Injury Law Blog

What Are the Differences Between Override and Underride Truck Accidents?

A collision between a large truck and a standard passenger vehicle often looks different from a typical car crash. A commercial truck can exceed 80,000 pounds – about 20 times the average weight of a car. The car, therefore, will take the brunt of the force in an impact rather than both vehicles absorbing the impact equally. Rear-end collision between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles could result in override or underride accidents.

What Is an Override Accident?

An override truck accident describes a crash in which a commercial truck drives over a passenger vehicle, typically with the truck as the rear vehicle in a rear-end collision. When a large truck collides with the back of a passenger vehicle, several things could happen. The force could propel the front vehicle into surrounding traffic or crush the front car between two vehicles or the truck could cause an override collision.

If the large truck rolls over the back of the passenger vehicle, it is an override accident. The truck could crush the smaller vehicle beneath it in this type of collision. This could result in passenger deaths or catastrophic injuries. Many override accidents are fatal for the occupants of the passenger vehicle. Surviving family members may be able to file wrongful death claims after fatal override accidents in Sacramento.

What Is an Underride Truck Accident?

An underride accident occurs when a passenger vehicle rear-ends a commercial truck, leading to the smaller car wedging beneath the back of the truck. Common causes are a passenger vehicle driver speeding, following too closely or not paying attention to the road. If the vehicle is close enough to the ground, it could slide under the trailer rather than crashing into its back.

Underride accidents are often fatal for the driver and front-seat passengers of the shorter vehicle. Common injuries are decapitation and fatal head and brain injuries. If someone survives an underride accident, he or she could suffer permanent injuries and disabilities.

Differences and Similarities

Both override and underride accidents can be fatal for the people in passenger vehicles. Although truck drivers could also sustain injuries, those in the smaller cars will generally suffer more severe injuries. These accidents are also similar in that both involve driver negligence. Rear-end collisions are almost always preventable with due care. Putting down the cellphone, following the speed limit and paying attention to the road could prevent override and underride accidents.

Another difference between the two types of accidents is who may be liable. In an override accident, the truck driver or truck company will be most likely responsible for damages. An underride accident, on the other hand, points to passenger vehicle driver liability. The rear vehicle is often the liable party in a rear-end collision. However, this is not always the case. The forward driver may be responsible if he or she broke a roadway rule or otherwise acted negligently in a way that caused the collision.

Both underride and override accidents require investigations to determine fault. Potential causes of the accident could include poor weather, low visibility, a fatigued truck driver, distracted motor vehicle driver, speeding, reckless driving or following too closely. Driver error is the most common factor involved in both types of accidents. Identifying the cause of the accident could enable victims or their loved ones to seek financial compensation.

Recovery for an Override or Underride Accident

Compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit will not reverse life-changing injuries or give a family back its loved one. It may, however, help victims restore their lives after bad truck accidents in Sacramento. Holding the at-fault party accountable for a truck accident could result in reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs, including hospital bills and property damage repairs, as well as intangible damages. A truck accident attorney could help victims of underride and override accidents fight for financial recovery.