When a truck driver or trucking company's negligence causes an accident, victims can sustain serious injuries and other losses.
While many catastrophic injuries are associated with truck crashes, few are as devastating as traumatic brain injuries, also known as TBIs. These injuries can be life-altering, resulting in long-term or even permanent impairments.
If you or someone you love suffered a TBI in a Georgia truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Here's what you need to know—and do—to seek a fair financial recovery.
Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries
Big rigs, 18-wheelers, semis, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when full of cargo. Compared to passenger vehicles, which often weigh less than 5,000 pounds, this disparity in size and weight is significant when a large truck collides with a passenger vehicle. The force of impact causes occupants of smaller vehicles to sustain blows or jolts to the head or upper body, or suffer penetrating injuries, which is when an object plunges through the skull and into the brain.
TBIs are categorized by type:
- Those caused by strong blows or jolts are referred to as closed
- Injuries caused by penetrating objects are considered open
They're also organized by severity: from mild concussions to moderate or severe TBIs.
Living With a TBI
When truck accident victims experience TBIs, their lives can change in an instant. One second they're independent and capable. The next, they're facing overwhelming physical, cognitive, behavioral, and communicative impairments. As a result of these health complications, people with TBIs may be unable to hold a job, complete daily tasks—including caring for themselves—or even maintain appropriate familial, romantic, or platonic relationships with others. The damage a TBI can have to a victim's life and family just can't be overstated.
A TBI also takes a sizable financial toll on a victim and his or her family. According to Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, the lifetime cost of treating a TBI can range from $85,000 to $3 million.
Potential Damages and How to Prove Them
Filing a personal injury lawsuit against a truck driver or transportation company responsible for the crash allows victims to pursue compensation for economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages compensate victims for quantifiable financial losses, such as medical and rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. Non-economic damages compensate truck accident TBI victims for intangible losses, like physical pain and suffering, mental anguish—including crash-related psychological conditions, such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD—disability, reduced quality of life, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In order to receive compensation, victims and their attorneys have to prove these damages. This is accomplished with:
- Medical records, bills, and receipts
- Property damage repair or replacement estimates, receipts, or bills
- Photos and/or videos from the accident scene
- Photos of the victim's injuries
- Statements from people who witnessed the truck crash
- Testimony from expert witnesses, such as accident reconstructionists and economic advisers
Consulting an Attorney Can Help Your Protect Your Future
After sustaining a TBI in a Georgia truck accident, your physical and financial future can be uncertain. With so much at stake, it's crucial to understand your legal rights, as well as all potential options for compensation. At Van Sant Law, we've helped countless truck crash victims in situations similar to yours, and we have the knowledge and experience you need to navigate the personal injury litigation process.
Do you have questions about a truck accident case involving a TBI diagnosis? Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case with one of our skilled attorneys.