Underride Truck Accidents
Large trucks pose a serious safety risk to other users of Florida roads, in large part because of their large size (in comparison to standard-sized passenger cars). This size differential is more dangerous than most people realize. There is, for instance, a chance that a motorist could be injured in an underride accident, a type of collision that can only occur between a large vehicle, like a commercial truck and a smaller car.
What is an Underride Accident?
An underride accident occurs when a passenger vehicle rear-ends a much larger commercial vehicle and is forced beneath the trailer of the latter. This can only happen between two vehicles of vastly different sizes. The average passenger vehicle is, for instance, around 40 inches tall, while the lowest point of most tractor-trailers is 45 inches off the ground, meaning that there is ample room for the front of a passenger car to slide beneath the truck. Often, the trailer portion of the truck actually intrudes into the passenger compartment of the smaller vehicle, which can have devastating consequences for the occupants. These kinds of collisions almost always result in catastrophic, and sometimes deadly, injuries.
Truck drivers are required to use a certain degree of care when operating their vehicles. Unfortunately, many individuals fail to fulfill these obligations, while some companies don’t provide their drivers with the proper training. For instance, most Florida underride accidents occur because a driver:
- Attempted an illegal U-turn;
- Improperly reversed out of a parking lot or driveway;
- Illegally tried to turn into or cross a street;
- Failed to use emergency flashers when entering or exiting a freeway at a reduced speed; or
- Failed to use reflective triangles or emergency hazard lights when a truck was broken down or parked on the shoulder of the road.
In many situations, however, it is not necessarily driver error that is the cause of an underride accident, but negligence on the part of the driver or trucking company, which:
- Failed to replace or repair dim, dirty, or inoperative tail lights;
- Failed to apply or replace retroreflective tape to the vehicle; or
- Failed to install an underride guard on the rear of the truck.
In both scenarios, underride accident victims are often able to recover compensation from the at-fault driver or trucking company for their injury-related losses. This could include everything from reimbursement for medical bills and lost wages to compensation for property damage and pain and suffering.
Do You Need Help with Your Truck Accident Claim?
As longtime personal injury lawyers, we recognize that when it comes to injury claims, Florida truck accidents tend to be a bit more complex than many other types of cases. Unlike other kinds of accidents, for instance, truck accidents usually involve multiple defendants, which can make it difficult for claimants to recover damages. For help managing your own claim, reach out to the dedicated Tampa truck accident lawyers at Anderson & Anderson today. Call 813-251-0072 to set up a free consultation.