Towson, MD Truck Accident Lawyer
Victims of motor vehicle accidents often have serious injuries afterward. Commercial truck accidents are arguably the most devastating kind of motor vehicle accident. Trucks are capable of hitting multiple vehicles due to their large size and weight. The results of a truck accident could leave you with heaps of medical expenses, lengthy recovery from injuries, or dealing with the loss of a loved one.
Fortunately, a lawyer can help you through this difficult process. Our experienced truck accident lawyers understand your specific needs and can work with you to get closure, peace of mind, and monetary damages after your truck accident. We can fight insurance companies and trucking companies to get you the damages you need and work to represent your rights throughout the process.
Call our truck accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free case review.
Who to Sue for a Truck Accident in Towson, MD
Even if you are certain you want to bring a lawsuit, you might not know who is responsible for your injuries. A truck accident lawyer can help you determine who is at fault for your injuries.
Sue the Driver and Their Employer
The first instinct might be to sue the driver of the truck. Indeed, it is true that the truck driver could be responsible for your accident. However, you might also want to sue their employer. While a decision should only be made after talking to a lawyer, it is often a good idea to sue both the driver and their employee in a truck accident lawsuit.
The employer might be directly liable for your injuries, at least in part. Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining their fleet of vehicles, vetting that their drivers are fit to do their job, and ensuring truck drivers follow all industry regulations. If the truck that hit you was poorly maintained, or the trucking company did not properly screen the driver, their employer might be liable for your injuries.
Employers are also often better situated to compensate you for your injuries. An employee might be “judgment proof” or unable to pay your damages.
What Makes the Employer Liable?
The law allows you to file a lawsuit against someone’s employer if you were injured because of their negligence while they acted within the scope of their employment. In addition to instances where the employer is directly liable, the employer might also be vicariously liable for the trucker’s conduct. The legal doctrine “respondeat superior” or “let the master answer” lets employers be held liable for their employees’ bad conduct if it is related to their job.
However, the employer cannot be vicariously liable if the employee’s conduct is too far detached from their job. For example, if a truck driver decides to do some errands instead of going to work and hits you with their truck, the employer will not be liable because the driver’s conduct was unrelated to their work.
Types of Truck Accidents in Towson, MD
Some accidents are particularly prone to happen in commercial trucks. However, trucks are still just as prone to ordinary kinds of motor vehicle accidents as any other vehicle.
Wide Turn Accidents
Commercial trucks are large, and truck drivers must be careful when turning to make sure they don’t hit anything. Trucks with trailers have a pivoting point linking the trailer to the cabin, which dictates that the driver must maneuver the vehicle differently to drive it safely. For example, if the truck wants to turn to the right, it might have to move slightly to the left first to ensure that the trailer follows in the intended direction. If a truck driver does not execute this maneuver properly, the trailer could hit another vehicle.
Improper loading could also contribute to a wide-turn accident. If the cargo in the trailer is loaded in such a way as to imbalance the truck, an otherwise safe turn for the truck might suddenly be unsafe and cause the trailer to hit another vehicle.
Like other car accidents, a truck accident can take the form of a head-on collision. Head-on collisions can occur if a driver is reckless, careless, or distracted and, as a result, plows straight into oncoming traffic. Truck drivers are often on the road for long hours. Fatigue all too often takes its toll, and drivers end up making potentially lethal mistakes.
Factors outside of a truck driver’s control could also lead to a head-on collision. If a tire on a truck pops, it could cause the vehicle to swerve off its intended path despite the driver’s best efforts. In such a case, the tire manufacturer or the trucking company’s maintenance team could be liable.
Underride accidents occur when a vehicle behind or beside a truck collides with the trailer. The truck trailer is often higher up than a regular vehicle, so the vehicle can get the top half taken right off as it goes underneath the trailer. Since that is often fatal, modern trucks often have bars on the trailer to prevent underride accidents.
As previously discussed, commercial trucks often have a construction that includes a linkage between the cabin and the trailer. A jackknife accident is specific to commercial tractor-trailer trucks.
Poor road conditions, improper cargo loading, or bad driving can cause the trailer to pivot around the linking point and move independently of the truck cabin. For example, if a truck driver does not slow down properly, the trailer could continue moving after the tractor stops. If the force is great enough or the link point is weak, the trailer may even detach from the truck. Either way, jackknife accidents can cause a large amount of destruction.
Call Our Truck Accident Lawyers Today
Call the truck accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free case analysis.