Semi-trucks (18 wheeler) accidents are inherently dangerous since trucks are significantly larger as compared to passenger vehicles. Most serious truck accidents involve serious injuries. Underride and override accidents pose even serious dangers to victims. A lot of them prove fatal resulting in loss of lives.
In this article, we will shed light on underride and override truck accidents. Also, you will learn what you should do if you are injured in a truck accident.
Underride Accidents: How They Happen?
An underride truck accident happens due to a collision between a commercial truck and a small passenger vehicle. This kind of crash results in the smaller vehicle going under the frame of a truck. Underride accidents can occur due to many reasons but often occurs when a motorist is following a truck closely. The accident also occurs due to poor visibility. A motorist will fail to notice the tractor trailer truck in rainy or foggy condition.
A sudden or erratic stop can also result in an underride truck accident. The accident can also occur if the driver backs up without checking other vehicles. Other causes of an underride accident include the following:
- The truck driver suddenly changes lanes
- The truck driver parks without proper lights
- The underride guards are absent
- Reflective tape on the truck is missing
- Tail lights or brake lights are defective
What are the Causes of Override Accidents?
Override accidents happen when a truck driver runs over a passenger vehicle. The accident usually occurs due to mechanical failure. Sometimes the truck shears off the top of the car. Moreover, the smaller vehicle can be dragged by the larger truck before coming to a stop. The accident often exposes the passengers to additional hazards such as fuel spillage, fire, and potentially hazardous materials being transported by the big rig.
A truck tailgating a passenger vehicle can also cause an overhead accident. In addition, defective tires can also be a reason for override accident. Some other reasons that override accidents occur include the following:
- Tire blowout
- Brake failure
- Reduced visibility due to rain, snow, or fog
- Not yielding to traffic with right of way
Liability in Underride and Override Accidents
The reasons for the underride or override accidents will determine negligence. These types of accidents commonly occur due to the negligence of one or both of the drivers. The negligence can occur due to many different reasons, such as:
- Negligence of either driver
- Negligence on part of the trucking company in hiring an inexperienced or known problematic driver
- Truck driver DUI
- Mechanical issues due to poor maintenance
In some cases, the driver of a passenger vehicle can also be fully or partially liable. This is the case when the driver is following the truck too quickly or stops the car abruptly. Liability for an underride or override accident must be thoroughly investigated by professionals who have done this type of work before.
What You Should Do If Involved in an Override or Underride Accident?
You need to consult with an experienced truck accident attorney when you are involved in an override or underride accident. Getting the help of a professional truck accident lawyer can make a difference in determining a positive court outcome. The attorney will help you to collect evidence that will prove the guilt of the truck driver or the trucking company. The legal professional will gather witness statements and police reports to find out what exactly caused the override and underride truck accidents.
Let’s suppose that a truck driver rear-ends your car that results in a serious overriding accident. The accident results in a lengthy hospital stay. The trucker claims that it was not possible to slow down due to poor road conditions. However, after seeing the dashcam of the truck it’s revealed that the driver had slammed the brakes only about three seconds after impact. This could potentially show that the driver was negligent and not paying attention to the road. The information can be used to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the truck driver had caused the override truck accident.
Act Fast to Claim Your Legal Right
You should file a case against the truck driver soon after an accident. The longer you wait to file a case, the lower are the chances of a positive outcome of a case. The reason you should file a case quickly is that the evidence might get destroyed which could prevent the attorney from gathering incriminating evidence against the truck driver.
In addition, the statute of limitation requires that you file a truck accident case within a specified time period and varies by state. You will lose your right to sue the guilty driver after you’ve exceeded the statute of limitations within the state. The statute of limitation generally varies from two to four years, but there are exceptions.
You should also not wait to get treatment when involved in an override or underride accident. Some state laws require that you get treatment within 14 days of an accident. Even if you don’t experience any visible injuries, you should consider getting a medical examination. Some injuries, particularly brain injuries and whiplash, don’t become apparent until a few weeks after an accident.
A Summary of Underride & Override Accidents
Override and underride truck accidents are dangerous. Determining liability in such cases is not easy. You need to get the help of a professional attorney with years of experience in fighting personal injury cases involving truck accidents.
You should contact a truck accident attorney soon after an underride or override crash. A professional truck accident lawyer will provide legal counsel on how to increase your chances of a positive court outcome. The attorney will handle all legal requirements in filing a court case. This will save a lot of time and hassles involved in fighting a truck accident case.
With the help of an experienced attorney, you could be eligible for compensation for financial losses from the at-fault driver. In the case you have lost your loved one, you can also contact an attorney to file a wrongful death claim against the guilty party. The attorney will make sure that you get compensated for the loss of wages, companionship, and also emotional stress suffered due to the truck accident.