If you’ve driven on a major highway, you have likely driven behind or alongside large trucks hauling cargo across the state or even across the country. When smaller vehicles like cars get into accidents with trucks, the results can be extreme. Unfortunately, because these trucks are so large and their trailers are so long, they have large blind spots that prevent them from being fully aware of the cars around them. If you find yourself caught in one of these blind spots, you may be risking an accident.
Proving who is at fault for a blind spot accident with a large truck can be tricky. While truck drivers certainly bear a significant degree of responsibility on the road, other drivers must also exercise due caution when driving around these giant vehicles. You may need to prove that you were inside the semi truck’s blind spot when the accident happened and that the truck driver failed to use due care. An attorney can help you determine the best way to prove fault in your case.
If you were injured in a truck accident involving the truck’s blind spots, you could sue the truck driver and the trucking company to recover compensation for your injuries. Our Ocean City truck accident lawyers can help you get justice. For a free, confidential legal consultation, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (225) 399-4439.
Proving Fault in Truck Accidents Caused by Blind Spot Errors in Maryland
The trucking industry crisscrosses our entire nation. Therefore, it makes sense that the industry is subject to strict federal regulations. Not only must the truck itself be sufficiently maintained to ensure safety on the roads, but truck drivers must be properly licensed and trained to drive a truck. This means that truck drivers must be trained to be aware of their blind spots to avoid accidents, and they must be able to identify any equipment failures.
A blind spot is an area next to a truck that is difficult or impossible for a truck driver to see. Anything within a trucker’s blind spot may be unknown to the trucker. Blind spots surround trucks. They are directly in front, on either side, and directly behind a truck.
Proving fault may mean proving there was an error in the driver’s judgment or the functionality of their trucking equipment. For example, if you were in the truck driver’s blind spot and they changed lanes without signaling or allowing any vehicles next to them to move, the driver may be at fault for exercising poor judgment while driving.
On the other hand, suppose the driver attempted to change lanes and even checked their blind spots before doing so, but their mirrors were broken. This might prevent the driver from properly checking for other drivers, so an error with trucking equipment would be used to prove fault.
If you can prove a truck driver is at fault for an accident, you may also be able to hold their employer liable. Trucking companies are responsible for hiring capable drivers who can remain safe on the job. When a driver is negligent, you could sue their employer for negligent hiring or negligent entrustment. Our Rockville truck accident lawyers will help you determine the best way to prove fault in your case.
Examples of Evidence Used to Prove Fault for Blind Spot Truck Accidents in Maryland
When proving fault for your blind spot truck accident, you must present evidence that supports your assertions. The following are all examples of evidence regularly utilized by our Maryland truck accident lawyers:
Physical Evidence from the Scene of Your Collision
First, physical evidence from the scene of your accident may be utilized to establish fault. For example, pieces of drug paraphernalia found at your accident’s scene may be used to demonstrate that the at-fault truck driver was impaired when your crash happened. Further, broken truck parts from the crash scene may be matched with the defendant’s vehicle to identify them as the at-fault party. Guidance from our legal team can be helpful when reviewing the physical evidence found at the scene in your case.
However, some evidence may be difficult to preserve or too large to bring into court. In such cases, other means of evidentiary documentation are permitted.
Photos from the Scene of Your Collision
Photos from the scene of your collision can also be very helpful when proving fault for your blind spot truck accident. There are multiple ways that such photos can be utilized.
First, photos from your accident scene can help identify factors that contributed to your crash. As an example, photos of your badly damaged car may be used to show that the at-fault truck driver was speeding when they struck you. Furthermore, photos of skid marks outside of marked traffic lanes may show that the defendant truck driver veered outside of their lane before causing your accident.
Second, photos from the scene of your collision may help disprove the defendant’s alternative argument as to how your accident occurred. For example, the at-fault truck driver in your case may state that your crash actually happened as a result of poor road conditions, as opposed to their negligence. In that instance, photos from the scene showing adequate road conditions could be utilized to discredit the defendant’s theory. Therefore, you should always take photos of the scene in the immediate aftermath of your accident if you can.
Witness statements are another important form of evidence that can be used to establish fault for blind spot truck accidents in Maryland. Witnesses can provide both written and oral statements that explain the events that unfolded before, during, and after your crash. For example, a witness may state that they saw a truck driver commit and illegal lane change before causing your collision. Furthermore, a witness may state that they saw a truck driver attempt to discard of open alcohol containers immediately after your accident. In any case, you should always attempt to exchange contact information with potential eyewitnesses to your truck accident if you can. Our legal team can assist when reaching out for their cooperation.
Expert Witness Statements
Expert witness statements are another helpful form of evidence used to prove fault for blind spot truck accidents. Expert witnesses are considered experts because they have completed the necessary experience, training, and education in their respective fields. They are usually called on the explain complicated theories of fault. For instance, after a blind spot truck accident that occurs on a highway, an accident reconstruction expert may be summoned to help determine who is to blame. Support from experienced legal representation can be very valuable when searching for the right experts to support your case.
Private Surveillance Recordings
Additionally, private surveillance recordings can be used to prove who is at fault for your blind spot truck accident. Like witness statements, surveillance footage can help explain why or how your collision happened.
There are several potential sources of relevant surveillance footage. For instance, a nearby driver may have equipped their vehicle with a dashboard camera that recorded the events leading up to your collision. Furthermore, a crash that happens in a residential neighborhood may be surveilled by a home’s doorbell camera. Finally, after an accident that happens in a business’s parking lot, pertinent footage may be recovered from the building’s security cameras.
However, parties in control of relevant footage may not store the footage for very long. Accordingly, you should begin searching for surveillance recordings as quickly as possible after your truck accident. Guidance from our team can be very beneficial when locating recordings and dealing with parties who are reluctant to cooperate.
Your Personal Recollection of the Accident
Finally, your personal recollection of your blind sport truck accident can be very helpful when proving fault. It is difficult to predict which details surrounding your collision may become important during a later stage of your case. Therefore, you should attempt to record a detailed recollection of your truck accident while your memory is fresh. The information you provide may be crucial to the success of your case.
Rule of Contributory Negligence in Maryland Truck Blind Spot Accidents
Proving the truck driver or trucking company is at fault for your accident can be difficult as it is. Things become extra tricky when you consider your own possible negligence in the accident. Maryland is one of a few states that employs a rule of contributory negligence. Under this rule, a plaintiff may not recover any compensation at all if their own negligent actions contributed in any way to their injuries. This is a very strict rule compared to most other states that follow a comparative negligence rule. Under such a rule, a plaintiff would still recover even if they were somewhat negligent, albeit their damages would be reduced.
Your behavior during the accident may have contributed to your injuries without you even realizing it. For example, suppose when the accident happened, you attempted to pass a truck after the truck had begun changing lanes. the truck driver would have no time to check for the passing car, resulting in an accident. Even if the truck driver checks their mirrors as they change lanes, you may be in their blind spot, and the trucker would not be able to see you.
While your defendant might argue that you were contributorily negligent, our Aberdeen truck accident attorneys can help defend you against such accusations. Call us today to set up a legal consultation on your case.
Damages for Truck Accident Injuries after a Maryland Blind Spot Truck Accident
Truck accidents can be extremely dangerous, and plaintiffs often allege numerous damages after such an accident. Damages include any losses or injuries you suffered as a result of the accident. For example, your damages could include the medical bills you had to pay because of the accident. Damages could also include your pain and suffering from the pain and trauma of the whole experience.
While the value of some damages is very clear – like medical bills – other damages must be argued. Economic damages are those that come with a fixed price, like hospital bills or the cost to replace your vehicle. Non-economic damages do not come with a predetermined value, and the value of these damages must be calculated based on your unique circumstances. For example, you may argue for greater damages for emotional pain and suffering if the mental trauma of the accident caused you to experience severe depression.
Our Baltimore truck accident lawyers can help you assess your damages and argue for the most compensation possible for your case.
Call Our Maryland Lawyers for Truck Accidents Related to Blind Spots
A truck accident can be extreme, and not all victims of truck accidents survive. Our Dundalk truck accident attorneys could help if you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (225) 399-4439 for a free legal consultation.