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Override & Underride Truck Accidents

Personal Injury Attorney in Washington, DC

Some of the most serious truck accidents on the road are the result of override or underride accidents. An override accident occurs when a truck runs over a smaller automobile, motorcycle, or pedestrian. An underride accident is when an automobile slides beneath the truck, often from the rear or trailer end. In either type of accident, the injuries are often serious and catastrophic, if not fatal. During an override accident, the front end of the truck that runs over whatever is in its path. There are many causes of this type of accident including:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Brake failure
  • Tire blowout
  • Reckless driving
  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Tailgating

Underride truck accidents occur when a passenger vehicle crashes into and continues beneath a truck. In many cases, the rear or side of the truck trailer crushes or rips the top off the vehicle, which can cause severe injuries. Around 40% of all underride accidents that involve fatalities are due to the vehicle going under the rear corner of the trailer. Accidents like this are typically caused by vehicles tailgating trucks that suddenly stop or when drivers are unable to see truck trailers, a problem that occurs in the evening or early morning.

One of the most infamous underride truck accidents occurred in 1967 when the actress Jayne Mansfield was fatally injured after her vehicle hit the rear of a tractor trailer. It took nearly 30 years for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue a law that all new tractor trailers should contain some kind of guard to prevent these types of accidents. This followed a 1993 rule that all new tractor trailers be equipped with reflective tape along the sides and rear of the trailer. There was no requirement made to retrofit older trucks without guards or reflective tape. To avoid override and underride accidents, all trucks should, at a minimum, have:

  • Lights, warning signs, or flashing lights when parked on the side of the road
  • Tail lights and reflective tape
  • Brakes inspected regularly
  • Keep their distance from other vehicles around them

As there are numerous federal laws and regulations surrounding the trucking industry, anyone who has been injured in an override or underride accident should work with attorneys who possess the depth of knowledge needed to effectively pinpoint where trucking companies and / or drivers failed to comply with the law. Having handled countless trucking accident cases, our legal team is well versed in the various federal trucking laws and we are prepared to clearly establish fault and obtain the compensation injured victims require.

Speak with a Washington, DC Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck override or underride accident, please do not wait to request a free consultation to learn more about the ways in which you may be eligible to recover your damages. Trucking companies go to great lengths to pay victims as little as possible, and by having a proven, highly experienced lawyer by your side, you can greatly reduce your risks of being unfairly compensated. Trust in a legal team with more than 90 years of combined experience. Contact Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today.

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