Maryland Truck Accident Lawyer

Truck collisions are among the most serious on the road. The Maryland Motor Carrier Handbook indicates that trucks may weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. The impact of a collision with these large vehicles can cause major injuries or even fatalities for those in passenger cars, as well as for motorcyclists, bicycle riders, and pedestrians.

Even though commercial truck drivers must receive special driver’s licenses and extensive training before driving on public roads, they can still cause accidents through careless, reckless, or distracted driving. Even worse, commercial trucking companies and other parties might negligently hire people or manage their business, creating more opportunities for one person’s misconduct to cause preventable crashes and injuries.

If you were hurt in a collision involving a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle recently, you should prioritize speaking with a Maryland truck accident lawyer. Truck crash claims can be complicated even by the usual standards of personal injury litigation, and having a seasoned personal injury attorney’s help can make a tremendous difference in your odds of winning your case and obtaining fair compensation for your losses. En Español. Whether you were injured in Montgomery County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, or elsewhere, our Maryland attorneys can help.

Types of Truck Accidents

The Maryland truck accident lawyers at our firm have assisted clients injured in a wide array of accident types. Truck accidents, in particular, are often classified by the way they occurred, since many trucks and dangerous driving conditions share similar, classifiable qualities. Sometimes truck accidents are categorized due to the way that the truck driver acted or failed to act, and others relate to certain preventable mechanical malfunction or physical qualities (such as tire blowouts or overloading). Others still are related to way the accident dynamically took place (such as a jackknife accident or a rollover accident). The following are a few of the more common types of truck accidents that commonly occur on Maryland roadways.

As always, no two accidents are the same. Each one involves a unique set of factors and circumstances that require attention above and beyond the simple classification of the accident. The Maryland truck accident attorneys in our personal injury practice group are dedicated to investigating our clients’ cases to make sure that we are able to provide the best possible representation during the claims process.

Maryland Truck Accident Claims

One of the most important factors that will be taken into account by both a trial jury and the insurance company of the defendant in a Maryland truck accident case is the nature of your injuries, including the specific injuries you suffered as a result of the crash and whether they’re permanent. Just some of the injuries that may lead to a large settlement include the following:

  • Spinal cord injuries and other back injuries
  • Bone fractures such as shoulder, hip and ankle fractures
  • Head trauma including brain damage
  • Herniated discs
  • Paralysis
  • Any injury that requires surgery

These types of injuries typically result in the largest settlements because they can be confirmed through diagnostic testing administered by a health care provider.

However, insurance companies will also attach value to soft tissue injuries and other injuries deemed more subjective, such as the following:

  • Movement restrictions
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Visual disturbances
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle spasms

A reputable, experienced Maryland truck accident lawyer will know exactly which details to provide to the defendant’s insurance company, as well as how best to present them. Although the insurance company may offer you a small settlement in the immediate aftermath of your accident, your attorney will fight to raise the settlement value between that date and the date of your trial. In many cases, this may result in the settlement value increasing.

Who Regulates The Trucking Laws?

Truck drivers must have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and must obey all state and federal rules. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has comprehensive regulations addressing everything from the frequency of inspections for motor carriers to the number of hours that a trucker may drive in the course of a day and in the course of a week. The Code of Maryland Regulations also addresses rules for trucks related to driver licensing, vehicle inspections, weight limits, and many other issues. The Department of Transportation in Maryland provides a summary of laws and regulations applicable to commercial vehicles in the state.

A truck crash victim may file a lawsuit against the trucker and may recover compensation if the victim can prove that the safety rule violation was the direct cause of a collision. While a plaintiff may also file an injury lawsuit and prove negligence by showing the truck driver was unreasonably careless.

Victims injured in truck collisions can file a personal injury lawsuit to obtain compensation, while fatal truck crashes can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit brought by family members of the victims. The plaintiff may sue the driver of the truck who was directly responsible for the crash, but can also sue the trucking company in most cases.

Who Could Be at Fault for a Truck Wreck?

Like people driving commuter cars, truck drivers have a duty of care that requires them to always be responsible behind the wheel. Any trucker who causes a crash by breaking a traffic law or being reckless while driving has breached this duty and may, therefore, be liable for any harm they cause as a direct result. Importantly, though, individual truckers are not the only people who could potentially hold civil liability for injuries stemming from a truck crash.

Instead, it is often a good idea to hold the company that hired and employed a negligent trucker vicariously liable for their employee’s misconduct, something possible under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior. Sometimes, a trucking company might even be primarily to blame for the accident. For example, if a commercial vehicle company forces drivers to exhaust themselves and exceed federal limits on driving time, they might need to assume liability for their careless actions.

Finally, other crashes primarily stem from misconduct by a third party, such as a supplier who did not secure a truck’s cargo properly before transit, a manufacturer that provided faulty truck parts, or even another driver who collided with a semi-truck and caused a pile-up. In these complex situations, guidance from a skilled Maryland truck accident attorney can be crucial to identifying who holds the blame for the incident and proactively demanding restitution.

How Does the Doctrine of Vicarious Liability Apply in a Truck Crash Case?

The legal doctrine of vicarious liability applies in Maryland. Under this rule, if an employee is negligent in the course of his work performance, this is the equivalent of the employer being negligent. A trucking company can thus be held responsible for collisions that occur because the company is negligent in its policies or obligations, or because its employees were careless.

The Code of Federal Regulations Section 387.9 establishes a requirement that motor carriers have at least $750,000 in liability insurance coverage if they transport property in interstate commerce. If hazardous materials are being transported, up to $5 million in liability insurance is required. Since trucking companies must purchase large insurance policies, pursuing a claim for compensation from the trucking company can result in larger amounts of money being available to compensate a victim for all crash losses.

Filing Deadlines for Truck Crash Claims

Even if someone knows exactly who is at fault for a truck collision and has significant evidence to prove it, they only have a limited amount of time under state law to file their lawsuit. According to Maryland Code, Courts & Judicial Proceedings § 5-101, the filing deadline for most such claims is three years after the accident.

Unfortunately, this deadline even applies when a truck wreck leaves someone with permanent and debilitating injuries that will continue to affect them for decades to come. In these kinds of situations, help from a truck crash lawyer in Maryland could help plaintiffs accurately estimate the value of future losses and demand compensation for them well in advance.

Contact a Maryland Truck Accident Attorney for Guidance

Truck crashes are exceptionally dangerous for everyone involved, especially people in smaller commuter cars. That said, civil courts in Maryland will not automatically side with you if you get hurt because of a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence, and you will need to prove the right party at fault for your injuries if you want to be paid fairly for your losses.

A Maryland truck accident lawyer could provide irreplaceable help from the beginning of your case process. They can help decide who to pursue a claim against and can negotiate with insurance companies to try to resolve the case outside of court and get compensation in a settlement. An attorney can also provide representation in a MoCo or Maryland court so you can try to convince a jury to award you payment for medical costs, loss of wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, or wrongful death damages. Call today to schedule a meeting.