An underride collision occurs when a smaller vehicle slides underneath the side or rear of a tractor-trailer. These types of accidents are often deadly because the bottom of the truck can crush the top-half of the smaller vehicle on impact. It is common in these types of instances for the vehicle’s occupants to sustain devastating injuries, including brain trauma, multiple bone fractures, and amputations.
To help mitigate the financial burden of medical bills, lost wages, or even funeral costs after a truck underride accident, contact Cullan & Cullan. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses from the at-fault party, and our Kansas City truck accident attorneys can help you bring the responsible party or parties to justice. Our goal is to help restore your quality of life, health, and security to the fullest possible extent.
To find out how we can help you, call (816) 253-8606 for a free case evaluation.
Types of Underride Collisions
There are two types of underride collisions:
- A rear underride collision occurs when a smaller vehicle goes under the rear of a larger truck or trailer.
- A side underride collision occurs when a vehicle crashes underneath the side of the truck or trailer.
There are many reasons why underride accidents happen. Common contributing factors include:
- Limited Visibility: Drivers are more likely to crash into the side or back of a truck that they cannot see. When the taillights and reflectors of a truck are dim, dirty, or broken, there is a greater chance of an underride accident.
- Speed: Speeding drivers are more likely to crash into the back of a truck. The speed of the truck can contribute to a rear-end collision as well. When truck drivers are moving well under the speed limit, they must use emergency flashers to warn quickly approaching motorists. Additionally, a truck should not pull out in front of fast-moving traffic.
- Failure to Use Reflective Triangles: Some underride accidents involve trucks that are stopped on the side of the road. Drivers of tractor-trailers that are at a complete stop on the shoulder of the roadway must put up reflective triangles.
- Dangerous U-Turns: Many side underride accidents involve trucks that cut across traffic to make a left turn or a U-turn when and where it is not safe to do so.
- Inadequate Safety Lighting: All trucks must have a certain number of lights, reflectors, and reflective tape on the back and side of the trailer. A truck with inadequate safety lighting will be at an increased risk of causing an underride accident.
- Illegally Parked: Many underride accidents involve trucks that are illegally parked or parked at locations that drivers would not expect them to be or that would be difficult to see.
Protecting Your Rights
Determining liability for an underride accident can be a complicated and challenging process. Surviving victims, or the family of a fatally injured victim, will have to show that the truck driver, the truck’s owner, or the shipping company was negligent in some way. Was the driver solely responsible for crashing into the back of the truck, or did the truck driver make a careless decision that contributed to the collision?
Victims of underride accidents and their families may be able to seek financial compensation for all of the losses they suffered in the crash. Negligent drivers can be held accountable for medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning potential, funeral expenses, suffering, and all other related damages. It is crucial that truck accident victims get the support and guidance they need during these difficult times.
For a free consultation with an experienced Kansas City truck accident lawyer, call (816) 253-8606.