Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyer
Baltimore is one of the busiest trucking cities on the East Coast. With the Port of Baltimore and the ever-expanding shipping industry as a result of the Amazon distribution centers, the trucking business, and industry is booming in the state of Maryland. Trucking companies pay drivers per mile to deliver their packages as quickly as possible.
The ever-increasing pressure to deliver more packages at a faster rate creates an unsafe environment for trucks and delivery vans throughout Baltimore. As drivers are encouraged to deliver their loads as quickly as possible, they often cut corners when it comes to safety on the roads. This presents dangerous situations on the highways and interstates in and around Baltimore.
Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291 for a free review of your case with our truck accident attorneys.
What are the Most Dangerous Roads for Trucking Accidents in Baltimore County?
Trucks are everywhere in Maryland, literally. Just in our state, there were almost 2,000,000 trucks registered in 2014: 1,879,645 privately owned vehicles, 45,954 federal registrations, and 9,483 state, county, and local government registrations.
Some of the most traveled roads in Baltimore County include Interstate 95, Interstate 895, and Interstate 695. As a result of this large volume of truck traffic, there are many truck accidents that occur each year in the Baltimore County area.
A large number of these accidents occur due to the fault of truck drivers, who are often under great stress to deliver products quickly. When truck accidents occur, victims often are faced with an overwhelming number of obstacles, including lost wages and medical. As a result, people in these situations often find it essential to obtain the assistance of a seasoned Baltimore County truck accident lawyer.
These cover a wide range of sizes, types, and uses, and all share the road with significantly smaller motor vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.
Larger rigs and heavily laden delivery vehicles are always a mismatch against automobiles in terms of size and weight. In a collision, the injuries suffered by the occupants of the smaller vehicle tend to be severe.
Nationally, truck accidents killed almost 4,000 people in 2012 and injured more than 100,000.
Regulations That Truckers and Trucking Companies Must Follow in Baltimore
Obeying state and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations is crucial for truck drivers and trucking companies while driving in Baltimore and other parts of Maryland. These regulations play a vital role in preventing accidents and ensuring the safety of trucks on the road.
They also act as a guide to determine responsibility in case of a claim against a driver or trucking company. Our experienced truck accident lawyers can review your case and identify which regulations were ignored during your accident. Below are the most frequently violated trucking regulations in Baltimore:
Hours of Service Regulations
Due to the rise of delivery services that offer home delivery, the shipping industry is facing increased competition. However, some trucking companies and drivers are disregarding the regulations that limit the time they can drive before taking a mandatory break.
As a result, these regulations are often ignored, leading to potential accidents and unsafe driving practices. Federal laws necessitate truckers to maintain a record of their driving hours, and the limit is set at 60 hours within a seven-day period. If any driver violates these regulations, our team has access to their logs to determine if they played a role in any accidents.
Maintenance and Repair Regulations
Trucking companies often neglect the FMCSA regulations that require them to inspect and maintain their trucks regularly while also keeping records of these tasks. Before hitting the road, trucks must undergo routine inspections to ensure safety.
In case of a truck accident, our firm can investigate the company’s records to find out the last time the truck was serviced. If the inspection and maintenance logs are missing, we can argue that the company did not take the necessary precautions to avoid the accident.
Cargo Securement Regulations
It is important to adhere to the regulations regarding the fastening of cargo to avoid disastrous accidents. These regulations provide instructions on how to load and store cargo correctly for transportation. To prevent cargo from shifting during transportation, it is essential to secure it appropriately using suitable straps and tie-downs and to avoid loading cargo directly against other cargo.
If the cargo is not correctly secured, it can cause hazardous accidents, causing the driver to lose control of the truck. When an accident occurs due to unsecured cargo, the trucking company or driver may be held accountable. However, if a third party loaded the cargo, their recklessness may have also contributed to the accident, and they should be held responsible for any subsequent legal action.
Parties That Can Be Sued for Injuries Sustained in a Baltimore Truck Accident
Assigning blame for a truck accident can be a challenging endeavor due to the possibility of multiple parties being involved. Although the truck driver is typically held accountable, the company that employs them may also share some responsibility. In certain cases, legal action against a different entity may be required to secure compensation for damages. The following are the most frequently sued parties in Baltimore for injuries stemming from truck accidents:
Truck collisions are often caused by driver negligence, which can take many forms. The most frequent types of truck driver negligence include distracted driving, exhaustion, and speeding, all of which is against state and federal regulations that limit the number of hours drivers can spend on the road. If a collision occurs due to such behavior, both the driver and their employer may face legal consequences.
Trucking companies can face legal responsibility for accidents caused by their drivers due to negligence under the concept of “vicarious liability.” This means that if the driver was carrying out their regular duties when the accident occurred, the company would typically be accountable for any injuries resulting from it. For example, if a driver was driving too fast to make a delivery, both the driver and the trucking company could face legal penalties.
Trucking companies are exclusively accountable for their own wrongdoing. They have a responsibility to prioritize the safety of their drivers and the public by delivering sufficient training to all drivers. Additionally, they must perform thorough background checks before hiring drivers to prevent reckless people from driving. Furthermore, trucking companies must strictly comply with state and federal trucking regulations that require regular inspections and maintenance of vehicles to ensure their safety and roadworthiness.
If the truck driver is classified as an independent contractor, it is unlikely that the trucking company will be held responsible for any injuries caused by their actions. In a lawsuit, independent contractors are not treated as typical employees. For example, Amazon delivery truck drivers are often employed by a local delivery company instead of Amazon itself. In this case, Amazon would probably not be sued, but the local delivery company could be held responsible for their driver’s negligence.
Truck accidents can also be caused by the negligence of third-party drivers. For instance, a collision can occur if the other driver fails to check for a truck before changing lanes. In such situations, the truck driver may need to take evasive action to avoid an accident. However, if the truck driver was speeding at the time, they might also be responsible for the accident. Both drivers are accountable for their portion of any damages that result from the collision.
Cargo Loading Companies
Cargo transportation safety heavily relies on proper loading techniques to prevent accidents like jackknifing or overturning. Negligence or failure to comply with loading regulations by the loading company is often the cause of improper loading.
To ensure the safe transportation of cargo, it is essential to use suitable straps and ensure that the cargo is in contact with other cargo to prevent any movement. These measures significantly reduce the risk of accidents and ensure the safety of all involved.
Manufacturers and Designers of Trucks and Truck Parts
Defective or substandard parts installed in a truck could cause accidents, which are not always caused by driver error or negligence. If the brakes or steering fails to work correctly, it can result in catastrophic accidents, leading to severe injuries or death. The manufacturer or designer of the defective part could be held responsible for any losses or damages caused due to the accident.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident in Baltimore?
If you are hit by an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck, you probably have a lot of questions and do not know what to do next. You should seek medical treatment as soon as possible, collect evidence, and call a Baltimore personal injury lawyer. Continue reading below to ensure that you are protected and compensated for your injuries and damages.
Seek Medical Treatment as Soon as Possible
Unfortunately, most accidents with commercial vehicles involve injury to the driver or passengers in other vehicles. Commercial vehicles can weigh in excess of 60,000 pounds and cause maximum damage to smaller passenger vehicles.
Even a low-speed crash may result in serious injuries. It is not uncommon right after the accident that the victim of a trucking accident does not realize that they have been injured.
It is imperative that anyone injured or involved in a trucking accident in Baltimore should visit a medical provider as soon as possible. Unknown injuries may be present, such as broken bones, internal injuries, or spinal damage.
It is not uncommon for the victims of a trucking accident to be taken to a hospital by an ambulance immediately after the crash.
As experienced Baltimore trucking accident lawyers, we have seen numerous clients try to “get through” their injuries without the necessary medical care and treatment. The longer an individual waits to seek medical treatment, the injuries may worsen over time without proper care.
It is important that anyone involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle or an 18-wheeler seek treatment from a doctor or physical therapist. To ensure all medical bills are paid, speaking with an experienced attorney can help maximize the compensation and ensure all costs are paid or reimbursed.
After a truck crash, it is important to collect and preserve all evidence of the crash. The most important and crucial evidence that can be collected at the scene is photographs.
It is suggested that pictures be taken of all vehicles involved, including the 18-wheeler or commercial vehicle. In addition, any skid marks or other evidence of the crash should be photographed or noted by the police.
After any type of vehicle accident, the police department should be contacted to create a police report and obtain all the necessary information at the scene. Trucking accidents are monitored by the federal government.
Because the trucking industry is regulated, all data from crash accidents and traffic accidents are documented and submitted to the appropriate agency. This collection of information by the police will ensure an accurate report is developed and that all information is obtained for future claims.
In serious accidents that result in life-threatening injuries or death, a more thorough investigation will be completed by a crash team for the local law enforcement agency. This may include measurements of the distance of the vehicle from one another as well as other factors that contributed to the accident.
In less serious trucking accidents, a routine investigation will be conducted, but the necessary evidence and information should be collected. Trucking companies and their insurance companies will typically send an investigator to the scene and contact their lawyers. Since they are conducting their investigation, you should have your own team of trucking accident lawyers working for you.
Our Baltimore truck accident attorneys can deploy a team of investigators to the scene to determine liability and establish a personal injury claim on your behalf.
Getting Compensation for Trucking Accident Victims
In the aftermath of a trucking accident, if a person is injured or loses their life, they may pursue various types of damages. These could include compensation for medical expenses incurred after the accident as well as for future medical costs and payment for physical pain and emotional distress. Additionally, the victim may be eligible for lost wages, compensation for permanent injuries or physical impairments, and punitive damages in cases where such damages are deemed appropriate.
If You Were in an Accident with a Truck, Semi or 18-Wheeler in Baltimore, Our Lawyers Can Help
For a free case evaluation with our truck accident lawyers, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.