Maryland, like many states along the Eastern seaboard, sees a lot of truck traffic. I-95 and other highways throughout the area carry freight from port cities like Baltimore every day, with semi trucks and 18-wheelers carrying tons of cargo. This high truck traffic carries risks for other drivers on the road, and dozens of people are injured or killed each year in truck accidents in Maryland.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a semi truck in Maryland, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today. Our Maryland semi truck and 18-wheeler accident attorneys represent injury victims and their families, and we work to get them fair compensation for serious injuries through lawsuits against trucking companies and insurance companies. For help with your case, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291 to set up a free legal consultation.
Common Causes of Semi Truck Crashes in Maryland
Semi trucks and 18-wheelers are often some of the most dangerous vehicles to drive alongside. These vehicles are so large and heavy that they are difficult to maneuver and are challenging visual obstructions. These vehicles can cause crashes in many ways, potentially resulting in the trucking company being responsible for any injuries the crash causes. The following are all common causes of truck accidents along with an explanation of who is at fault in such a crash.
Sometimes a truck’s trailer can begin to sway back and forth. This can lead to the truck losing stability and fishtailing to the side. In cases where the truck’s cab folds alongside the trailer, the truck can actually crash on its own and potentially even flip from this kind of “jackknife” accident. This can potentially cause serious risks to others on the road, such as pileups and multi-car crashes, potentially injuring many people. Trucks fishtail primarily because their trailers are loaded improperly, usually with too much cargo resting too far back in the trailer or too high above the center of mass. These accidents are often the responsibility of the driver and trucking company.
Improper Lookout Accidents
One of the leading causes of truck accidents is failing to keep a proper lookout. Truck drivers often have multiple mirrors, some with convex surfaces or camera assistance, to help drivers see the areas of the road in their blind spots. Drivers can often prevent accidents by taking full advantage of their mirrors and cameras, but if they do not check for other cars before changing lanes or merging, they can easily cause accidents and push other drivers off the road. These accidents would typically be the truck driver’s fault.
Exploding Truck Tire Accidents
Truck tires are typically governed by special rules that require certain tread depth or require new tires to be used on wheels responsible for steering. Despite these rules, trucking companies will often work to save money on tires by having old tires re-treaded. Replacing the tread on a tire is common practice and can be safe in some circumstances, but re-treaded tires are not always legal or properly installed. Sometimes, these tires wear unevenly or overheat because of improper re-treading or improper inflation. This can cause tires to shed layers or explode, potentially striking other cars or causing the truck to crash. Truck drivers and their employers are often responsible for equipment malfunctions like this.
Tired and Drunk Driving
Truck drivers spend long hours on the road. Drivers may become tired or inattentive after long shifts, and they may turn to drugs or alcohol to keep them “buzzed” or alert. In cases where a crash is caused by an 18-wheeler driver’s sleepiness or intoxication, they are usually found in violation of trucking regulations or traffic laws. Rules limiting truck driver shifts might be ignored, as might drunk driving and drugged driving laws, which can be legal grounds to hold the trucking company and the driver responsible for crashes from these kinds of accidents.
Other accidents can occur involving everyday driving errors and negligence, such as speeding or failing to stop at a stop sign or red light. Talk to a lawyer for help understanding who was at fault in your truck accident case and how to hold them liable.
Common Damages in 18-Wheeler Injury Lawsuits in Maryland
Victims of trucking accidents might think to treat their case like any other auto accident and file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. While trucking companies do indeed carry insurance, and their drivers might have additional insurance policies, the coverage from these policies might not be enough to cover your injuries and vehicle damage. This often means you might need to turn to a lawsuit to get the full damages you faced in your crash.
Most insurance policies will cover the cost of a victim’s medical expenses and lost wages stemming from the crash. However, these damages might be covered only up to a certain percentage in an insurance claim. There are also additional damages that go unaccounted for unless you file a lawsuit.
Victims of auto accidents typically suffer vehicle damage, medical expenses, and lost wages, but they might also suffer intangible harm. Many of these non-economic damages, such as compensation for physical pain and emotional distress, are grouped generally under the title of “pain and suffering.” These damages can be substantial in some cases, and they usually cannot be claimed in an insurance case. Instead, you have to sue to get these damages paid.
In cases against large companies, you might also be able to claim punitive damages in a lawsuit to punish especially negligent companies.
Call Our Maryland Semi Truck and 18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Consultation
After an accident with a large truck, semi truck, 18-wheeler, or other commercial truck, it is important to take your case to an experienced injury lawyer. Rice, Murtha & Psoras ’s semi truck and 18-wheeler accident injury lawyers represent injury victims and their families and work to hold the trucking companies and insurance companies involved financially responsible for the damages you and your family suffered. For a free legal consultation on your case, contact us at (410) 694-7291.