When a large 18-wheeler truck collides with a significantly smaller vehicle, the results are often catastrophic, and a catastrophic truck accident generally never ends well. When a truck accident occurs and there are passenger vehicles involved in the accident, the occupants of the passenger vehicle usually sustain the full force of the collision as well as the most extensive damages.

In many situations, someone loses their life in a large truck accident. But, even if a truck accident doesn’t result in the death of someone’s loved one, the injuries from these types of accidents are generally extremely severe, require numerous and extensive treatments over time, and they often cause permanent effects, such as paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and brain injuries.

Although there are many reasons why truck crashes may occur and even though some of the reasons may be unavoidable, the end result is generally fatal or near-fatal.

Here are the top five reasons why truck crashes are often catastrophic.

trucking accidents

Catastrophic Results of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are significantly different from passenger vehicle accidents for a variety of reasons, but the major difference is the weight and size of an 18-wheeler truck. Semi-trucks carrying a full load can often weigh as much as 80,000 pounds or more, and they are significantly larger than passenger vehicles, so when a semi-truck and passenger vehicle collide, the impact will much greater than it would be with two passenger vehicles. In addition to the impact, if a truck is hauling chemicals and/or hazardous materials, fire and/or serious burns may occur should the materials spill onto the roadway. The top five catastrophic results of truck crashes may include:

1. Head and brain injuries, such as a concussion, coma, brain hemorrhage, and/or other traumatic brain injuries can occur when a sudden, violent motion causes the brain to shift and slam against the inside of the skull. Many head and/or brain injuries may be life-threatening or may cause permanent limitations to the person’s physical, mental, and/or emotional abilities. These types of injuries may also result in damages to the person’s mobility, vision, and/or hearing.
2. Back and neck injuries often occur due to the force of the impact. When a person experiences extreme jarring during the collision, they may suffer from whiplash, muscle and tendon sprains, tears, or strains. These types of injuries often result in chronic pain and require long-term treatments. A spinal cord injury can be devastating and there is a significant risk of life-long limitations, including permanent partial or full paralysis.
3. Fractures and/or broken bones are unfortunately common when an accident occurs between a truck and passenger vehicle. In many situations, the person may suffer from multiple fractures and/or broken bones. In many of these cases, the person may have to have multiple surgeries to repair the damaged bones, including having metal parts placed in their body in order to set the bone. In some situations, serious bone injuries may result in the person never fully recovering from their injuries.
4. Amputations can occur during the accident, or the person may need to have a limb amputated as a result of bones being crushed or severely burned during the collision. Amputations can be devastating, overwhelming and may lead to the person’s ability to perform day-to-day activities, including work or school, to be seriously limited.
5. Loss of life. Even with experienced drivers, trucks are the most dangerous and most destructive vehicles on the roadways and there is a significantly high risk of the death of a loved one occurring during a truck crash. Fatalities occur for a number of reasons during truck crashes. Due to the massive difference in weight and size of a truck compared to a passenger vehicle, fatalities are common in these types of collisions. A semi-truck not being able to stop quickly enough is a common cause of truck and passenger vehicle crash fatalities. Trucks need a significant amount of room to stop, so if they are unable to stop in enough time, there is a risk of the truck flipping, which may lead to it landing on top of a passenger vehicle, the truck may literally drive on top of a passenger vehicle or even crash into the vehicle, pushing it into the passenger vehicle in front of the automobile, crushing the passenger vehicle.

The loss of a loved one from a truck crash is an overwhelming, scary, and stressful situation that can be made worse when your finances are affected. Unfortunately, even if your loved one was not at fault, the insurance company representing the truck driver and the trucking company will fight to reduce or even deny your claim for compensation. Compensation isn’t a replacement for your loved one, but it can help with medical bills, funeral expenses and other financial debts resulting from their death, so it is extremely important that you consult with an attorney that is experienced in truck accidents.