Woodlawn, MD Truck Accident Lawyer
Trucks are big, heavy vehicles capable of causing immense destruction if handled poorly. Although thousands of trucks set out on the road every day without issue, accidents can and do happen all too often. A truck accident is often a life-altering experience. Severe injuries are nearly ubiquitous in truck accidents for the drivers of other vehicles involved.
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident around Woodlawn, our lawyers can help. You might be burdened with large medical bills or complications from injuries sustained in the accident. We can help prepare your case and fight for you in court to give you the best chance of getting compensation.
Call the truck accident Lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free discussion of your case.
Who Could Be Responsible for Woodlawn, MD Truck Accidents?
Multiple parties could be liable for a truck accident. While the driver is the most obvious person to sue, it also might be a good idea to bring other parties into your truck accident lawsuit. Work with our truck accident lawyers to figure out who could be liable in the specific circumstances of your accident case.
The truck driver could be most directly responsible for your injuries. Truck driver negligence often manifests as mistakes made while driving or deciding to set out on the road when the driver really should not be behind the wheel in the state they are in.
Truck drivers make mistakes just like drivers of ordinary vehicles. If a trucker is speeding, driving under the influence, or not paying attention to the road, they will likely be liable for your injuries if they hit you.
Driving trucks for long periods is a physically taxing job. After a long time on the road, fatigue inevitably starts to set in for drivers. Tired driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, so truckers have restrictions on how long they can be behind the wheel at one time. If a trucker was behind the wheel for too long and they hit you, they could be liable for your injuries.
Trucking companies can be liable for the negligent conduct of their truck drivers under certain circumstances. The legal doctrine of “respondeat superior,” or “let the master answer,” allows plaintiffs to sue employers for the bad actions of their employees on the job. The catch is that the trucker must be doing a work activity when they caused your injuries. For example, if a trucker hit you while backing out of a rest stop on a highway, they were likely doing a work-related activity, and their employer should be liable. However, if the trucker decided not to go to work and hit you on the way to their friend’s house, they were likely not doing a work activity, and the employer likely will not be liable.
Sometimes, the truck drivers are independent contractors, not employees. Nevertheless, the trucking company still might be liable if they poorly maintained the truck or improperly loaded it.
Other parties besides the driver or the trucking company could be liable depending on the particular facts of your truck accident. If another driver is driving in an unsafe way, their conduct could have contributed to your injuries. For example, if another driver is swerving from lane to lane and a truck driver takes evasive maneuvers, hitting your vehicle in the process, then the other driver might partially be liable for your injuries.
Truck manufacturers could be liable for your injuries if the truck was defective. Manufacturing defects occur when something goes wrong during the assembly process of the truck. Faulty electrical wiring, use of substandard materials, and improperly installed brakes are all examples of possible manufacturing defects in trucks.
Road Maintenance Entities
Roads uncleared of debris or peppered with potholes can cause truck drivers to make dangerous moves on the road to avoid them. Alternatively, a particularly large pothole could make a truck go off course if the pothole gets hit. If poor road conditions were a factor in your truck accident, the state or municipal entity responsible for road maintenance could be partially liable.
What You Need to Prove in a Woodlawn, MD Truck Accident Lawsuit
To win a truck accident lawsuit, you need to prove that the defendant was negligent. You need to establish four parts, or “elements,” of negligence to prove it in court. Those elements are duty, breach, causation, and injury.
Duty refers to a “duty of care” that the defendant had to you. A duty of care is a standard that a person has to avoid careless and dangerous acts that could cause harm to others. For example, drivers have a duty of care to be safe on the road and not put other drivers in danger.
One key thing that makes an action careless is the foreseeability that harm could result. In a truck accident context, a reasonable truck driver could foresee that speeding might cause an accident, so it would be careless to speed while driving a truck.
Breach means that the defendant violated their duty of care to you. Breach is generally proven by showing that the defendant failed to act reasonably in the given situation. If the truck driver in your accident was tailgating your car and hit you, they probably breached their duty of care because it is against the law as well as objectively dangerous and unreasonable to drive so closely behind another reason.
Causation is usually the most difficult element to prove. You must prove both that the defendant caused your injuries and that the defendant’s conduct is closely related to your injuries. Going back to our intrepid truck driver, if their truck was in good working order and they ran a red light, their conduct is the direct cause of your injuries. However, suppose the driver was operating the vehicle in a perfectly reasonable way, but the brakes were defective, and the truck did not stop when it should have. In that case, the driver might not be liable because their conduct is not closely related enough to your injuries (but the brake manufacturer might be liable instead).
You need to have an injury to recover damages. Otherwise, you do not need anything to be put back to where you were before the accident. Evidence such as hospital stays, physical therapy classes, vehicle repair bills, and photographic evidence of your injuries can all be used to establish that you suffered injuries in a truck accident.
Speak to a Woodlawn, MD, Lawyer About Your Case
Talk to our truck accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for free.