When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, few are as horrifying as underrides. An underride accident occurs when a car or motorcycle slides partially or completely beneath the trailer attached to a semi-tuck during a collision. These accidents are devastating, often fatal. Safety features like airbags are completely ineffective in underrides due to the trailers shearing off the tops of passenger vehicles.
Underride accidents frequently result in catastrophic injuries, head and spine trauma, and wrongful deaths. Because of the size and weight of big rigs, it's uncommon for victims to walk away unharmed. The experienced NYC underride accident lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, have helped many injured clients and their families get just compensation for their losses. Call our team at (212) 986-7353 to find out how we can help you.
Underrides occur from one of three directions: from the back, the side, or the front of the semi-truck. Nearly half of fatal underride accidents occur when the passenger vehicle travels under the rear corner of the truck. These accidents typically happen because the truck makes a sudden stop or merge, and the driver behind can’t slow down quickly enough. Other factors for underride accidents include:
- The truck lacked a rear bumper or protective guard (this is illegal in the entire U.S.).
- The underride guards were poorly designed or ineffective.
- The trailer lacked proper lights or reflective tape and was difficult to see.
- The truck driver failed to use warning cones when pulled over on the shoulder of a road.
Federal law requires trucks to have rear underride guards. This has been a key regulation to prevent underrides as a result of rear-end collisions. However, not all rear guards are effective in preventing underrides.
Many trucks utilize older rear guards, which may be rusted or damaged. To get their rear guards approved, trucking companies must merely show that the guards can withstand a stationary pressure test. These tests do not do enough to show whether a guard can withstand the force of a motor vehicle hitting it full-on. There are many times when a rear guard fails in a crash at even moderate speeds.
Though rear guards can be helpful in preventing underrides at the rear of a semi-truck, there is no law mandating side guards to prevent underrides from taking place on the sides of a trailer. Though some trucking companies voluntarily put guards on the sides of their trailers, many do not. This can lead to a deadly accident if a motor vehicle ends up striking the side of a trailer.
The lifted nature of semi-trailers makes them a deadly hazard for any driver who happens to strike them. Victims of underride accidents are at risk of suffering horrific trauma, including:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Paralysis due to spinal cord trauma
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries and lacerations
- Back and neck injuries
In a serious underride crash, victims are lucky to come away with their lives. The harm caused by underrides is emotional, costly, and can be lifelong. Most injured victims will need long-term medical treatment, physical therapy, and assistive devices, placing an unwanted economic burden on the victim and loved ones. In catastrophic injury cases like these, it can be difficult to foresee the long-term medical and financial consequences.
Even though these accidents can destroy a family’s emotional and financial well-being, big insurance providers often dispute these claims on behalf of their powerful trucking company clients. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in New York, it is important to take immediate steps to protect your rights.
The experienced legal team at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, is here to help you get justice. We have recovered millions of dollars for truck accident victims and their families. Let us fight the trucking and insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us at (212) 986-7353 to schedule a free consultation.
Bryce Moses represented a young woman who was run over by a garbage truck in Brooklyn that shattered her ankle in three places.
The plaintiff asserted that the injuries suffered in the collision with the truck will permanently prevent her from working.
Kenneth Halperin, Philip Russotti
Cliff Shapiro and another WRSMH attorney were able to settle a truck accident case for the amount of $3,000,000 on behalf of a 45 year old delivery man from Queens.
Victor Goldblum successfully represented a client who underwent three surgeries as the result of injuries sustained in a truck collision.
Plaintiff sustained multiple injuries when he was rear-ended by a tractor trailer while he was stopped at a traffic light.
Luigi Izzo obtained $2 million for a client who was injured after being rear-ended by a semi-tractor trailer.
Cliff Shapiro obtained a recovery for a 32-year-old male who was in the course of his employment with Access-A-Ride when his vehicle was struck by a flatbed tractor trailer.
WRSMH attorneys obtained a $1,800,000 settlement a year before trial for two plaintiffs who were injured after they were struck by a garbage truck.
Clifford Shapiro, Noah Katz
WRSMH attorneys Clifford Shapiro, Robert Bellinson, and another WRSMH attorney were able to obtain a settlement in the amount of $1,500,000 on behalf of a fifty-one year old librarian from Bronx County.
Clifford Shapiro, Robert Bellinson
This motor vehicle accident involved a 43 year old woman who was rear-ended by a New York City Department of Sanitation truck.
Michael Fitzpatrick, Clifford Shapiro
The plaintiff, a 29 year old male, was injured when he was a back seat passenger of a car that was sideswiped by a commercial truck which caused the car to be pushed off of the road into a tree.
Our client, was stopped at red light when she was rear-ended by a truck. Victor Goldblum was able to obtain $1,500,000 for our client, who required surgery as a result of the crash.
Plaintiff sustained injuries to his knee and spine after his vehicle was rear-ended by a truck.
Philip Russotti and Brielle C. Goldfaden obtained a $1.3 million settlement after jury selection on a trial against the City of New York, the New York City Fire Department and an FDNY employee.
Philip Russotti, Brielle Goldfaden,William Hepner
Our client in this case was a 37-year old man who was injured when his parked school bus was sideswiped by the defendants' commercial truck.
Bryce Moses and another WRSMH attorney were able to obtain a settlement in the amount of $1,150,000 on behalf of our client, a 35-year-old man from Kings County.
Our client was a 60 year old man who was stopped at a red light when defendant, who was driving a mack truck while performing garbage collection in Brooklyn, struck him in the rear.
Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP was able to obtain a settlement in the amount of $750,000 on behalf of our client, a forty year old man from Queens County.
Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP attorney settled the case of our client being rear ended by an electrical contractor truck on the Van Wyck expressway.
The firm was able to obtain a settlement in the amount of $205,000 on behalf of our client, a thirty year old man from Kings County, NY.