People tend to have a very black-and-white view of fault in motor vehicle collisions. Commonly, there is an assumption that one of the drivers involved in the wreck must be to blame for the crash. That is frequently true. Small mistakes on the part of someone in control of a motor vehicle can have catastrophic consequences for them or someone near them in traffic.
When the person making a mistake is at the wheel of a commercial truck, the outcome could be truly tragic. Of course, crashes of all kinds sometimes occur due to numerous mistakes from multiple people or through situations outside of the control of the drivers involved in the wreck.
Underride collisions are among the most severe crashes that occur between commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles. Sometimes, the commercial transportation company may be partially to blame for an underride collision.
Companies don’t invest enough in equipment
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains certain standards for commercial vehicle safety, including requirements for rear underride guards on the trailers of big rigs. However, a look at the outcome of modern crashes makes it clear that the current underride guard requirements are insufficient.
The underride guards may fail during a crash due to inadequate strength or advanced age. Sometimes, they offer little help because of the angle of approach of the smaller vehicle. Many safety experts recommend specific models of underride guards, but trucking companies just ignore those recommendations.
They would rather save money stalling safety equipment or maintaining their vehicles than to have the safest fleet possible. The same profit motive often affects decisions related to side underride guards. Only vehicles that cross the border into Canada typically require them, and their absence can directly lead to a preventable side underride collision.
In a scenario where someone suffers severe injuries or loses a family member because of an underride crash, there may be several forms of compensation available. In addition to a commercial insurance claim against the policy carried by the transportation company, there may also be grounds for a civil lawsuit when someone can show negligence or misconduct on the part of the driver or their employer.
Pursuing the right path to justice can help reduce your losses after a commercial vehicle crash.