Drivers in Louisiana who are wary of sharing the road with large trucks have good reason to be. Truck accidents often lead to serious injuries, if not death. In 97 percent of fatal crashes involving trucks and passenger vehicles, it's an occupant of the smaller vehicle who dies. Should victims survive, they may have to contend with long-term physical and mental conditions.
A few of the most common injuries that truck accident survivors incur include injuries to the spinal cord; for example, the vertebrae can be compressed, crushed or dislodged. Permanent nerve damage in the spine can itself lead to temporary or permanent paralysis. Other bones in the body, such as the skull, leg bones, arm bones and hip, can be cracked or shattered upon the victim's impact against a window, steering wheel or air bag.
Head injuries, or traumatic brain injuries, are all too frequent and could result in mild or severe concussions. Concussions are often hard to diagnose because their symptoms tend not to appear until days or weeks after the accident. Cuts, lacerations and puncture wounds are other examples of physical injuries.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is one form of mental trauma, characterized by nightmares, flashbacks and heightened anxiety. The National Centers for PTSD says that 9 percent of auto accident survivors develop it.
Survivors of commercial vehicle accidents should know that they have the right to file for compensation against the trucking company whose employee was responsible. Proving that employee's negligence and showing the extent of the injuries may require the assistance of a lawyer. The lawyer might start by evaluating the claim and factoring in any comparative negligence. Accident attorneys may be able to help family members and other eligible dependents with a wrongful death suit after a fatal accident.