Underride Truck Accident Attorneys: Chicago, Illinois
Large trucks such as semi-trailers have a high clearance under their carriages that can become hazardous in an accident with a passenger vehicle. One of the most common serious injury accidents involving a large truck and lower vehicle such as a car or family vehicle is when the passenger vehicle slides under the large truck, crushing the top of the vehicle.
This type of crash is referred to as an under-ride or undercarriage accident that can cause severe bodily injuries and fatalities.
Large truck drivers (especially tractor-trailers) and their truck companies are responsible if they cause an underride truck crash or an underride truck collision which results in personal injuries, fatal injuries, or other severe injuries. Use our contact form to get in touch with our legal team for a free consultation on your legal rights if you or a family member have been in an underride crash due to a truck driver’s negligence
Severity of Chicago Truck Underride Accidents
Most underride accidents involving large trucks involve a passenger vehicle or other smaller vehicle hitting the truck from behind and sliding under the trailer of the truck. The problem lies in that the trucks are high enough to allow most hoods and bodies of vehicles to clear the undercarriage of the truck and the underride guards (especially the rear underride guards), but the windshield, roof and passenger area of the vehicle is crushed or sheared off as the vehicle slides under the truck.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these truck accidents are a significant cause of catastrophic injuries and fatalities every year.
- An estimated 500 people die in underride accidents with large trucks each year
- Over 5,000 people are severely injured in truck underride accidents per year
- Over 70% of all fatalities in large truck accidents are passengers in other vehicles
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also performed a study on truck underride accidents, looking at 1,000 truck accidents that occurred over a four-year period. 115 of these crashes that involved a passenger vehicle hitting the rear of the truck, 78% were underride accidents. 23 of the 28 accidents that ended in a fatality in the passenger vehicle, underride damage was reported.
Ineffective Safety Underride Equipment Used on Many Semi-Trucks in Chicago and across the United States
To prevent underride accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and other federal laws have required that large trucks use both rear impact guards and reflectors or reflective tape since 1998/1999. However, the underride guards are only required on trucks that were made after 1998, leaving many without the guards.
Although both these safety requirements are meant to reduce underride accidents, there is a question of whether they are useful.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety performed a crash study on the effectiveness of rear impact guards. They found that even at speeds as low as 35 MPH, guards could tear off or bend forward, allowing the passenger car to still slide under the truck.
Also, even in rear-end collisions that were not head on 100%, with the passenger car only hitting the rear of the truck partially, there was still a high number of underride accidents, even with guards.
Severe Personal Injuries in Truck Underride Accidents
Due to the anatomy of the underride accident, passengers in the impacting vehicle are at high risk for severe, and sometimes fatal, injuries. The most serious concern is the impact to the passenger’s head, with tragic decapitation a possibility.
Due to the severity of these accidents, victims can be facing large medical bills, lost wages, and ongoing medical treatments for injuries such as:
Truck Underride Accidents Facts
- Faulty truck underrides contribute to the hundreds of deaths and thousands of fatalities in truck accidents each year.
- Most common reasons for truck underride incidents and fatalities continue to be visibility as well as truck color and shape.
- The NHTSA estimates that nearly 5% of all new truck underrides do not meet state and federal guidelines for safety.
- State and federal authorities publish and require large trucks and truck companies to abide by underride safety rules, but many fail to adopt or adhere to those standards.
Chicago Underride Truck Accident Recovery
Pivoting from the accident to a claim for financial compensation will likely focus on a few key areas of relief, such as the following:
- Medical Expenses
- Car damage
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
The exact makeup of a person’s recovery will depend upon their specific personal injuries as well as other harms and losses. To learn about what you may obtain in a Chicago personal injury lawsuit, speak with someone from our truck accident lawsuit today.
Working with Qualified Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers
Hiring an experienced group of personal injury attorneys or law firm for your lawsuit may help ensure you get all financial compensation possible for your personal injuries and other losses. Your legal advocates should take a number of steps to ensure that your recovery is not jeopardized, including the following:
- File a complaint in the appropriate courthouse
- Initiate communications with the insurance company
- Send requests for information to the opposing party
- Depose any relevant parties and witnesses
- Prepare a trial strategy
To receive legal advice and a customized case strategy for your personal injury lawsuit today, use our contact form to get in touch with us! Our law firm works with people involved in many types of truck accidents including those caused by poor visibility, cranes or other equipment, slippery road conditions, or with smaller passenger vehicles.
Attorneys Prosecuting Truck Accident Underride Cases in Chicago and the United States
Commercial truck accidents can be complicated to resolve if there is more than one entity liable for injuries and fatalities. To ensure that victims receive the compensation they are entitled to, the expertise of an experienced Illinois truck accident attorney who has successfully prosecuted similar cases.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents people who have been injured in truck accidents throughout Illinois and across the country. We invite you to speak to one of our attorneys for a free consultation where you can discuss your legal rights following a collision involving a truck. Contact us today through our contact form!