Cars driving on a highway

A commercial truck can exceed 80,000 pounds – about 20 times the average weight of a car. When a tractor-trailer is involved in a crash with smaller vehicles like cars and motorcycles, severe injuries are almost certain to result due to an override incident. 

Override truck accidents are far too common and are often devastating. If you’ve been involved in a big truck accident, you will need a skilled attorney in your corner. Contact the Reed Firm today to schedule your free case evaluation.

What Is an Override Truck Accident in Little Rock?

Override truck accidents typically occur when a large, commercial truck collides with the back end of a smaller vehicle, causing the big truck to drive over and crush the smaller vehicle. Override accidents can involve any type of large commercial truck, including a tractor-trailer, semi-truck, garbage truck, or any other type of large truck on the roadway.

In some cases, the commercial truck crushes only the back end of another vehicle, in which case the vehicle occupants may survive. In other cases, the big truck may drive completely over a smaller passenger vehicle, completely crushing it and the occupants. Though override accidents are a brand of rear end collision, they usually have much more severe consequences than rear end collisions between similarly sized passenger vehicles.

Why Are Override Truck Accidents So Dangerous?

Override truck accidents are usually extremely violent, resulting in another vehicle being crushed. Even when the airbags deploy, the seatbelts work, and all other safety features are engaged, occupants of smaller vehicles have a high risk of suffering catastrophic injuries or death because the passenger compartment is reduced in size, if not collapsed completely. Put simply, passengers are often crushed under the weight of the big truck.

Common Causes of Accidents

As with other auto accidents, most override truck accidents are caused by driver negligence. Truck drivers may not pay attention because they are distracted, or they may drive with an unmanaged medical condition. Truck drivers may drive while fatigued to complete a job on time, and similarly, they may cut corners with respect to maintenance in order to beat a deadline. It may be that the trucking company engaged in negligent hiring practices, putting a dangerous driver on the road. Other causes of override truck accidents include instances where:

  • The truck driver changes lanes too suddenly.
  • The truck driver fails to maintain enough space between the driver ahead of him or her.
  • The truck driver is driving too fast for conditions.

Mechanical Failure

When truck drivers fail to inspect and maintain their tires, brakes, and other tractor-trailer components, accidents can occur. Truck drivers are required by federal law to complete pre-trip inspections, and if they don’t, they are more likely to drive with mechanical issues that can cause a wreck. 

For example, before driving, truck drivers are required to inspect their brakes and see to it that necessary adjustments are made. Failure to do so can result in brake failure. Similarly, the failure to inspect and maintain tires can result in loss of traction. In either instance, the failure to inspect and maintain can result in override accidents.

Proving Liability in an Override Truck Accident in Little Rock, Arkansas

You must prove liability in order to succeed with your case. In other words, you must show who is responsible for the collision. That often requires a thorough investigation and expert testimony.

It may be that there was a preventable mechanical failure, but it may that the trucking company itself is responsible for negligently hiring the truck driver that caused the accident. There may even been a third party involved, one that isn’t immediately known after the crash.

Working with an experienced attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to prove liability. Attorney Tim Reed knows how to thoroughly investigate truck accident cases to determine each party that might be responsible for the collision and your injuries.  

What to Do If You’ve Been the Victim of an Override Accident

The insurance company will likely have personnel and attorneys on the ground before the accident scene is cleared. They will be gathering evidence as quickly as possible with an eye toward damage control. In other words, their goal is to minimize losses and save money.

You goal should be to protect yourself. Don’t proclaim to first responders that you’re not injured or that you’re okay. Victims are typically just glad to be alive and often downplay any potential injuries. Tell first responders what happened if you can, and seek medical attention immediately, whether you think you’re injured or not. 

If you don’t seek immediate medical treatment, you may have an unrecognized, underlying injury that causes problems at a later date. If your medical treatment is too far removed from the accident itself, you will have a much harder time relating those injuries to the wreck. So, get an emergency medical evaluation so all potential injuries are fully documented early on, from the time of the crash.

When collisions are serious, officers often take photos, but that is not always the case. If you can, take photos of all your damages, including property damage and your injuries. Take photos of other vehicles involved as well, including the tractor-trailer. Of course, you may not be in a position to take photos, in which case you should ask someone else to take pictures if you can.

Contact a skilled trucking accident attorney as soon as possible, and do not talk to anyone affiliated with an insurance company. That includes the truck driver and any other potentially at-fault party. Your statements will probably be written down or recorded, and if you say something that could be used against you, that’s exactly what will happen. Let your lawyer do the talking. 

Contact a Little Rock, Arkansas Truck Accident Attorney Today

Override truck accidents are among the most devastating types of motor vehicle accidents. If you or your loved one has been seriously injured in an override truck accident, you’ll benefit from discussing your case with a skilled attorney. Attorney Tim Reed has the legal experience and skills necessary to protect you throughout the claims process. Contact the Reed Firm today to schedule your free case evaluation.