If you were involved in an accident with a truck that was not your fault, you might be entitled to compensation. However, accidents with commercial trucks are far different than those with other vehicles for several reasons.
First, commercial vehicles are often far heavier and bigger than other vehicles on the road. The sheer size and weight difference can mean that injuries are significantly more severe or even deadly. Secondly, when dealing with a commercial truck accident, there can be several entities that hold liability for the accident.
While you may be owed compensation for your injuries and property loss, insurance companies do not make it easy to get the money you’re due. The Fort Walton Beach truck accident attorneys of The Bruner Law Firm recognize that you likely have experienced mental, emotional, physical, and psychological injury after a traumatic event.
Our team wants you to know that you are not alone. We have over 25 years of experience in personal injury law, and our attorneys have dedicated their professional lives to helping those who have been injured. We believe that our results and the testimonial of our clients speak for themselves. Call our offices today at (850) 243-2222 for your free consultation and case evaluation.
Types of Broken Bones After a Truck Accident
During an accident with a truck, you may suffer broken bones from a variety of causes. For example, you may strike an object inside your vehicle when it collides with a truck. The dashboard, windshield, or door handle is sufficient to cause a broken bone.
If you are thrown from the vehicle, strike the pavement, or reach forward to brace yourself for impact, you may experience a broken bone. Even slamming forward into your seatbelt can cause bones to break. Damage can occur to nearly every bone in your body, from your head to your toes.
Unfortunately, severe bone fractures involve a long recovery time and complex medical procedures that may mean a long hospital stay. Bone breaks to the face can cause disfigurement. Bone breaks to the pelvis may require that you are on bed rest for six to nine weeks.
Broken bones are classified as open or closed. A closed break means there is no opening in the skin, while an open fracture is caused when the bone cuts through the skin and protrudes. The type of break you experience is also classified by how the bone breaks and whether it moves out of alignment.
For example, a displaced break is when the bone breaks and is no longer aligned. An impacted break occurs when force is applied along the length of the bone, and a comminuted break occurs when an area of the bone is broken into several pieces.
If you are not transported to the hospital in an ambulance, it is crucial that you see your healthcare provider immediately after an accident. In some instances, an injury may not be immediately apparent after the accident, but symptoms of a hairline fracture may develop within hours as the effect of the adrenaline from the accident wears off.
Treatment and Recovery for Broken Bones After a Truck Accident
The treatment for all types of broken bones is the same: your physician seeks to place the bones in their original position and stabilize them as the body heals. The procedure is called a reduction. A closed reduction happens when the healthcare provider can align the bones in place without a surgical procedure.
If surgery is needed to visualize the bone, this is called an open reduction. Setting the bone can involve pins or screws for an open or closed reduction, but plates and rods are only used during an open reduction.
Treatment also depends on which bone was broken. For example, a fractured leg will be placed in a cast or splint, but a fractured rib is not because it could impair breathing. If you fracture a vertebra in your spine, you may need a procedure in which an internal cast is placed to hold the bone in place.
An orthopedic surgeon makes the decision about whether the bone can be set using a closed reduction or open reduction, with or without fixation devices, based on several factors.
These include damage to the surrounding tissue, the severity of the break, location of the fracture, and whether an internal or external fixation device is required. Recovery time varies and will depend on several factors. These factors include:
- Overall health
- History of smoking
- The severity of the fracture
- Development of post-traumatic arthritis
Most fractures heal within eight weeks, but some can take much longer. When the bones do not heal, they may require a bone growth stimulator. This is a small device that sends an electrical current to the bone.
After complete healing has occurred, you may be left with a limp or disfigurement, depending on how well reconstruction and healing occurred.
How an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
After an accident with a commercial truck that was not your fault, the insurance company may send an insurance adjuster to speak with you. They often have questions and may request a recorded statement or make an early settlement offer.
In any case, it is in your best interest not to speak to an insurance adjuster until your attorney is present. While they often appear friendly, it is their job to disprove your claim. The process of recovering damages after an accident that was not your fault is not simple.
Because injuries after an accident with a commercial truck are often more devastating, you may be hospitalized or unable to leave your home. If negotiations with the insurance company are not successful, you may choose to move ahead with a personal injury lawsuit.
There can be multiple entities involved in an accident with a commercial truck. Although the driver is responsible for operating the vehicle correctly, the trucking company, cargo loaders, and manufacturer of the truck may also hold some liability, depending on the accident. Insurance companies have experienced attorneys and adjusters working for them. You should have experienced attorneys working for you, too.
Contact The Bruner Law Firm for Help After a Truck Accident
You might be entitled to compensation if you or someone you love was hurt or killed in a truck accident. At The Bruner Law Firm, it is our mission to seek fair compensation for our clients, whether through negotiation with the insurance companies or litigating your case in court.