In an accident involving a passenger car or SUV and a large commercial truck, the occupants of the smaller car are apt to sustain severe injuries due to the differences in size and weight between the two vehicles. While your car might weigh 4,000-5,000 pounds, a fully loaded 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. If one hits you at 55-75 mph, the violent impact can do catastrophic damage to any part of your body. You might suffer broken bones, a fractured skull, a brain injury, spinal cord damage, or even death. Among the most life-changing injuries you might sustain in a truck crash are facial injuries.
Causes of Truck Crash Facial Injuries
Facial injuries can result from a truck accident in a number of ways, including the following:
- The impact of a crash could result in a fire, causing third-degree facial burns.
- Broken glass can cut your face and get into your eyes if your windshield is shattered in the wreck.
- The impact of hitting your face on the dashboard or steering wheel can break your jawbone, your nose, or the orbital bones surrounding your eyes.
- You could suffer chemical burns if you collide with a tanker truck carrying dangerous liquids or hazardous waste.
- An airbag that deploys on impact can hit and injure your face.
- A blow to your forehead can leave you with a concussion or a more serious traumatic brain injury (TBI), as well as facial disfigurement.
- You might be ejected from your vehicle and land with your face on the roadway.
Types of Facial Scars
Scars that result from facial injuries sustained in truck crashes include:
- Keloid scars that are smooth, hard, and larger than your original wound
- Hypertrophic scars that might or might not fade with time
- Contracture scars that develop when your face is healing from a burn and can affect the normal movement of facial muscles
- Hyperpigmentation that causes discoloration of the skin
Whatever the type or specific cause of your facial injury, you’re likely to suffer severe pain, swelling, numbness, damage to your teeth, blood loss, difficulty speaking or eating, long-term scars or deformities, blindness, or emotional and psychological trauma.
Facial Injuries and Psychological Issues
If facial injuries from a truck accident leave you scarred or disfigured, you might be afflicted as well by any one of several of the following psychological issues:
- Depression and anxiety
- Anger and irritability
- Mood swings
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Inability to concentrate
- Loss of motivation
You also might find yourself uncomfortable with colleagues at work or avoiding social interaction with friends and family because of your appearance. Some facial injury victims become addicted to painkillers and other prescription drugs, illegal substances, or alcohol.
Recovering Damages From Multiple Defendants
If your accident is caused by a negligent truck driver, you could be entitled to file a damage claim with the trucker’s insurer(s) for your medical expenses, property damage, lost income, emotional trauma, loss of enjoyment of life, and physical pain and suffering. Your claim could also include the cost of cosmetic surgery to repair facial disfigurement. Such a claim is likely to be very expensive, but there might be more than one at-fault party to bear the cost of making you “whole” again.
Car Crash vs. Truck Crash
Unlike a car wreck in which the victim demands compensation from one at-fault driver, a truck accident case can involve more than one defendant who bears partial responsibility for your damages:
- The negligent trucker who caused the accident due to fatigue, distraction, reckless operation, lack of training, or drug or alcohol impairment
- The trucking company that employs the driver
- The truck manufacturer or a replacement parts manufacturer
- A mechanic or repair service
- Cargo-loading personnel
- A government department or agency if poor road conditions or faulty traffic signs or signals contributed to your wreck
Pros and Cons of Multiple Defendants
The presence of multiple defendants is good news for you in the sense that there is plenty of insurance coverage to pay your claim. It also means, however, that demanding compensation from more than one defendant entails increased work and complexity. For this reason, you would be smart to work with a truck accident attorney who can:
- Investigate your accident thoroughly to identify all defendants and determine their respective percentages of fault
- Obtain crucial data from the truck’s “black box” recorder and dashboard camera
- Gain access to the trucker’s driving and criminal records
- Check logbooks or electronic logging devices (ELDs) to discover any hours-of-service violations or failure to follow other Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines
- Demand fair compensation from each defendant
- Negotiate fair settlements
- File multiple lawsuits and take your case to court if reasonable awards are not offered