I recently suffered serious head and neck injuries in an underride accident with a truck, but since I rear-ended the trailer, is the wreck my fault?
Underride accidents with big trucks can be deadly, and while you survived, you are likely facing a long and challenging road to recovery. People injured in underride accidents are often unable to return to the workforce for extended periods of time, and with massive medical bills, it is important to ensure that you receive any compensation to which you may be entitled.
Because of the nature of an underride accident—namely, a car rear-ends a tractor trailer—many people are very confused about liability after a crash. Rear-end collisions are almost always an open-and-closed case of liability lying solely with the driver who hit the car in front of him or her. Usually, it is found that the driver was following too closely, going too fast, or simply not paying attention, and their negligence was ultimately responsible for the rear-end collision.
This is where underride accidents get tricky. Yes, you rear-ended the truck, but there are several things that must be examined—were the brake lights on the trailer working? Were you traveling at a reasonable rate of speed and following at a safe distance? Did the truck driver stop short or cut you off? Many of these small details may shift liability away from you and toward a negligent truck driver.
More importantly, even if the cause of the rear-end accident is pinned solely on you, the trailer’s underride guard will come into play. Truck trailers in the United States must have rear underride guards, and these guards must be in good condition. If the severity of your accident was aggravated by the lack of proper underride guards, the trucking company or truck owner could be held liable.
While the insurance companies may intentionally overlook the trucking company’s responsibility to outfit rigs with proper equipment, an experienced truck injury attorney will fight for your rights. If your injuries were partially or wholly the fault of a trucking company’s negligence, you deserve compensation. To learn more, contact the Augusta office of attorney Chris Hudson today.