Baltimore Truck Accident Law Firm – With Over 40 Years of Experience Winning On Behalf Of Injury Victims
Maryland Truck Crash Attorneys Giving Clients Personal Attention While They Heal From Their Injuries
Due to the size and weight of commercial trucks, truck accidents are often far more catastrophic than collisions involving two standard vehicles. Truck accident victims often suffer serious injuries, including spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, crushed limbs, internal injuries, and broken bones.
Many times, the injuries that victims sustain in a truck accident can affect them for the rest of their lives. Some injuries are fatal. Being involved in a truck accident can also be a traumatic experience, so victims may continue to suffer emotionally long after the physical injuries have healed.
The combination of their physical and emotional injuries may make it difficult to return to work or maintain the personal relationships they have with others. Fortunately, there are legal options available for truck accident victims.
If you have sustained injuries in a truck accident caused by another person’s negligence, don’t wait any longer to get the legal help that you need.
Contact The Law Office Of Marc J. Atas & Associates today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our skilled truck accident attorneys. Call our team today at 410-752-4878.
Who Can Cause A Truck Accident In Maryland
A number of different parties can contribute to the cause of a truck accident, including the truck driver, trucking company, cargo loader, and parts manufacturer. Any of these parties could be held liable in the event that an accident occurs.
Truck drivers can cause accidents when they get behind the wheel while intoxicated, distracted, or drowsy. In fact, drowsy driving is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. Drivers who ignore traffic laws or speed can also cause truck accidents.
The trucking company is another party that could be responsible for the crash. How? There are a number of federal regulations that trucking companies must comply with. If they fail to comply with one of these regulations, they could be held liable if their failure to do so leads to an accident.
For example, trucking companies must ensure that drivers receive proper training before they get behind the wheel of a commercial truck. They also have to inspect trucks on a regular basis and fix any issues that could lead to accidents. Inexperienced drivers and poorly maintained trucks can very easily cause a truck accident, so in these cases, the trucking company would be liable.
Parts manufacturers can also be responsible for trucking accidents if a defective part lead to the accident. For example, defective tires that suddenly blow out or defective brakes that give out for no reason could cause the driver to lose control of the truck and collide with another vehicle.
Finally, the company that is responsible for loading the cargo onto the truck can also be liable in the event of accident. Accidents can occur when the cargo is not loaded properly in the truck. If the weight of the cargo is not evenly distributed, the driver may not be able to control the truck.
As you can see, identifying the liable parties in a truck accident claim can be challenging. Because there are so many parties involved—and more than one party can be held liable for a single accident—it’s important to work with a truck accident attorney.
Top 22 reasons a truck is at fault in an accident
There are many different reasons why truck accidents take place. Below is a list of the top 22 reasons trucks are more likely to be involved in an accident.
1. Speed of truck. An accident can be caused if a truck is going above the speed limit or below the speed limit. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration research on traffic speed in 1998 proved:
• The evidence shows the risk of having a crash is increased both for vehicles traveling slower than the average speed, and for those traveling above the average speed.
• The risk of being injured increases exponentially with speeds much faster than the median speed. With trucks because of their weight and size the risk is even greater.
• The severity/lethality of a crash depends on the vehicle speed change at impact.
• Most crashes related to speed involve speed too fast for the conditions.
• speeding (traveling too fast for the prevailing conditions or above the posted speed limit is a factor in about 40 percent of road deaths.
• Speed kills, and traveling above the speed limit is an easy way to cause a car accident. The faster you drive, the slower your reaction time will be if you need to prevent an auto accident.
2. Driver impairment. Factors that prevent the driver from driving at their normal level of skill. Common impairments include:
• Alcohol- 40% of fatally injured drivers consumed some quantity of alcohol before the collision.
• Physical impairment- Poor eyesight and/or physical impairment
• Youth- higher incidence of collisions and fatalities among drivers aged in their teens or early twenties. These drivers have the highest incidence of both collisions and fatalities among all driver age groups. Females in this age group exhibit somewhat lower collision and fatality rates than males but still register well above the median for drivers of all ages. The highest collision incidence rate occurs within the first year of licensed driving.
• Old age- driver retesting for reaction speed and eyesight after a certain age should be required.
• Fatigue-Sleep deprivation- a special problem with truck drivers who are required to be on the road for long periods in order to make a living.
• Drug use- Including prescription drugs like opioids, over the counter drugs like antihistamines and illegal drugs
• Combining low doses of alcohol and marihuana has a more severe effect on driving performance than either in isolation,
• Taking recommended doses of several drugs together may combine to bring on drowsiness or other impairment.
3. Distraction-Driver’s attention is affected by distracting sounds such as conversations and cell phones. Hands-free cell phone use is not a safer option, because the brain remains distracted by the conversation and cannot focus solely on the task of driving Music can also have an effect; classical music could relax the driver to a condition of distraction. Hard rock can encourage the driver to step on the acceleration pedal.
4. Road Design– 34% of serious crashes had contributing factors related to the roadway or its environment. The road or environmental factor was either noted as making a significant contribution to the circumstances of the crash, or did not allow room to recover. Research has shown that careful design and maintenance, with well-designed intersections, road surfaces, visibility and traffic control devices, can result in significant improvements in collision rates.
5. Reckless Driving- reckless drivers often speed, change lanes frequently, and tail-gate causing a truck accident. Reckless drivers are often aggressive drivers.
6. Rain– Water creates slick and dangerous surfaces for trucks and often causes trucks to spin out of control or skid while braking.
7. Running red lights- Drivers that run red lights, run the risk of causing wrongful death because they often cause side-impact collisions at high speeds.
8. Running a stop sign- Many truck accidents occur because one driver ran a stop sign. Many rollover accidents and side-impact car accidents result from drivers that run stop signs.
9. Night Driving- Many truck drivers continue to drive at night when they are tired and visibility is poor. Driving at night nearly doubles the risk of a car accident occurring.
10. Design defects in trucks– Trucks have hundreds of parts, and any of those defective parts can cause a serious truck accident.
11. Unsafe lane changes– trucks are large by nature and a change of lanes when there is already a vehicle in that lane can be deadly
12. Wrong way driving– truck drivers often drive in areas they are unfamiliar with and can make a wrong turn and be on a highway heading in the wrong direction. A truck accident involving a heavy truck traveling in the wrong direction can be deadly.
13. Improper turns-An accident is more likely to happen when a truck makes an improper turn. It is harder to avoid a truck that turns in front of you then if it is a smaller car.
14. Tailgating-A truck driver that tailgates another vehicle is extremely dangerous because the time it takes a truck to stop is much longer than a car.
15. Snow or Ice- Trucks sliding on snow or ice can result in a horrific accident likely leading to multiple deaths. A truck out of control is as dangerous as a bullet
16. Road Rage– Has become a huge issue as drivers get in a dispute and then decide to use their vehicle as a weapon.
17. Pot holes– Drivers run the risk of losing control of their car or blowing out a tire when they drive over these potholes.
18. Tire blowouts- Truck tires often blow out and can result in the truck driver losing control of the vehicle
19. Fog- Can make it difficult for a truck driver to see a vehicle that has slowed or stopped in front of the truck. Fog therefore reduces reaction time necessary in order to bring a truck to a safe stop.
20. Deadly curves- Trucks traveling too fast around a deadly curve can result in a head on collision with oncoming traffic.
21. Animal crossings- trucks tend to travel in rural areas where it is not unusual to have wild animals like dear cross into their pathway requiring the truck to take fast emergency actions to avoid the animal and avoid other cars.
22. High Wind- especially in the mountains, high winds can force a truck to swerve into other lanes and cause a crash with other vehicles.
What Money Can I Recover As a Result of a Truck, Motorcycle Or Baltimore Car Accident?
The first item of damage in a car accident is the damage to your motor vehicle. Motor vehicle damages has three parts.
Actual physical damage to the vehicle. You have the absolute right to have your vehicle fixed at the shop of your choice. You have a right to require the shop to use parts that will not void your manufacturer’s warranty. If the parts the insurance company wants to use are of equal quality to manufacturers parts, you may require manufacturers parts but would have to pay the difference in costs.
You are entitled to a rental car with a model comparable to the one you were driving at the time of the accident
If as a result of the accident, even after your vehicle has been repaired, the value of the vehicle has diminished because it now has a history of being involved in an accident, thereby lessening of the value of the vehicle, then you can present a diminished value claim. In order to make a diminished value claim, it is necessary to obtain an expert in order to calculate what the diminished value is.
The Second item of damage in a car accident is the damage to your body.
You’re entitled to be reimbursed for any lost wages. If you miss any time from work as result of the accident because you are physically or mentally unable, then you can be reimbursed for the lost time.
If you’re not able to get to work because you don’t have transportation due to the accident than you should be reimbursed for your lost wages. If you are permanently unable to return back to the type of work you were doing at the time of the accident, then damages should be awarded for any loss of earning capacity.
If you lose your job because you are not able to return to work before the employer needs to replace you, then you should be compensated for the loss of the job.
You’re entitled to be reimbursed for any medical expenses including medical expenses in the past incurred up to the time the case is settled including chiropractors in physical therapy any x-rays and doctors, etc.
If you need treatment in the future on a periodic basis for chiropractors in physical therapy any x-rays and doctors, etc. as recommended by your doctor, then it would be necessary to retain a life care planner to calculate those future costs and attempt to collect them.
The last piece of the puzzle is called pain-and-suffering. Pain-and-suffering is usually the biggest piece of a settlement. Pain-and-suffering is reimbursement for the physical and emotional pain incurred prior to the case being settled as well as physical and emotional pain incurred in the future.
Pain and suffering can include any disability, scaring, loss of consortium, which is how it affected your marriage and inconvenience, how the accident changed your life during treatment time, and perhaps for the rest of your life.
How Much Compensation Can A Team Of Skilled Lawyers Help You Recover After A Truck Accident?
Clients are often eager to find out how much they will be able to recover from the negligent parties if they have been injured in a truck accident. It’s very likely that you are incurring a lot of medical expenses after an accident, so we understand your concern. But unfortunately, it’s hard to say how much you will be able to recover because so many factors can affect the amount.
Some of the factors that could affect how much you are able to recover include the severity of your injuries, the affect your injuries have had on the rest of your life, who was liable, the evidence you have to prove liability, how well you have documented your expenses, and more. For example, victims with spinal cord damage that has left them partially paralyzed may be able to recover more than victims that only suffered broken bones.
In general, truck accident victims may be able to recover economic damages for their current and future medical expenses and lost wages. They may also be entitled to non-economic damages to compensate them for any emotional pain and suffering they have experienced as a result of the accident.
In cases where the at-fault party acted extremely negligently, the truck accident victim can also be awarded punitive damages. To get an idea of how much your claim may be worth, it’s best to speak to an experienced truck accident attorney about your case.
How Can A Qualified Attorney Help After A Truck Accident?
Many people often wonder why they need to rely on a trucking accident attorney for help recovering compensation. First, it’s important to note that truck accident cases are far more complex than car accident cases because of the number of liable parties.
An attorney will need to dig deep into the evidence to identify the cause of the accident and determine who should be held liable. The investigation could include contacting witnesses, reviewing the police reports, consulting with medical or accident reconstruction experts, or issuing subpoenas to the trucking company to gain access to important documentation.
The attorney may need to review a significant amount of evidence provided by the trucking company, including the driver’s record, maintenance logs, and the truck’s black box. Reviewing this information will help the attorney determine who was at fault in the accident.
After all of the evidence has been gathered, the truck accident attorney can begin negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf. Without an attorney, you would be left to handle this on your own. Insurance adjusters often use sneaky tactics to get victims to settle for less than they deserve, so it’s strongly recommended that you work with an attorney.
Attorneys can also represent you if your case goes to trial. Most personal injury claims are settled in pre-trial negotiations, but there is always a possibility that yours could end up in court.
If you work with a skilled attorney from the very beginning, he can handle both the pre-trial negotiations and the actual trial.
What Happens If An Insurance Company Claims Total Loss?
If you collide with a commercial truck in Baltimore Maryland, it’s very likely that your car could be totaled as a result of the impact. The insurance company will determine if the value of the necessary repairs exceeds the cash value of the vehicle.
If it does, the car is considered to be totaled. Instead of paying for the repairs to fix the damage, the insurance company will take your car and offer you a settlement for the value of your vehicle.
But, this can be an issue if you still owe money on your car. For example, you may owe $8,000 on your car, but the insurance company may only be willing to pay $5,000.
Unfortunately, this happens far too often in truck accident case. Let our experienced truck accident attorneys handle the negotiations with the insurance company to ensure that you receive a fair settlement for your totaled vehicle.
Contact Our Baltimore Truck Accident Law Firm And Get The Compensation You Deserve!
Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident involving a cement, tractor trailer, FedEx, fire, garbage, news, tow or semi-truck? If so, you will need to report the accident to the authorities and then seek legal representation from an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Our law office has a number of different practice areas, including motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, wrongful death, and car accidents. We have a history of winning large verdicts and settlements for our clients. The moment a client gets in touch with us regarding a truck accident, we will immediately schedule a time to meet so we can get started on the case right away.
There’s no more time to waste—schedule a free consultation with the team at The Law Offices of Marc J. Atas & Associates today by calling 410-752-4878.