A truck underride accident can lead to life-altering injuries for the smaller vehicle’s occupants. Additionally, arguing for fair compensation in an underride accident case can be challenging. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a truck underride accident, you are likely to need an experienced Indiana truck accident attorney.
What Is a Truck Underride Accident?
A truck underride accident is any accident where a smaller vehicle or motorcycle goes under the truck. These types of accidents often encompass shared fault by the smaller vehicle’s driver. The most common underride accident happens when a smaller vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed rear-ends a larger truck traveling at a slower rate of speed or a full stop.
Sometimes, a truck underride accident happens somewhere along the side of the truck trailer, causing the trailer to pass over the top of the smaller vehicle when they collide. These accidents are less common but can happen during improper merging by either the car or the truck or if the truck experiences a jackknife accident and the trailer swings into the other lane or lanes of traffic.
Common Underride Accident Causes
How do underride accidents happen? Common causes of underride accidents include:
- Poor weather or road conditions
- Traffic congestion or a major highway pile-up
- Sudden stopping by a truck due to a malfunction like a tire blow-out
- Distracted driving by the truck driver or vehicle driver
- Defective underride guard or no underride guard installed on the truck
- “Drafting” by the smaller vehicle driver
- Failure to notice other vehicles in a truck’s no-zones
- A speeding vehicle colliding with a truck pulled over on the shoulder
There are many possible ways for an underride accident to occur. Most involve a vehicle driver sharing fault for the accident, which is why it’s important that all drivers watch for hazards on the road and use caution when driving near trucks.
Typical Truck Underride Accident Injuries
Injuries in truck underride accidents are often severe, with most damage occurring around the passenger cabin and roof of the smaller car. The roof is often sheared off or crushed into the cabin space, resulting in crushing injuries or decapitation.
For occupants who survive an underride accident, injuries may include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Crushing injuries
- Limb amputation
- Loss of hearing or vision
Injuries in underride accidents often occur at the head or neck level, leading to catastrophic and life-altering injuries for victims to survive an underride accident.
Seeking Underride Accident Compensation
Indiana implements a 51% modified comparative negligence rule. This means that if you are less than 51% at fault for the accident, you can receive compensation reduced by your percentage of fault. So, if the court awards you $200,000 in damages for your injuries but finds you 40% at fault for the accident, you would receive $120,000. However, if you were 60% at fault, you would not receive compensation.
In an underride accident lawsuit, you can pursue economic and non-economic damages. Your underride accident lawyer can gather the appropriate evidence for your claim and help you argue against the defense claiming that the accident was more than 50% your fault.
Contact an Indiana Truck Accident Attorney With Our Firm
Underride accident cases are difficult to argue without experienced legal representation. Contact us at our firm, Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, to schedule a free consultation with an Indiana truck accident attorney for your truck accident case. Call us today at 317-846-8999 or contact us online to schedule your appointment at one of our locations in Carmel, Anderson, or Indianapolis, IN.