Underride accidents often result in catastrophic injuries or a tragic death. These are collisions in which a car drives under the rear end of a commercial vehicle, resulting in the crushing of the top of the car, or the top of the car being taken off. In order to prevent serious injuries and deaths, trucks are required to have underride guards. They offer some protection, but many of the people in passenger cars involved in underride accidents continue to die because the guards are not as effective as they could be. If you are injured or a loved one is killed in an underride accident, the Los Angeles truck accident attorneys at Sharifi Firm may be able to help you explore your options.Establishing Liability for Underride Collisions
Underride guards are made up of bars that are below the back of a commercial truck and can stop a car from sliding under the trailer in the event of a rear-end accident. Sometimes these guards are not strong enough, or they may not be designed to protect against certain angles of collision.
The appropriate defendant in an underride case depends on the circumstances of the accident. Often, it is necessary to retain an accident reconstruction expert to determine whether the cause of the collision was a defective underride guard or an improperly maintained truck.
Sometimes truck drivers bear some responsibility for making sure a truck is properly inspected and maintained before taking it out on the road because this is part of the driver's job duties. If the issue is improper maintenance, it may be possible to sue the truck driver for negligence. This means that you will need to establish that the truck driver owed you a duty of care, breached the duty, and caused your injuries by breaching the duty. You also must show that you suffered actual damages. If you establish the driver's negligence, the trucking company may be vicariously (indirectly) liable.
However, in many cases of improper maintenance, you can hold the trucking company directly liable for negligence. Usually trucking companies have significantly more insurance than an individual driver, which means that you may have a better chance to recover the full scope of your damages.
In some cases, an accident reconstruction expert may find that the cause of the accident was defective underride guards. In other words, nothing the driver or trucking company could have done would have made a difference under the circumstances. Underride guards may have a manufacturing defect or a design defect. If you can prove there is a defect, you can file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the guard, or possibly the truck manufacturer.Protect Your Rights by Consulting a Truck Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
Underride accidents are devastating. Due to the severity of the injuries, these collisions can leave families struggling to pay medical bills or destitute. Often, the only recourse is to sue the truck driver and trucking company in order to pursue compensation. Not all personal injury firms are effective advocates for these victims. It is crucial to retain a Los Angeles lawyer with experience litigating these cases. The motor vehicle collision attorneys at Sharifi Firm also represent accident victims in San Bernardino, Victorville, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, and Temecula, among other Southern California cities. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or use our online form to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.