At Barrus Injury Lawyers, we always remind our clients to be cautions whenever they drive around 18-wheeler trucks in Texas, the better to protect themselves from an underride accident. Here are some crucial factors to know about underride crashes involving big rigs.
1.High Ground Clearances are the Danger
Tractor-trailer trucks are designed with high ground clearances to accommodate the tremendously heavy loads (often up to 40 tons) they carry while moving across varying road conditions. However, these high clearances also allow automobiles to pass partially and even fully under the truck during a high-speed collision—an accident that can cause severe injuries, or worse, fatalities.
2.Collisions with Rear Guards
Close to 20 percent of vehicle collisions with big rigs involve impact with the rear end of the truck. Because of the potential danger of underride accidents, the federal government has required the installation rear-impact guards on all 18-wheeler trucks.
However, that hasn’t changed the incidence or severity of accidents. Several studies on automobile crashes show that rear guards do little to prevent underride incidents, simply because several rear guards don’t extend all the way to the back of the truck, while others just aren’t strong enough to prevent a car going at high speeds from slamming under the truck.
Despite the high prevalence of side-impact collisions, many of which occur at night when drivers may find it hard to see big rigs with inadequate lights, it’s still rare to see side-impact guards on 18-wheelers. Side-impact crashes are just as dangerous and common as rear-end collisions due to the high ground clearance on large trucks.
Perhaps the worst part about underride accidents involving big rigs is how they often result in the roof of an automobile being crushed or its upper compartment being completely torn away. This can lead to several different kinds of severe injuries, ranging from brain trauma, spinal and neck injuries, internal bleeding, to lacerations, amputations, and crushed limbs. And that’s if the passengers survive, as the death rate of these accidents can be very high.
5.Problems Getting Proper Compensation for Accident Injuries
The legal team at Barrus Injury Lawyers has firsthand experience dealing with trucking companies and the insurance companies that represent them, knowing how they’re actively working to reduce accident claims from injured parties. These companies employ high-profile and expensive lawyers who know how to evade the legitimate claims of injured individuals, even pinning the blame on them just to minimize the amount of money trucking and insurance companies have to award to claimants.
If you’re facing this situation, find relief by calling Barrus Legal Lawyers. Build a successful claim for wrongful death or personal injuries with the help of our legal team. Call us at (210) 593-8709 for a free, no-obligation consultation. And while you’re at it, download a FREE copy of our book, “10 Deadly Mistakes That Can Kill Your Texas Accident Claim,” to know what your rights are in these accidents.