There are over 4,000 truck-related fatalities in the United States each year, with Georgians representing 5% of this tragic statistic. In 2000, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was formed to regulate the trucking industry in an effort to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities associated with large commercial motor vehicles. While the agency’s efforts have deceased the national average, there is one glitch that incessantly hinders their goals: the profit-minded trucking companies.
Although trucking companies have implemented revolutionary safety measures in accordance with the FMSCA’s regulations, truckers are still pressured to engage in risky driving behaviors just to meet unreasonable company goals and deadlines. These reckless business choices frequently result in driver fatigue, rollover incidents, deadly equipment failures, and, of course, underride accidents.
When a collision occurs -particularly an underride accident – there is a 90% chance that the occupants of a passenger vehicle will be killed. The rare survivor usually sustains catastrophic injuries that necessitate lifelong medical treatments, rehabilitative services, and professional care services. In most cases, the injury is so debilitating that a survivor is incapable of holding gainful employment or maintaining their prior lifestyle. To alleviate their injury-related debts and preserve their standard of living, they need to pursue monetary damages by filing a claim against the negligent parties responsible for the accident.
What Is an Underride Accident?
This deadly accident occurs when a passenger vehicle slides under the trailer of a slow-moving or stalled commercial motor vehicle. Underride accidents are incredibly dangerous because passenger cars can get pinned, crushed, and even dragged by a truck’s trailer.
There are three types of underride accidents, which are determined by the point of impact:
- Rear underride collisions
- Front underride collisions
- Side underride collisions
In most incidents, the top of the passenger vehicle is flattered, penetrated, or sheared off, resulting in catastrophic and even fatal passenger injuries.
An underride accident can result in the following catastrophic injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck or spinal cord damage
- Internal organ damage
- Burn injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
Who Can Be Held Liable for an Underride Accident?
Many plaintiffs struggle to secure compensation in the aftermath of a serious commercial motor vehicle accident. Oftentimes, this is because multiple parties can be held accountable for a single accident, which means that different insurance companies may have to get involved. It’s important that you schedule a consultation with an attorney before engaging with a claims adjuster or accepting a settlement offer. The defendant’s insurance company may try to offer you a lowball settlement that doesn’t cover the entirety of your projected losses and debts.
The following parties can be held responsible for a underride collision:
- The trucking company
- The cargo company
- The truck manufacturer
- The trucker
At Pratt Clay, LLC, we can investigate your case, identify the negligent parties, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Unlike the defendant’s insurer, our singular priority is to help you secure a monetary settlement or verdict that facilitates your physical and financial recovery.
A successful lawsuit can yield the following compensatory damages:
- Existing and projected medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Ongoing professional care fees
- Lost income
- Loss of earning potential
- Various non-economic damages
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
In the last three years, the attorneys at Pratt Clay, LLC have secured over $80 million in verdicts and settlements. If you or a loved one has been harmed by the actions of a negligent trucker, contact our firm as soon as possible. Our trial-tested legal team has the skills, experience, and resources to fiercely litigate against corporate legal teams and shrewd insurance companies on your behalf.