Waldorf, MD Truck Accident Lawyer

Truck accidents are often responsible for catastrophic injuries that leave victims facing a long road to recovery. To heal fully, you will need significant compensation for treatment and lost time from work. This is where our truck accident lawyers can help. Countless types of commercial trucks operate in and around Waldorf. The truck that injured you will be important as it will indicate other parties that could be sued. In many cases, a negligent truck driver’s employer can be sued along with the driver. Depending on the circumstances, other parties could share the blame for your damages.

If you were injured because of a truck accident, our truck accident lawyers can help you identify the negligent parties and hold them accountable. We are prepared to fight for you in court from the start of discovery all the way through trial and beyond.

Contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (443) 424-6323 for a free case review with our truck accident lawyers.

Types of Trucks that Can Cause a Truck Accident in Waldorf, MD

Numerous trucks operate on the roads of Waldorf, and any of them can cause devastating injuries. The type of truck that caused your accident will play an important role in your case as it often indicates who the truck is owned by and what parties should be sued. The following are the types of trucks that our truck accident attorneys commonly see involved in accidents in Waldorf:

Semi Trucks

Thousands of semi trucks travel across Waldorf’s roads every day. Unfortunately, that means that accidents involving semi trucks will eventually happen sooner or later. Semi trucks are large vehicles that are very likely to do damage to other motor vehicles, property, and people in an accident.

Tractor-trailer trucks arguably are capable of the most devastating injuries of any motor vehicle. Potentially a tank could do more damage, but they are not generally present on civilian roadways. The sheer size and weight of 18-wheelers make it so that severe injuries are virtually a certainty in a truck accident involving one. If you were in a truck accident involving an 18-wheeler, you need to discuss your situation with our truck accident lawyers so that you have a chance at getting the damages you need to get back on track.

Tanker Trucks

Tanker trucks can be particularly dangerous when they get into accidents. Often, tankers are carrying hazardous chemicals or waste of some kind. If those substances are flammable, you could suffer severe burns in addition to other injuries sustained in a truck accident. Moreover, particularly volatile compounds in tanker trucks have the potential to explode, causing even more serious damage.

Amazon, UPS, FedEx, and Other Delivery Trucks

Delivery services have strict timetables they need to adhere to, and companies like Amazon can pressure their drivers to get as many deliveries done as possible. Drivers who are overworked by delivery services are more prone to making a costly mistake on the road, be it from rushing to a destination or from fatigue.

Rental Moving Trucks

A move is already a stressful experience. An accident involving a rental vehicle would no doubt add to that stress. Often, drivers of rental moving vehicles are not as experienced as full-time truckers. This makes them more likely to make mistakes and get into accidents. An accident involving a rental moving truck could also damage your personal property if it is inside the truck, and this could be added to your damages in court.

Flatbed Trucks

Flatbed trucks often get into accidents when their cargo is not properly loaded and secured. There are strict rules dictating how certain items are to be loaded and secured onto these trucks to prevent things from rolling off or slipping off the back of the truck. If these rules are not followed, trucking companies can be liable for injuries caused by improper loading. Additionally, trucking companies could be liable if improperly secured cargo falls off of the truck and injures another driver.

Tow Trucks

Tow trucks present some unique ways for accidents to occur. If the car being towed is not properly secured to the tow truck, it could detach itself and hit an unsuspecting motorist. Additionally, the item being towed can move around while attached to the truck. If the tow truck driver is not careful, the thing it is dragging behind it could hit other motorists.

Dump Trucks

Dump trucks do not have their cargo secured in the bed of the truck because it is debris from construction sites or other locations. Accordingly, there is a significant risk that it could fly out of the truck bed onto your vehicle or the road. Debris from a dump truck can pose a danger to motorists if not cleared from the roadway.

Concrete Mixers

Concrete mixers and cement trucks are particularly prone to what are called rollover accidents. The constant moving of cement inside their containers shifts the balance of the truck and can case it to, as the type of accident would suggest, roll over and trap people in their vehicles underneath the truck.

Concrete mixers are supposed to be turned off while the truck is in motion, however, a negligent driver might forget to turn it off and increase the risk that a rollover accident could occur.

Garbage Trucks

Garbage trucks make frequent stops along their route that could be unpredictable for other drivers in the area. A negligent garbage truck driver could easily either stop too erratically for other drivers to react in time or lose track of what they are doing and accidentally hit a person or other vehicle.

Fire Engines and Ambulances

The last thing an emergency responder wants to do on the way to a location is create another emergency.

Parties that Can be Held Liable for a Truck Accident in Waldorf, MD

Truck accidents can be complex cases because of the number of parties that could potentially be liable for causing them. While the truck driver will usually be the person most directly responsible, several other parties could share the blame depending on how the truck accident happened. Our truck accident attorneys can help you determine who caused your injuries and hold them accountable. Moreover, suing multiple parties is likely to give you a better chance of recovering damages in a truck accident lawsuit. For example, the driver might be what is called “judgment proof,” or unable to pay your damages. When you sue multiple parties, it is more likely that your damages will be paid efficiently, enabling you to get back on track sooner.

Truck Driver

Truck drivers are usually responsible for causing truck accidents because they were driving negligently in some way. Negligent driving comes in many forms, but many accidents are the result of distracted driving and speeding. A truck driver could also be held liable if they violated one of the state or federal trucking regulations they must follow, like how many hours they are permitted to drive in a specified amount of time. In many cases, the trucker will not be the only party that should be sued.

Trucking Company

Often, a trucking company can be held liable for an accident caused by the negligence of one of its drivers. Under the legal theory of “vicarious liability,” an employer can be held liable for injuries caused by negligent acts done by one of its employees while performing their normal job duties. For instance, if a trucker was speeding while transporting cargo and caused an accident, both the driver and the employer could likely be held liable.

Trucking companies can also be responsible for their own negligence. Trucking companies are responsible for properly training their drivers and conducting background checks to ensure dangerous drivers are not put behind the wheel. Trucking companies, like drivers, are also required to follow all state and federal trucking regulations. Trucking companies must make routine inspections of their vehicles and perform maintenance regularly. They must also ensure truckers comply with the regulations and do not drive too many hours.

However, if a truck driver is considered an independent contractor, the trucking company that they contract with might not be able to be sued. In most cases, independent truck drivers are not considered traditional employees since the trucking company does not exercise direct control over them. A common example would be Amazon delivery truck drivers, who typically do not work for Amazon itself, but for a local delivery company.

Other Parties

Considering how much technology is in most commercial trucks today, it is not uncommon for an accident to be caused when a part of a truck malfunctions or is designed poorly. If a defective truck system, like the steering or the brakes, contributes to causing a truck accident, the designer or manufacturer or the part could be held liable.

In other situations, another driver might have done the negligent act that caused your truck accident. For instance, if another car cuts a truck off, the truck driver might hit you while attempting to avoid an accident with the first driver. In many cases, however, both drivers will have contributed in some way to causing the accident. In the previous example, both drivers would be liable if the truck driver was speeding when they were cut off.

In rare situations, the party responsible for loading a truck’s cargo could also be responsible for your injuries. Cargo must be loaded in direct contact with other cargo and secured so it does not shift during transport. If improperly loaded cargo contributed to causing your accident, our truck accident attorneys can investigate your claim to determine the parties that should be sued.

Damages From Waldorf, MD Truck Accident Lawsuit

Damages are awarded for different reasons in truck accident lawsuits. Damages are generally broken into three categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages have a monetary value that can be proved by bills, receipts, or other tangible things. Hospital bills, costs of physical therapy to recover, and property damages can all be considered in economic damages calculations. Additionally, lost wages are economic damages. If you missed time at work or can no longer work because of your injuries, you could be compensated for that.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are less specific than economic damages. Examples of non-economic damages from a truck accident lawsuit include damages for mental anguish, pain and suffering, and lost enjoyment of life.

It is difficult to directly prove how much an injury hurts or how much being unable to do a recreational activity is worth in dollars. For that reason, you and our lawyers will need to argue for an amount of non-economic damages. There are several ways to come up with an amount for non-economic damages, but a common one is to take economic damages and multiply them by a certain amount.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are a special kind of damages that courts rarely award. While most damages in truck accident lawsuits are based on the needs of the plaintiff, punitive damages are designed to punish defendants. Their purpose is to reprimand particularly bad actors for their conduct and discourage them from acting similarly in the future.

Statute of Limitations to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Waldorf, MD

If you have been injured in a truck accident, you will want to know how long you have to file a lawsuit in Waldorf. The statute of limitations in Maryland encoded in Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 5-101, provides three years from the date of the accident for a truck accident victim to file their lawsuit.

This is less time than it seems. Truck accident cases are challenging and often require more investigation than routine car accident cases. Our truck accident lawyers can help you gather evidence and ensure your lawsuit is filed before the deadline.

Our Waldorf, MD Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help

For a free case evaluation, call our truck accident lawyers with Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (443) 424-6323.