Oklahoma has a lot of trucking companies, and a lot of import/export business for our oilfields. This leads to a large number of commercial truck on our roadways, and increases the chances of drivers, motorcyclists and others being in an accident with a truck.
Even when a large commercial truck is empty, it has the potential to crush and destroy a smaller passenger vehicle if they should collide at highway speeds. Collisions between 18-wheelers and passenger cars or light trucks are almost always skewed in favor of the much larger vehicle, which can better withstand a crash. Truck drivers sit up high in the cab, which protects them when they collide with a vehicle that rides closer to the ground. The injuries that the driver and passengers in smaller vehicles suffer in truck accidents can often be catastrophic, and some are even deadly.
According to the 2014 crash data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 3,649 fatal crashes involving large commercial trucks. There were 93,000 injury crashes involving large trucks or buses, with 132,000 people injured in those crashes.
Catastrophic injuries from large commercial truck crashes
The speed at which each of the vehicles is traveling at the time of impact along with the weight of the striking vehicle has an impact on the nature and severity of the injuries. Here are some examples of the more common types of catastrophic injuries that victims can sustain in a truck accident in Oklahoma:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Loss of limb
- Neck, back and spinal cord injuries
- Crush injuries
- Organ damage
Each of these types of injuries, depending on the severity, has the potential to be catastrophic, which means that the victim may never recover from them. A person who suffers a catastrophic injury is not able to heal to the point where they are back to functioning the way they were before the accident occurred. These injuries often require ongoing medical care, and some injury victims will require the services of a family member or a home health aide to attend to their activities of daily living when they are unable to care for even their most basic needs.
Some injured people may need parts of their home retro-fitted to allow wheelchair or gurney access, and they may require the installation of medical equipment in the home. If the injury was a traumatic brain injury, the victim may have trouble communicating and have permanent mental as well as physical disabilities. All of these changes can take an emotional toll on the person who has hurt, but also on their family. Relationships will change as will the lifestyle of those who are used to being active and energetic who suddenly find themselves immobile.
When an accident victim in Oklahoma has suffered a catastrophic injury, it is vital that they get in touch with an experienced McAlester truck accident attorney from the Stipe Law Firm. Our team has decades of experience helping clients obtain settlements that ensure that their needs will be taken care of for the remainder of their lives.
At Stipe Law Firm, we can advise you what your best legal options are when you have been injured in a truck accident. For years, we have upheld the rights of the injured throughout Southeast Oklahoma. To schedule a free consultation with a trusted Oklahoma truck accident attorney about your needs, please call (918) 505-7741, or fill out this contact form. From our office in McAlester, we serve clients throughout the state.