Any truck collision can lead to serious injuries due to the size difference between an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle, but underride crashes are among the most horrific. An “underride” impact occurs when a smaller car slides underneath a truck’s trailer, often smashing the roof, shearing it off, or penetrating into the cabin. Though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has enacted numerous rules requiring trucks to install preventative safety equipment, these crashes are still a severe threat. They can lead to catastrophic injuries that change the lives of victims forever.
If you were hurt in an underride crash, a Miami truck accident attorney can explain your rights and potential legal options to seek compensation. You may also find some general information to be useful.
What You Should Know About Underride Accidents
The NHTSA reports some disturbing statistics about the dangers and frequency of underride collisions, such as:
- From 2008-2009, more than half of trucks involved in accidents with passenger vehicles were NOT equipped with mandatory underride guards for the rear section of the trailer.
- In the 23 underride crashes in the US from September 7 to November 19, 2017, 21 people were killed and another seven individuals sustained serious injuries.
- According to data compiled by federal agencies, state government bodies, and organizations from the insurance industry, there are up to 200 fatalities every year in crashes involving an underride.
- At least some amount of underride occurs in 75% of all collisions between semi trucks and passenger vehicles. The underride extended into the interior passenger areas of the car in approximately one-third of the crashes.
Severe and Catastrophic Injuries are Common in Underride Accidents
The most serious injuries in an underride collision are typically located in the upper body of the vehicle’s occupants because of the location of the impact. Examples include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), concussion, and head wounds;
- Whiplash, which is a strain on the ligaments and muscles of the neck due to a violent forward and backward jolt;
- Trauma to the back, neck, and spinal cord;
- Rib cage and lung injuries;
- Cuts, bruises, and abrasions to the face;
- Injuries to the shoulders, arms, and hands; and,
- Many others.
In an extreme situation, an underride collision with a truck could lead to amputation – which would tend to affect the lower body rather than upper. A victim could be forcibly lifted out of the car seat, leading to loss of a foot or leg. A worst-case scenario might even result in death from decapitation for the victim.
Contact a Miami Truck Accidents Lawyer About Underride Crashes and Your Rights
If you were hurt in an underride accident or any other type of truck crash, skilled representation is essential for getting the compensation you deserve. Our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA can help, so please contact our firm to set up a free consultation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach. We can tell you more about your legal remedies after reviewing your circumstances.
(image courtesy of Matthew T. Rader)