How Dangerous are Underride Truck Accidents?
What is an Underride Truck Accident?
When a passenger vehicle collides with a huge truck and ends up trapped underneath the trailer of the truck, the collision is known as an “underride truck accident.” Underride accidents can happen in a variety of situations, such as when a truck is rear-ended by a passenger car or when a truck makes an abrupt halt or turn and a car collides with its trailer.
This kind of collision is particularly deadly since the top of the passenger car could be torn off, leaving the occupants in grave danger of serious injury or perhaps death. If this happens, you’ll need the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer to fight on your family’s behalf.
For more than two decades, the Mississippi truck accident lawyers at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. have been helping truck accident victims throughout Mississippi. If you were involved in an underride truck accident, we’re here to help. Learn more about underride truck accidents and what you can do to protect your rights.
What Causes Underride Truck Accidents?
With the devastating consequences of underride truck accidents, it is important to be aware of the factors that could increase the risk of such a crash. Poorly maintained vehicles and equipment, driver fatigue, incorrect loading of cargo, and dangerous road conditions can all contribute to an accident. Additionally, darkness or bad weather can reduce visibility and increase the likelihood of an underride collision. It’s also important to note that these types of crashes often involve multiple vehicles and victims.
Another factor that must be taken into consideration is the size difference between a tractor-trailer and other vehicles on the road. A large truck has much more mass than a smaller car or SUV. This means that if a truck collides with a vehicle from behind, there is a greater chance of an underride crash due to the larger size difference. Furthermore, in cases where multiple vehicles are involved, there is an even greater risk of an underride truck accident due to the sheer force generated by the impact.
What Can Drivers Do to Protect Themselves?
It is essential for drivers to remain alert when driving around large trucks and pay extra attention when navigating through bad weather or low light conditions. When it comes to protecting yourself from being involved in an underride crash, knowledge and vigilance are key. Unfortunately, sometimes even extreme caution cannot prevent these types of collisions from occurring. In such cases, legal counsel may be necessary to ensure justice is served and financial compensation is received for any injuries sustained as a result of an underride crash.
What Injuries Can Victims Sustain?
Given the devastating nature of underride truck accidents, it is imperative to understand the types of injuries that can occur in these collisions. When a vehicle is forced underneath the trailer of a tractor-trailer, the consequences can be catastrophic. In some cases, victims may suffer broken bones, spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injury, and even death. The severity of an individual’s injuries will depend on the size and weight of the vehicles involved in the accident as well as the speed at which they were traveling.
In addition to physical injuries, there can also be emotional trauma associated with being involved in an underride crash. Victims may feel shocked or fear due to witnessing such a violent collision up close and may struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder for months or even years after the accident. Those who have lost a loved one in an underride crash may experience grief and guilt for not being able to protect them from harm.
The financial burden associated with treating such severe injuries can be overwhelming, especially if long-term care is necessary. Medical bills, lost wages from missed work days, rehabilitation costs, and funeral expenses can add up quickly. Furthermore, victims may also have to deal with insurance companies who are unwilling to provide adequate compensation for their losses. In such cases, it is important for victims to seek out experienced legal counsel in order to ensure their rights are protected and they receive justice for their suffering.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Underride Truck Accidents?
When it comes to liability in an underride truck accident, there are a variety of factors that can come into play. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, one or more parties may be held responsible for the resulting damages. In some cases, the truck driver may have been negligent in their duties, such as failing to check their blind spots before changing lanes or driving while distracted and not paying attention to the road.
The trucking company can also be liable for an underride crash if they were negligent in their hiring practices or failed to properly maintain the tractor-trailer. For example, if the trailer was not equipped with adequate safety guards or was missing critical parts needed for safe operation, this could be grounds for legal action against the trucking company. Additionally, if there was a defect in either the vehicle or its components that contributed to the accident, this could also open up manufacturers and suppliers to liability claims.
A skilled attorney can investigate all aspects of an underride crash and determine who should be held accountable for any injuries and damages suffered by victims. They will work to build a strong case on behalf of their client and fight for maximum compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and more. It is important for victims to remember that they do not have to go through this difficult process alone – seeking out experienced legal counsel can help ensure their rights are protected and justice is served.
What Laws Can Protect Victims?
The laws governing underride truck accidents in the United States are complex and vary by state. While some states may have similar regulations in place, the specifics of each law can differ greatly. Generally speaking, underride crashes must be reported to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and an investigation will be conducted to determine liability. It is important to note that even if a truck driver is found not liable for an accident, they may still face criminal charges depending on the severity of the crash.
A recent investigation by ProPublica and PBS’ “Frontline” has found that underride truck crashes can easily be reduced by building barriers that hang down from the sides of the 18 wheelers. However, the investigation revealed that trucking industry officials have pressured the Department of Transportation to alter a report recommending a mandate to use guards.
Additionally, many states have enacted laws that require commercial trucks to install underride guards on their trailers. These guards are designed to protect passenger vehicles from being crushed beneath the trailer in case of a rear-end collision. While these are designed with safety in mind, not all commercial vehicles may comply with these requirements – meaning victims of an underride crash may have grounds for legal action against a trucking company or manufacturer.
When Should I Consult a Truck Accident Lawyer?
It’s important to take prompt action following an underride truck accident, as the sooner you contact a lawyer, the better your chances of securing a successful outcome. Experienced legal counsel can help guide you through the process and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Here are some key points to consider when deciding when to consult with a lawyer.
First, it’s essential to understand that insurance companies typically do not have your best interests in mind. They may try to offer a minimal settlement or deny your claim altogether. An attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected and that any settlement offers are reasonable and fair.
Second, your attorney can handle all of the paperwork involved with filing an insurance claim or lawsuit on your behalf. This will save you time and energy so that you can focus on recovering from the accident. Your attorney will also have access to resources such as expert witnesses who can testify on your behalf if needed.
Finally, having an experienced legal advocate by your side during negotiations with insurance companies or at trial can significantly increase your chances of getting full compensation for any damages incurred due to the underride crash. With their expertise in these cases, they’ll be able to make sure you don’t accept anything less than what is rightfully owed to you.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an underride truck accident, speaking with an experienced truck accident lawyer at Giddens Law Firm can help provide clarity and peace of mind during this challenging time. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
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