In Kentucky and elsewhere, the number of tractor-trailer accidents that are reported unfortunately do not include the number of injuries that occur during the accident. One accident can contain multiple injuries to several people; occupants of a passenger vehicle and the driver of the truck. Due to the massive differential in the size of the vehicles involved, the smaller vehicle usually sustains the most damage and injuries to the occupants.
These accidents are caused by many different factors, most commonly a distracted driver! Failure to signal in a timely manner to change lanes or pass is another cause for an accident. Other common causes are: fatigued drivers not taking adequate rest stops, under educated drivers not properly trained to operate their vehicle, abuse of alcohol, drugs or prescription meds, speeding, a failure to yield and bad weather or road conditions. Regular vehicle maintenance is also a major safety factor for all the vehicles that share the road together.
There are several types of tractor-trailer accidents that have a bearing on the types of injuries sustained. The rollover can be caused by driver error in either vehicle or slippery road conditions. The rollover could be on top of a smaller vehicle or onto the road causing multi-vehicle collisions. There is the danger of a trailer coming unhitched and running away, side impact or rear end collisions or the big rig jackknifing. All of these have one thing in common and that is devastation and chaos along with multiple injuries.
Whether in a car or truck accident, injuries occur, but the major difference in a truck related collision is the disparity in size of the vehicles and the resulting severity of the injuries. Abdominal injuries involving the kidneys, spleen, bladder and pancreas can often be debilitating if not fatal. Bone fractures, typically because of the force of the size of the truck, open fractures which protrude through the skin or comminuted fractures where the bone is either completely crushed or broken in multiple places are common injuries. Head trauma, ranging from concussion to a brain injury is hard to detect so immediate medical attention is required. Other injuries include but are not limited too, lacerations caused by breaking glass from windows and windshield from both vehicles, maybe minor cuts or deep cuts that require surgeries to correct. Spinal cord injuries can cause numbness or weakness and depending on the severity can cause paralysis or death. A whiplash injury can also mimic symptoms of a spinal cord injury and is caused by the sudden forward and back thrust from the force of the collision.
If you have been injured in a truck involved collision, it is important to contact a Kentucky attorney well versed in Kentucky law as it pertains to motor vehicles, big rigs in particular. You are entitled to compensation and need representation. The trucking company's insurance adjusters will want to settle the claim quickly and to your disadvantage. Do not sign anything or make any statements regarding "at fault." Your lawyer will take care of any interaction with the opposing parties, taking into account your medical bills, repair costs, loss of wages and pain and suffering; while you take time to recover.