A stunning $42 million jury verdict will hopefully put increased pressure on the trucking industry to add side guards to their vehicles.
The verdict was made on behalf of surviving family members of a young man whose vehicle was dragged more than half a mile after being caught underneath a large truck.
His car eventually caught fire, and he lost his life in the blaze.
Who Was Sued?
The victim’s family filed a wrongful death personal injury lawsuit against the company that owns and operates the truck. The basis of the claim was negligence, since the truck had no side underride guard prevention equipment installed.
Currently, side guards are not required for tractor trailers.
That’s in spite of the fact that more than 200 people are killed each year in similar accidents.
What Can Be Done About Side Guards Not Being Required?
Even though the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended mandating protective side rails, Congress hasn’t yet acted on it.
Right now, safety guards are required to be installed on the rear of trucks but not along the sides.
In 2017, the bipartisan Stop Underrides Act bill was introduced, but it stalled in Congress and no further action was taken.
What’s even more frustrating is that in most of Europe and Asia, side safety guards are required for large vehicles.
Why Are Trucking Companies Reluctant to Add Side Guards?
Ready for a gut punch? The Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association says the main reason for not adding the life-saving equipment is the added cost and weight to the truck.
The Horror of Underride Accidents
Such accidents can be among the gruesome imaginable. Once a vehicle slips underneath a large truck, the most of the vehicle’s safety measures are useless.
If a victim is fortunate enough to survive the impact – which is rare – life afterwards isn’t the same.
Barber & Associates Will Do Their Part to Get You the Justice and Compensation You Deserve.
Writing this article is a frustrating thing to do because these accidents are entirely preventable.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a large truck accident, we want to help you be able to get on with life after getting justice.