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Some of the deadliest types of crashes are underride and override truck accidents. Those who survive may suffer from severe or disabling injuries. Proving fault is important if a victim or the family of a loved one killed wishes to pursue legal action.

What are underride/override accidents and what causes them?

A truck accident of the underride variety occurs when a vehicle crashes into a truck and slides underneath. It usually happens in the back or on the side of the truck because the trailer is higher. An underride accident is more likely to occur with a smaller vehicle.

The cause of an underride accident is sometimes the result of a vehicle following the truck too closely. But it can also happen in a chain-reaction crash. A vehicle struck from behind then may crash into the back of another car. That car is then pushed into (and underneath) the back of a truck.

There are many other causes of a truck accident, underride or override, which could be the fault of others, including the truck driver. An investigation will help determine liability.

In an override truck accident, the truck rides over the vehicle. This can happen in a head-on collision, especially when it involves high speeds. But a truck also can ride over the back of a vehicle. One of the three tips for safe driving around trucks at night is always to use your turn signals and headlights.

Again, conducting an investigation will help determine fault in an override truck accident. One example is a truck driver who falls asleep at the wheel and veers into the lane of oncoming traffic. Another is when a truck has been tailgating a vehicle that suddenly slows down. The truck may not have enough time to stop before colliding and riding over the vehicle.

What factors may affect liability in underride/override accidents?

Negligence is the most important consideration when it comes to determining liability in an override truck accident. This requires looking at the actions of all involved drivers including, for example, traffic violations such as speeding or running a red light. Another is learning if distractions such as using a cellphone or eating were an issue. Impairment is another type of negligence. This could include intoxication or use of a prescription medication that causes drowsiness. Fatigue is many times an issue with truck drivers.

Although it’s important to look at the actions of the drivers, there could be other factors involved, such as the truck itself. To help prevent an underride accident, trucks must have guards across the back of them that are low enough to stop a smaller car from sliding underneath.

If the truck was missing a guard or wasn’t the appropriate height, this could factor into a claim. Although it might not have prevented an accident, it may have avoided the severe or fatal injuries suffered.

Is it necessary to hire an attorney after an underride/override truck accident?

It’s critical for a victim to secure legal counsel if a truck crash resulted in serious injuries. The same is true for family if they lost a loved one in an accident. A claim can address the financial, physical and emotional losses suffered. An attorney at Julie Johnson Law can help with establishing fault and collecting the evidence necessary, so begin your truck accident claim now: 214-290-8001.