Personal Injury Lawyer Atlanta, Georgia
Se Habla Español

Common Traumatic Injuries After a Truck Accident

Overturned truck in crash at night.

Semi-trucks, heavy trucks, tractor-trailer trucks — no matter what they’re called, these large vehicles have the capacity to severely injure or kill travelers or bystanders in the blink of an eye. The average passenger car, weighing in at 4,100 lbs (just over two tons), is no match for a fully loaded tractor-trailer hauling 80,000 lbs (40 tons).

In 2021, the NHTSA estimates 154,993 people were injured in traffic crashes involving large trucks. That’s a 9% increase compared to the 141,613 people injured in 2020.

Of the people injured in these truck accidents:

  • 71% were drivers and passengers of other vehicles
  • 27% were drivers and passengers of large trucks
  • 2% were pedestrians, bicyclists, and others

Behind these statistics are countless people suffering from injuries, disabilities, and loss. Their recovery will be long, painful, and full of stress. Many lack the financial security and robust support system needed to ensure they make the best recovery possible.

We’ll examine the types of severe injuries caused by large trucks and how a truck accident injury lawyer can help alleviate the financial and emotional burden of injured victims. For immediate assistance, contact Gary Martin Hays & Associates’ truck accident law firm here.

Common Truck Accident Injuries

Truck accident victims are more likely than other types of crashes to suffer severe injuries due to the size and weight of heavy trucks.

The most common injuries after a truck accident are sprains, contusions (bruises), and superficial wounds such as cuts from glass and scrapes. Victims are usually treated and released from the emergency room the same day and require minimal follow-up care (watch out for delayed whiplash symptoms though).

More traumatic injuries will likely require hospitalization, multiple surgeries, expensive medications, physical therapy, and routine follow-up care. Victims who are severely injured are often dealing with multiple traumatic injuries at the same time, hindering their recovery time and inhibiting their quality of life.

Cardiac monitoring on stroke female patient hospitalized in intensive care unit.

The following types of truck accident injuries requiring hospitalization are listed from most to least common.

Open Wounds

Impacts with large trucks mean twisted metal, shattered glass, and sometimes dangerous cargo spilling everywhere. A person may suffer lacerations or deep puncture wounds during the crash. These may also occur after the crash when the victim is confused or panicked and trying to escape their vehicle. Deep lacerations will require sutures and may leave behind scars after healing. Lacerations also put the body at risk of infection and internal bleeding, which can lead to serious health issues if left untreated.

Brain Injuries

During a truck accident, the body absorbs an incredible amount of force. A person will jolt against their seatbelt or be flung out through a window and onto the ground. The jostling and impacts, all happening within the blink of an eye, can cause considerable internal trauma to the brain.

A victim suffering from a brain injury will often be confused, disoriented, or unresponsive at the scene of the crash. They’ll suffer memory problems, lack energy and focus, and have difficulty regulating their emotions. Because the brain is so complex and controls every aspect of the body, the number of symptoms a person with a brain injury experiences after a truck accident can vary widely in type and severity.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The force of the truck accident can cause severe damage to the neck and back. In addition to damaged spinal discs, ligaments, and bones, the spinal cord itself may become partially or fully severed. Partial spinal cord injuries can lead to pain and loss of mobility. Complete spinal cord injury can lead to severe limitations and psychological suffering.

Broken Bones

Truck accidents often lead to multiple fractures, particularly in the arms and legs. Multiple broken bones often mean surgery, intense pain management, and lengthy recovery time. While the bones heal, the victim may have difficulty working or taking care of everyday tasks. Long-term complications may arise if there are other injuries or pre-existing conditions present.

Internal Injuries to the Chest, Abdomen, and Pelvis

The force of a truck accident can sometimes lead to internal injuries. Such devastating injuries can lead to painful swelling and blood loss. Victims may not realize they are bleeding internally after the accident until they go home. They will feel weak and lethargic, and may run a fever or experience a drop in blood pressure. Internal bleeding can lead to severe health complications or death unless treated quickly.

Treatment for Truck Accident Injuries

In most truck accident cases, it will be obvious you have suffered extensive injuries and require immediate emergency medical attention. A few victims, however, may not realize they have suffered severe injuries until later and may try to ignore their pain because they don’t want to miss work or don’t have health insurance.

We always recommend seeing a doctor after a severe accident with significant property damage to ensure a person is actually uninjured.

Common treatment procedures for severely injured truck accident victims include:

  • CT head scans
  • respiratory intubation or mechanical ventilation
  • sutures/stitches
  • traction, splints, and other wound care
  • X-rays

The most important steps a person can take after a truck accident are to keep track of their medical bills and receipts, take pictures of their injuries, and avoid talking to the insurance company by themself. Talk to a lawyer about your truck accident injury claim first before signing anything.

Severe Truck Accident Injuries Often Lead to Tragedy

Severe injuries caused by truck crashes cause substantial social and economic loss for human society. Many victims are unable to work for months or years afterward. They may not be able to return to the job they had previously or have to scale back the amount of work they can do.

Even more concerning is the decrease in quality of life some truck accident victims face. Pain may force them to avoid activities they once enjoyed. They may require care from family or friends and lack the independence they once enjoyed. Mental health disorders such as depression and PTSD can develop or become exacerbated.

Permanent Disability

It takes time and proper care for injured victims to recover after a severe accident. Unfortunately, some traumatic injuries will remain with a person for the rest of their life.

The expenses for treatment after a truck accident are substantial. Victims will need to contend with high treatment costs, make extensive adjustments to their homes and vehicles, and maintain medical equipment they will need for the rest of their lives.

Victims who suffer permanent disability deserve adequate financial compensation that takes into consideration not only past treatment costs but all of their future needs as well.

Wrongful Death

In rare cases, truck accident victims die at the scene of the crash or succumb to their injuries later on due to infection, severe brain injury, or other complications. In such cases, the surviving family may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the driver or trucking company.

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer

Filing an injury claim after a big truck accident is often a complex and time-consuming process. Working with a truck accident injury attorney can make the process easier; you are more likely to recover the compensation you deserve. Contact one of our Atlanta truck accident lawyers today to see if you have a case.


NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2021 Data (June 2023)
Emergency Department Visits Associated with Motor Vehicle Accidents, 2006

Civil Justice
Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb
Nation's Premiere 2023
Client Champion Silver 2023
National Association of Distinguished Counsel
Expertise Best Workers Compensation Lawyers in Atlanta 2024
Expertise Best Wrongful Death Attorneys in Atlanta 2024
Expertise Best Car Accident Lawyers in Norcross 2022
Expertise Best Workers Compensation Lawyers in John's Creek 2022
Expertise Best Car Accident Lawyers in Conyers 2021
Expertise Best Car Accident Lawyers 2019
America's Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys
Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
MultiMillion Dollar Advocates Forum
Top 25 Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers
Top 25 Brain Injury Trial Lawyers
Top 10 Trucking Trial Lawyers
Top 10 Nursing Home Trial Lawyers
Super Lawyers
Voted Best of Gwinnett 2020
Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
Avvo Clients' Choice
Avvo Clients Choice
10 Best Attorney 2023
Keenan Trial Institute
Better Business Bureau listing
Telly Awards