Pikesville, MD Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents are often caused by truck drivers in a hurry to make deadlines or drivers still on the road after hours of work. When drivers take liberties with safety regulations and traffic rules, they can put other drivers at risk. Often, their employers ultimately share fault.
Regardless of who was at fault for your crash, our attorneys can help you seek compensation for the injuries and other damages you faced. If you are considering seeking compensation through insurance, it is important to speak to a lawyer about other potential avenues to compensation and to consider taking your case to court. This is vital because insurance companies often shortchange victims, leaving them with only minimal compensation.
Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free case review with our truck accident lawyers today.
Suing Truckers and Trucking Companies for Accidents in Pikesville, MD
When a trucker causes a crash while employed by a trucking company, the trucking company can usually be held responsible for the accident. However, many truckers work as independent contractors, which means that the case stops with them. Regardless of which situation applies to your case, our truck accident lawyers can fight to hold the trucker or the trucking company liable for your accident, potentially even holding the trucking company liable for something it did in its own right to contribute to the crash.
If the trucker who hit you was an owner-operator or an independent contractor, then they might be solely responsible for your injuries. These drivers should have normal auto insurance, but they are also required to carry other liability insurance, including commercial driver’s insurance. This should cover additional damages and potentially cover your injuries in full.
Truckers as Trucking Company Employees
If the trucker who caused your crash was an employee of a trucking company, then the trucking company might be “vicariously liable” for the accident. In the same way that a grocery store could be liable for an employee’s spill in a slip and fall case, a trucking company can be held liable for its driver’s negligence at work. However, the trucking company is not liable if the trucker went off course or was driving the truck for a personal errand rather than tasks in service of their employer.
Trucking Company Fault
While the trucking company can be held responsible for what the trucker did in many cases, it can also be held liable for its own mistakes and violations. If the trucking company owns the vehicles its drivers take on the road, it is likely liable for equipment issues and maintenance problems. Similarly, the company is also responsible for the drivers it hires. That can mean suing the company if it hired a dangerous driver or kept a driver with multiple complaints or accidents on staff.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents in Pikesville, MD
Trucking accidents are often caused by something the driver did wrong. The following are some of the most common ways that accidents occur and injure drivers and passengers in other vehicles:
Truckers are required to follow federal and state regulations for commercial drivers, which include limitations on driving hours. There are required breaks as well as limits on how long a driver can drive in a day and how long they can stay on duty (even including breaks). Following those regulations does not, however, guarantee that the driver is awake and alert. If there is evidence that the driver was asleep at the wheel or in violation of hours of service regulations, we can fight to hold them liable for the crash.
Most accidents are caused by drivers failing to look out for other vehicles in their blind spots or simply failing to pay full attention when turning or making other moves. Especially since truckers often spend hours upon hours on the road, their discipline might wane over time, leading to accidents they could have avoided by fully checking for other cars before acting. This is a separate issue from full-on distractions.
Drivers who spend a lot of time on the road are often more comfortable checking their phones or engaging in other distractions like eating behind the wheel. Anything that takes your hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, or mind off the task of driving can be a dangerous distraction that could lead to a crash. Taking your eyes off the road for 1 second at 60 mph means missing around 88 feet of driving. Looking away for a minute means missing an entire mile of road. In that time, a lot can happen – including a crash.
Rushing to make deadlines makes trucks less safe. Divers who speed have less time to react – and trucks take a long time to speed up and slow down. Speed limit violations can put drivers at fault for the resulting crashes.
Drunk and Drugged Driving
With long hours, many truckers resort to drugs and alcohol to keep them alert, “buzzed,” or entertained. Since many truckers essentially live in their trucks all week, they blur the line between what is appropriate at home and what is appropriate on the road. Drinking even a little bit while on duty is a violation of traffic laws and trucking regulations.
Improper Loading and Handling
Trucks need to be loaded a certain way to follow regulations and reasonable safety practices. Loading heavy cargo at the back end of a truck instead of near the front increases the chances of fishtailing and trailer sway. Similarly, failing to properly secure and tie down cargo leads to shifting that can throw the truck off course. Even when all of that is proper, a trucker who fails to take their cargo into account when turning, speeding up, and slowing down can also face complications that cause them to crash. All of these mistakes can contribute to a crash and make the driver or whoever loaded the truck at fault.
Call Our Trucking Accident Lawyers in Pikesville, MD Today
If you were hurt in a trucking accident, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 today for a free case evaluation.