Birmingham Underride Truck Collision Lawyer
It's Important to Make a Truck Underride Accident Claim
Tractor-trailers are much larger than standard-sized cars. Not only do they weigh many more tons than typical cars, but they're also much longer and sit much higher above the ground. Because of these size differences, when a car hits the rear or side of the tractor-trailer, the car can actually slide underneath the truck. This is known as a truck "underride" accident, and they can be so deadly that the United States Department of Transportation has issued regulations surrounding them.
When a truck underride accident occurs, the roof of the passenger car is crushed or ripped off entirely. In addition, the truck often crashes into the interior of the car, making these accidents fatal more often than not. The typical car is simply not equipped to handle the impact that underrides bring, leaving the car practically demolished with the safety of the lives inside left at serious risk. It's a risk many in Alabama aren't aware of, but the trucking companies have known about it for years, and here at Guster Law Firm, LLC, we're also all too familiar with them.
Underride Accidents and the DOT
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) is also aware of the risk of underride accidents and has issued regulations meant to prevent more underride accidents from occurring. To comply with these regulations, any trailer or semitrailer made after January 26, 1998, and that has a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds or more, must have an underride guard on the rear of the trailer. Trailers or semitrailers made after January 26, 1998, must also have rear underride guards, but the requirements on these vehicles aren't nearly as strict.
The DOT defines a rear underride guard as "a device installed on or near the rear of the vehicle so that when the vehicle is struck from the rear, the device limits the distance that the striking vehicle's front end slides under the rear of the impacted vehicle." Currently, the DOT only requires rear underride guards, although some are arguing that side underride guards should also be required.
Why You Need to File a Claim for a Truck Underride Accident in Alabama
Adding even more misfortune to the situation, when people are involved in a truck underride accident, they often don't come forward to try and press charges or seek compensation. Most often this is because truck underride accidents are rear-end accidents, and the driver of the car often thinks that they're at fault.
While it's true that the person who rear-ends another car is typically thought to be at fault for any accident, underride accidents are a bit different. They can occur when the driver of the truck makes an improper turn or lane change, and if prevention tactics such as underride guards weren't present on the truck or weren't installed properly, the trucking company could be at fault for the accident.
It's for this reason that it's so important that you file a claim if you or a loved one has been injured in a truck underride accident. Rear-ending someone does not automatically make it your fault, especially when it comes to underride accidents. Here at Guster Law Firm, LLC, we know the devastating effects these accidents can have, and we know how to help to try and make it right. Call us today at (205) 581-9777 to speak to one of our Birmingham trucking accident attorneys. We know about the risk of underride accidents in Alabama, and we want to try and help those that have been injured by them.