Odenton, MD Truck Accident Lawyers
A truck accident is a life-altering experience. The massive size and weight disparity between 18-wheelers and ordinary motor vehicles means that the occupants of regular cars often suffer severe injuries in a truck accident. A truck accident could leave you burdened with medical expenses or a lengthy recovery from serious injuries.
Our attorneys can work to help you deal with the aftermath of a truck accident in the way that is most effective for you. Whether that means settling, negotiating with insurance companies, or fighting for damages in court, we will be with you every step of the way.
Call the truck accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free review of your case.
How At-Fault Insurance Works in Truck Accident Claims in Odenton, MD
Maryland is what is known as an-at fault state. This means that drivers do not need to pursue a claim with their own insurance company before going after another party in a lawsuit. That being said, you will still likely pursue claims against other parties after a truck accident. Discussing your options with our truck accident lawyers can help determine what the best course of action is for your particular situation.
Many other states use a system called “no-fault,” which requires drivers to cover their damages with insurance before opting to sue or file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. The benefit of “no-fault” insurance is that drivers will always have some coverage in an accident, regardless of whether they were at fault. In Maryland, you can have optional “PIP” insurance, but it is not likely to cover your full damages.
Otherwise, Maryland law generally expects you to claim damages against the at-fault driver through an insurance claim or lawsuit. The law cares a great deal about whether an accident was your fault or not. In Maryland, if the accident was even a little bit your fault, you will not be able to recover damages in court. You can, however, still pursue a claim with your own insurance company if you have first-party PIP benefits.
Settling a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Odenton, MD
A case settles when both parties come to an agreement and decide to drop the case. When a case settles, it ends, and the plaintiff gets the money they are owed without the process of a lengthy and mentally taxing trial and other legal proceedings.
Cases settle for many reasons. It could be that one side feels that the evidence is against them and that they probably will not win if the case goes to court. Alternatively, settling a case can avoid lengthy, mentally draining, and expensive litigation and get things over with in a mutually beneficial way.
You might be offered a settlement agreement from an insurance company when pursuing a truck accident lawsuit. Insurance companies will initially try to pay as little as possible to cover your injuries. But in some cases, this might be enough to cover your damages.
“Winning” a truck accident lawsuit can be defined in many ways. You could win by taking a case all the way to court and getting awarded damages. You could also “win” by reaching a mutually beneficial agreement with the other party that also takes care of your needs. Discuss with your lawyer whether settling or going to trial is the right decision for you.
The final decision is up to you, and we can effectively represent you in either settlement or trial proceedings.
What You Need to Prove to Recover Damages in an Odenton, MD Truck Accident Lawsuit
You need to prove that another party was negligent to recover damages in a truck accident lawsuit. Negligence has four legal “elements,” or things you must prove in court to be awarded damages. The elements of negligence are duty, breach, causation, and injury.
To prove negligence in court, you need first to establish that the defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff. A duty of care is a standard that a party must follow in order to avoid causing harm to others.
For example, drivers have a duty to follow all traffic laws and to drive carefully and reasonably so as not to hurt other motorists. You and your attorney must prove that the truck driver, the trucking company they work for, or another party had a duty of care to you to recover damages.
Breach means that the defendant did not uphold their duty of care to you. For example, speeding would be a breach of a driver’s duty to follow traffic laws. Moreover, a reasonable driver would not speed.
There are many points at which a truck driver could have breached the duty of care. For one, the truck could have been improperly loaded before it went on the road, or the driver could have stayed behind the wheel longer than regulations allow. Discuss the facts of the case with your lawyer to find the best way to prove the breach in court.
You must also prove that the defendant’s breach of their duty caused your injuries. For example, if the accident still would have happened if the truck driver was not doing anything wrong, you probably cannot sue the truck driver.
The defendant needs to be what is called the “proximate cause” of your injuries to be liable. This means that the defendant’s action or inaction needs to be sufficiently related to the accident for them to be held liable. For example, truck companies often employ drivers, so you could sue the truck company for the negligence of their employees. However, you cannot sue the truck driver’s parents for giving birth to them, even though that is technically a very far-off cause of your injuries.
Finally, you need to prove that you actually suffered an injury or other harm to recover damage. In the case of a truck accident lawsuit, this should not be difficult. Hospital bills, surgeries, physical therapy bills, and other evidence can be used to prove that you were injured in a truck accident. This evidence will also prove the extent of your injuries.
Talk to Our Odenton, MD Lawyers Today
Call the truck accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to discuss your case for free.