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Hughes & Coleman represent clients throughout Tennessee and Kentucky. Contact us today at our office in Nashville, TN, to schedule a free case evaluation. Your initial consultation is absolutely free, and we work on a contingency fee basis, so we don’t get paid until you receive financial compensation.

Semis, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and other large commercial vehicles are common sights on I-24, I-64, I-40, and along the many other busy roadways in Nashville, TN. As you drive alongside these large trucks, your own vehicle’s size likely pales in comparison. Due to the size difference, anyone who collides with a commercial truck may be left with serious injuries, perhaps even experiencing override or underride accidents, both of which can have devastating results.

If you or someone you love has been involved in such an accident, the truck accident lawyers at Hughes & Coleman can help you get the justice and financial compensation you deserve. We firmly believe that negligent truck drivers and trucking companies should be held liable for their actions. Our legal team has the experience, skills, and resources necessary to handle complex truck accident cases.

What is an Underride Truck Accident?

When it comes to catastrophic truck accidents, few are as deadly as underrides. An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle—such as a car, van, or motorcycle—collides with a large truck and the smaller vehicle gets crushed under the side or rear of the tractor-trailer.

The tractor-trailer has higher ground clearance and often allows enough room for the hood of a smaller vehicle to fit underneath but with the windshield, roof, and passenger area sheared off. These horrifying accidents almost always cause serious injuries or death.

What Factors Contribute to Underride Accidents?

Underride accidents are typically the fault of the truck driver. The following are negligent acts that have lead to underride accidents:

  • No underride guards were installed. Since 1999, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) has required trucks to be equipped with underride guards. These guards are designed to prevent smaller vehicles from getting crushed under the trailer. Some companies haven’t installed these guards on their fleet, perhaps in an effort to save money, and they install old trailer guards which are damaged or rusted.
  • Reflective tape wasn’t applied. The FMCSA also required trucks to use reflectors or reflective tape on the body of the trailer. Many underride accidents take place at night; it’s possible that these could’ve been prevented if the reflective tape was properly installed and maintained.
  • Dangerous weather or road conditions. Snow, sleet, and ice can leave roads slippery making it difficult for large trucks to slow down or stop. Once a truck begins sliding, the trailer may then jackknife, leading to an underride accident. Heavy rain and fog cause poor visibility which can also contribute to an underride collision.
  • Broken brake or tail lights. If a truck’s taillights or brake lights are broken, improperly maintained, or covered in dirt or snow, a person driving behind may not be able to see the truck. This is especially true in low-light conditions like heavy fog.
  • Improper lane change or turn. When a driver makes a negligent turn or lane change, passenger vehicles can crash on either side, causing an underride situation. Drivers must be cautious to check their blind spots before turning and make sure to use turn signals.
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What is an Override Accident?

An override accident occurs when a large truck is unable to stop and runs over the smaller vehicle—or vehicles—in front of them. These horrible accidents are just as deadly as underride collisions. In these types of accidents, the passenger vehicle may get lodged under the body of the truck or trailer and be dragged for some distance.

These tragedies are often caused by driver negligence or poor truck maintenance. The following are common causes of override accidents:

  • The truck driver tailgating the vehicle ahead
  • The truck driver is speeding and isn’t able to stop fast enough
  • Poor weather conditions and reduced visibility
  • Tire blowout, brake failure, or other mechanical issues
  • The vehicle in front of the truck comes to a sudden stop

Override and Underride Accidents Cause Severe Injuries

Underride and override accidents almost always result in serious injury or death. Victims may need therapy and other long-term medical treatment. Wrongful death lawsuits are common with these types of accidents, and victims that manage to survive are often faced with severe, life-threatening injuries such as:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Neck injury
  • Paralysis
  • Lacerations
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Amputations

Truck accidents leave victims traumatized not only physically but emotionally as well. After the accident, victims may be struggling to heal physically, cope with mental anguish, and manage mounting medical bills. This is too much for any one person to handle on his or her own.

We want to take some of this huge burden off of your shoulders. Call Hughes & Coleman today to see how we can help. After taking your case, we will launch a thorough investigation into the accident and handle all negotiations with the trucking company and insurers. While we defend your legal rights, you can focus on more important matters—healing and caring for your loved ones.

Trucking Accidents are Complex Cases

When you’re in a truck accident, you don’t just have to deal with the other driver and his or her insurance company—there may be multiple parties involved. You could be negotiating with the truck driver, the trucking company, and the truck manufacturer. Plus, each of these parties may have their own lawyers and insurance companies.

Trucking companies will begin their own investigation immediately after the accident. These companies have extensive resources, including a team of attorneys and experts working for them. They will go to great lengths and may use ruthless tactics to deny any guilt in the accident.

Insurance companies will likely try to offer you a quick payout in the hopes of making your claim go away. We strongly advise you not to accept their offer before speaking to a lawyer. The amount they are offering likely won’t even cover your medical expenses and lost wages.

We believe that negligent trucking companies, truck manufacturers, and drivers should be held accountable for their actions. The legal team at Hughes & Coleman will make sure that you aren’t taken advantage of by greedy insurance companies and their insurers.

How Hughes & Coleman Help You After Your Truck Accident

The lawyers at Hughes & Coleman have extensive experience in handling truck accident cases throughout Tennessee and Kentucky, along with the skills and resources necessary to make sure you get the financial compensation you are due. We have seen the trauma that truck accidents cause and we want to help. Contact us online or call our Nashville, TN, office to schedule a free initial consultation.

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