Trucks are the lifeline of the American supply chain, transporting raw materials and finished goods locally and across the country. Despite their significance, these large vehicles contribute to a collision risk on the highways. According to statistics, more than half a million truck mishaps occurred on American highways in 2021 alone.
The numbers are a bigger concern in states like Missouri, where trucking is big business. The state has more than 12,000 trucking companies transporting nearly 260,000 tons of cargo daily. The truck accident fatality rate here is 1.06 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. These incidents also account for millions in losses caused by injuries and property damage.
From a victim’s perspective, these mishaps are more traumatic and draining than car accidents. The road to recovery is far longer and full of hurdles. We will dig deep into the reasons making truck mishaps more complex for victims.
Severity of Injuries
The sheer size of the vehicles and cargo volumes make truck mishaps far more dangerous. In 2021, a total of 4,714 lives were lost in these crashes, a 17% increase compared with 2020. Even if you are lucky enough to survive, expect injuries to be severe because of the impact.
Victims often suffer from disabling and life-threatening injuries, such as spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, and multiple fractures. The cost of these injuries is likely exorbitant as they require extensive medical treatment, complicated surgeries, and long-term rehabilitation.
Beyond severe physical injuries, significant psychological trauma is also a usual outcome of these mishaps. Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression can be as challenging as long-term injuries when it comes to recovery.
Complex Legal Battles
Did you know that more than 7.3% of fatal truck crashes in the US happen due to speeding? Driver impairment and lack of attention are other leading causes. While victims can claim personal injury compensation in negligent mishaps, legal battles in these cases are long and complex.
Truck accidents involve multiple parties, from commercial transport companies to regulatory authorities and insurance companies. It leads to detailed investigations, settlements with seasoned legal teams, and months of legal back and forth (if the claim goes into trial). The burden of legal complexities makes the road longer for victims. You cannot expect an overnight settlement, regardless of the loss and trauma.
In May this year, two pedestrians in St. Louis County were struck and killed by a pickup truck on I-70. Imagine the trauma of the families as they fight to seek justice for their loved ones. A St. Louis trucking accident lawyer can be a savior in this case as they can ensure quick and optimal compensation for the families.
TorHoerman Law notes that it is best to hire a local lawyer because they know the local laws and statutes of limitations. Since commercial freight and logistics business is big in St. Louis, such accidents are common here. Finding a local lawyer with relevant experience and expertise may be easier than you imagine.
Financial strain is another factor that extends the road to recovery after a trucking mishap. Most victims face long medical bills for the treatment of their injuries. Ongoing care, rehabilitation expenses, and costs of home modifications compound the financial stress. Psychological treatment is another aspect of the financial burden during the recovery period.
Debilitating injuries may affect the working capacity of victims, leading to wage losses or even the loss of employment. Imagine losing your income source amid the ongoing health crisis. Although a quick settlement can help you stay afloat, it may not be enough to cover the costs and make up for your wage losses in the long run.
Lawsuits can be another painful expense for victims because they last for months. Legal fees, documentation costs, and expert witness fees are a few examples of the lawsuit cost. Fortunately, many lawyers charge on a contingency basis, so you pay only after winning your rightful compensation claim.
The Bottom Line
Traffic crashes cost billions to the country, but the strain is even bigger for victims at a personal level. The size of the vehicle is a significant factor in this context because larger vehicles like trucks can cause severe injuries. As a victim, you can expect a longer road to recovery after the mishap.
However, timely and optimal compensation for your injuries, damages, pain, and suffering can help you navigate your way back. With the adequate and rightful compensation you deserve as a victim, you can rebuild your life and cope with the loss.