One of the most dangerous aspects of a truck accident will involve the height of the trailer. Because trailers sit so high off the ground, a smaller vehicle may slide underneath the trailer instead of impacting its side. The trailer can actually shear off or crush the top of the smaller vehicle, putting its occupants in imminent danger of catastrophic injury or even death. These are called underride collisions. We have handled several underride truck accidents where the truck was attempting an illegal turn or U-turn thereby barricading the highway. We have also handled them when a truck was improperly parked or stopped causing a passenger vehicle to rear-end the truck and lodge under the back of the truck’s trailer. They are the deadliest of all trucking accidents, responsible for approximately 7 in 10 truck accident fatalities.
The Phoenix truck accident lawyers at Cullan & Cullan are here to help if you have been injured or have lost a family member in an underride collision. We truly understand the traumatic nature of these accidents and are here to help you seek justice and restore your life to the fullest possible extent.
To learn more, call (602) 900-9483. We offer a free consultation and work on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing unless we win your case.
What Causes Underride Accidents?
Underride collisions may have causes similar to other traffic accidents, such as illegal turns, drunk driving, fatigued driving, or speeding. They also have causes unique to this particular type of accident, including:
- Improper maintenance of truck brake lights. If the brake lights on the trailer of a semi-truck malfunction, a driver behind the truck may not see that the trucker has braked until it is too late.
- Poor visibility. A lack of reflective gear or lighting on the trailer can make it difficult for other drivers to see, particularly at night or in heavy weather conditions. This can cause serious underride collisions.
- Inadequate or defective underside guards. Safety guards can prevent other vehicles from becoming lodged underneath a trailer. A trailer with missing or defective side and back guards may put other motorists at an increased risk of being injured in an underride crash.
- Inexperienced or negligent driving. A truck operator who is inexperienced, distracted, fatigued, or under the influence of alcohol/drugs may drive erratically or negligently, pulling out into traffic or otherwise placing others at risk of colliding with the trailer and causing an underride accident.
Who Is Responsible?
There are several entities that may be responsible for an underride collision, including the truck driver, the truck owner, the trucking company, the vehicle or parts manufacturer, or the truck’s cargo loader. Our Phoenix truck accident lawyers can investigate the accident, interview eyewitnesses, and review any available video footage to determine the cause of the incident. We can then begin the process of proving negligence.
Contact our firm today at (602) 900-9483 for the skilled counsel you need.