Personal Injury LawyerSan Jose, CA
Personal Injury LawyerSan Jose, CA
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Were You Injured in an Underride Accident?

Our attorneys take on the trucking companies and manufacturers

One of the dangers of tractor-trailers is that they are much higher off the ground than passenger cars, and when a collision occurs, a smaller vehicle can end up sliding under the trailer. This is called an underride crash, and if you’ve been in one, you’ve seen firsthand just how devastating they can be. Underride can crush entire cars and cause victims to sustain permanent and disfiguring injuries. Unfortunately, too many of these crashes are fatal. If you’ve been badly hurt or lost a loved one, you’re looking at a long and challenging road ahead.

We can guide you down that road. The Swanson Law Group has the resources and experience needed to take on the trucking companies and help victims rebuild their lives. Don’t face the trucking company and their insurance company alone. Schedule your free consultation with an experienced underride accident attorney today.

Understanding the legal implications of an underride crash

The mechanics of an underride crash are simple: a smaller vehicle, like a car, van, motorcycle, or SUV, hits the back or side of a tractor-trailer and the force of impact causes it to slide underneath the trailer. This can cause parts of the trailer to enter the cab of the smaller vehicle, causing severe and potentially fatal injury to people inside.

Of course, when a truck is rear-ended, the trucking company will naturally argue that the driver of the rear vehicle is at fault. Truckers are no more capable of controlling the vehicle behind them than any other motorist, after all. However, the truck driver and trucking company are responsible for making sure their vehicle isn’t a hazard to other vehicles, and that includes vehicles approaching from the rear. Some of the reasons a truck driver might be responsible for an underride crash include:

  • The truck was illegally parked in an unsafe location, or the trailer was protruding into the roadway, creating a hazard for other vehicles.
  • The truck’s signal or stop lights were not working, making it difficult for other drivers to see until it was too late to avoid impact.
  • The trucker made an unsafe maneuver, such as a lane change, in front of a car and the other driver had no time to react.
  • The trucker failed to signal before turning, changing lanes, or making another maneuver that required slowing down the truck.

It’s also possible for liability for an underride crash to fall on a third party, such as another motorist. For instance, suppose another car cut in front of the truck, forcing the truck driver to slam on the brakes, causing a chain reaction where a vehicle traveling behind rear-ended the trailer – especially if the rear driver couldn’t see the hazard in front because the truck itself was blocking the view.

Perhaps most importantly, even if the injured motorist is responsible for the crash itself, trucking companies and truck manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that the trailer is protected against the risk of underride. Most tractor-trailers today are equipped with underride guards, but they often fail, especially if they are not properly maintained or if they are hit from an angle. An injured person may be able to take legal action against the manufacturer on the grounds of product liability or against the trucking company on the grounds of negligent maintenance, depending on the facts of the case.

We have the experience and resources to see your case through

Truck accidents are always high-stakes cases, and that goes double when they involve underride. There are almost always multiple insurance companies involved: the cab and the trailer have separate insurance, plus the manufacturer, plus any other involved parties (such as other involved vehicles). Each insurance company has exactly one goal: to protect their bottom line. They think nothing of using blame-shifting, gaslighting and pressure tactics to take advantage of injured people and grieving families. To them, it’s just another day at the office.

To us, you’re someone who has lost one of the most precious things in life, and you deserve an opportunity to rebuild. We’ll listen to your story and give you candid advice on your legal rights and options. If you choose to hire us, we will immediately contact the trucking company, insurance company, and any other interested parties to let them know that you are represented by counsel and they can send all further communications to your attorney. We will be your guide and your shield, protecting your legal rights while you focus on healing.

We will launch an in-depth investigation to get to the bottom of your underride accident and hold the responsible parties accountable, whether that’s the trucking company, truck manufacturer, or another involved party. If you were initially blamed for the accident, that’s not the final word. Our job is to get you answers and find your path to the compensation you need to rebuild your life.

Our policy is to prepare every case we handle for trial because that’s the only way to put real pressure on the insurance company to offer a fair settlement. When they see our track record of results, and knowing we’re prepared to face them in court, they come to the table ready to make a reasonable offer. If they aren’t prepared to pay for the full cost of your injuries, we won’t hesitate to bring your case before a judge and jury. Throughout the process, we’ll keep you informed and make sure you know what to expect at each stage.

A legal team you can count on to level the playing field

You can’t match the trucking company’s resources, but we can. That’s why we work on a contingency fee basis. We invest our own time in money to move your case forward, at no cost to you. If we win, our fee is a percentage of the money we recover for you; if we don’t win, you don’t owe us a penny. Your access to recourse against the trucking company through the legal system shouldn’t depend on your ability to pay.

The key is to act quickly, before legal deadlines expire, and critical evidence disappears or is destroyed. The sooner you talk to an attorney, the sooner we can start protecting your rights and advocating for your needs. There will be more challenges ahead, but you don’t have to face them alone. Contact us today to speak with an experienced underride accident attorney about your case.

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