Truck accidents can result in severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, that can have long-lasting and devastating effects on a person's health and well-being. The impact of a truck collision can cause the victim's head to strike a hard surface, leading to brain damage. In addition to direct impact, truck accidents can also cause brain injuries through whiplash, penetration injuries, shaking or rotation, and secondary impacts.
In this article, we will discuss the most common types of brain injuries caused by truck accidents in Florida, including symptoms to look out for, the importance of seeking medical attention and legal assistance, and the factors that can lead to liability in truck accident brain injury cases. Understanding these topics can help victims and their families navigate the aftermath of a truck accident and seek the compensation they deserve.
Ways People Suffer Brain Injuries in Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can result in a variety of brain injuries, ranging from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries. The following are some of the most common ways people suffer brain injuries in truck accidents:
Direct Impact to the Head
One of the most common ways people suffer brain injuries in truck accidents is through a direct impact to the head. When a truck collides with another vehicle or object, the force of impact can cause the victim's head to strike a hard surface, like a steering wheel or dashboard. This can result in a range of head injuries.
Whiplash is a common injury in rear-end truck accidents. When a truck collides with a passenger vehicle from behind, the victim's head and neck can be jerked back and forth, causing the brain to move inside the skull. This can result in a mild traumatic brain injury, like a concussion.
In some truck accidents, objects can penetrate the victim's skull and cause brain damage. For example, if the victim's head strikes a piece of metal or glass, it can penetrate the skull and damage the brain. Penetrating injuries are always gruesome and can cause disfigurement and permanent scarring in addition to brain damage.
Shaking or Rotation
When a truck comes to a sudden stop or changes direction rapidly, the brain can be shaken or rotated inside the skull. This can cause damage to the brain's tissue, blood vessels, and nerves, resulting in a diffuse axonal injury or other traumatic brain injury.
Secondary impacts can also cause brain injuries in truck accidents. For example, if a truck collides with a passenger vehicle, the force of impact can cause the victim's head to strike the window or door frame. This can result in a range of injuries, from a mild concussion to a more severe traumatic brain injury.
Common Types of Truck Accident Brain Injuries
As we’ve talked about, truck accidents can result in a variety of brain injuries. The following are some of the most common types of truck accident brain injuries suffered by people in Florida:
A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury that occurs when the brain is jostled inside the skull. Symptoms of a concussion can include headaches, dizziness, confusion, and memory loss.
A contusion is a bruise on the brain that can occur when the brain strikes the inside of the skull. Symptoms of a contusion can include headaches, vomiting, seizures, and loss of consciousness.
Diffuse Axonal Injury
A diffuse axonal injury occurs when the brain is violently shaken or rotated inside the skull, causing damage to the brain's axons. This type of injury can result in widespread damage to the brain and can be caused by high-speed truck accidents or rollovers. Symptoms of a diffuse axonal injury can include coma, vegetative state, and permanent brain damage.
A coup-contrecoup injury occurs when the brain is jolted inside the skull, causing damage at the site of impact and on the opposite side of the brain. Symptoms of a coup-contrecoup injury can include headaches, dizziness, confusion, and memory loss.
Most Common Symptoms of a Brain Injury After a Truck Accident
It's important to recognize the symptoms of a brain injury after a truck accident so that you can seek medical attention and obtain the treatment you need as soon as possible. Brain injuries can get worse if left untreated. Below are some of the more common symptoms people experience when they suffer a brain injury after a truck accident:
Physical symptoms of a brain injury after a truck accident can include:
- Nausea or vomiting;
- Dizziness or loss of balance;
- Sensitivity to light or noise;
- Blurred vision;
- Difficulty speaking or communicating;
- Loss of consciousness.
Cognitive symptoms of a brain injury after a truck accident can include:
- Confusion or disorientation;
- Memory loss;
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing;
- Slowed thinking or processing speed;
- Difficulty with problem-solving or decision-making.
Emotional symptoms of a brain injury after a truck accident can include:
- Irritability or mood swings;
- Anxiety or depression;
- Lack of motivation or energy;
- Social withdrawal or isolation.
Seeking Medical Attention for Brain Injuries After a Truck Accident
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident and is experiencing symptoms of a brain injury, it's important to seek medical attention immediately. A doctor can perform a neurological exam, CT scan, or MRI to diagnose the brain injury and recommend a course of treatment. Early treatment can help improve your chances of a full recovery and can also be important for legal purposes if you decide to pursue a truck accident brain injury claim.
Liability in Truck Accident Brain Injury Cases
Liability in a truck accident brain injury case can be a complex process that involves thoroughly investigating the cause of the accident. Liability can be placed on the truck driver, the trucking company, the cargo loading company, or the manufacturer of the truck or its parts.
If the truck driver was negligent in their driving behavior, they may be liable for the brain injury. Examples of driver negligence include speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence, improper lane change, or failing to follow traffic laws. Improper maintenance of the truck can also be a factor in driver negligence, as the driver may have failed to properly maintain or inspect the truck.
Improper Cargo Loading
Improper cargo loading or the negligence of the cargo loading company can also result in a truck accident brain injury. If the cargo is not properly secured or loaded, it can shift during transport and cause the truck to tip over or jackknife. This can lead to serious injuries, including brain injuries.
If the accident was caused by a defect in the truck's equipment, such as the brakes or steering mechanism, the manufacturer of the defective part may be liable for the brain injury.
Improper maintenance of the truck, such as failure to properly inspect or repair the brakes or other equipment, can also be a factor in a truck accident brain injury case. If the trucking company or mechanic responsible for maintenance was negligent in their duties, they may be held liable for the brain injury in a trucking accident lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations for Filing Florida Truck Accident Brain Injury Cases
In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is four (4) years from the date of the accident. This means that you have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you don’t file within this time frame, you may be barred from recovering compensation.
In addition to the statute of limitations, there are several other reasons why you shouldn't wait to pursue your accident claim, including the following:
- Witnesses may forget important details or move away;
- Black box data may disappear or be erased;
- Dash cam footage may disappear or be erased;
- The truck may undergo repairs, and thus valuable evidence may be lost or destroyed; or
- You may run out of time to file your claim.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident Brain Injury in Orlando, Florida
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident and suffered a brain injury in Orlando, Florida, take the following steps to protect your rights and improve your chances of obtaining compensation:
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Report the accident to the police and obtain a copy of the police report.
- Gather information from the other driver, including their name, contact information, and insurance information.
- Document the scene of the accident with photos and videos.
- Contact a truck accident lawyer in Orlando, Florida as soon as possible after the accident.
Why You Need a Truck Accident Brain Injury Lawyer
Your truck accident lawyer can help protect your rights and maximize your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries. Specifically, your lawyer can assist with the following:
- Investigating the accident;
- Gathering evidence;
- Building a strong case;
- Negotiating with insurance companies;
- Representing you in court.
Did You Suffer a Brain Injury After a Truck Accident in Florida?
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury as a result of a Florida truck accident, you should speak with an experienced Florida truck accident lawyer as soon as possible because you may be entitled to compensation. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on our website to set up your free consultation by email, or you can call our Orlando, Florida personal injury law firm today at (321) 352-7588 to schedule your free consultation by phone. When you schedule a consultation at our law firm, you will get a consultation with a truck accident lawyer, not a customer service representative or intake person.
If you need a South Carolina injury lawyer, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (843) 638-6590. We have at least one lawyer licensed in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
For more information on semi truck, tractor trailer, or 18-wheeler accidents, you can download our free e-book: 10 BIG Questions You Need Answered After a Truck Accident.
If you read this Article and believe you may have symptoms of a traumatic brain injury after your truck accident, you may want to download our free Traumatic Brain Injury Checklist. If you can, go over this checklist with your friends or family, anyone who knows you well. Sometimes other people will notice changes that we aren’t able to see.