Any accident involving a semi-truck and automobile can be dangerous, traumatic, and devastating. However, an accident that is known to frequently cause catastrophic and life-threatening injuries is an override semi-truck accident.
Override accidents are exactly what they sound like: collisions where the semi-truck drives over the automobile, causing the drivers and passengers in the automobile to become trapped underneath. This typically occurs when a semi-truck does not stop quickly enough and ends up toppling over the automobile. Due to the size differences between a semi-truck and automobile, the automobile will likely suffer severe damage, and the driver and passengers inside may be seriously injured or even crushed.
Override semi-truck accidents are so dangerous because a small vehicle that may weigh 4,000 pounds is being smashed by a truck that may weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Due to the weight, force, and impact of this type of truck accident, overrides are almost always fatal. If an individual is able to survive, they will spend years recovering, and even with lots of rehabilitation, they will likely never be the same as before the accident.
Reasons why override accidents happen
There are a variety of reasons why override accidents happen, including:
- Speeding: When a truck driver is speeding, they are unable to stop or slow down in time if another vehicle hits their brakes in front of them. As a result, the 18-wheeler may crash into the back of the vehicle, causing an override accident.
- Not paying attention: Failing to pay attention is a very common reason for override accidents. This means that if a truck driver is eating, texting, talking on the phone, or simply looking out the window, they may not realize that the vehicle in front of them has stopped or is using a turn signal to switch lanes or make a turn. Unfortunately, this is likely to cause an override collision t.
- Drowsy or fatigued driving: Truck drivers become drowsy and fatigued behind the wheel often, which results in falling asleep. This is usually because they work long and tiring shifts and have to learn to sleep during odd hours throughout the day or night. Therefore, if a truck driver begins to fall asleep while driving down a highway, they may quickly smash into the back of a vehicle and land on top of it.
- Mechanical issues: Another common reason for override truck accidents is mechanical issues. For example, the semi-truck’s brakes may begin to wear out or stop working altogether. As a result, the truck driver can no longer stop, leading to an override accident within a few short seconds.
- Inclement weather: Inclement weather, such as snow, fog, ice, and heavy rain, can affect a truck driver’s visibility. In addition, if the proper precautions are not taken before inclement weather arrives, the trucker may begin to slide around on the roads and strike another vehicle. Due to the wet and slippery roads, the truck may gain a lot of speed and land on top of the smaller vehicle.
- Tire problems: Tire problems, such as a tire blowout, can cause truck drivers to lose control of their truck and either rear-end another vehicle or hit a vehicle head-on. Depending on how fast the truck is going when the blowout happens, this can easily lead to an override accident.
- Driver mistakes and errors: Certain driver mistakes and errors can cause an override. For example, if a trucker makes a lane change and does not realize that another vehicle is already in the lane, they may collide into the vehicle and fall over on top of it.
- Tailgating: Tailgating is a big reason for override semi-truck accidents. This is because a truck driver is not providing enough space or room between their truck and the other vehicle in front of them. When a trucker chooses to tailgate or follow another vehicle too closely, this can cause a disastrous situation, such as an override accident, especially if the vehicle in front of them suddenly hits their brakes.
- Drunk driving: When a truck driver is driving while intoxicated, their reactions may become severely delayed. This will likely cause them to fail to stop or slow down in time to avoid slamming into the back of a small passenger vehicle and going over on top of it.
As you can see, the negligent actions and behaviors committed by truck drivers is usually the cause of override accidents. When driving or operating a large and powerful vehicle such as an 18-wheeler, it is the truck driver or their employer’s responsibility to ensure that they drive safely, their load and truck is always safe and hazard-free, and that they are trained and prepared to share the roads with other vehicles. If they drive recklessly or something is wrong with their trucks, there is a good chance that the trucker or trucking company will be found liable.
What should I do after an override accident with an 18-wheeler in Mississippi?
If you witness an override accident, call 9-1-1 ASAP. Make sure to request an ambulance, too.
If you or your loved one survives an override collision, you’re going to want an experienced Mississippi truck accident lawyer on your side. These are complex, challenging legal claims, often with multiple liable parties. At Merkel & Cocke, not only do we have the experience to handle these types of claims; we also have the resources to take on the trucking companies. Our team will handle the obstacles and challenges of your case, while you concentrate on recovering from the aftermath of your accident. If your loved one succumbs to his or her injuries, we provide compassionate counsel regarding your next steps.
We know that you are going through a tough and complicated time right now. The last thing you should be worried about is medical bills and legal proceedings. Let the Mississippi truck accident lawyers of Merkel & Cocke, P.A. take care of all of it for you. Call or contact our firm to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation today. We have offices in Jackson, Clarksdale, Greenville, and Oxford for your convenience, and we work with several of the best experts in the state of Mississippi.
Charles M. Merkel, III attended the University of Mississippi for his undergraduate and law degrees, graduating with honors from both. Upon graduation, he received the coveted position as a judicial law clerk for US District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Jackson Division. Mr. Merkel joined Merkel & Cocke, P.A. in 2002, where he works with clients who have sustained serious injuries because of negligence, medical malpractice and defective products. He has received many honors, included being cited by Super Lawyers, National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys, and Best Lawyers in America. Learn more about Charles M. Merkel, III.