Recovery After a Bridge Strike Accident
Truck accidents can and do occur for a variety of reasons, with many attributed to the careless driving of other drivers, a failure to abide by traffic laws, or a lack of truck driver training. Other negligent drivers, trucking companies that put profits before safety, and manufacturers that design defective products can all be held liable for these accidents. Government agencies, however, and even the state itself could also bear some responsibility for these crashes if road design contributed to or caused the accident. These kinds of cases often arise in bridge strike scenarios, where a truck driver attempts to travel underneath a bridge or overpass that simply lacks enough clearance. When this happens, state agencies, local government, and construction companies could all end up bearing some responsibility for such an accident.
What is a Bridge Strike Accident?
A bridge strike is a type of accident that occurs when the top of a large truck collides with the bottom of a bridge or overpass. These kinds of collisions can cause:
- The truck to come to a sudden stop, resulting in a multi-vehicle pile-up, or rear-end collision;
- The truck to roll over or jackknife, blocking multiple lanes of traffic and causing more potential collisions;
- The cargo in the truck to spill onto the roadway; or
- The structure to crumble or give way, falling onto the roadway below and endangering motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists alike.
These kinds of accidents can have serious repercussions for other road users, causing potentially deadly injuries and significant property damage.
Bridge Strikes are Avoidable
Bridge strikes are preventable when drivers remain aware of route restrictions, pay close attention to road signs, and use navigation systems intended for commercial vehicles.
There are a number of steps that trucking companies can take to keep their drivers from being the cause of a bridge strike accident, including:
- Installing the proper satellite navigation systems in their trucks;
- Ensuring that drivers are aware of the heights of their trucks and loads;
- Training drivers to remain vigilant for signs indicating the height limits of bridges and overpasses on their routes;
- Ensuring that cargo is properly loaded so that it doesn’t shift during transit; and
- Preparing drivers to check their new routes for bridge strike risks if a detour, construction work, or an accident requires a different route.
When trucking companies fail to take these steps, they can be required to compensate any victims who were hurt in an accident as a result. Some of the responsibility for preventing these kinds of accidents, however, belongs with city planners and construction companies who are tasked with designing and constructing bridges and overpasses in Oklahoma. Although it can be difficult to hold government bodies liable for accidents, it is possible, especially with the help of an experienced attorney.
Were You Involved in a Bridge Strike Accident?
At Levinson Law, P.C., our dedicated Tulsa trucking accident lawyers have the experience and resources to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of your bridge strike accident. To arrange a free consultation with a member of our legal team, please call us at 918-492-4433 or complete one of our online contact forms.