In November in Cumberland County, three people died in a truck crash. Just before 2 p.m., a truck not hauling anything was driving eastbound when it suddenly crossed the median and entered the westbound lanes. The truck crashed into a 50-year-old woman’s car and sent the car flying into the air. It landed, rolled, and stopped on the shoulder. Another car swerved into the median and hit debris. Meanwhile, the truck hit a tractor-trailer that was transporting automobiles. The collision was head-on, and both went up in flames.
The drivers of all three vehicles were killed, and one passenger was taken to a medical center. On average, trucks are less likely to catch on fire than cars because they use diesel fuel, which is harder to ignite than ordinary gasoline is. However, if gas from another car involved in an accident already catches fire, diesel can be ignited. Additionally, when trucks are carrying flammable loads that are easily ignited, the diesel catches fire too.
The people involved in a truck crash may suffer serious burn injuries. The prognosis for these injuries depends on the cause, size, and depth of the burn. First degree burns affect the outer layer of skin. When the layer beneath the outer layer is damaged, the painful swelling and blisters of second degree burns result. Third degree burns damage all of the skin layers and may even affect the muscles and nerves, resulting in permanent scars and disabilities. As in the accident described above, fatal injuries at the scene of the fire are also possible.
If you suffered burns or a loved one was killed in a fiery truck accident that was caused by someone else, you may be able to recover compensatory damages. Burn injuries are known to be extraordinarily painful, and with second or third degree burns, they may result in permanent disfigurement. The defendant may be liable for the costs of emergency treatment as well as follow-up medical care and any surgeries necessary. Sometimes multiple rounds of plastic surgery are warranted.
In addition to medical costs, the defendant may be responsible for compensating a disfigured person for the emotional pain he has suffered and will continue to suffer. The dollar value assigned for pain and suffering is based on a subjective evaluation by the jury. How does the jury (or an insurer) make this determination? Often, it’s based on the plaintiff’s personal characteristics and testimony.
A jury will look at how likely it is that the plaintiff will be embarrassed or depressed as a result of disfigurement. Generally, juries are more likely to award significant damages to a plaintiff with burns on their face than someone with burn injuries that can be covered by clothing. Juries can also tend to assume that young women are more adversely affected by burns, scars, or disfigurement and that they will suffer more emotional pain as a result.
It is important to retain a truck accident attorney who understands how to fully develop and explore all of the damages you’ve suffered after a truck accident involving burn injuries or a wrongful death. Not all personal injury attorneys are familiar with the tactics used by the insurers and defense attorneys in truck accident cases, and they may also not be familiar with the catastrophic injuries involved in these cases. Our firm has the experience to handle all of the aspects of truck accident lawsuits.
If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a truck accident in Tennessee or any of the states in the Southeast, the experienced attorneys at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz may be able to help you recover damages. Call us at 800-529-4004 or contact us through our online form.