New Jersey Tractor Trailer Underride Accidents
An underride accident occurs when a car or small truck goes under a semi or trailer. These accidents can be the most serious crashes involving large trucks because the smaller vehicle's passenger compartment is often crushed or its top is torn off completely. Truck underride accidents are almost always fatal for occupants of the smaller vehicle.
They can occur in several ways:
- Poor visibility at night or in the rain can make it difficult to see exactly where the truck is (‘conspicuity’ means how conspicuous or visible the truck is). Poor visibility can also be caused by negligent maintenance of the trailer or improper lighting.
- A car driver may fail to see the truck turning across lanes until it's too late.
- A truck may not see a smaller vehicle in the lane next to it and may change lanes and run over the small vehicle.
- A vehicle involved in a multicar crash may get pushed under a truck in front of it.
If a loved one was injured or died in a truck crash, contact New Jersey truck underride attorney Jeffrey S. Hark at Hark & Hark for a free consultation. Attorney Jeffrey S. Hark has a proven record of success in securing high verdicts for clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases.
Investigating Truck Safety Failures
Federal regulations require trucking companies to use multiple caution lights and reflective devices to increase a truck's visibility. Reflective paint and reflective tape help other drivers see where the truck and trailer bed are in the dark, and they must be kept clean at all times. Reflective hazard signage must be used when trucks are pulled over to the side of the road so motorists do not drive into the rear of the parked vehicle.
Truck guards lower the rear bumper of the truck and/or trailer to prevent cars from going underneath, crushing the car or tearing off its roof. This one piece of safety equipment can be the key to preventing an underride and yet many trucks are not equipped with a guard. This failure can turn a relatively minor fender-bender into a fatal car-truck wreck.
Our trucking accident attorney Jeffrey S. Hark at Hark & Hark has extensive experience holding negligent trucking companies and truck drivers accountable for failing to follow federal regulations regarding reflective devices and proper lighting. We work with investigative experts and witnesses to determine how the accident occurred and whether safety equipment that should have been on the truck was missing. If a loved one has been killed in a fatal truck accident, contact Jeffrey S. Hark for a free consultation.