Defective Underride Guards

If you’ve ever witnessed or been in an underride accident with a big truck, you know the consequences can be devastating to everyone involved. Sliding under a big rig can lead to enormous medical bills and long-term care, assuming you survive. That’s why you need to rely on New Jersey attorneys with the most experience in handling these awful accident cases. Call the experts in NJ truck laws and litigation at RAM Law. You need this type of high-caliber representation, especially if the underride guards on the truck were defective.

What Is an Underride Accident?

Some of the worst devastation truck accidents cause happen when a smaller vehicle hits the back or side of a big rig truck and slides underneath the trailer. This type of accident can be deadly to vehicle passengers even when traveling at low speeds. Pedestrians and bicyclists may also be victims of this kind of accident.

There are many causes of truck accidents, and unfortunately the cause is sometimes related to product defects, such as defective underride guards or bad brakes. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation. For expert representation after a New Jersey truck accident, contact the team with extensive experience in underride and other types of truck accidents at RAM Law.

What Makes Underride Guards Defective?

An underride guard is an essential piece of safety equipment on an 18-wheeler. The purpose of underride guards is to prevent a smaller vehicle from ending up under the truck in the event of a wreck.

Causes of defective underride guards include:

  • Poor design. If an underride guard isn’t designed properly, it may have insufficient reinforcement to stop it from breaking or bending on impact.
  • Neglected maintenance. When trucks aren’t maintained properly, underride guards that have become rusty or have been damaged in a wreck aren’t repaired or replaced promptly, making them ineffective.

Even if the underride guards themselves aren’t defective, they don’t serve their purpose if they’re the wrong size for the truck or not installed correctly. Guards that aren’t tightly attached to the truck can become loose and fall off. If they’ve been placed too high on a vehicle, they may not protect other vehicles from being dragged under the truck in a collision.

What Injuries Can Be Caused by Defective Underride Guards?

Some of the most devastating injuries occur in underride accidents. In many cases, in fact, these accidents result in fatalities.

Those who survive may suffer catastrophic injuries such as:

These injuries can lead to astronomical medical expenses that include hospital stays, physical therapy, medications and visits to specialists. If your injuries are permanent, you may lose your earning capability while you struggle with bills for medical care you need for the rest of your life.

How Do Underride Accidents Happen?

There are many situations that can trigger an underride accident. Many have to do with visibility.

Some examples of causes of underride accidents include:

  • A large truck is changing lanes, making a turn or blocking the road, but due to darkness or headlight glares from oncoming traffic, the driver of a car doesn’t see the truck.
  • The truck has burned out taillights, making it difficult to see clearly.
  • Visibility is reduced because of adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow or fog.

Truck drivers are expected to make sure their vehicle is safe to drive. Many injuries sustained from a truck accident can be prevented with proper maintenance to the truck, including properly installed underride guards. All lights on the truck need to be working correctly and truck drivers need to use extra caution when entering a road or highway. If a truck is disabled by the side of the road, the truck driver must use road flares to make the truck more visible to other drivers.

Find specialists in the field of personal injury law if you’ve sustained injuries from a truck accident. Contact the experts at RAM Law. They have extensive experience representing clients who’ve been injured in many different types of NJ truck accidents, including those with commercial trucks, semi-trucks, and dump trucks.

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