What Are Truck Underride Accidents?
Underride accidents occur when smaller motor vehicles crash into the sides or back of a semi-truck and slide underneath. Large commercial trucks and straight bed trucks are often just high enough off the ground that when a vehicle slides underneath, the car’s roof is sheared off. These kinds of collisions are extremely dangerous. Victims of underride accidents may be left with life-altering injuries. In the worst of cases, families may lose their loved ones to an underride accident.
Victims and victims’ families may be entitled to financial compensation if the accident was due to someone else’s negligent behavior. If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck underride accident, you should partner with a truck accident lawyer who is experienced in helping victims receive the just compensation they are owed. Eric Ratinoff Law Corp. is a Sacramento personal injury law firm with over 25 years of experience and a strong track record of obtaining maximum financial compensation for their clients. Navigating the California claims process can be challenging, but Attorney Eric Ratinoff provides his clients with personal attention and skilled legal counsel through every stage of their claim.
The Two Types of Underride Accidents
Underride accidents are arguably the worst type of large truck accidents. Passengers inside the smaller vehicle are vulnerable to severe injuries. The worst kinds of underride accidents end in fatalities. There are two types of underride accidents.
Side Underride Accidents
Side underride accidents occur when a vehicle slides under the side of a semi-truck. These accidents generally happen at night or during low sun conditions. A collision often happens when the driver crosses or turns onto a street, makes a U-turn, or backs across traffic. Drivers assume they are seen by the truck driver and other motorists on the road, but that is not always the case. Sometimes the truck’s reflective tape is covered by mud or their lights are malfunctioning. This can be particularly hazardous on dark country roads, and if a driver doesn’t see the truck in time to react, a catastrophic collision may occur.
Rear Underride Accidents
Rear underride accidents are when a vehicle runs under the truck’s rear end. These accidents often occur in low visibility conditions or when a poorly marked truck is parked on the side of the road. Some drivers may think the truck is driving fast enough and slam right under the rear of the truck. Often, trucks are driving much slower than they appear to be, especially on highways.
What Causes Underride Accidents?
The main factors that contribute to underride accidents at the fault of the smaller vehicle include:
- Tailgating the truck
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
Factors that contribute to an underride accident at the fault of the truck driver include:
- Not using under-ride guards
- Not maintaining the truck, including brakes, taillights, or reflective tape
- Not using proper lighting
- Not meeting conspicuity standards when parked on the roadway
- Making an illegal U-Turn
Weather and road conditions also contribute to the occurrence of underride accidents. Drivers may spin out of control or suffer vision impairment due to the weather conditions. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the truck driver, the other driver, or a manufacturer may be at fault for the accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine what legal avenue you should pursue to earn fair financial compensation for your losses.
Common Injuries Suffered in an Underride Accident
Each year numerous fatalities and injuries caused by underride accidents are recorded. These collisions are often fatal. Those who do survive are left with debilitating injuries. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of or damage to bodily organs
- Amputation or dismemberment
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Significant disfigurement
These injuries require immediate medical care and extensive follow-up care, including rehabilitation and physical therapy. Some may become permanently disabled, and many will be unable to work for an extended period, thereby losing the income needed to support themselves and their families.
Contract a California Truck Accident Lawyer at Eric Ratinoff Law Corp.
Many underride accident victims who survive the collision are left with life-altering injuries, and victims who don’t survive may leave behind loved ones who rely on them. Families and surviving victims are entitled to fair compensation after an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Eric Ratinoff Law Corp. is a California personal injury law firm with over 25 years of experience. Attorney Eric Ratinoff provides outstanding legal representation and service to help ensure his clients receive the justice they deserve. To schedule a free consultation, contact us here or call (916) 970-9100.