U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) issued a press release on March 4, 2021, to introduce the Stop Underrides Act—bipartisan legislation to establish stricter safety regulations on tractor-trailers in efforts to prevent underride accidents.
Sen. Gillibrand worked on the bill with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN-9) and Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), who have each seen how underride accidents have affected their communities in their respective states. They hope the bill reduces the fatality rate of underride accidents and encourages better safety on the road.
What is the Stop Underrides Act?
The Stop Underrides Act is a bill meant to increase safety measures set by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to protect people who get into underride truck accidents.
Underride Accidents Have Killed Thousands of People
According to Sen. Gillibrand’s press release statements, “More than 6,000 people died from underride accidents between the years of 1994 and 2018, but this data is estimated to be undercounted due to differences in local police reporting.”
Underride truck accidents occur when a passenger vehicle crashes and goes underneath the body of a truck, often its side. These accidents can be fatal or cause catastrophic injuries for survivors.
Rules the Stop Underrides Act Aims to Establish
Should this bill get passed, it would mandate that the DOT incorporate three major rules in truck safety regulations:
- All trucks, including tractor-trailers, must be equipped with rear underride guards that are built to the safety standards set by crash testing.
- All trucks must be equipped with side underride guards.
- All trucks must be equipped with front underride guards.
The bill would also mandate that the DOT conduct annual inspections to ensure these new safety regulations are followed. It also requires a committee of various industry professionals to oversee the rulemaking process.
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You Might Qualify for Compensation If You Were a Victim of an Underride Truck Accident
Our law firm has seen the tragedy underride accidents have caused people, whether it led to severe injuries or fatalities. Until new legislation gets passed, people remain at risk of riding underneath large trucks during collisions. As such, our legal team is committed to helping truck accident victims fight for the compensation they deserve.
If you were the victim of an underride accident or lost a loved one in this type of collision, you may be entitled to receive compensation for:
- Medical treatment costs
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability or loss of bodily function
- Loss of wages, both current and future
- Reduced earning potential
- Loss of quality of life
- Out-of-pocket expenses, such as for at-home care services
Those who lost a member of their family may pursue additional damages, such as:
- Costs for funeral services
- Loss of financial support from their loved one (if applicable)
- Emotional anguish, including grief
- Loss of companionship, emotional support, and guidance
- Loss of consortium
Our Law Firm Can Manage Your Truck Accident Case and Fight for You
You can pursue compensation for your truck accident injuries and related damages by filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. If you have never navigated the legal system, you can choose to work with a truck accident lawyer to help you build your case.
Our law firm handles cases involving underride accidents, so we can take on several legal tasks on your behalf. This can be convenient if you are still recovering from your injuries or are coping with the grief of losing a loved one.
As your legal team, we offer to:
- Review your case and identify the liable party or parties in your accident
- Conduct a private investigation and collect available evidence to support your case
- Confirm the statutory deadline for your case by reviewing the crash report and your medical records
- Handle legal communications on your behalf, such as with an insurance company representative
- Serve as your legal advocate when negotiating a settlement or presenting your case in court
- Offering legal advice when you face decisions, such as whether to accept a settlement offer
Your Time is Limited for Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit
If you decide to move forward with a personal injury lawsuit about your underride accident, you must check whether you are within legal limits to file. Each state has a statute of limitations, which determines the filing deadlines for personal injury cases.
Depending on where you live and what factors are involved in your case, you may need to act quickly to ensure your lawsuit is filed on time. Our team can review your case to assess how long you have to file and help you take appropriate steps to submit your lawsuit. Failure to file on time may result in your case being dismissed.
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Call Hammack Law Firm Today to Begin Your Legal Journey
As Congress moves ahead to review the Stop Underrides Act, the reality remains that people are still falling victim to underride truck accidents. If you or a loved one was injured in an underride truck collision, our law firm can help you fight for compensation via a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Call Hammack Law Firm today at (864) 326-3333 to receive a free, no-obligation consultation about your case. We serve people in South Carolina.