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Trucking Accidents and Catastrophic Injuries

Unfortunately, motor vehicle crashes are an all-too-common occurrence. In 2019, it’s estimated that five people were injured every minute in traffic collisions. Accidents can be especially severe when trucks are involved and more likely to result in life-changing (and life-ending) injuries. Below, our truck accident lawyers explain what makes truck crashes so devastating and which catastrophic injuries typically result from these accidents.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a collision with a semi or 18-wheeler? Contact our Kansas City truck accident lawyers at (816) 542-5999 for a free consultation.

Why Are Truck Accidents So Disastrous?

Big rig truck accidents can end up deadlier than other types of motor vehicle crashes due to these key differentiators: a truck’ size, weight, speed, and impact during a collision.

Size and Weight

We all know that trucks are tall and wide, but their weight also plays a major role in how deadly they can be in crashes. According to J. D. Power, the tractor alone can weigh between 10,000 and 25,000 pounds. Once you add the trailer, a semi-truck can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds. When you compare that to a Ford F-Series pickup truck, which weighs only 4,021 to 5,740 pounds, you can appreciate just how massive a semi really is.

Speed and Impact

Speed limits vary from state to state. Here in Missouri, the highest legal speed limit for trucks is 70 miles per hour in some areas. Whether a truck has a trailer and cargo or not, it can still take a long time to stop at that speed. At 65 miles per hour, a loaded semi may need to travel as far as 600 feet before reaching a complete stop!

When you factor in a truck’s possible speed, size, and 5-to-40 tons of weight, you can see how its impact (or force) can completely obliterate the opposing force of an average-sized passenger car.

Common Catastrophic Injuries Resulting from Truck Accidents

Countless accidents involving trucks happen every year, and many result in devastating injuries. Some of the most common types of catastrophic injuries that result from truck accidents include the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries: A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur when the head is suddenly and violently jarred, disrupting normal brain function. TBIs range from mild (concussion) to severe (coma or vegetative state), and they require immediate medical attention.
  • Spinal cord injuries: A spinal cord injury can result in partial or complete paralysis. The most typical kind of spinal cord injury is a fracture or dislocation of the vertebrae.
  • Amputations: An amputation is the surgical removal of a limb or other appendage, but limbs can also be lost at the collision site. Surgical amputations may be necessary when a limb is severely damaged in an accident and cannot be saved.
  • Burn injuries: Crashes can result in high temperatures and fire, which can lead to burn injuries. Burns can range from first-degree burns (redness and pain) to fourth-degree burns (damage to all layers of the skin as well as the muscles, tendons, and bones).

The injuries described above can be life-altering and often require extensive medical treatment. If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries.


If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a truck accident, call our Kansas City truck accident lawyers at Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman today for a free consultation: (816) 542-5999. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.