While lacerations are not as serious as some injuries arising from truck accidents, these tears in soft tissue are among the most common. Some lacerations require professional treatment and may cause permanent scars. A simple laceration is what most people call a “cut,” when a sharp object breaks through the top layer of skin. However, the tissue under the skin may be damaged in severe cuts or in other types of lacerations, such as grinding compressions or split lacerations. A grinding compression involves an impact at an angle, which peels back the top layer of skin and may crush the tissue underneath. Split lacerations involve crushing between two objects, which tears skin and tissue due to the compression.
Sometimes a victim can address a laceration through home care, such as the use of antibiotics and a sterile bandage once the wound has been cleaned. If the laceration does not resolve or appears to be infected, though, they should promptly contact a doctor. A deep laceration requires professional care, as does a laceration that is over a joint or cannot be properly cleaned. A doctor may use stitches to stop bleeding and reduce scarring. The stitches help protect the tissue under the wound. Depending on the location of the injury, the stitches may remain in place for days or weeks. Even after they are removed, a victim may need several more weeks before they regain close to full strength in the affected area.
Time of Healing
Facial lacerations heal faster than other lacerations, while hand lacerations heal more slowly. This affects the timing for removing the stitches.
Compensation for Lacerations in Truck Accidents
If a victim received medical treatment for lacerations, they can recover compensation for those costs in a personal injury lawsuit. They also can recover reimbursement for lost wages from missed time at work while the injury healed. Some lacerations are very painful and may be emotionally disturbing if they cause scars on an easily visible area, such as the face. A victim may receive damages for non-economic harm, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Getting compensation for lacerations or other injuries related to a truck accident usually requires proving the liability of a truck driver, a trucking company, or another defendant. Generally, a victim must show that the defendant did not use reasonable care under the circumstances. A truck driver might have caused a crash by failing to properly apply the brakes, for example, or a trucking company might have contributed to an accident by hiring a driver with a history of abusing alcohol or drugs. Even if a trucking company is not directly liable for an accident, the company may be indirectly liable if a driver failed to use reasonable care while they were on the job.
Independent Contractors and Employees
Indirect liability applies only if a driver was an employee of the trucking company, so some companies try to classify their drivers as independent contractors instead. However, this does not automatically mean that a driver is an independent contractor. A court will look at the nature of the relationship between the company and the driver to determine whether they were misclassified as an independent contractor.
A victim should investigate their legal options as soon as they can. The statute of limitations requires a claim to be filed within a certain time after an accident. If a lawsuit does not meet this deadline, a court probably will not allow it to move forward, even if the substance of the case is strong. In addition, evidence critical to proving liability may decay or disappear soon after an accident. A victim thus should promptly consult truck accident lawyers in their area to find out whether they have a claim. Most of these attorneys offer free consultations and do not charge fees for their services unless they get compensation for a client.