Semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles are an inescapable part of modern life. These vehicles perform an essential function in the United States, hauling untold amounts of cargo from place to place and facilitating commerce in various industries. Unfortunately, they are also capable of causing devastating damage to property and extremely serious injuries when they are involved in accidents.
If you have been involved in an accident with a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle, Maryland law may entitle you to significant compensation. To discuss your accident with an experienced attorney and find out whether you may have a claim, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today or contact us online.
What Causes 18-Wheeler Accidents in the Baltimore Area?
Truck accidents can happen for any number of reasons. Victims need to know that when accidents happen because someone else was negligent, they can typically recover compensation for any losses they sustain, including medical expenses, lost income, loss of quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering.
A significant percentage of truck accidents are the result of negligence on the part of truck drivers. Because they are professional drivers and have had specialized training, commercial truck drivers are subject to certain regulations that do not apply to non-commercial drivers. For example, federal regulations limit the number of hours that a trucker can drive in a given period and impose lower blood alcohol content (BAC) limits than those that apply to everyone else on the road. Failure to comply with these regulations can establish negligence in some cases. Specific examples of truck driver negligence that can result in serious accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Following too closely
- Failing to signal lane changes
- Improperly loading or securing cargo
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Impaired driving
While truckers are responsible for a significant number of accidents, the negligence of others may also cause crashes. For example, defectively manufactured or designed trucks or truck parts could fail and cause a truck driver to lose control and get into a wreck. In a case such as this, victims may hold the manufacturer or retailer of the truck liable for any damages they sustained.
Similarly, some accidents are the result of problems with the roadway on which a vehicle travels. Issues like potholes, inadequate drainage, overgrown vegetation, inadequate signs, or faded lane markings could all cause serious accidents. When these issues are the result of the negligence of a state agency or its employees, you may hold that agency liable. In these situations, however, special rules require you to bring a case in a relatively short time, so anyone who thinks that their accident may have been the result of poor road maintenance or design should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Common Commercial Semi-Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accidents are capable of causing extremely serious injuries, many of which could affect victims for years or decades to come. Some of the these injuries include:
Traumatic brain injuries – TBIs can occur whenever a person hits a head on an external object with force sufficient to cause the brain to move around inside the skull. In addition, they can occur in the absence of contact if the head snaps violently back and forth on the neck. In serious cases, TBIs can leave victims with long-term physical and cognitive disabilities that affect them on a daily basis.
Spinal cord injuries – Truck accidents have the potential to cause trauma to a person’s spinal column. Because the spinal cord is responsible for transmitting information between the brain and the rest of the body, any damage to it can result in serious complications, including numbness, loss of range of motion, pins and needles, and pain. In cases of a complete spinal cord injury, where all communication is cut off, victims are paralyzed below the site of the injury with little hope for recovery.
Serious soft tissue injuries – The tremendous forces at play in truck accidents can wreak havoc on the human body. Many victims sustain serious soft tissue injuries like strains, sprains, lacerations, and contusions. When severe, these injuries can require immobilization, stiches, or even surgery. In some cases, they may even result in chronic conditions or even impairments that prevent victims from retuning to work or engaging in daily tasks that they once took for granted.
Burns – Many truck accidents result in fires or explosions, which in turn can cause the people involved to receive serious burns. Burns are among the most painful injuries a person can sustain and often leave victims disfigured with permanent scarring.
Call a Baltimore Semi Truck Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation
Accidents involving commercial trucks often entitle victims to significant compensation, but truck companies and their insurance companies are ready to do everything they can to deny liability and minimize the amount they pay out on valid claims. For this reason, if you have been injured in a serious truck accident in the Baltimore area, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we refuse to settle for less than our clients deserve and will not hesitate to take a case to trial when it becomes necessary. In addition, we will not collect any legal fees from you unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation with attorney Randolph Rice, call us today at (410) 694-7291 or send us an email through our online contact form.