KFVS Channel 12 reported that on February 3, 2017 a 55-year-old Kentucky driver, Keith Brown, was injured when his vehicle rear-ended a semi-truck and trailer on Highway 641 North in Kentucky. The accident happened near Max Hurt Drive while the semi-truck was stopped at a red light. Mr. Brown’s vehicle was partially pinned under the trailer. The Murray Police Department, Murray Fire Department, a local emergency medical service, and other state and local agencies helped extricate Mr. Brown so he could be flown to Vanderbilt Hospital for medical care.
The dangers of truck underride accidents
Large trucks, such as semis, have a high clearance area under the body of the truck. Many cars that rear-end this type of truck slide under it because the hood of the car is lower than the clearance height. Even the roofs of some cars can slide under the truck, pining the entire car. Often, the hood or windshield will shear off the car, causing additional dangers for any occupants of the smaller vehicle. Cars who strike a large commercial truck from the side can also slide under the truck’s carriage.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does require that commercial trucks have rear-underride guards. The guards are supposed to stop cars from sliding under the truck. There are no NHTSA standards, though. The quality of the guards is dependent on the manufacturer and which vendor the truck owner uses. The NHTSA does not currently require side guards.
Truck underride accidents can cause death, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, amputations, and other life-threating and long-term physical harm. Damages in these types of crashes include payment of all hospital and doctor bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and other expenses such as medications. If the truck owner failed to have guards on the truck, punitive damages can also be sought.
Even though the car driver rear-ended the truck, the trucking company and the manufacturer of any guard rails on the truck may be liable for turning what should have been a minor accident into a major one.
If you were hurt, or someone you know was killed due to a truck underride accident, the Kentucky truck accident lawyers at Crandall & Pera Law have the experience you need. We have the resources and skills to hold all responsible parties accountable for wrongful death and serious injuries. For help now, please call us at 877.651.7764. You can also fill out our contact form to make an appointment.