Maryland Truck Accidents Involving Bad Weather

The state does its best to ensure that Maryland roads are well maintained and not susceptible to any sort of infrastructure damage, which can be exacerbated by bad weather conditions. However, because Maryland truck accidents involving bad weather can still occur, it could be critical to discuss prevention and claim options with an attorney.

Bad weather is sometimes inevitable, and with it comes dangerous driving conditions and an increase in traffic and truck accidents. But just because trucking companies and their drivers cannot help the weather does not mean they bear no responsibility for accidents that occur as a result. Trucking companies still have a duty to take steps to make sure their vehicles and drivers do not pose a risk to others sharing the roadway, even during the worst weather conditions.

Practiced tractor-trailer crash lawyers can use the report from law enforcement officers to show that the weather conditions created unsafe conditions and that the truck driver did not take specific mitigating steps to ensure that they were not a danger to people on the road given the hazardous weather conditions.

If you believe a trucking company or its driver caused an accident during bad weather conditions and you or a loved one were hurt, your truck accident lawyer in Maryland can help determine the responsible party.

How Truck Accidents Involving Bad Weather Occur

Given that trucks are very dangerous because of their size and the speed at which they are traveling, poor weather conditions can amplify the danger of the trucks being on the road with normal cars.

Jackknifing and rollovers are causes of some of the most deadly large truck accidents, and both are more likely to occur during poor weather conditions. Wet and icy roads increase the odds of slipping and skidding on the roadways, and this can start a chain of events that ends with a jackknife, rollover or other type of dangerous truck accident.

Bad weather can also impair visibility for drivers and negatively affect vehicle performance, including the truck’s stability, traction, friction and maneuverability. Other factors that can also pose a danger include, but are not limited to:

  • Heavy winds
  • Fog
  • Flooding
  • Black ice
  • Road obstructions

If the driver sees another car hydroplaning in front of them or feels themselves slipping and sliding, if they have bad visibility due to fog, or they feel like they are losing control of their vehicle, these should be warning signs to the driver that there is a high potential of Maryland truck accidents involving bad weather.

Steps to Follow After an Injury from Driving in Bad Weather

The initial step a person should take is to ensure that law enforcement officers document the conditions, whether there is ice, flooding, wind, or hail.

The police report will say that those conditions were present to ensure that a truck collision attorney would be able to bring a claim against the state or local government or against the defendant driver.

Types of Recoverable Damages One Can Seek

After being injured in a collision, individuals can recover damages depending on the details of their case. A person can be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages for the following:

  • Severe debilitating physical and emotional injuries
  • Diminished capacity for the enjoyment of life
  • Substantial medical bills
  • Related expenses to alleviate their injuries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of employment opportunity
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of time and enjoyment
  • Impairment of their customary leisure and recreational activities

Bad Weather Truck Accident Liability

If the weather conditions are poor enough, trucking companies should train drivers to evacuate the roadway altogether until conditions improve. Unfortunately, because taking a break from driving – even in dangerous conditions – can mean lost profits for trucking companies whose goods may not arrive at their destination as quickly, trucking companies sometimes encourage drivers to power through storms and other dangerous weather conditions. This can especially be the case when trucking companies are already facing significant profit losses due to weather-related delays.

Other times, a trucking company may have conflicting policies where drivers may be officially trained to pull off the road in bad weather, but in doing so may lose a benefit or incentive provided if they were to make the delivery in a shorter amount of time. Your Maryland bad weather truck accident lawyer can determine whether the company’s actions or training practices constituted negligence or recklessness.

Trucking companies also have a responsibility to make sure their trucks are in safe driving condition, regardless of how bad the weather may be.

Steps to Help Protect from Weather-Related Accidents

In order to protect yourself from potential crashes involving bad weather, you can ensure that they have the right equipment to deal with the weather. If there is snow or ice, a person can change their snow tires. If there are foggy conditions, the driver can ensure that the vehicle is equipped with high beams to breach the fog and can drive cautiously when there are hazardous weather conditions. Driving cautiously is one of the best protections a person can provide themselves.

However, if you were injured in an accident with a truck that involved bad weather, an attorney in Maryland could help to answer your questions, assess responsibility, and pursue compensation on your behalf.

An attorney could investigate the trucking company’s policies and practices to determine whether they may have contributed to your accident and injuries. They could also look into whether the vehicle that caused your accident was in good working condition and up-to-date with inspections, repairs, and quality standards, as well as whether the truck driver acted in accordance with legal and industry requirements for driving during adverse conditions. For instance, an attorney may discover that while a truck driver may not have exceeded the speed limit, he may still have been going faster than is safe under the weather conditions.