Underride truck accidents are a type of crash in which a smaller vehicle collides with the back of a truck and slides underneath the trailer. Underride accidents are incredibly dangerous and often fatal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), underride accidents account for about 10% of all large truck fatalities.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to underride accidents, including:
- Poor visibility: Underride accidents are more likely to occur in poor visibility conditions, such as at night or in fog.
- Speeding: Truck drivers who are speeding are more likely to lose control of their vehicles and cause an underride accident.
- Improper lane changes: Truck drivers need to be careful when changing lanes, especially when they are carrying a heavy load.
- Overloading: Overloading a truck can make it more difficult to control and more likely to cause an underride accident.
- Dangerous truck equipment: Trucks that are not properly equipped with underride guards are more likely to cause an underride accident.
Common injuries sustained in underride truck accidents
Underride accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, including:
- Head and neck injuries: These injuries can be particularly serious and can lead to permanent disability.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries can be devastating and can leave victims paralyzed.
- Internal injuries: Internal injuries, such as organ damage, can be life-threatening.
- Broken bones: Broken bones are a common injury in underride truck accidents, and can occur in any part of the body.
- Death: Underride accidents are often fatal.
Why it is important to hire an underride truck accident lawyer
Underride truck accidents can be complex and challenging cases to navigate. Trucking companies and insurance companies often have teams of lawyers who are experienced in defending these cases. This means that it is important for victims to have their own lawyer who can advocate for their rights and interests.
An underride truck accident lawyer can help victims with the following:
- Investigating the accident and gathering evidence.
- Negotiating with the trucking company and insurance company to obtain a fair settlement.
- Filing a lawsuit if necessary.
- Representing victims at trial.
Types of underride truck accidents
There are a number of different types of underride truck accidents. Some of the most common include:
- Tailgate collision: This type of accident occurs when the front of a smaller vehicle collides with the rear of a truck.
- Rear-end collision: This type of accident occurs when the back of a smaller vehicle collides with the front of a truck.
- Sideswipe collision: This type of accident occurs when the side of a smaller vehicle collides with the side of a truck.
- Jackknifed truck accident: This type of accident occurs when the truck turns sideways and the trailer swings out.
How to avoid underride truck accidents
There are a number of things that drivers can do to help avoid underride truck accidents, including:
- Be aware of your surroundings and be prepared for the possibility of an underride accident.
- Be extra cautious when driving near trucks, especially in poor visibility conditions.
- Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the truck in front of you.
- Do not tailgate trucks.
- Be aware of the weight of your vehicle and be careful not to overload it.
Legal process for underride truck accident claims
If you have been injured in an underride truck accident, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. The legal process for underride truck accident claims can be complex, and it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side.
The first step in the legal process is to file a claim with the trucking company’s insurance company. The insurance company will investigate the accident and determine whether they are liable. If the insurance company agrees that they are liable, they will make a settlement offer.
If the insurance company’s settlement offer is not fair, you may need to file a lawsuit. The lawsuit will be filed in civil court, and a judge or jury will decide whether the trucking company is liable and how much compensation you are entitled to.
Tips for negotiating a fair underride truck accident settlement
If you are negotiating a settlement with the trucking company’s insurance company, it is important to be prepared. Here are a few tips:
- Gather evidence. This includes medical records, police reports, and photos of the accident scene.
- Know your rights. An experienced lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options.
- **Be prepared to walk away
Underride truck accidents are a serious and dangerous problem. If you have been injured in an underride truck accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately and contact an experienced underride truck accident lawyer.
A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options and can fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Jim Adler & Associates Can Help You.
If you have been injured in an underride truck accident, contact our lawyers today to learn more about your legal rights and options. For over 50 years, we’ve been helping Texans fight for justice and the compensation they deserve after getting into an accident with a big rig.