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Everything You Need to Know About Underride Crashes

Updated February 23, 2023 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

What is an Underride Crash?

Underride crashes occur when passenger vehicles go partially or completely underneath the back trailer of a commercial semi-truck. By definition, an underride crash requires involvement between two vehicles. Because an automobile hood can easily fit beneath a truck trailer, the most common underride accidents occur between semi-trucks and cars. These collisions are very dangerous and often result in severe trauma or, in some cases, fatalities.

Causes of Underride Crashes

There are many potential causes of underride crashes. Underride crashes can take the form of the following:

  • A front underride crash involving a trailer backing into and over a vehicle
  • A rear underride crash involving a collision in which a vehicle slides under the back of a semi-truck trailer
  • A side underride, or a side-impact collision in which a smaller vehicle slides under the side of a semi-truck trailer

The following factors are commonly involved in underride crashes:

  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Slick roads
  • Driver fatigue
  • Brake failure
  • Driver distraction or inattention
  • Failure to signal a lane change
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving too fast for conditions

Underride crashes can be the fault of either driver involved depending on the circumstances. Crashes can occur simply due to negligence by the truck driver or the operator of the passenger vehicle.

Common Injuries Sustained in Underride Crashes

Numerous injuries and fatalities are recorded each year as a result of underride crashes. Even for those who are fortunate to survive an underride crash, lifelong effects from the accident are often a reality for victims. Some of the most common underride crash injuries include:

If you have been injured, or if a loved one has sustained injuries or died as a result of an underride crash, the attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham are experienced and have helped others receive the compensation they deserve.

 What to Do if You’ve Experienced an Underride Crash

Underride crashes can be incredibly stressful. If you or a loved one have been involved in an underride crash, follow these steps:

  • Seek immediate medical care – if you are able to call for medical assistance, call 911
  • If able, survey the accident for potential collapse or any hazards
  • Collect information from involved parties and any witnesses
  • Gather evidence
  • Contact the attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham

Whether you’ve experienced an underride crash yourself, or have a loved one enduring the traumatic aftermath of one, following the appropriate steps will increase your chances of receiving compensation.

Compensation for Underride Crashes

For victims of auto accidents including underride crashes, compensation can be awarded in different forms. Types of compensation include:

  • Medical bills
  • Loss of wages
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Wrongful death
  • Punitive damages
  • Auto repairs and total loss

Damages or compensation awarded to a victim or a victim’s family of an underride crash will likely depend on detailed circumstances surrounding the incident. Economic damages refer to compensation for medical bills, vehicle damage, or income loss. If a projected loss of income can be shown, you may be awarded for future loss of wages. Non-economic damages can be defined as any emotional distress, pain, or suffering by the victim and/or loss of the victim. In addition, punitive damages may be awarded to the victim as punishment to the person responsible for the injury. 

Determining Liability

When an auto accident occurs, insurers typically know who may be at fault. Investigations may take place based on gathered evidence. However, since insurance companies have a vested interest in the outcome, it is very important that you work with an experienced attorney. Your attorney’s priority will be securing the financial and physical recovery you deserve. At WKW, we understand the stress following a crash and will meet with you to provide a free case evaluation.

Statute of Limitations for Underride Crash Victims

The statute of limitations for filing an underride accident lawsuit in the state of Indiana is two years from the date of the incident. 

Safety Tips to Avoid Underride Accidents

If you are following a commercial truck, avoid driving too closely. Following at a safe distance and allowing room for unexpected stops is very important for the safety of everyone on the roads.

Contact Wilson Kehoe Winingham Today

If you or a loved one have suffered from the effects of an underride crash, you are urged to contact the Indianapolis lawyers at Wilson Kehoe Winingham. With decades of experience, we are here to guide you throughout the legal process to secure the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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