Maryland Truck Accident Lawyer
A truck accident can impact a victim’s life in a number of ways. Not only would a victim have to contend with a serious injury, but they may also have to deal with a wrecked vehicle and expensive medical bills.
Fortunately, you may have a valid claim against the truck driver and the employer that is responsible for your injuries. If you or a family member was injured in a truck accident in Maryland, consult with an experienced Maryland truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Rice, Murtha & Psoras understand the devastation that can accompany a serious truck accident, and we are here for you in your time of need. You do not have to pursue your personal injury case alone. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291. You may also contact the firm online.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Maryland
Truck accidents are often devastating crashes that have the potential to severely injure or kill another person. When a Maryland truck accident occurs, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the truck driver that caused your injuries. the following are common causes of truck accidents that could lead to a personal injury lawsuit.
If you ever see a commercial truck driver, they usually are wearing a headset or other Bluetooth device. That is because these drivers are constantly talking on their phones with loved ones or other drivers.
In addition to talking on their phones, distracted driving can include: changing the radio, dialing their phone, updating GPS and mapping software, paperwork completion, and a host of other activities in the cab of the truck.
Commercial drivers may also be watching TV or movies on their phones while driving their trucks. Distracted driving by truckers is one of the leading causes of accidents on US roads. Big rig operators that are distracted, are not paying attention to the roadway and other vehicles like yours. Distracted driving is such a big problem that the Federal Motor Carrier Association has created a website encouraging 18-wheeler drivers to avoid distracted driving.
When loading a trailer of a truck, a company must ensure that it does not overload the trailer. Each truck will have a maximum capacity that should not be exceeded when loading a trailer.
Unfortunately, a trucking company may overload a truck in order to earn more profits for transporting items. As a result, a truck will be more difficult to control, and the driver could easily lose control of the vehicle, which could lead to a serious accident.
Improper Use of Tiedowns
Tiedowns are devices used to secure cargo on large commercial vehicles. When tiedowns are used incorrectly, accidents can occur because cargo moved around inside a truck or on top of a trailer. For instance, a crash may happen because a tractor-trailer company used tiedowns with an inadequate weight rating to secure their load. Our Maryland truck accident lawyers can investigate whether an accident was caused by improper use of tiedowns.
Improper Cargo Securement
Besides improper use of tie downs, there are other forms of negligent cargo securement. For example, some truck accidents occur because cargo was not stored in direct contact with each other. Cargo that is not stored in direct contact with each other can cause accidents by shifting during transit. Therefore, improper cargo securement is another common cause of truck accidents in Maryland.
The work hours of truck drivers are heavily regulated to ensure that they do not operate a vehicle while they are exhausted. However, if a company fails to keep track of work hours or encourages drivers to work overtime, this could cause a number of issues.
Drowsy drivers are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel of a vehicle. This means that a truck driver could veer from their lane and collide with another vehicle.
Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs creates a high risk of causing an accident. Drivers that are intoxicated will not make sound decisions, and they behave erratically while operating a vehicle.
A tire blowout occurs when a tire tread is separated from a vehicle. This may happen under a wide range of circumstances. For example, a tire blowout may occur if a trailer was overloaded, and too much weight was placed on the tires.
A tire blowout may also happen if there was an impurity in the tire that caused it to separate from the steel belt.
Tire blowout truck accidents are dangerous because a truck driver is likely to lose control of the vehicle and collide with another vehicle.
Defective products are also a common cause of truck accidents in Maryland. There are many types of products that can cause accidents when they are defective. For example, faulty braking systems or engine parts can cause a truck to crash into another vehicle. Furthermore, defective tiedowns can cause cargo to become unsecured, leading to accidents.
Victims of truck accidents caused by defective products may file lawsuits against the faulty products’ sellers or manufacturers. Products can be defective in their design, manufacturing, or marketing. However, proving fault in cases centered around defective products can be complicated. Testimony from engineers and other experts is often required. Our experienced Maryland truck accident lawyers can help gather the evidence required to prove a crash was caused by a defective product.
Truck drivers are typically required to transport many items over the course of a single workday. As a result, some truck drivers may exceed the speed limit in order to ensure that they complete their work in a timely fashion.
However, speeding in a large truck is extremely dangerous for other motorists that share the road with the truck driver. A truck accident that occurs at high speed could leave a victim with fatal injuries.
There are other circumstances that could lead to a serious truck accident. To learn more about filing a personal injury lawsuit against a truck driver or trucking company, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Maryland truck accident attorney.
Furthermore, reckless driving is also a cause of many truck accidents. In Maryland, reckless driving occurs when a driver shows blatant or shameless disregard for the safety of other drivers. For example, a truck driver operating their vehicle at highly excessive speeds in adverse weather conditions may be guilty of reckless driving. Victims of truck accidents caused by reckless driving can incur devastating injuries.
Lastly, tailgating is another common cause of truck accidents in Maryland. Tailgating refers to the practice of driving too closely behind the car in front of you. Tailgating drivers will be unable to brake in time if the car in front of them slows down. When large trucks are tailgating, their drivers will have even more difficulty reacting on time because of the vehicles’ weight. Our Maryland truck accident lawyers can help pursue financial compensation after truck accidents caused by tailgating.
Cargo Securement Regulations for Trucks in Maryland
The Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) has established cargo securement regulations that apply to Maryland commercial truck drivers. Drivers and trucking companies that fail to adhere to these regulations can cause serious accidents.
Cargo must be stably immobilized or secured within a truck by devices of appropriate strength. In particular, items of cargo that are likely to slide or roll should be firmly restrained. The means of restraint cannot be susceptible to unfastening.
Specific rules apply to cargo placed beside each other. Cargo placed beside each other should be secured by tiedowns and placed in direct contact with each other. Accordingly, such cargo should not be able to shift during travel.
It can be difficult to prove fault in a truck accident case stemming from improper cargo securement. Our Maryland truck accident lawyers can help victims of such accidents build their case.
Hours of Service Regulations for Truck Drivers in Maryland
Truck drivers are often under immense pressure to deliver their cargo on time. Accordingly, many truck drivers become fatigued because they remain on the road too long. Fatigued drivers are prone to making mistakes behind the wheel.
The FMCSA has implemented hours of service regulations to decrease the number of fatigued truck drivers on the road. Truck drivers and trucking companies can be held liable for accidents caused by their failure to obey these regulations:
11 Hour Driving Limit
Truck drivers cannot drive for more than 11 hours without a break. After driving for 11 hours, truck drivers must take 10 consecutive hours off duty. Drivers who break the 11-hour driving limit can become fatigued and cause crashes.
14 Hour on Duty Limit
Additionally, truckers may only remain on duty for 14 consecutive hours. Drivers cannot extend this limit with breaks, fuel stops, or meals. Our Maryland truck accident lawyers can investigate whether a truck driver and their employer broke the 14 hour on duty limit.
60/70 Hour on Duty Limit
Over the course of 7 consecutive days, truckers cannot be on duty for longer than 60 hours. Alternatively, truck drivers cannot be on duty for more than 70 hours over 8 consecutive days. Drivers who break this limit may also be held liable for accidents they cause.
30-Minute Driving Breaks
Furthermore, truckers have to take a 30-minute break after being behind the wheel for more than 8 continuous hours without at least a half hour interruption. 30-minute driving breaks serve to refresh drivers and fight tiredness. Victims can also contact our Maryland truck accident lawyers for help determining whether a crash occurred because a driver did not take the required driving breaks.
Highways Where Truck Accidents Occur in Maryland
Accidents involving large trucks can occur anywhere. For instance, vehicles like delivery trucks, garbage trucks, and mail trucks are often involved in crashes on quiet streets and parking lots.
However, truck accidents are most common on busy highways. Many large trucks travel these roads at high rates of speed. When drivers act negligently, serious truck accidents can occur. These crashes happen on numerous interstates and US highways throughout Maryland.
Interstates are restricted access roads that cross state lines and connect different cities. The following are interstates where truck accidents occur in Maryland:
Our Maryland truck accident lawyers can help recover compensation for those injured in interstate truck accidents.
Furthermore, many truck accidents occur on US highways. US highways often connect major cities but can be smaller and have more access than interstates. The following are US highways where truck accidents occur in Maryland:
- US 1
- US 13
- US 15
- US 29
- US 40
- US 50
- US 219
- US 220
- US 301
- US 522
Victims may also contact our Maryland truck accident lawyers for help after suffering injuries in truck accidents that occur on US highways.
Who is Liable for a Maryland Truck Accident?
If you were injured in a truck accident in Maryland, you should be aware of the people or entities that can be held responsible for your injuries. As you might expect, the truck driver would be liable for causing the accident. However, it is also possible for the truck driver’s employer to be liable for the truck driver’s actions.
The truck driver’s employer could be held liable for the truck driver’s actions under the doctrine of respondeat superior. This doctrine states that an employer could be held vicariously responsible for the actions of an employee.
Specifically, a truck driver’s negligent acts must occur within the scope of their employment in order for them to be imputed to an employer. For example, if a truck driver is speeding to meet their goals for the day, the employer could be held liable if they cause an accident.
It is important to note that some companies may hire truck drivers as independent contractors. This may allow them to avoid liability because they can allege that they did not have control over the driver’s actions.
If you are concerned about who can be held liable for your Maryland trucking accident, you should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Damages Available in a Maryland Truck Accident Lawsuit
The monetary damages awarded in truck accident lawsuits can help victims endure the numerous hardships created by their injuries. The damages awarded in your case will depend on the extent of your injuries. Our Maryland truck accident lawyers can help determine which of the following damages may be available in your case during a free case review:
Victims of truck accidents often incur severe property damage. Drivers of standard cars will often have their vehicles crushed by larger trucks. Accordingly, plaintiffs in truck accident lawsuits may recover damages for the cost of repair or replacement of their vehicle.
However, some defendants may attempt to claim that certain damage occurred after a crash. Victims of truck accidents should always take photographs at the accident scene. Photos from the scene can help our lawyers when proving that certain property damage was caused by the accident at issue.
Plaintiffs in truck accident lawsuits may also recover damages for the cost of medical expenses incurred because of a crash. Damages for medical expenses can cover all costs related to victims’ medical treatment. Such losses are typically established with medical records and bills.
Victims should not wait to let injuries heal on their own after truck accidents. Proper documentation of your injuries is required in order to recover damages for medical expenses. Our Maryland truck accident lawyers can help refer the appropriate doctors to treat your injuries.
Additionally, victims may pursue damages for out-of-pocket expenses suffered because of truck accidents. There are numerous types of out of pocket expenses that may be related to a plaintiff’s accident. For example, a victim may incur expensive costs while travelling to and from their medical appointments. If you suffered a truck accident, you should keep the receipts for any out-of-pocket costs associated with the crash.
Pain and Suffering
Victims of truck accidents may undergo immense physical pain and emotional suffering. Accordingly, plaintiffs in truck accident lawsuits can also pursue monetary damages for pain and suffering they incurred because of an accident.
Damages for pain and suffering can be difficult to quantify. Expert witness testimony may be required to accurately calculate damages for pain and suffering. The assistance of our Maryland truck accident lawyers can be very valuable when seeking damages for pain and suffering.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Victims of truck accidents can also be compensated for their loss of enjoyment of life. Many injuries can inhibit victims’ abilities to enjoy the same activities they did before an accident. For example, a victim who suffered facial scarring may be unable to engage in social activities after a crash. Our Maryland truck accident lawyers can also help recover damages for a victim’s lost enjoyment of life.
Statute of Limitations for a Maryland Truck Accident
Statutes of limitations govern time limits to file lawsuits. In Maryland, truck accident victims will usually have three years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, certain exceptions do exist. For instance, parents may file lawsuits on behalf of their minor children at any point until they turn 18. Additionally, after turning 18, the victim will have three years to file suit on their own behalf. Our Maryland truck accident lawyers can help victims understand how the statute of limitations will apply to their case.
You should not wait to file your case. Crucial evidence can be lost as time passes. For example, witnesses may leave town or important financial documents may become lost. Furthermore, there are numerous requirements plaintiffs must comply with when filling a truck accident lawsuit. Failure to adhere to any of these requirements could force you to refile your case. Therefore, you should file your case as soon as possible to afford yourself time to re-file if necessary. Our team can provide guidance and support when filing a truck accident lawsuit.
Maryland Truck Accident Statistics
Maryland truck accidents are far too common, and the sad truth is the weight and size of trucks in Maryland contribute to the increasing fatality rates of individuals operating passenger cars. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 54 fatal crashes in Maryland last year involving large trucks.
Most large and commercial trucks weigh between 20,000 to 80,000 pounds whereas passenger vehicles usually weigh less than 2000 pounds. This is a major factor when it comes to injuries and loss of life for individuals involved in a truck accident.
Common Injuries Suffered by Truck Accident Victims in Maryland
Truck accidents can cause a wide array of injuries. All injuries may be compensated for. However, some injuries arise more frequently than others. The following are common injuries suffered by truck accident victims in Maryland:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most severe injuries caused by truck accidents. Such injuries are usually caused by violent blows to the head. Traumatic brain injuries such as concussions can cause life-long symptoms. Furthermore, in some cases, this type of injury can be fatal.
Victims of truck accidents in Maryland also regularly sustain broken bones. Broken bones are physically painful and can take a long time to heal. Those who suffer broken bones are usually forced to miss time at work. In cases where victims experienced compound fractures or crush injuries, surgical treatment may be required.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are another common type of injury experienced by truck accident victims in Maryland. Spinal cord injuries can cause temporary or permanent immobility. Those with spinal cord injuries can suffer many detrimental impacts on their quality of life. Furthermore, some spinal cord injuries may require long-lasting medical treatment. Our Maryland truck accident lawyers can help plaintiffs recover the numerous damages related to their spinal cord injuries.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Lastly, many truck accident victims in Maryland suffer soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries refer to damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the form of strains and sprains. Such injuries can be very painful and debilitating. Victims can contact our Maryland truck accident lawyers for help finding the right physicians to treat their soft tissue injuries.
Consult with Our Experienced Maryland Truck Accident Attorneys Today
If you or a family member were injured in a truck crash, you should contact an experienced Maryland truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Personal injury attorneys with Rice, Murtha & Psoras possess over 30 years of experience litigating complex injury cases.
They are here to fight for the compensation that you deserve. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your potential lawsuit, you should contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291. You can also contact the firm by using our online submission form.