Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries from Commercial Truck Accidents

June 28, 2017

While commercial truck accidents account for a relatively small portion of motor vehicle collisions, they are responsible for a disproportionately high number of serious and fatal injuries. This includes traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which are among the leading accident-related causes of disabilities and fatalities in the United States.

Although certain types of TBI can be characterized as “mild,” the reality is that there is no such thing as a minor brain injury. The ongoing research on the long-term effects of concussions is just one source of evidence that all traumatic brain injuries need to be taken extremely seriously. In the context of a commercial truck accident, this means seeking prompt medical attention and consulting an attorney about your legal rights.

TBI from 18-Wheeler and Tractor-Trailer Crashes

The following are among the most common types of traumatic brain injuries resulting from passenger vehicle and motorcycle collisions with commercial trucks:


A concussion is a form of TBI that can result from either a direct blow to the head or the violent shaking that is common in high-impact vehicle collisions. Concussions may or may not cause loss of consciousness, and severe concussions can have complications – including disruption of oxygen flow to the brain – that can lead to permanent damage.


A contusion is a bruise that results from a direct impact to the head. Bruises are the result of bleeding beneath the tissue in the body; and, when blood builds up in the brain, surgical removal may be necessary.

Coup-Contrecoup Injuries

Coup-contrecoup injuries occur when one side of the brain impacts the skull with such force that it bounces back and impacts the opposite side of the skull. This can result in multiple contusions, which once again may require surgery.

Diffuse Axonal Injuries

Diffuse axonal injuries occur when the brain moves slower than the skull, causing tears in the nerve tissue throughout the brain. This is most common in severe cases of whiplash, where the head is suddenly thrust forward and then snapped back by the muscles and tendons in the neck. This tearing can cause chemicals to be released into the brain, which can lead to a disturbance in brain functionality and potentially permanent damage, coma or death.

Seeking Financial Compensation for Truck Accident

Due to the long-term health and financial consequences of traumatic brain injuries, it is critical for anyone diagnosed with TBI following a commercial truck accident seek experienced legal representation. Common causes of truck accidents that can support claims for financial compensation include:

  • Truck driver negligence;
  • Trucking company negligence;
  • Truck and trailer defects;
  • Cargo loading errors; and
  • Truck accidents caused by other drivers.

For those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries in commercial truck accidents, claims for financial compensation can include:

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Past and future loss of income;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Scarring and disfigurement;
  • Loss of enjoyment of life; and
  • A variety of other losses.

Schedule a Free Consultation at Morrow & Sheppard LLP

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury as a result of an accident involving a tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler, our experienced brain injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LLP can help. To get started with a free, no-obligation consultation, call our Houston law offices at (800) 489-2216 or tell us about the accident online today.

Get a Free Case Review by Calling Morrow & Sheppard Now.

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