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Tractor Trailer Underride Collision

Karns & Kerrison

Tractor trailer underride collision occurs when the smaller passenger vehicle goes under the higher and larger trailer of the tractor trailer either from the back or from the side.

These underriding collisions are extremely horrific and one of the most deadly types of crashes.

There are two types of underride collisions. The first is the rear underride collision that occurs when the smaller passenger vehicle goes under the rear of the higher and larger trailer of the tractor trailer. Just because the lower passenger vehicle rear-ends the larger tractor trailer does not mean that the lower passenger vehicle is at fault. Frequently in rear underride collisions with a tractor trailer the lower and smaller passenger vehicle is not at fault and conversely the tractor trailer is at fault.

First of all, liability could be placed on the tractor trailer because it is stopped somewhere it should not be. Secondly, liability can be placed on the tractor trailer as the tractor trailer may have insufficient underride guards on the back of the trailer allowing the smaller vehicle to go under it causing serious injuries. These guards on the back trailer of the tractor trailer are regulated by the US Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

In addition to rear underride collisions there are also side underride collisions usually caused by a lack of conspicuity meaning that the trailer of the tractor trailer, as it is across the roadway when a tractor trailer is pulling out or turning, lacks conspicuity and blends into the darkness or colors of the area without sufficient lightness of color thereby causing the lower passenger vehicle to strike the trailer and go underneath the trailer causing severe injuries. These side underride collisions frequently happen at night regarding trailers that have insufficient markings, reflective tape or reflectors or lighting on the trailers. Once again regulations and requirements of conspicuity markings, lights and reflectors are governed by the US Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration.

These underride collisions with large tractor trailers are extremely dangerous and can be very deadly. Sometimes it is not the smaller and lower passenger vehicle that causes the collision but the tractor trailer as above explained.

Anyone injured operating a passenger vehicle in one of these type collisions should have an extremely experienced tractor trailer collision lawyer represent them. Karns & Kerrison is extremely experienced in representing victims of large tractor trailer collisions. Karns & Kerrison has offices on Cranston, Rhode Island, East Providence, Rhode Island and Middletown, Rhode Island serving all of Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts regarding tractor trailer collisions.


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If you or your loved one suffered severe, life-altering injuries due to someone else’s negligence, we are here to help you fight for justice. For answers to your questions or to schedule a free consultation, contact our personal injury team at (888) 281-3100. We offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay attorneys’ fees after we have recovered compensation on your behalf.

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