What are override and underride truck accidents?

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An override accident occurs when a semi-truck or any other large commercial vehicle runs over a passenger vehicle, crushing it beneath it. An underride truck accident occurs when a passenger car collides with the rear or side of a truck, sliding underneath it. These accidents are quite common, and many of them prove fatal. In fact, an estimated 55 percent of all fatal truck accidents are underride collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Causes for Override and Underride Accidents

Override – There are a lot of possible contributing causes of override accidents. In many cases, the truck driver miscalculates the distance between the truck and passenger car or simply tailgates and doesn’t provide enough space to stop in time. Poor weather and road conditions can affect the driver's visibility and cause the truck to skid, which can also cause an override accident. Defects in the truck’s brakes or tires can contribute to an accident as well.

Underride – Likewise, there are several factors that can cause an underride accident. Drivers who tailgate obviously put themselves at risk, but sometimes a truck may turn or stop without warning. In many cases, the driver simply doesn’t see the truck. This is a huge problem at night, when the bed of a truck can remain completely invisible until the driver is right up on it. Trucks are required by law to have reflective tape along the side of the trailer to increase visibility, but the tape often gets worn or dirty and does little good. Plus, most trucks lack underride guards, which could do a world of good in preventing these types of serious collisions.

Damages in Serious Truck Accidents

The front of most passenger cars stands 30 inches or less. The trailer of a semi sits 45 inches high. So when a car collides with the back or side of a truck, it can instantly slide right under, crushing the front of the car and the occupants. The injuries are generally catastrophic -- if not fatal -- and the damages are substantial.

If you were hurt in an underride or override accident or if your loved one was killed in one, you will want to speak to an attorney immediately about your case. There are steps you and your lawyer must take to preserve your claim. If you reside in Washington, you are welcome to call our truck accident lawyer at Max Meyers Law for a consultation. We will review your case, determine if negligence contributed to the accident, and then help you seek compensation for damages via an injury or wrongful death claim against the liable party.

Contact us today for a free consultation at 425-399-7000 or fill out our online contact form.

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.