The short answer is yes—you really should go to the doctor after a commercial truck accident. Although it is not a requirement to seek medical attention after a commercial truck accident, we recommend seeking treatment as soon as possible.
Unlike many automobile accidents, commercial truck accidents are more likely to cause severe injury or death. This is because commercial trucks generally weigh much more than the average automobile, so when a commercial truck hits a car, the automobile will likely sustain more damage, which will likely cause more severe injuries to the driver and passengers in the car.
There are several reasons why you should go to the doctor after a commercial truck accident. First, the most important reason is to treat any apparent or underlying injuries sustained during the accident. Commercial truck accidents can cause various injuries to the human body. Some injuries like bruising, lacerations, and fractures can be seen or felt immediately after the accident. However, other injuries like traumatic brain injury (TBI), whiplash, organ damage, internal bleeding, among others, may not immediately show symptoms. Therefore, seeking medical attention as quickly as possible can ensure you receive immediate medical attention.
Also, lingering injuries like headaches, soreness, neck and back pain, and others may arise over time requiring medical or therapeutic treatment. Although these types of injuries are non-fatal, they can affect your quality of life, in the long run, requiring expensive rehabilitation that you may have to pay out of pocket. By seeking medical care as soon as possible, you can have medical professionals perform the necessary diagnostic tests to ensure you receive proper treatment and establish a plan for long-term care.
Another reason to seek medical treatment immediately after a commercial truck accident is to establish a record of your costs for any potential legal proceedings resulting from the accident. Insurance companies will fight tooth and nail to prevent paying exacerbated medical costs. People involved in accidents are denied all sorts of medical bills or medical-related expenses by insurance companies arguing that treatments were unnecessary, irrelevant, or frivolous. By seeking medical attention immediately after your commercial truck accident, you can show your insurance company or the commercial truck driver’s insurance company that you have these expenses.
Furthermore, if you walk away from the crash and then show symptoms at a later date, an insurance company tasked with paying the costs of your medical bills may try to argue that there was another reasonable explanation for your injury. This may seem wrong, but insurance companies are businesses, and they will try to find every legal means to not pay for your medical bills if they can prove otherwise.
There are many types of trucks on the road, including pick-up trucks, dump trucks, moving trucks, the list goes on. Although many trucks can be operated with a standard Louisiana drivers’ license, some trucks require an additional license to operate the vehicle known as a commercial drivers’ license (CDL).
The CDL program, which is administered by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), requires commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to have a “higher level of knowledge, experience, skills, and physical abilities” to operate CMV’s. Thus, it is more grave than a typical motor vehicle accident when a CMV driver hits you.
Commercial truck accidents are less common than typical automobile accidents. Nonetheless, national rates of commercial truck accidents are slowly on the rise. According to FMCSA’s Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2019 report, commercial truck accidents saw a 4.2% increase from 2017 to 2019.
Further data from the year of 2019 shows:
One of the most serious injuries that occur when involved in a commercial truck accident is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI usually occurs when someone experiences an abrupt and violent blow or jolt to the head. Depending on the severity of the incident, a TBI can result in a concussion, bruising, lacerations, hemorrhaging, temporary or permanent brain damage, or death. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the most common ways an individual can get a TBI is during a motor vehicle accident.
Whiplash is another common injury caused by commercial truck accidents and traffic accidents in general. Whiplash occurs when the neck experiences sudden forceful and rapid movements—similar to the cracking of a whip. Although many whiplash cases tend to heal within days or weeks of the incident causing the injury, many that sustain injury due to whiplash need immediate and long-term care to mend and heal the neck properly. Therefore, whiplash is a perfect example of why we recommend seeking medical attention as soon as possible after your commercial truck accident. Doing so will help provide the necessary care to address short- and long-term medical treatment.
Other forms of injuries caused by a commercial truck accident can include:
Commercial truck accidents can cause severe fatal and non-fatal injuries, requiring immediate and sometimes long-term treatment. Therefore, you should seek medical attention as soon as you are involved in a commercial truck accident. If you have been involved in a commercial truck accident in the State of Louisiana, contact Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC today at (504) 294-3910 or through our website to schedule a free case consultation.