Houston Underride Accident Attorneys
Understanding Underride Accidents
Underride accidents are catastrophic collisions that occur when a smaller vehicle crashes into the rear, side, or front of a truck and slides underneath it, resulting in severe injuries or fatalities. These accidents pose a significant threat to road users in Houston and require diligent legal representation to seek justice and fair compensation.
At Potts Law Firm, our team of skilled underride accident lawyers is dedicated to helping victims and their families navigate the complexities of these cases. We understand the devastating impact that underride accidents can have on individuals' lives, both physically and emotionally. Our compassionate approach ensures that we provide unwavering support while vigorously fighting for the rights of our clients.
With our in-depth knowledge of trucking laws and regulations, we are equipped to handle even the most challenging cases. We meticulously analyze the circumstances surrounding the accident, gathering essential evidence to establish liability and build a compelling legal strategy. Our goal is to hold the responsible parties accountable and secure the maximum compensation possible.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an underride accident, we are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our experienced lawyers. We will listen to your story, assess your case, and guide you through the legal process with professionalism and dedication. Let us fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.
Contributing Factors to Underride Accidents
Underride accidents can occur due to various factors, all of which can significantly increase the risk of these devastating collisions.
- Poor visibility is a common contributing factor, especially during adverse weather conditions or at night.
- Driver negligence, such as distracted driving or failure to maintain a safe following distance, also plays a significant role in underride accidents.
- Inadequate truck lighting is another factor that can contribute to these accidents. When a truck's lights are not properly maintained or positioned, it becomes challenging for other drivers to see the truck, increasing the likelihood of underride collisions. Improper maintenance, including issues with brake lights or reflective surfaces, can further exacerbate the risk.
- Insufficient underride guards, designed to prevent smaller vehicles from sliding underneath trucks, can also contribute to the severity of underride accidents. When these guards are not properly installed, maintained, or meet the necessary safety standards, they may fail to provide adequate protection during a collision.
Determining the factors that contributed to an underride accident requires a thorough investigation. Our experienced underride accident attorneys have the knowledge and resources to analyze the details of the accident and identify the responsible parties. We work tirelessly to build a strong case on behalf of our clients and ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.
Types of Underride Accidents
Underride accidents can occur in various forms, each presenting its own set of risks and challenges.
- The most common type is rear underride accidents, where a vehicle collides with the back of a truck and slides underneath it. This type of accident often occurs due to inadequate braking, poor visibility, or distracted driving. Rear underride accidents can result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities due to the direct impact on the passenger compartment of the smaller vehicle.
- Side underride accidents happen when a vehicle crashes into the side of a truck and becomes lodged beneath it. These accidents can occur when a truck makes a sudden lane change without proper signaling or fails to yield the right of way. Side underride accidents are particularly dangerous because they can crush the passenger compartment, causing severe injuries or death.
- Front underride accidents involve a vehicle striking the front of a truck, typically at high speeds. These accidents can occur when a truck suddenly stops or when a driver fails to maintain a safe distance. Front underride accidents often result in significant damage to both vehicles and can cause life-altering injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
Federal and State Regulations for Truck Safety
Federal and state regulations play a crucial role in ensuring truck safety and preventing underride accidents. These regulations encompass various aspects, including requirements for underride guards, reflective tape, and other safety measures that trucks must adhere to.
- Underride guards, also known as rear impact guards or rear underride protection systems, are designed to prevent smaller vehicles from sliding underneath the back of a truck during a collision. Federal regulations mandate the use of underride guards on most commercial trucks. These guards must meet specific standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to ensure their effectiveness in preventing underride accidents.
- Reflective tape is another important safety measure. It enhances the visibility of trucks, especially during low-light conditions. Federal regulations specify the placement and requirements for reflective tape on trucks to improve their visibility to other motorists.
Violation of these regulations can significantly contribute to the severity of underride accidents. When a truck fails to comply with the mandated safety measures, it increases the risk of catastrophic injuries or fatalities in the event of a collision. Proving violations of these regulations is a critical aspect of building a strong legal case in underride accident claims.
Liable Parties in Underride Accidents
In underride accidents, multiple parties can potentially be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. These parties may include:
- Truck drivers can be held accountable if their negligence, such as speeding, distracted driving, or violating traffic laws, contributed to the underride accident.
- Trucking companies may also share liability if they failed to properly train their drivers, enforce safety protocols, or adequately maintain their vehicles.
- Additionally, maintenance providers can be held responsible if their negligence in inspecting or repairing the truck's components played a role in the accident.
In some cases, manufacturers of trucks or their components may be liable if defects or design flaws contributed to the accident or worsened its consequences. This can include issues with underride guards, brakes, lights, or other critical safety features.
Damages and Compensation for Underride Accident Victims
Victims of underride accidents may be entitled to various types of damages and compensation. These can include:
- Medical expenses: Compensation for past, current, and future medical bills related to the accident, including hospitalization, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and ongoing care.
- Lost wages: Reimbursement for the income lost due to the inability to work during the recovery period, as well as compensation for reduced earning capacity in the future.
- Pain and suffering: Compensation for the physical and emotional pain, anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life caused by the accident and resulting injuries.
- Property damage: Coverage for the repair or replacement of the damaged vehicle or other personal property involved in the accident.
- Wrongful death benefits: In cases where the underride accident results in a fatality, surviving family members may be eligible for compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and the emotional trauma of losing a loved one.
Calculating the appropriate amount of compensation requires a comprehensive evaluation of the specific circumstances, including the severity of injuries, long-term effects, and the impact on the victim's life and livelihood.
The Importance of Thorough Investigations
A thorough investigation is paramount in building a strong legal case for an underride accident claim. Gathering the right evidence is crucial to establish liability and demonstrate the extent of the damages suffered.
The following types of evidence are often crucial in such cases:
- Accident reports: Official reports filed by law enforcement officers detailing the facts and circumstances of the accident.
- Witness statements: Testimonies from individuals who witnessed the accident and can provide valuable insight into what transpired.
- Photos and video footage: Visual evidence capturing the scene of the accident, vehicle positions, damage, road conditions, and other relevant factors.
- Black box data: Data retrieved from the truck's event data recorder (EDR), which can provide valuable information about the vehicle's speed, braking, and other critical data before and during the accident.
- Expert opinions: Testimonies from accident reconstruction experts, medical professionals, or other specialists who can provide professional analysis and opinions regarding the accident, injuries, and their causes.
Our experienced underride accident attorneys work diligently to collect and analyze all pertinent evidence to build a compelling case. We collaborate with accident reconstruction experts and other professionals to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the accident's circumstances and establish a strong foundation for our clients' claims.
Contact Our Underride Accident Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in an underride accident in Houston, it is essential to seek experienced legal representation as soon as possible. At Potts Law Firm, our dedicated underride accident attorneys have the knowledge, skills, and resources to fight for your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today for a confidential consultation to discuss your case. We will listen to your story, assess the details of the accident, and provide you with a clear understanding of your legal options. Don't delay—let us be your advocates in seeking justice and fair compensation for the injuries and damages you have suffered due to an underride accident.
I had a wonderful experience with this law firm.- Stephen P.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him or any of the team at Potts.- Theo C.
The Potts Law Firm is a powerhouse of brilliant attorneys.- Molly H.
I would recommend Potts Law Firm for any and all legal matters that come my way in the future!- W. Gary
Great law firm!- Hugo G.
Transvaginal Mesh Settlements Over $1 Billion
The Potts Law Firm and its joint venture partners have been successful in resolving over $1 billion in transvaginal mesh settlements. Derek H. Potts was one of a handful of plaintiffs’ lawyers from around the country who spearheaded the establishment of what would become the largest medical device MDL consolidations in history.
Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch $184 Million
Derek H. Potts was a member of the Kugel Mesh MDL Plaintiffs Steering Committee which was instrumental in obtaining a $184,000,000 global settlement for several thousand persons who had received the Kugel Mesh hernia patch.
ERISA Class Action Settlement $36 Million
Potts Law Firm served as class counsel in the ERISA class action, Diebold, et al. v. Northern Trust Investments, N.A. et al., 09-Civ-1934 (Diebold), in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois where the Court approved a collective settlement of $36 million dollars for class representatives resulting in millions of dollars returned to investors.
Paraplegic Minor $12 Million
Derek H. Potts and Timothy L. Sifers obtained a $12,100,000 verdict against Lisa Gard, M.D. for medical malpractice involving a minor. The jury found the Salina emergency room doctor to be negligent in her assessment of the minor upon presentation in the emergency room, failing to timely diagnose a rare spinal condition. The case was one of the largest verdicts in history in the State of Kansas.
Fraud Against Lender $10.7 Million
Potts Law Firm represented a United States Bankruptcy Trustee. The case stemmed from the massive bankruptcy of Royce Homes, one of the largest homebuilders in the country. Micah and Chris represented the bankruptcy Trustee against a multitude of defendants, including the chief Lender, for claims related to the homebuilder’s downfall and the fraudulent transfer of assets from the rightful owners, the creditors.
Birth Injury $4.6 Million
Derek H. Potts and Samuel Cullan were members of the plaintiff's trial team which obtained a $4,600,000 verdict for a minor delivered at Bethany Medical Center. Ariana Wilburn, the minor, suffered a spinal cord presentation after being born in the breech position.
Hypoxic-Ischemic Birth Injury $3.5 Million
Potts Law Firm secured a $3,500,000 settlement for a single mother whose infant suffered severe brain damage while being delivered in a New Mexico hospital. The mother, having no previous pregnancy or medical issues, began laboring and immediately went to a hospital. Despite the clear signs of fetal distress and hypoxia (lack of oxygen), the doctor and nurse did not order an emergency cesarean section.
Fraudulent Transfers $2.42 Million
Potts Law Firm represented a Bankruptcy Trustee, resulting in a combined $2.42 million being recovered for creditors of ATP Oil & Gas Company. The claims related to fraudulent transfers of overriding royalty interests in oil & gas properties made by ATP in a failed attempt to liquidate the assets of the company.
Catastrophic Injuries $3.5 Million
Derek H. Potts was co-lead counsel with Thomas Cartmell in representing John Novogradac of Kansas City whose health was neglected during his stay at two nursing home facilities. Mr. Novogradac developed bedsores on his body and had above-knee amputations on both legs after his wounds became severely infected with gangrenous and dead tissue.
Pharmaceutical Birth Defect $1.05 Million
Potts Law Firm secured a $1,050,000 settlement for a mother whose infant suffered birth defects from a pharmaceutical drug that was taken during pregnancy. Though the migraine drug manufacturer knew the medication could cause a fetus to develop a cleft lip and/or cleft palate when consumed by the mother during the early stages of pregnancy, they failed to warn consumers about these dangers.