In a close encounter between an overloaded 18-wheeler and a minivan, the minivan almost always loses. Also, the driver may sustain serious injuries.
If you are the minivan driver and only sustained a concussion, you are extremely fortunate. But how is responsibility for your injury determined?
The problem of overloading
Large commercial trucks are subject to various state and federal laws; for the most part, trucking companies and their drivers follow those laws. Overloading, however, is a practice that continues despite the regulations against it, and an overloaded big rig is a danger to motorists. Off-balance cargo is prone to shifting, and a load that is heavier than normal requires a longer stopping distance and more power applied to brakes. In other words, the driver can easily lose control of the vehicle.
The concern about concussions
Motor vehicle crashes are a prime cause of head injuries such as concussion and mild traumatic brain injury caused by a blow of some kind. For example, if an 18-wheeler sideswipes your minivan and forces you off the road, you could receive a concussion when your head connects with the steering wheel or windshield. The impact could cause your brain to push against the inside of your skull, which may result in bruising and impairment to nerve cell function. Following the injury, you may experience headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and perhaps sensitivity to light and sound, symptoms that usually clear up in a few weeks. Sometimes, however, changes in cognitive function can result along with, in the event of a second concussion, possible cognitive decline.
The issue of negligence
If you are the victim of a crash with a big rig, a thorough investigation helps determine negligence. The responsibility for your injury, could extend to various parties: the truck driver, the company that owns the truck and even the company or individual in charge of loading the vehicle. Your medical expenses may mount, but remember that as the victim of a truck-car crash, you have a right to full and fair compensation to cover those expenses and more.