Chattanooga Underride Accident Attorneys

Representing Underride Truck Accident Victims in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama

Underride truck accidents occur when a smaller vehicle collides with the side or rear of a larger vehicle, such as an 18-wheeler truck. These types of accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and even death, as the front or sides of the smaller vehicle can be crushed under the larger truck's wheels. Determining liability for underride truck accidents is complex due to the potential involvement of multiple parties, so it is important to receive legal advice from a qualified attorney when involved in this type of accident scenario.

At The Hamilton Firm, our team is well-versed in how to strategically approach truck accident claims, including those involving devastating underride accidents, in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. Our Chattanooga underride accident lawyers have nearly a century of collective legal experience and are known for their aggressive yet ethical representation of injured victims. With over $100 million secured in judgments and settlements, our track record speaks for itself, and our compassionate team is ready to bring our personal touch and meticulous approach to your case. We will always seek to maximize what you recover and will do everything we can to deliver an optimal outcome.

Our firm handles these cases on a contingency basis, so you will pay nothing unless we win or facilitate a favorable settlement. Contact us online or call (423) 454-3288 to schedule a complimentary case evaluation today.

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Trucking and car accidents can take a toll on your life. Our attorneys are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.

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What Damages Can I Recover for Underride Accident Injuries?

You can generally recover two major types of compensation in an underride accident case: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages, also known as compensatory damages, include all quantifiable, out-of-pocket expenses related to the wreck, while non-economic damages cover less-quantifiable consequences of your injuries. In some rare instances, punitive damages may also be available if a defendant acted maliciously, intentionally, fraudulently, or especially recklessly.

Our Chattanooga underride accident lawyers will fight to get you full and fair compensation for all losses, including:

  • Past, current, and future medical expenses
  • Ongoing or permanent disability
  • Lost income and earning potential
  • Property damage
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium

We want to hear your story and help you understand how we can help you get just compensation for underride accident injuries. One of our attorneys can come to you if you are unable to come to our office, so call (423) 454-3288 or contact us online today.

Underride Accidents, Explained

To understand what underride accidents are and why they happen, we first need to take a look at the components of a large truck or tractor-trailer. Most of these large, commercial vehicles have two key parts: the “vehicle,” also known as the cab or driver compartment, and the “trailer,” which the vehicle pulls. The trailer is what makes the typical commercial truck so immense and dangerous, as its size and weight make the vehicle difficult to maneuver, especially when turning. 

There is generally a significant gap between the bottom of the trailer and the roadway beneath it, creating a “pocket” of space. An underride accident happens when another vehicle, frequently a smaller car, enters that pocket during a collision and slides underneath. Because there is almost always insufficient space for the car to pass completely underneath, the top of the other vehicle is often sheared off, leading to severe injuries and even death.

Underride accidents can occur when a vehicle slides under the trailer’s rear or into its side, typically as the truck attempts to complete a turn or when a truck driver loses control of their vehicle. These collisions frequently happen at night or in poor weather conditions when visibility is reduced. Collisions at high speeds, like those that occur on highways like the I-75, tend to result in even deadlier injuries.

Rear guards are designed to prevent underride accidents and have been mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for decades. Sadly, these rear guards are not always properly maintained or constructed and have been known to fail when it counts. Side guards are also recommended by the NHTSA, but they are not required.

 

Our Chattanooga underride accident attorneys can represent you if you suffered injuries in a wreck caused by:

  • A lack of rear underride guards
  • Improperly maintained or constructed underride guards
  • Defective or improperly maintained reflective tape, taillights, and/or running lights
  • Vehicle equipment failure
  • Insufficient truck maintenance
  • Driving while distracted
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Improper braking
  • Improper turning 
  • A failure to exercise caution during inclement weather
  • An unqualified or inexperienced truck driver

Who Is Liable for an Underride Accident?

Liability may not be straightforward in an underride accident, as there may be multiple layers of ownership and insurance coverage to navigate. The precise cause of the accident as well as any contributing factors will determine who can be held responsible through legal action. For example, if a rear underride guard was properly inspected, installed, and maintained but failed to work as intended during a collision, the manufacturer of the defective guard may be liable for the resulting injuries. Our team at The Hamilton Firm can conduct a complete, detail-oriented investigation that accurately identifies all liable parties.

Depending on the circumstances of the wreck, one or more of the following parties may be liable for an underride accident:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company or broker
  • The owner of the truck
  • The shipper or warehouse involved in the cargo loading
  • The truck or vehicle component manufacturer (including a rear or side underride guard manufacturer)
  • Parties responsible for vehicle maintenance, repairs, and inspections
  • Insurance companies for various parties

What Is the Deadline for Filing an Underride Accident Lawsuit?

You do not have unlimited time to take legal action for underride accident injuries. You must start the legal process before the applicable state’s statute of limitations expires.

In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for truck accidents is only one year from the date of the crash, meaning you must act very quickly. In Georgia and Alabama, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the collision. 

Unfortunately, many underride accidents result in death. If someone you love perished in an underride accident and you have standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you will only have one year from the date of their passing to bring a claim in Tennessee. In Georgia and Alabama, you will have two years from the date of death to file a lawsuit. 

Over $100 Million Recovered for Our Clients

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