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“Underride” Accident Kills 1 In Ft Lauderdale


In early January 2024, a tragic accident killed one woman in Fort Lauderdale, with her being pronounced deceased at the scene. The woman’s car wound up wedged underneath the back half of a tractor-trailer after impact at the intersection of NW 19th Street and 24th Avenue. While law enforcement was careful to state that they did not know what caused the crash, it is worth stating that ‘underride’ accidents of this type are almost uniformly deadly. If you have lost a loved one in this type of crash, you may be able to file suit against the tractor-trailer’s owner and driver if you believe their negligence helped cause injury or death.

Why So Serious?

While they are perhaps less discussed than head-on collisions or rollovers, underride accidents are serious and can lead to life-threatening injuries. Because tractor-trailers can be so tall, many automobiles will strike them at a point where safety features like airbags do not activate. Injuries to the head and neck are thus much more common, leading to traumatic brain injuries and spinal problems that can change the injured person’s entire life – and if a person loses their life in this type of crash, it can often be in a very graphic manner.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates that underride crashes only made up around 1 percent of all road fatalities between 2008 and 2017, but also makes the point that this type of crash is likely underreported. Different jurisdictions classify underride accidents in different ways, and not every law enforcement officer will be properly educated on the right nomenclature to identify this type of crash.

Who Can I Sue?

Over time, some safety measures have been put in place to help minimize underride accidents – for example, the federal Department of Transportation requires all trailers to have an ‘underride guard,’ but as of 2019, no inspection was required to ensure the guards are effective. Whether a guard was present or absent in your case, you still have the right to seek compensation from the person or people who caused your accident, though it will be easier to find evidence of negligence for some defendants than for others.

Depending on the specific facts in your case, you may be able to file suit against more than one defendant – not least of all because tractor-trailer drivers are often judgment proof (that is, they lack the assets they would need to cover a jury award against them). The most common additional defendant is usually the driver’s employer, though the tractor-trailer’s owner may also be joined if the two companies are not the same. A knowledgeable attorney can help you determine how many defendants should be involved in your case, as it can be difficult and confusing to make such a choice yourself.

Call A Tampa Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorney

Underride accidents are more likely to be deadly than many other types of road crashes. If you have been involved in one, your injuries are no doubt severe, and having a Tampa tractor-trailer accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group on your side can help you have the best possible chance to recover for what you have been through. Contact our office today at (813) 831-9999 for a free consultation.



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