Due to massive size and weight of semi-trucks, any accidents that involve these large vehicles can be extremely deadly and severe for those who are involved. One common type of truck accident is an underride accident. This occurs when a vehicle is forced beneath the trailer of an 18-wheeler. While it is true that these accidents can occur with regular passenger vehicles, it is most common that they occur with large semi-trucks with trailers in tow. If you have been injured in an underride accident, then it is vitally important for you to be aware of your options and to take the necessary steps to pursue money damages for the injuries you have suffered.
What Is An Underride Accident?
On every semi-trailer, there is an underride guard that hangs down beneath the back of the trailer in order to prevent smaller vehicles from traveling beneath the trailer in the case of a rear-end accident. This bar, in the most successful of cases, is designed to withstand a certain amount of pressure upon impact in order to prevent serious damage and even death to drivers and passengers of other vehicles. When a rear-end accident occurs and the bar fails, then the smaller vehicle will travel beneath the trailer, and depending on the speed of impact, it could travel all the way forward until it hits the rear tires.
This is an extremely serious accident because the bottom of the trailer is generally the same height from the ground as the hood of the car. This means that the bottom of the trailer will scrape the top of the small vehicle all the way back until the vehicle stops. Sometimes, it can take off the entire top of a small car, and when this occurs the results can be fatal for the driver and any passengers in the vehicle at the time of the wreck. If you or your loved one has been severely injured in this type of accident, then it is vitally important for you to seek representation in your case to pursue compensation.
Why These Accidents Occur And What You Can Do
There have been studies conducted regarding why these guards fail, even when they are "built to specification," and the results of some of these studies are shocking. One element that was discovered is the guard bars often fail even at very low speeds -- far less than what the specifications designates in terms of their ability to withstand such circumstances. Second, these bars often fail because the standards in place allow individual parts to be tested according to specification rather than as a part of a functioning system. This results in excellent individual pieces; however, as a system, it cannot withstand a fraction of what it is supposed to withstand. Finally, it has been determined that most trucks which are built to Canadian specifications as well as U.S. standards will withstand more than those which are built to U.S. standards only.
If you or your loved one has been severely injured or killed in an underride accident, then it is vitally important for you to speak with a skilled representative regarding the injuries that you have suffered as well as your options for the future. At Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, we genuinely care about our clients, and you can be sure that we will stand by you and work with you to pursue the results that you need for the future.