Being involved in any motor vehicle accident can be traumatic, but accidents involving large delivery trucks like those operated by Amazon can often result in catastrophic injuries. This is especially true when it comes to spinal cord injuries that can leave victims paralyzed and facing a lifetime of costly medical treatment and care. A Baltimore personal injury attorney can help you assess your legal options and fight for fair compensation on your behalf.
An Overview of Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is made up of nerves that run down the spine. It transmits signals between your brain and body. It allows us to control our muscles, feel sensations like hot and cold, and controls bodily functions like breathing.
A spinal cord injury refers to any spinal cord damage resulting in loss of function and mobility. These can range from relatively minor injuries that resolve in weeks or months, to severe damage that results in permanent paralysis from the site of injury down.
Some common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents – A major cause of spinal cord injury, sudden trauma can crush or compress the spinal cord.
- Falls – Falling from heights can also crush or fracture the vertebrae and damage the cord.
- Sports injuries – Impacts in activities like football, hockey, and snowboarding put the spine at risk.
- Violence – Gunshot wounds or other penetrating injuries can sever the spinal cord.
- Disease – Some illnesses like polio, spina bifida, or tumors can damage the spinal cord.
No matter what the cause, spinal cord injuries are extremely serious and require emergency medical treatment to try to minimize damage. The higher up the spine the injury occurs, the more paralysis and loss of function results below that area.
How Amazon Truck Crashes Cause Spinal Cord Injuries
There are a few reasons why Amazon delivery trucks pose an increased risk of spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries compared to standard passenger vehicles:
- Large Size and Weight – Amazon delivery trucks, especially the largest tractor-trailers, can weigh up to 40 tons. When collisions occur, this enormous force can easily crush vehicles and cause traumatic injuries to occupants.
- Unsecured Cargo – Packages in the trailer can become dangerous projectiles in an accident, potentially striking and harming drivers or passengers.
- Rollover Risk – The high center of gravity increases the risk of rollovers, which frequently result in spinal cord injuries.
- Driver Fatigue – Amazon delivery drivers often work long shifts of 11+ hours, risking fatigue that creates accidents. Drowsy driving puts others in danger.
While any vehicle accident can cause spinal injuries, being struck by a fully-loaded Amazon delivery truck significantly increases the likelihood of suffering paralysis or other catastrophic harm. Their immense size and weight simply overpower smaller passenger cars and SUVs.
The Difficult Road of Recovery After a Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries have devastating and life-altering consequences. In many cases, the injuries result in permanent paralysis and disability that completely changes victims’ lives.
Some of the common effects of spinal cord injuries, depending on their severity and location, include:
- Paralysis below the site of injury – This may be partial or complete and affects all four limbs, trunk, respiratory muscles, etc.
- Loss of bodily functions – Including bowel/bladder control and sexual function
- Respiratory issues – Breathing impairment, lung infections
- Circulatory problems – Increased risk of blood clots
- Chronic pain – Both at the injury site and referred pain in paralyzed limbs
- Skin issues – Due to lack of movement leading to sores/ulcers
- Osteoporosis – Bone density loss from lack of use
- Emotional/mental health effects – Depression, anxiety, grief, PTSD
The intense medical treatment and rehabilitation starts immediately after the traumatic injury. However, it may take 12-18 months before the ultimate extent of recovery can be determined. Rehab focuses on maximizing independence through occupational and physical therapy, use of assistive devices like wheelchairs, and sometimes surgery.
Ongoing costs including medications, equipment, home/vehicle modifications, and personal care aides often exceed $1 million over a lifetime. This enormous financial burden underscores the importance of pursuing legal action.
Pursuing a Legal Claim After a Spinal Cord Injury Accident
The aftermath of any accident is chaotic, but it’s absolutely essential to take key legal steps right away after a spinal cord injury:
- Report the Crash – Contact the police immediately so there is an official record and the trucking company is notified. Obtain a copy of the police report.
- Seek Medical Care – Get transported by ambulance to an emergency room specializing in trauma. Be totally honest about the accident details and follow all doctors’ orders.
- Document Evidence – Take photos of vehicle damage, skid marks, conditions, and your injuries. Also, keep any medical records, bills, and documents related to the crash.
- File Insurance Claim – Notify your own auto insurer of the accident and file a claim if you have applicable coverage, like medical payments, wage loss, etc.
While monetary compensation can never fully undo catastrophic spinal cord injuries, it can help cover the immense costs victims now face. Settlements and verdicts range into the millions based on factors like medical expenses, disability, lost income, and pain/suffering.
Take Action Quickly After Suffering a Spinal Cord Injury
Suffering a spinal cord injury in a truck accident leads to devastating, lifelong consequences. While recovery is extremely difficult, injured victims have the power to take legal action to secure their rights and long-term care.
At Monge & Associates, we have 32 office locations across 19 states, including Maryland, Colorado, Illinois, and Tennessee. Our dedicated team of personal injury attorneys are here to help if you or a loved one have suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury in an Amazon delivery truck accident in Maryland.
Don’t go through this difficult time alone. The call is free, so call Monge & Associates now on (888) 477-0597 for a free consultation with one of our Maryland spinal cord injury lawyers. There are strict deadlines for taking legal action, so contact us today to start pursuing the financial recovery you need and rightfully deserve.