Some of the most dangerous truck crashes are underride accidents. These arise when a passenger car strikes a truck and then slides underneath its carriage. The resulting injuries may require a lifetime of care or a lengthy rehabilitation period. Our truck accident attorneys can help residents of Miami and other South Florida communities who have been hurt in an underride accident. At the Law Offices, we are dedicated to fighting for the compensation that injured individuals and their families deserve.Holding a Negligent Driver Accountable for an Underride Accident
These types of collisions may occur either when a vehicle rear-ends a truck, causing it to slide underneath the back, or when a vehicle strikes a truck’s side and then slides underneath it. Many factors can play a role in causing an underride accident, including:
- Improper lighting on a truck, such as broken tail or brake lights;
- Slow moving trucks, or those failing to use emergency flashers;
- Improper turns, such as a driver’s failure to use signals; or
- The failure of an underride guard.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires trailers and semi-trailers to install working underride guards to protect drivers and passengers of other vehicles from these kinds of accidents. However, the regulations allow some vehicles to be exempt from the guardrail requirement, a regulatory gap that may result in severe injuries or even tragic deaths.
Underride accidents are often the product of negligence by the truck driver. Someone who is hurt as a result may pursue damages for both economic and non-economic costs and losses, including medical expenses, property damage, loss of income and earning capacity, and pain and suffering. To recover damages, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant acted negligently by showing that four elements were present.
The defendant must have owed the plaintiff a duty of reasonable care, which is always found to apply to anyone operating a motor vehicle. The duty must have been breached, and the crash must have been a direct and foreseeable result of the conduct that breached the duty. In other words, for a victim to be eligible for damages, the accident must have been something that would not have happened if the trucker had met the applicable standard of care. The final step consists of identifying damages that are reasonably quantifiable and not too speculative.
While many truck drivers have limited assets and insurance policies, the companies that employ them usually have more resources with which to compensate victims. In some situations, the trucking company may be held directly liable for causing a crash, such as if it hired a driver who was unfit for the job or if it failed to ensure that the driver was following industry regulations. However, even if the trucking company did not breach its duty of reasonable care, it often may be held vicariously liable for a crash if its driver was acting in the course and scope of employment at the time.Seek Guidance from a Miami Attorney for a Motor Vehicle Collision Case
If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle collision in Miami or the surrounding area, our lawyers can explore the details of your case and discuss your options with you. At the Law Offices, we can offer seasoned and compassionate legal guidance for truck accident victims in Fort Lauderdale and other cities throughout Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade Counties. Call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation about your case.