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Underride Truck Accidents in Arizona

An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle collides with a larger truck or trailer and slides underneath it. This type of collision is particularly dangerous because the top of the smaller vehicle can be crushed or sheared off by the bottom edge of the larger vehicle’s trailer or body, dramatically increasing the risk of severe injuries or fatalities to the occupants of the smaller vehicle. 

Underride Truck Accidents

Common Injuries in Underride Truck Accidents

Suffering an underride truck accident in Phoenix can result in various types of serious injuries that often necessitate long-term medical treatment and rehabilitation. These most often include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Whiplash and neck injuries
  • Facial trauma
  • Lacerations and contusions
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Nerve damage

Each of these injuries has the potential to significantly impact your quality of life, affecting your ability to work, enjoy activities, and even care for yourself. Understanding the scope of possible injuries is the first step towards building a solid case for compensation.

Causes of Underride Truck Accidents

Underride truck accidents are among the most hazardous collisions on the road. These accidents can occur due to a variety of causes:

Sudden Stops or Slow Moving Trucks

If a truck makes a sudden stop or is moving significantly below the speed limit without proper warning signals, following vehicles, especially if moving at higher speeds, may not have enough time to react. This scenario can lead to a rear underride accident, where the smaller vehicle slides underneath the rear end of the truck.

Lack of Underride Guards or Faulty Equipment

Underride guards are designed to prevent smaller vehicles from sliding underneath trucks during collisions. However, if these guards are missing, improperly installed, or faulty, the risk of severe underride accidents increases substantially. In some cases, even with guards in place, the force of impact can be so great that it causes the guards to fail.

Improper Lane Changes or Turns by Trucks

Large trucks making unsafe or abrupt lane changes can inadvertently force smaller vehicles into dangerous positions, including being wedged under the side or rear of the truck. 

Driver Error or Negligence

Both truck drivers and the drivers of smaller vehicles can contribute to underride accidents through errors or negligence. This includes distracted driving, speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and failing to maintain a safe following distance.

Preventing these accidents requires a combination of effective safety measures, vehicle maintenance, proper driver training, and adherence to road safety laws and regulations.

Liability in Underride Truck Accidents

Liability in underride truck accidents can be placed on different parties, and requires careful consideration based on the circumstances. The most common examples of liable parties are the following:

The Truck Driver: If the driver’s actions or inactions led to the accident, they may be held personally liable for the injuries sustained by the victims.

The Trucking Company: Employers are often vicariously responsible for the actions of their employees, including truck drivers. If the driver was on the job or following company directives at the time of the accident, the company may be held accountable.

The Manufacturer: If a defective truck part or inadequate design contributed to the underride accident, the manufacturer of the truck or its parts can be found liable for the injuries sustained.

Other Motorists: In some cases, another motorist’s actions can precipitate the series of events culminating in the underride truck accident, making them partially liable for the damages.

If you’ve been involved in an underride accident, one of the first steps is to figure out who is responsible so you can get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other losses.

Why You Need a Lawyer After Underride Truck Accidents

After an underride accident, you’re likely dealing with serious injuries and maybe financial difficulties. In these situations, working with a personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure you get the justice you deserve. Here’s how a lawyer can help:

  • Assess your claim to determine its value and the strength of your case.
  • Gather evidence to support your claim, including witness testimonies, police reports, and medical records.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive a fair settlement.
  • Represent you in court if a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached.

You never have to handle these difficult situations alone. 

Contact Hastings & Hastings to Schedule a Free Consultation

The aftermath of an underride truck accident can be devastating, but you’re not powerless. Understanding your injuries, the causes of the accident, and the legal avenues available to you are important parts of the process. The road to recovery is a challenging one, but with the right legal partner by your side, justice can be served, and you can secure the compensation you deserve. Contact Hastings & Hastings today to schedule a free consultation.