Representing Individuals and Families After Deadly Underride Crashes
Any collision involving a large commercial truck and a passenger vehicle can be deadly. 18-wheeler trucks can weigh upwards of 40 tons. Against a conventional car, the truck will always win. This holds true for underride accidents as well. Underride collisions are rarely survivable for passenger vehicle occupants. Victims who do survive are likely to suffer serious or catastrophic injuries.
When you are involved in an underride accident, you’ve life is thrown into chaos. You’ve suffered extreme injuries, your car is likely damaged beyond repair, and you’ve been left with a medical bill you may not be able to afford. We at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC have seen the aftermath of that chaos time and time again with our clients. If you have been injured in an underride accident that was not your fault, we may be able to help. Call us at (303) 502-5587 and let’s discuss your case.
How Underride Accidents Happen
Truck underride accidents occur when a passenger vehicle slides under the rear or side of a big rig’s trailer and becomes pinned underneath. This can happen because large commercial trucks are much larger than passenger vehicles, with a much greater ground clearance. In this type of crash, there is just enough room for the average passenger vehicle to go partially under the trailer. Usually the hood is the only section of a car that fits easily, but the force behind the collision will force the rest of the car, especially the front two seats, beneath the truck. This type of collision can flatten or penetrate the passenger vehicle, or even shear off its roof, decapitating the driver and passengers.
Many underride accidents occur when a passenger vehicle driver is unable to stop in time or swerve out of the way to avoid a stopped or slow-moving tractor trailer in the roadway. Side underride collisions can occur when a truck driver changing lanes or taking a turn fails to see a passenger vehicle, causing the smaller vehicle to slide under the side of the truck.
Truck Safety Features
Under federal regulations, tractor trailers are required to be equipped with rear guards, intended to prevent underpinning accidents. These guardrails are not always effective in stopping an underride accident from happening, as reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In 2011, the institute released crash test results showing that many current truck underride guards were lacking in performance when a midsize car traveling at 35 mph crashed into the rear of a parked semitrailer.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations require reflective paint or tape on tractor trailers to increase visibility at night or in inclement weather. Truck drivers are also required to use reflective hazard signs when they park their trucks on the roadside, to help prevent other motorists from crashing into the stopped truck. Negligent trailer maintenance and failure of drivers to use hazard signage when stopped can lead to deadly underride accidents.
Common Underride Accident Injuries
Truck underpinning collisions are often fatal. For those who survive, it can cause catastrophic injuries, when a huge 18-wheeler, weighing up to 80,000 pounds or more, flattens or shears off the roof of the passenger vehicle, or crushes it under its wheels. Injuries caused by truck underride accidents include:
- Severe traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damage leading to paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Organ damage or loss
- Fractured bones
- Wrongful death
What Damages Can I Claim After a Truck Underride Accident?
If you are a survivor of a big rig underpinning accident, you’ve likely been left with mounting costs and emotional trauma. Surviving such an intense collision would leave anyone in shambles. Thankfully, when you file a personal injury case there are severe areas for which you can claim damages and receive compensation. The more common ones include, but are not limited to:
- Costs of extensive medical treatment, including immediate care, follow-up care, rehabilitation, and physical therapy
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Permanent disability
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
Why You Need an Attorney
In seeking compensation for injuries sustained in a truck underride accident, you will likely be going up against a large trucking company and its insurers. These companies have teams of lawyers on their payroll, standing by to fight against injury claims. Insurance companies are in business for profit, and their goal is to minimize or deny your claim altogether. You need an experienced lawyer on your side, with the knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively pursue the compensation you deserve.
Why Choose Us?
Our Denver personal injury lawyers at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC have extensive experience and a successful track record representing seriously injured people in Colorado. We have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients. Our firm is often used by other attorneys and medical providers when they or their family members are injured. We are a full-service firm and will help you with everything involved in your case.
Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay us no fees until we recover compensation for you. If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a Denver truck accident, call us today at (303) 502-5587 to schedule a free consultation.