According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), a quarter of all hospitalizations for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are the result of vehicle crashes. Despite 2020’s pandemic-induced stay-at-home orders, the statistics for large truck and bus crashes did not decrease. In 2020, there were 154,000 total crashes involving large trucks and buses, resulting in 4,700 fatalities and 76,000 injuries.
When large trucks are involved, even low-speed crashes can be frightening and lead to catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Loss of limbs (amputation)
- Broken and/or shattered bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Brain injuries (like TBIs and post-concussive syndrome)
Signs and symptoms of a crash-related brain injury
Given that TBIs are among the most dangerous injuries after a vehicle crash, it’s important to know the visual signs of a TBI. These signs include the loss of:
- Ability to control mood
- Facial muscles
- Motor control
In addition to these obvious signs, there are also hidden signs that are easily missed or not connected to the accident, including a decrease in initiation.
A decrease in initiation is most often characterized by erratic behavior, the appearance of being lazy, unmotivated or unwilling to act, OR defiance. Additionally, those experiencing a decrease in initiation are often unable to follow directions or perform certain tasks.
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) reports that when individuals experience trauma to the frontal lobe of their brain, it can result in many different kinds of negative effects, including changes to the person’s executive skills. Executive skills are responsible for coordination, planning and performing daily tasks. Moreover, initiation includes a person’s “internal monitoring system,” which is responsible for ensuring that the person knows when to begin a given task.
In the event of a TBI, the brain’s cognition system can be interrupted, resulting in the person being able to understand and say what they need to do next, but not being able to follow through with the action(s).
For example, a person with a healthy brain would hear a tea kettle whistle and remove it from the stove. A person with a TBI causing a decrease in initiation would hear the same kettle and not make any effort to remove it from the stove.
Trucking crashes and workers’ compensation
Truck drivers are among the most essential workers in the country. They’re responsible for the transportation of goods across the country. When it comes to common ways that truckers can be injured while on the job, being involved in an accident is the most common and serious threat.
Arizona is home to some of the largest trucking companies in the nation, including:
- ABF Freight
- Central Arizona Freight
- Eagle KMC Transportation
- Northland Trucking Inc.
Unfortunately, Arizona is also known as being home to some of the nation’s most dangerous roadways, including Interstate 10.
Those working as truck drivers in Arizona are eligible for compensation if they are injured in a crash while working; however, filing a claim can be complex. This is mainly due to the fact that many truck drivers don’t only operate in 1 state alone. For example, you can be based here in Arizona but have an accident in Nevada. This could make your case more complicated depending on Nevada laws.
What’s more, truckers who operate as independent contractors aren’t typically eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Moreover, workers’ compensation claims involving trucking accidents can be more complex due to the severity of the injuries involved. For those experiencing a TBI with decreased initiation, there is a lengthy recovery time that can extend years. Rather than focus on the years recovery could take, it’s much more useful to focus on strategies to improve quality of life. This includes:
- Creating routines
- Setting alarms
- Employing visual reminders
Additionally, this recovery process will be filled with many doctors appointments with teams of specialists. All of this can add up quickly, so it’s important to hire an attorney who can help you get the compensation you need.
Even the safest driver can find themselves in a situation that leads to a truck accident. In the event of an injury—especially one with as lasting results as a TBI—it’s important to have someone on your side to help you collect benefits.