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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

Who's at Fault in Underride Accidents? What Victims Must Know If They're Filing a Claim

A truck underride accident could happen more frequently than many people think, especially considering how negligent some drivers can be.


If victims are in an underride crash, they should hire experienced Houston truck accident attorneys to help them put together a case, particularly if they sustained severe injuries. They could have a right to compensation, and attorneys will make sure they get the best outcomes possible.


What Is a Truck Underride Accident?

What Is a Truck Underride Accident?


Compared to tractor-trailers, passenger vehicles are lower to the ground. Underride accidents happen when a car slides beneath a trailer and gets stuck.


Underride accidents can severely damage the smaller car and cause the passengers inside to sustain serious injuries.


In some cases, underride accidents result in the truck crushing or tearing off the roof of the passenger vehicle.


Since these collisions can be catastrophic, when an underride accident occurs, victims should contact a lawyer to help them and passionately defend their case.


Types of Underride Accidents


Each case is unique. However, when it comes to underride truck accidents, they generally fall into one of two different categories:


Rear Underride Collision


It happens if a smaller vehicle hits a tractor-trailer from behind, sliding into the area between it and the ground.


Rear underride truck accidents often happen as a result of poor visibility. The driver might suddenly hit the break, or the other one could be careless, causing the one on the back to fail to halt in time.


Even though these underride accidents can happen, most trucks have rear guards to prevent other vehicles from getting stuck.


Side Underride Collision


Underride accidents can also happen when drivers slide under the tractor-trailer's side instead of from behind.


In this case, they can happen, for instance, if the tractor-trailer driver makes a U-turn and the other vehicle's driver does not see it until it's too late.


Since trucks don't necessarily need to have side guards, these types of underride accidents are much more common.


Causes of Underride Accidents


Numerous causes could be behind an underride accident, for example, poor weather, driver negligence, tailgating, bad truck maintenance, failure in the car's braking system, etc.


No matter the cause, victims of a truck accident should always contact a lawyer to help them with their case.


Unfortunately, if someone is in an underride accident, the consequences of it could hinder the person's ability to carry on with their usual activities.


Lawyers at Schuerger Shunnarah will aggressively defend their clients and do what's necessary to make sure they get the justice they deserve.


Truck Underride Injuries


As the article mentioned before, injuries from an underride accident could be lethal. Since the smaller vehicle is at a considerable disadvantage compared to the truck, passengers might end up with permanent disabilities. It happens very often.


Some common underride accident injuries include traumatic brain damage, disfigurement, bone fractures, and spinal cord injuries.


When they're in an underride accident, victims could lose their ability to work or have mounting medical bills to take care of.


At the same time, victims might experience excruciating pain and emotional distress. In the worst cases, they could lose a loved one.


Although there is no way to completely erase the victim's suffering, lawyers can help them if they're eligible for compensation.


When victims can alleviate financial stress, they may also be able to slowly go back to their regular activities.

Therefore, hiring an attorney is crucial. Victims have a right to defend themselves, and lawyers exist to do that.


Is the Truck Driver Liable?


The United States Department of Transportation requires truck drivers to install a rear safety guard or bar on tractor-trailers, which is meant to prevent underride accidents.


However, sometimes trucking companies don't follow safety regulations. If the truck doesn't have a guard, the owner (most likely the company) could be held liable.


It doesn't happen as often, but some truck drivers could own their vehicles. When that happens and they're in an underride accident, they might be liable too.


A truck driver could also be responsible if they were driving carelessly. However, in that case, victims would have to prove that they were being negligent and that they wouldn't have sustained injuries had it not been for their reckless actions.


Why Truck Underride Accidents Keep Happening Despite Regulations

Why Truck Underride Accidents Keep Happening Despite Regulations


All commercial trucks must have guards to prevent an underride accident from happening, and trucking companies are aware of this.


Furthermore, trucks must have a retroreflective tape with an alternating white and red pattern on the sides. It will clearly define the truck's shape for the smaller vehicle due to its positioning and will also make it more visible in the dark.


Sadly, truck accidents still frequently occur. They could happen when trucking companies don't care for side guards, for instance, since they're not obligated to put them on the vehicles.


If a truck driver doesn't realize they have defective lights, tapes, or guards, they might also be involved in an accident.


A truck underride accident can also occur if the vehicle's guards are defective. They could be too big or not adhere correctly. In other cases, they're too far up high to properly prevent collisions.


Lastly, a truck accident can also happen due to the driver's negligent practices, which remain frequent. Drivers are aware that they must properly maintain their vehicles, meet visibility standards, and correctly use guards. Schuerger Shunnarah can also advise on who's at fault in wide turn accidents.


Hiring a Specialized Lawyer


Truck drivers have various responsibilities to meet. In some cases, companies might pressure them into making decisions that could endanger the lives of others - for instance, they might tell them not to worry about maintaining their vehicles. Schuerger Shunnarah can answer other questions like, "Who's at fault in blind spot accidents?"


When a truck accident happens, victims' lives could change forever. Therefore, they must get help from a specialized lawyer who can aid them in putting together a case and filing a claim.


Victims have a right to compensation if their injuries are the result of negligent practices. At Schuerger Shunnarah, the team's motto is "We go to war for you," so these attorneys are ready to help clients in need.

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