Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP

Southern California Personal Injury & Business Lawyers

951.813.2614 Murrieta
619.618.2979 San Diego

Underride guards can prevent truck accident fatalities

Motor vehicle accidents on California highways can be particularly dangerous when they involve large commercial trucks. These vehicles are much bigger and heavier than passenger cars, and they are designed in a way that could allow passenger cars to roll beneath them. An underride truck accident occurs when a passenger car goes underneath a tractor-trailer from the back or side of the truck.

Underride truck accidents usually cause the top part of the passenger car to be completely destroyed. As a result, the occupants of the passenger car in an underride accident may be killed. Commercial truck owners can prevent underride accidents by outfitting their trucks with underride guards.

Though underride guards have been mandatory for commercial trucks since 1953, the law only requires the guards to be placed on the backs of trucks. There are also no legal standards concerning the quality level of underride guards, and some low-quality guards do not provide a sufficient barrier. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has recently proposed updates to existing underride guard standards for commercial trucks. A spokesman for the NTSB said that it is incredible that underride accidents still occur when guards have been available for so long.

When truck driver negligence causes an accident, people in other vehicles can suffer catastrophic injuries that can require months of expensive medical care. Injured victims may be unable to ever return to gainful employment, further worsening their financial condition. An attorney might assist in seeking compensation for those losses by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver and, where appropriate, the driver's employer.

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