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Catastrophic Injuries in Tractor Trailer Accidents

Collisions involving tractor trailers are considerably more severe than accidents with smaller passenger vehicles. About 3 percent of all non-fatal wrecks and 8 percent of all fatal wrecks involve tractor trailers. In the state of Georgia, this adds up to around 4,000 accidents in the past year alone.

Because of the considerable size of a tractor trailer—up to 80,000 pounds depending on the number of axels—they pose a huge injury risk to any party involved. Serious injuries that can be caused by tractor trailer accidents are called catastrophic injuries and include things like paralysis, traumatic brain injury, loss of limbs, burns, broken bones, organ damage, and more.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the more common catastrophic injuries seen in these types of collisions:


Usually caused by a damaging force to the spinal cord, people who sustain paralyzing injuries lose sensation and control of the body parts below the site of injury: both legs, a combination of arms and legs, or all four limbs. These injuries impact every aspect of the victim’s life. Not only are they unable to move, they can lose bladder and bowel control, and suffer emotional and financial hardship.


Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) are among the most damaging head injuries. Symptoms could be immediate or develop slowly, but the effect on the brain is lasting. Victims may experience blurred vision, mood disorders, slurred speech, blackouts, trouble balancing, behavioral issues, memory trouble, and confusion.


Some wrecks cause the victim to lose entire limbs; this is referred to as amputation. Amputation can be a direct result of an accident—the impact of the crash can sometimes remove limbs on site—or medically necessary due to severe injuries.

Severe Burns

Both passenger cars and tractor trailers are filled with flammable liquids and materials and are made of metal, which conducts heat. In an accident, these thing are a recipe for serious burns. Heat and gasoline can cause a fire to break out quickly, resulting in burns in a range of severities. First degree burns irritate and redden the first layer of skin; second degree burns affect the lower layers of skin and cause blistering and swelling; third degree burns affect deeper tissues (muscle and sometimes bone), causing open wounds and charred skin.

Contact the Atlanta Truck Accident Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been the victim of catastrophic injuries due to a tractor-trailer accident, we can provide the legal support you need to get your life back on track. Contact the experienced attorneys at Jenkins Utley, P.C. today to schedule your free consultation.

Reach out to us online or by phone at (404) 334-3013.