the state's Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Board.

Due to the sheer size and weight disparity between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles, individuals involved in commercial truck accidents are more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries due to the increased impact forces involved. Not every truck accident will lead to brain damage, but certain factors elevate the risk, including:

  • Speed:┬áThe faster a semi-truck goes, the longer it takes the vehicle to stop and the more forceful the impact upon collision.
  • Distracted driving: If a trucker isn't paying attention - perhaps distracted by a cell phone, a passenger, or something else - the risk of a crash resulting in severe TBI increases dramatically. That's because distracted truckers may not brake promptly or react in time to avoid collisions, exacerbating the severity of traumatic brain injuries.
  • Fatigue: Being overtired reduces reaction and processing time, both important skills for a truck driver to keep sharp when operating a multi-ton vehicle.
  • Defective or poorly maintained equipment: Tire blowouts and brake failure are among the most common types of commercial motor vehicle defects that lead to serious accidents. Ineffective or broken lights and directionals that reduce vehicle visibility also increase the risk of a bad truck wreck.
  • Overweight or unsecured freight: A cargo shift can throw a tractor-trailer's balance off, making rollovers and jackknife wrecks more likely.
  • Negligent hiring: Accidents are more likely when trucking companies do not thoroughly investigate a trucker's driving history or medical background or ensure they are adequately trained to operate a commercial truck.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse: Drug and alcohol abuse significantly impairs a truck driver's judgment, coordination, and reaction time, heightening the likelihood of a serious trucking accident with potentially severe consequences, including traumatic brain injuries.

Truck accident victims suffering from severe TBIs have the right to seek compensation for their losses. Damages in a truck accident claim involving a brain injury may include compensation for medical bills, future medical expenses, rehabilitation services, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and life care plans, among other costs. If the crash resulted in a fatal TBI, surviving family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for the deceased's medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of contribution to the household, and other related damages.

TBI symptoms

Traumatic brain injuries often result in permanent or temporary impairments in cognitive, psychosocial, sensory, and motor functioning. Early medical intervention after a brain injury can help stop or reduce further damage. However, it isn't always immediately obvious when someone has sustained such a serious injury. TBI symptoms vary but often include:

  • Headaches
  • Irritability, anger, anxiety, depression
  • Difficulty maintaining balance, dizziness
  • Fatigue, sleep disorders
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering things
  • Impaired attention to detail and ability to learn from experience
  • Noise and light sensitivity
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty communicating, slurred or confused speech

Pennsylvania has developed multiple programs to help victims of TBIs live fulfilling lives. For example, established in 1988, Pennsylvania's Head Injury Program (HIP) provides financial support to help TBI sufferers live as independently as possible. Eligible individuals can collect up to $100,000 for rehabilitation services. However, the high cost of TBI care and support means most families need more than this.

Support for truck accident victims in Pennsylvania

If you or a loved one sustained a serious head or brain injury in a crash involving a commercial truck, our attorneys are here to help you demand the justice and accountability you deserve. Contact Romanow Law Group today for a free case evaluation. There is no cost or obligation to hire, just important information you can trust. We are available to hear from you any time, 24/7, and we look forward to speaking with you about your potential legal case.

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