Trucks are some of the largest vehicles on the road, and the consequences are often tragic when they're involved in an accident. When a car and a truck collide, sometimes it’s more than just an impact. Smaller cars can slide under trucks, endangering the lives of anyone inside. Determining who is responsible for an underride truck accident can be tricky, but an experienced lawyer can help you learn your legal rights.
Why do underride accidents happen?
An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle hits the trailer of a semi-truck and slides underneath. There are three main ways an underride accident can happen, including:
- Rear-end accident – This is the most common way underride accidents happen. The smaller car collides into the back of the truck, sliding under. A truck parked on the side of the road, recklessly entering or exiting the highways, or slamming on the brakes are all ways a rear underride accident can happen
- Side collision – A truck may lack side guards, allowing a car to slide under from the side. These usually occur at intersections and are often fatal.
- Offset accident – Similar to a rear-end accident, an offset accident happens when the car crashes into the back corner of a truck, instead of head-on to the back. This type of underride accident can mean fatal injuries for the driver or passenger.
Who's at fault for an underride accident?
Underride accident cases can be complicated, especially when figuring out who is liable. Because underride accidents often involve the truck being hit from behind, you might think that the driver of the smaller vehicle would be at fault. But there are many situations where the responsibility will fall on the trucker. Some ways truckers can cause underride accidents include:
- Rapid braking – Truckers who are not focused on the road or following a vehicle too closely may have to brake quickly, leaving the car behind them little time to react.
- Failure to check blind spots – Before merging or changing lanes, truckers need to check their blind spots. Failure to check blind spots can cause the trailer to move into the path of another car.
- Unsafely parked – Many underride accidents happen when trucks are parked on the side of the road. They could be parked illegally or without the use of road flares.
In addition, the manufacturer of the truck can be responsible if a mechanical defect caused the underride — for instance, if the underride guards on the trailer were defective. The trucking company or owner of the vehicle can also be liable under some circumstances.
Talk to an experienced truck accident lawyer
Underride accidents can have long-term devastating results. They frequently result in brain injuries, loss of limbs, and other severe injuries. Unfortunately, too many underride wrecks are fatal for someone in the smaller car.
If you or someone you love was hurt in an underride accident, legal help is available. Navigating the legal process and holding the negligent trucker responsible can be difficult. That's why you need help from an experienced Laredo truck accident lawyer.
The legal team at John R. Solis, Attorney at Law can investigate your accident and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. You don't have to go at it alone.