Any accident can lead to serious injuries or turn deadly. However, forensic experts call underride accidents the “most horrific and most deadly types of crashes” for a reason. These are especially dangerous and often result in fatalities. It is critical to know how they happen and what makes them so devastating.

Essentially, an underride accident is when a car ends up under a semitruck. Since these big rigs ride so high off of the ground, the top of the car’s passenger compartment can get sheered off by the bottom edge of the trailer. Trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 lbs., so they may barely move in an accident, while all the destructive force is transferred into the much smaller car.

As a result of both the weight difference and the ramifications of such a collision, about 25 percent of all semi-related fatalities come from these accidents.

They can happen in a few different ways. For instance, if a semi runs a stop sign and a car coming down the perpendicular road hits it broadside, it can simply slide between the wheels. A T-bone accident is always dangerous, but these types are especially bad because the lowest part of the car — the hood — winds up below the trailer.

In other cases, underride accidents happen when cars rear-end semitrucks. For instance, a car may get hit by one semi in a traffic jam, and then gets pushed up under the next semi in the lane.

No matter how these wrecks happen, they are almost always serious. Make sure you know if you have a right to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more.