Who Is Liable in Bridge Strike Trucking Crashes?
Truckers and trucking companies may be liable for damages caused by bridge strike accidents. Bridge strike collisions occur when commercial motor vehicles or their loads lack the vertical clearance to pass safely under a highway overpass or bridge and, as a result, hit the overhead structure. Truckers may suffer injuries or death in such crashes, as may the occupants of the other vehicles with whom they share the road. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there were 193 fatal bridge strike accidents across the U.S. in 2017.
Common Causes of Bridge Strike Accidents
Numerous factors contribute to bridge strike accidents, some of which are the result of trucker or trucking company negligence. Nevada requires tractor-trailers to be no taller than 14-feet. Although the state’s bridges and overpasses are built with this requirement in mind, some truck operators or trucking companies may load their vehicles in excess of the height limit, which may lead to vertical clearance crashes. In other cases, truckers may not take care when planning their routes or they may use GPS systems not specifically designed for their vehicles and purposes. This may cause them to encounter bridges their vehicles and loads cannot safely pass under. If they are distracted or neglect to adhere to the posted safety warnings, they may hit an overpass.
The Effects of Bridge Strike Wrecks
Bridge strike collisions may cause serious injuries or death for truckers or the others with whom they share the road. The bridge collapsing or debris falling due to the impact may hit the tractor-trailers or other vehicles that were near or under the bridge when the wreck occurred, potentially causing crushing or other injuries or death. Bridge strikes may also cause secondary accidents, as drivers may swerve into other vehicles in an attempt to avoid falling debris.
Holding At-Fault Parties Financially Responsible
Liability for the damages caused by bridge strike accidents falls to the party or parties responsible for causing them. When negligence on the part of the trucker or trucking company causes such accidents, they may bear the financial liability for any resulting losses. Those injured in overhead clearance trucking accidents may be able to recover damages for their associated losses, including lost income, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.