Personal Injury Lawyers Fort Wayne | South Bend Indiana

How Common Are Brain Injuries in Commercial Truck Accidents?

CT scan of the human brain following a truck accident.

Trucking accidents in Indiana and across the U.S. frequently result in severe injuries, with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) being among the most common and severe outcomes. This is particularly the case in collisions involving tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles.

Beyond the immediate health implications, victims of such accidents have legal rights that need protection. Consulting with an experienced truck accident lawyer can be a crucial step for victims and their families. If you or a loved one suffered a severe head or brain injury in a crash with an 18-wheeler, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. The attorneys at Boughter Sinak, LLC in Indiana can help.

Brain injury statistics

Motor vehicle accidents are a significant cause of head injuries, with a notable percentage leading to traumatic brain injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents account for approximately 14 percent of all TBIs.

To put these figures into context, it's estimated that each year, 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. experience a TBI. Of these, more than 230,000 victims are hospitalized.

Given the CDC's statistics, this suggests that around 210,000 of these TBIs result from motor vehicle accidents annually. This highlights the serious risk of brain injuries in accidents involving cars, trucks, and other vehicles on the road.

How trucking accidents cause brain injuries

Commercial trucking accidents are among the most catastrophic incidents on the road, often leading to severe outcomes such as traumatic brain injuries. The sheer size and weight of these trucks mean that when they collide with smaller vehicles, the impact can be devastating, resulting in injuries that can profoundly affect victims and their families.

Here's an overview of how truck accidents frequently lead to brain injuries:

  • In many truck accidents, occupants of the smaller vehicle may suffer direct head trauma from striking parts of the vehicle's interior or being hit by flying debris. This direct impact can cause concussions, skull fractures, or more severe TBIs.
  • The sudden stop or change in speed during a collision can cause the brain to move violently within the skull. This movement can stretch and damage brain tissue, resulting in diffuse axonal injuries, which are particularly serious TBIs that affect the brain at a microscopic level.
  • In severe trucking accidents, objects can penetrate the skull, causing direct damage to the brain. These penetrating injuries are often life-threatening and require immediate medical intervention.
  • The aftermath of a truck accident can also lead to secondary brain injuries. For example, a victim may suffer from oxygen deprivation if they are trapped in a vehicle and unable to breathe, or they may experience increased pressure within the skull due to swelling, both of which can cause additional brain damage.

Understanding the mechanisms by which trucking accidents cause brain injuries underscores the critical importance of holding negligent truckers and trucking companies accountable for their actions. For victims and their families, it also highlights the importance of seeking legal help to ensure they receive the maximum compensation they deserve to cover medical treatment, rehabilitation, and other associated costs.

What are common brain injuries?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) caused by truck accidents can cover a wide range, including:


Perhaps the most well-known type of brain injury, concussions can occur from a direct blow to the head or a sudden jolt that shakes the brain within the skull. Symptoms can range from headaches and confusion to more serious cognitive and emotional disturbances.


These are bruises or bleeding on the brain caused by a direct impact. Large contusions may require surgical intervention to alleviate pressure on the brain.

Diffuse Axonal Injuries (DAI)

Caused by severe rotation or shaking of the head, DAIs involve the tearing of the brain's long connecting nerve fibers. This type of injury can lead to widespread brain damage, coma, or death.

Penetrating Head Injuries

These occur when an object breaks through the skull and enters the brain tissue, leading to severe damage in a specific area. These injuries are often life-threatening and require immediate surgical treatment.

Traumatic Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (tSAH)

This involves bleeding into the space surrounding the brain, which can lead to increased pressure, headaches, vomiting, and even loss of consciousness.

Anoxic Brain Injury

Though not caused by external trauma, anoxic brain injuries result from a lack of oxygen to the brain, leading to cell death.

Establishing liability for a trucking accident

Claims involving truck accidents can be complex because there may be multiple parties at fault, including the truck driver, trucking company, vehicle manufacturers, and even third-party logistics providers.

Many truck accidents are caused by driver-related negligence such as fatigue, distraction, or impairment. In these cases, the driver could be held liable for negligence. The company employing the driver may also bear responsibility, especially if it failed to enforce regulations regarding driving hours, vehicle maintenance, or driver training.

In some cases, liability may extend to the manufacturers of the truck or its components if a mechanical failure caused by a defect contributed to the accident. Entities tasked with maintaining the truck could also be liable if poor maintenance practices led to the accident.

Finally, improper loading of cargo can cause instability or shifting during transport, leading to accidents for which cargo handlers might be found liable. Remember, each potentially liable party in a truck accident likely has legal representation focused on reducing their liability and financial risk. To effectively counter this, hiring a lawyer experienced in truck accident cases is essential.

Seeking legal help for a brain injury claim

At Boughter Sinak, LLC, our attorneys understand the profound impact a brain injury sustained in a trucking accident can have on victims and their loved ones. That’s why we are here to help build a compelling case for every dollar you deserve. Level the playing field and put a proven fighter in your corner. Contact our law firm and schedule a free case evaluation. We have offices in Fort Wayne and South Bend, and we handle accident claims throughout the state.

Categories: Posts
Fort Wayne

5150 W Jefferson Blvd,
Fort Wayne, IN 46804 260-420-4878

South Bend

205 West Jefferson Blvd., Suite 303,
South Bend, IN 46601 574-208-1001

Free Consultation Click Here
Free Case Consultation