Truck Accident Attorney Beverly Hills & Los Angeles, CA
Big-rigs and 18-wheelers weigh tens of thousands of pounds. Legally, the maximum amount of weight that a truck may carry is 80, 000 pounds. Knowing this, the sheer weight of these trucks brings tremendous force when involved in a collision, and puts all surrounding drivers involved. Without proper safety protocols in place, a smaller vehicle could become lodged underneath the trailer’s truck, which is called an underride accident.
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Rear Guards Insufficient to Protect Drivers
Underride accidents are among the most deadly of truck accidents—according to reports from the Fatality Analysis Report System and the National Automotive Sampling System, they account for an average of 20% of truck accident fatalities. Due to the high fatality rate of underride truck accidents, trucks in the U.S. were required to be fitted with safety equipment, and many trucks now have rear-guards to prevent underride accidents.
However, a recent study has found that while underride guards have become more common in the U.S., the standard strength of the guards is insufficient to protect drivers in collisions. In contrast, Canadian safety standards are fully able to prevent cars from riding under the truck. As a result, authorities in the trucking industry are reevaluating their rear-guard strength standards.
According to the study, conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the issue is that the connection between the truck and the rearguard is far weaker than it should be. As a result, even low-speed collisions cause it to give out and allow cars to become crushed under the truck. In the study, they tested collisions at only 35 mph, which is a generous speed considering the high-velocity circumstances of most trucking accidents.
Causes of Underride Accidents
Many factors can cause truck accidents, including underride accidents. Sometimes it may be due to a truck that is too heavy, speeding, or a truck is poorly maintained. Underride guards should be installed on every big rig, but when these are either absent or not well-taken care of, can fail to prevent accidents.
These are other common causes, including the following:
- Drowsy driver
- Defective truck equipment
- Drunk driving
- Inexperienced driving
- Dangerous road or bad weather conditions
- Potholes, debris, and other road hazards
- Other negligent drivers causing a crash
Injuries that can happen in an underride accident can include head, neck, or spine injuries. Debris from the collision may pierce or impale victims as well. Some accidents can even result in very catastrophic injuries. This is particularly why you need a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer to go over every detail of the incident with you.
There are so many factors that could contribute to truck accidents; we may find the truck driver, manufacturer of your vehicle, or manufacturer of the truck responsible for the accident and your injuries. Our understanding of personal injury law can help you seek the maximum and rightful amount of restitution that is available.
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E&L, LLP, has cultivated attorneys who are prepared to represent plaintiffs in complex personal injury, product liability, and car accident cases. If you have questions about your rights and options following an automobile defect, our team is readily available to help.