Gillette Underride Accident Attorneys
Deadly Truck Underpinning Collisions
When a passenger vehicle becomes lodged underneath a truck and its trailer, the results are often fatal for other drivers and their passengers. Tractor trailers are much larger and have a higher ground clearance than the average car, leaving just enough room for a passenger vehicle to slide under the truck, often shearing off the roof of the vehicle. The driver and passengers can be decapitated if this occurs. They can also be crushed if the wheels of the truck or trailer run over the vehicle.
Recovering after an underride can be difficult, either due to the severe injuries you have incurred or the emotional trauma of losing a loved one. If you or a loved one has been injured in an underride accident caused by a negligent truck driver, do not hesitate to contact the Gillette truck accident lawyers at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. We can launch a full investigation of the accident to determine the cause, who can be held liable, and fight for proper compensation on your behalf. Call us at (307) 257-7800 to schedule a free consultation.
How Do Truck Underride Accidents Happen?
A car can slide under the rear, sides, or front of a truck, depending on a variety of driving conditions. Often, these types of accidents occur due to driver negligence, such as:
- A truck driver traveling below the minimum speed on the highway can cause an underride accident by limiting the amount of time a driver approaching from the rear has to stop or swerve out of the way.
- When a truck driver slams on the brakes, a driver following behind may not have enough stopping time to react and avoid a crash.
- If a big rig driver changes or merges lanes without checking their blind spots, they can force a passenger vehicle to go under the truck.
- Parked trucks on the side of the road can cause underride accidents when drivers fail to use the proper signage to warn approaching motorists.
- Truck drivers who tailgate can cause underpinning accidents by not leaving enough stopping distance between the truck and the car ahead.
- When a fatigued truck driver falls asleep at the wheel and drifts into the lane of oncoming traffic, it can cause a head-on collision and underride accident with an approaching passenger vehicle.
- A semi-truck driver who is crossing or turning onto a street, backing across traffic, or making a U-turn can cause a side underride crash in which a passenger vehicle slides under the side of the truck or trailer.
What Are Common Injuries in Underride Accidents?
When a passenger vehicle is pinned under an 18-wheeler, the impact is often fatal. For the occupants who do survive, they can suffer serious injuries, including:
- Severe bone fractures from crush injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, damage to the neck, and paralysis
- Head trauma and traumatic brain injury
- Loss of or damage to internal organs
- Dismemberment or amputation
Moving on after an underride accident can be extremely difficult, especially if you are left disabled or lost a loved one. Holding the responsible parties accountable is your best option for tackling a growing stack of medical bills and beginning to recover from your injuries or tragic loss.
Who Is Liable for Underride Accidents?
In many cases, the truck driver and the trucking company that employs the driver are potentially liable for underride accidents.
As mentioned above, a truck driver may be liable if he or she violated standard traffic laws, such as tailgating, driving below the minimum speed limit, violating the right-of-way of other drivers, changing lanes unsafely, driving fatigued, or if the driver was parked on the side of the road without using warning signs. Evidence to prove the driver was negligent can be taken from the truck’s black box, eyewitness testimony, and an investigation of the scene of the accident.
The trucking company may be held liable for an underride accident if underride guards were corroded or incorrectly installed. This can be determined through an evaluation of the tractor-trailer components by a specialist who can look for weak materials, loose bolts, wrong parts, rust, and other factors that could cause the underride guards to fail. The trucking company may also be held liable for the driver’s actions, if they hired a driver without proper training or certification, or for putting pressure on the driver that resulted in fatigued driving. These factors can also be shown through black box data and company records.
Why You Need a Lawyer
In a truck accident case, you are likely going up against a large trucking company, its insurance company, and their teams of lawyers. Their goal is to deny your claim entirely or make their payout as small as possible. You need an experienced attorney on your side, who has the knowledge, skills, and resources to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Our Gillette truck accident lawyers at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. can craft a detailed personal injury claim on your behalf by collecting evidence, investigating the driver, the trucking company, and the truck itself, and by fighting for fair compensation during negotiations or in the courtroom. If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a truck underride accident in Campbell County, call us today at (307) 257-7800 to schedule a free case strategy session. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay us no fees until we win money for you.
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