Spine injuries are some of the most life-altering injuries victims can suffer in auto accidents. A serious spinal cord injury could cause permanent damage, such as the inability to feel or move below the point of injury. The catastrophic nature of most semi-truck accidents in Dallas can easily lead to injuries to the spine, back and neck. A spine injury from a semi-truck accident could change a victim’s life forever.
Types of Spine Injuries Common in Truck Accidents
Three main sections comprise the spine. From top to bottom, they are the cervical spine, thoracic spine and lumbar spine. Below the lumbar spine is the sacrum, a bone that is part of the pelvis. In general, the higher up the injury is on the spine, the more extensive the effects will be on the patient. Any type of spinal cord injury, however, is serious.
- Incomplete spine injury. An incomplete spine injury means the damaging object or element only partially severed the spine, leaving the victim with partial movement and feeling.
- Complete spine injury. A complete spine injury is the total severance of the spine, resulting in the permanent loss of feeling and function below the point of injury.
- The condition of paralysis often arises from complete spine injuries. Severe damage to the spine could cause paraplegia, quadriplegia or triplegia. Patients generally cannot recover from paralysis, although with treatments they may restore some function.
Other types of spinal cord injuries include anterior cord syndrome, central cord syndrome and Brown-Sequard syndrome. These are forms of incomplete spinal cord injuries that can impact a patient’s abilities to various degrees. Complete spinal cord injuries, however, are those that cause paralysis. A semi-truck accident could cause these types of spine injuries and other back injuries, such as slipped or herniated disks, through the forces exerted on the victim.
How Do Truck Accidents Injure the Spine?
The spinal cord contains many delicate bones, called vertebrae, along with surrounding nerves and tendons. Between the vertebrae are cushions, or spinal disks, that help make movement in the spine more comfortable. In a trucking accident, the forces exerted on the spine could temporarily or permanently injure any of its components. When a large and heavy semi-truck collides with a smaller vehicle, the occupants of the latter can suffer significant damages.
The force of the crash could throw the victim’s body against a seat belt, airbag, windshield or other objects – possibly injuring the spine. Objects flying through the air, such as twisted metal, in a collision could also penetrate the spine or damage its tissues. The forces of a truck accident could cause spinal cord fractures, tissue tears, displaced disks, whiplash and other serious spinal cord injuries.
Who Is Liable?
A spine injury from a semi-truck accident in Texas could change a victim’s life forever. The least a patient in this situation deserves is to go up against the at-fault party in pursuit of justice and financial compensation, if someone else negligently caused the collision. In most semi-truck accident cases, the trucking company will serve as the defendant. A trucking company could be liable for a victim’s spine injury for many acts of negligence.
- Inadequate truck maintenance
- Negligent hiring or training practices
- Pressuring drivers to meet deadlines
- Breaking federal laws
- Dangerous load securement
The trucking company will also be responsible for the actions and inadequacies of its drivers. If a negligent or reckless truck driver caused the spinal cord injury, therefore, the trucking company could be vicariously liable. Another potentially liable party could be a product manufacturer if a defective seat belt or a different vehicle part caused the spine injury. A Dallas spinal cord injury lawyer can help truck accident victims recognize whether or not someone else is liable for damages after a serious spinal cord injury.