Any road accident has the potential to cause severe injuries, but a collision with a semi-truck is especially likely to have devastating effects. The force of a crash can cause a victim’s head to strike the dashboard or window, rattle the brain inside the skull, or even throw a person from the vehicle. The sheer size of an 18-wheeler can have a much greater impact on the occupants of smaller vehicles, causing a traumatic brain injury that could last for the rest of their lives.
Common Effects of Truck Accident Brain Injuries
The brain is a complex organ, and no two injuries to the brain are the same. It is often difficult to predict the long-term consequences of a brain injury until the victim has undergone partial recovery. However, doctors may consider a variety of factors to determine your prognosis and the best course of treatment, including which part of the brain was affected, the force of impact, and the specific symptoms you are suffering.
For example, a brain injury can affect your:
- Cognitive abilities. Many victims have difficulty concentrating, reading and writing, recalling simple information, or organizing and expressing their thoughts.
- Ability to work. Patients may be advised not to use technology (including computers and phones), refrain from driving, and rest frequently, making it impossible for them to work during recovery.
- Body movements. Some brain injuries can affect the brain’s ability to send signals to the body, disrupting the patient’s balance, coordination, and motor functions.
- Senses. Patients may experience sensory disturbances, such as hearing difficulties, light and noise sensitivity, vision changes, or altered touch senses (such as pain or “pins and needles” in the extremities).
- Personality. Some brain injuries cause temporary or even permanent behavior changes, such as shortened tempers or recklessness. This can place a strain on your relationships with friends and loved ones, making recovery even more difficult.
- Independence. Severe trauma to the brain can affect a person’s ability to walk, perform self-care, or even breathe independently, forcing them to remain reliant on family members.
It Is Vital That You Speak With an Attorney After Hitting Your Head in a Crash
Victims may have to endure the emotional stress caused by a brain injury, but they do not have to take on the financial pressures as well. Many truck accidents are caused by the negligence of the driver, commercial carrier, or another party, all of whom could be held liable for the losses you have suffered. An experienced truck accident attorney can explain your options and secure the compensation you deserve for:
- Medical expenses. Brain injuries often result in ongoing treatment that can last for years after the crash, or even for the rest of a victim’s life. A negligent party may be ordered to pay for all past, current, and future healthcare costs related to the accident, including emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, diagnostic treatments, medications, assistive devices, physical therapy, nursing care, outpatient appointments, and out-of-pocket costs.
- Lost income. A traumatic brain injury can require you to take time off of work during your recovery, return to work on a limited basis, or even leave the workforce entirely. An attorney can estimate the total costs of lost income you have incurred as a result of the accident, including missed time for medical appointments, lost bonuses and commissions, work-related travel and networking events, and lost career opportunities (such as promotion or advancement).
- Physical and emotional suffering. If your brain does not heal completely or you experience long-term effects of the injury, you may be owed non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering. This is an extra amount paid to victims for mental anguish, depression or anxiety, permanent paralysis, or lost quality of life resulting from the accident. Although Tennessee law usually caps non-economic damages at $750,000, this cap can be removed if an at-fault driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or is convicted of a felony related to the crash.
Victims and their families have a limited amount of time to pursue an injury claim, and evidence in the case may be lost with each passing day. If someone in your family has suffered a severe head injury, our attorneys can listen to the details of your case and discover who may be liable—and we do not collect anything from you until after your case is won. Simply fill out the short contact form on this page or request a free copy of our book, The 10 Worst Mistakes You Can Make With Your Tennessee Injury Case.