Long Beach Underride Accident Attorney
Underrides are among the deadliest types of trucking accidents. They occur when a smaller passenger vehicle crashes into the back or side of a tractor-trailer and slides underneath the truck. This type of truck accident can cause fatal injuries to passenger vehicle occupants.
In an underride collision with a tractor-trailer, drivers and passengers in smaller cars have a high fatality risk. When a passenger vehicle strikes a large commercial truck and slides under or becomes wedged beneath the trailer, it can crush the roof and windshield of the car. This type of collision can cause catastrophic or fatal injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Bone fractures
- Internal organ damage
There are two basic types of truck underride collisions, and both can be catastrophic for passenger vehicle occupants:
- Side underride accidents: This type of crash usually happens when a truck driver is making a U-turn, turning onto a street, or crossing a street. A car strikes the side of the truck and goes under the trailer. Side underrides also occur when a truck driver fails to see a smaller vehicle and strikes the vehicle while changing lanes. Side underride accidents are more likely to happen at night when visibility is poor.
- Rear underride accidents: In this deadly type of rear-end collision, a passenger vehicle slams into the rear of a large commercial truck and slides fully or partially under the trailer. This type of crash is most likely to occur with a poorly marked truck that is traveling much slower than other traffic or parked at the side of the road.
Several factors can contribute to deadly truck underride accidents, and some have to do with the truck itself:
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has set standards for trailer and semitrailer underride guards to reduce the risk of passenger vehicle occupant injuries, as published in the Federal Register. When trucking companies or owners fail to comply with these standards, it can mean catastrophic injury or death in a collision.
- To date, side guards are not required on commercial truck trailers. There may be nothing to prevent smaller vehicles from sliding under the trailer in a side underride crash.
- Poor visibility plays a role in truck underride accidents. A driver who cannot see a truck ahead may not know it is there until it is too late. Weather conditions, winding roads, and lack of lights and reflectors can reduce tractor-trailer visibility. This includes properly functioning brake lights to warn a driver behind when a truck driver brakes.
- Truck driver error may be a factor in underride crashes. A driver may switch lanes without first checking blind spots. Driver inattentiveness can lead to sudden stops and deadly rear-end underride collisions.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck underride accident, you may be able to hold the truck driver and trucking company liable. If negligence on the part of the driver or the company caused the crash in which you suffered injuries or losses, you may have a claim for compensation against the driver, the company, or both. Our Long Beach truck accident attorney can tell you if you have a case and what damages you may be able to claim.
Call The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV at (562) 901-0840 or toll-free at (888) 454-5569 to schedule a free consultation. Mr. Low is a trial lawyer first and foremost. He can craft and deliver a story to a judge and jury, and is willing to go to war with big, powerful corporations and interests.