Commercial trucks are such a common sight on the nation’s roadways that it’s sometimes easy for drivers to disregard them as potential risks. It’s also commonly thought that because commercial truckers are trained, professional drivers that they may be less likely to cause an accident. But unfortunately, truck accidents have claimed countless lives and caused catastrophic injuries. When a semi-truck accident occurs near Gaithersburg, the victims can contact a personal injury law firm for guidance. Personal injury claims can help victims recover compensation for their injuries, property damage, and other losses.
Considering Driver Negligence
When reviewing the police report, witness statements, and other evidence, the personal injury lawyer may determine that the truck driver was at least partially at fault for the accident. Truck drivers may be held liable for negligence if they drove while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, for example. Although federal law requires truck drivers to restrict their work hours and take regular breaks from driving, they’re still at a high risk of driving while fatigued. Truck drivers who are under pressure to rack up the miles for increased pay may use excessive speed or otherwise drive in a reckless manner. Personal injury claims frequently name the truck driver as defendant for all of these reasons.
Identifying Other Defendants
Truck accidents are different from auto accidents in many ways. For instance, personal injury claims that result from truck accidents often have multiple defendants. Perhaps in addition to the truck driver, the personal injury claim may name the trucking company or leasing company as defendants. The trucker’s employer may be found negligent for failing to train drivers properly, enforce hour limits, and inspect and maintain the truck. Sometimes, equipment failure is a factor in truck accidents. The manufacturer of parts for the truck may be sued for making defectively designed or manufactured parts. There are even cases where the goods loaded into the back of a tractor-trailer were loaded improperly, causing a “load shift” with a sudden loss of control by the driver.
Understanding Wrongful Death Claims
Due to the typically catastrophic nature of truck accidents, they can all too easily result in the loss of life. The surviving family members of the victims may decide to talk to a personal injury lawyer about filing a wrongful death claim. In these cases, the plaintiffs may seek compensation for the medical expenses and funeral costs of the decedent, along with the loss of support.
If you have been injured in a commercial truck or semi-truck accident near Gaithersburg , you should contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. A truck accident lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of truck accident law, which includes state and federal Departments of Transportation regulations and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations. Here is a brief explanation of the role of federal law in truck accident cases.
Which Federal Agencies Regulate Truck Accident Laws?
Most elements of the trucking industry are regulated by both state and federal agencies. These agencies establish trucking laws and truck accident laws that may affect you if you are in a commercial truck accident or semi-truck accident. The federal agencies that regulate trucking and trucking laws are the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations is the primary source of most federal trucking regulations.
What Areas of Trucking do Federal Laws Regulate?
Whether a truck driver operates in your state or elsewhere, he must follow federal laws and regulations for the industry. He must hold a valid commercial driver’s license at the time that he is operating a commercial truck or semi-truck. He is only permitted to drive for a certain amount of time in one stretch without stopping and taking a break. The amount of weight that the truck is legally allowed to haul is regulated based upon the size of the truck. The truck must be regularly inspected, maintained, and repaired according to federal safety and quality standards. There are also federal safety regulations associated with hauling hazardous materials.
How is Liability Proven in a Truck Accident Case?
Your truck accident attorney should be able to tell you if he thinks that he will be able to legally prove that the truck driver was responsible for your truck accident. This can be proven if the driver was negligent or was driving negligently, or if he or his trucking company violated any federal trucking or local traffic laws.
Truck accidents are often among the most deadly. If you’ve survived a truck accident, there’s a good chance you have serious injuries and significant property damage. Because truck accident cases tend to be much more complicated than car crashes, it’s essential to get in touch with a truck accident attorney in Gaithersburg. A truck accident lawyer can help you explore your options for recovering compensation for your medical expenses, pharmaceutical costs, lost wages, property damage, loss of earning capacity, and other damages.
Identifying Time Limits to Filing a Claim
Personal injury lawsuits, including truck accident lawsuits, are subject to statutes of limitations. These are time limits that typically begin on the date of the accident. In Maryland, personal injury claims are typically subject to a three-year statute of limitations. The same time period applies to wrongful death claims. This means that if you wait until after three years following the crash, you may forfeit your right to file a lawsuit. Unfortunately, the three-year time period can be deceptive. You might think that you’ve got plenty of time to think about filing a lawsuit; however, you’ll actually need to consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the crash. This is because trucking companies tend to dispose of records relating to accidents as soon as they are legally able to. Truck companies can dispose of certain records in as a few as 90 days after a crash. This means that if you wait to talk to an accident injury lawyer, thinking it might be a matter to handle on your own, there may be little evidence left to substantiate your claim.
Understanding Contributory Negligence
Most states apply the principles of comparative negligence for accident cases . Comparative negligence allows juries to adjust awards based on the percentage of fault attributed to the plaintiffs and defendants. Unfortunately, Maryland is not one of these states. Maryland personal injury law still uses contributory negligence, which means that if a plaintiff is found to be even slightly at fault for the crash, he or she is prohibited from recovering any compensation from a judge or jury. In other words, if a truck driver was intoxicated and was 99 percent at fault, you might still be barred from recovering compensation if you were found to be one percent at fault for the crash. It is very common for insurance carriers and defense attorneys to aggressively look for ways to portray an accident victim as partially negligent in their own right, in order to avoid any payment of a claim. A skilled personal injury lawyer can counsel you on the perils of the contributory negligence doctrine, and work to show that truck driver was entirely at fault for your losses.
It’s a fact – Car and truck accidents often cause injuries. If you are involved in a car or motorcycle crash, it’s important to promptly consult an auto accident lawyer near Gaithersburg to ensure your legal rights are protected. Your personal injury lawyer will work with you to help you determine the facts of the situation and the types of damages you may be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit.
In this video, you will learn more about what to do after an auto accident, as well as what your auto accident lawyer can do for you. Following an accident, all the names and contact information of the individuals involved should be recorded, and statements taken on the scene by a police or other law enforcement official. Even if this process is not followed exactly, your personal injury attorney may be able to follow up with those involved to get the facts needed to present your case.
If you have been hurt in an accident with a commercial truck, your first step should be to contact a truck accident lawyer . Truck accidents often result in personal injury claims, which, if handled promptly and professionally, can allow victims to be compensated for their injuries, expenses, and suffering.
Accidents with large trucks, like eighteen-wheelers or other large freight carriers, can result in catastrophic injuries. While truck drivers are typically pretty careful drivers, large truck crashes still occur. Sadly, semi truck accidents often result in death or very serious injury simply because the vehicles involved are so large. But a personal injury lawsuit can be successful even if the victim experiences a comparatively minor injury, like whiplash. In addition, a personal injury lawyer can help ensure that the truck driver, trucking company, and auto manufacturer are all potentially held liable.
Car accidents affect millions of people each year, and while some accidents are minor, others lead to serious injuries and loss of wages. What factors contribute to these frequent accidents? Distracted driving, including mobile phone use, is a major issue, as is driver fatigue and driving while intoxicated. Whatever the cause of an accident, the steps you take after one occurs can make a big difference in your ability to get compensation for your damage and injuries. After getting any necessary medical attention, be sure to call a lawyer before you consider any settlement offers. Find out more about car accidents in this infographic from Sussman & Simcox: Attorneys at Law. We assist clients with personal injury claims in Gaithersburg, and we can protect your rights throughout the personal injury settlement process. Contact us when you need a lawyer to assist you with a personal injury claim, and please share this information with your friends and family.
A truck accident lawyer regularly handles legal claims from individuals who have suffered serious personal injuries in Gaithersburg and Rockville. When it comes to truck accidents, the law is often even more complicated than it is with average accident injury claims. This complication stems from the fact that truck accidents involve more people, from the truck driver to the company that employs him. Keep reading to find out more about truck accident responsibility.
When a semi-truck accident results in personal injury, numerous parties are almost always involved. Semi-truck accidents can implicate many players, including the driver, the owner of the truck, the company that leased the truck, the vehicle manufacturer, and the shipper or loader of the truck’s cargo. Each party is covered by different insurance, and each insurance company generally has different truck accident attorneys, making such accident claims even more complicated.
To avoid liability, each party will often attempt to blame the others for the accident. A truck accident lawyer can help determine who actually bears legal responsibility for an accident—and who owes compensation. For example, a truck company might claim that an accident was caused by defective brakes. But the brake manufacturer might blame the leasing company, arguing that the organization failed to maintain the brakes properly.
Trucking companies today have a much more difficult time avoiding liability, making it a bit easier for personal injury claims to be properly compensated after a truck accident. These big companies formerly attempted to escape liability by blaming a driver entirely. But new federal laws have made all companies owning trucking permits responsible for an accident involving any truck with its placard. That means that trucking companies can no longer pretend that their drivers are simply independent contractors for whose actions they cannot be held legally liable.
If you have been involved in a truck accident in the Rockville or Gaithersburg area, your first step should always be to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who regularly handles truck accident claims . Each situation is specific, and only an experienced lawyer can guide you through your exact legal options. Still, all truck accident victims have basic legal rights regardless of the circumstances of their accidents. Keep reading to learn the answers to victims’ frequently asked questions about their rights after a truck accident.
Can I Sue the Truck Driver’s Company After a Truck Accident?
Usually. As long as the truck driver is employed by a trucking company, that company can be legally responsible for its driver’s negligence. That means both the individual trucker and his employer may be financially responsible for any costs the victim incurs due to personal injury, including pain and suffering, loss of current and future wages, and emotional trauma. Problems may arise when a trucker works as an independent contractor and does hauling for different companies, but as long as the company supervises the driver, your accident lawyer can argue that he was legally an employee.
Can I Automatically Recover Against a Truck Driver Who “Jackknifed”?
Not necessarily. While many truck accident claims involve eighteen-wheeler trucks that “jackknife,” drivers are not always liable for others’ personal injuries. Some examples include if the truck driver took an abrupt turn in an effort to avoid a stalled vehicle or another accident, or if there was an unforeseen defect or slipperiness in the streets.
Can I Win a Lawsuit Even if I Was Partly at Fault?
In only four jurisdictions across the country, including Maryland and Washington, D.C., any negligence by the victim which contributes to an accident will likely bar any recovery by the victim. Because of this harsh rule, it is not uncommon for a trucking company with obvious liability for an accident to argue that the victim was 1% at fault. In this way, they can completely avoid the consequences of a serious accident. You should always seek out a personal injury attorney who is experienced in accident claims to help establish your very strongest case and get the damages you deserve.
Commercial trucks carry an inherent danger on the road, because these vehicles are much more difficult to maneuver than passenger vehicles, and they can cause much more significant property damage and injuries following accidents . In many cases when commercial truck accidents take place, there are a number of factors to consider when determining fault. This article will take a closer look at some of the underlying factors that might increase the risk of accidents involving eighteen wheelers or other heavy equipment. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a commercial truck accident, you should not hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer near Gaithersburg and Rockville area to explore the details of your case.
Truck drivers often have unrealistic schedules resulting in long days on the road, which can pose a big danger with driver fatigue. Being sleep deprived on the road can reduce reaction times and cause a driver to overlook safety guidelines that might otherwise prevent serious accidents. In June 2014, in a fatal highway accident that made national headlines, a Wal-Mart tractor trailer operator slammed into other vehicles ahead after failing to notice traffic slowing in a construction zone. After the accident, investigators learned that the truck driver had been awake for 28 hours leading up to the accident.
Poor Road Conditions
Bad weather is a risk for any driver, but stopping a big rig on an icy road or controlling the vehicle in windy conditions might be much more difficult for commercial drivers. When weather and other poor road conditions are present, all drivers should be more cautious and aware of trucks on the road.
Aside from driver negligence , failed equipment and inadequate driver training are leading causes of commercial truck accidents. In cases where an equipment failure led to the accident, there may be multiple defendants involved, including the truck manufacturer and the trucking fleet.
Unsafe Driver Practices
Passenger vehicles do have their role in truck accidents, as there are a number of unsafe practices that can limit a commercial driver’s ability to respond in time. Driving in between trucks, passing on the right, and abruptly changing lanes are all habits that could lead to dangerous situations involving larger vehicles.
Truck accidents account for a large portion of vehicle collisions on the road. If you have been involved in an accident with a truck, it’s important to take fast action following the incident. Personal injury claims require solid evidence when determining how much recompense is owed, and by whom. However, trucking companies are only required to retain certain records for a limited period of time, often as little as 90 days. This means that you have only a limited window of time to begin working with a personal injury lawyer serving Gaithersburg and Rockville to start your claim, preserve essential evidence and receive the compensation you are owed. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be for your lawyer to help you present your case and all the facts associated with it.
When a truck is involved in a personal injury claim, getting all the facts promptly can help you win a personal injury settlement. Contacting an attorney as soon as possible to get your claim filed is the best way to prevent evidence from being destroyed before it can be used to aid your case.
Truck accidents are often different from other types of auto accidents, as they involve larger vehicles with the potential for severe damage. Thus, truck accident claims require a careful evaluation of the events and factors involved to determine fault and the proper amount of compensation. Knowing what questions your Gaithersburg attorney may ask you when filing a personal injury claim following a truck accident can help you prepare for this process.
What Were the Road Conditions Like?
Road conditions can play a significant role in accident risk , particularly for trucks. Your lawyer will ask you to describe the road conditions at the time of the accident to determine whether factors such as the weather, the lighting conditions, the amount of traffic, visibility and the road conditions justified the trucker’s actions, or whether he failed to compensate for them properly.
Have You Spoken With an Insurance Company?
Insurance companies will often take steps to obtain statements that could be used against your personal injury claim as soon as possible. Therefore, it is best for you to speak with a lawyer before you make any sort of recorded statement over the phone, either for your insurance or the trucker’s insurance. Your lawyer will want to know if you have made such a statement already, as it can affect how your case is presented. If you have not made a statement, your attorney will determine whether a statement is necessary and, if so, how to prepare for it.
When Was the Accident?
Truck accidents and their related personal injury claims must be addressed quickly to prevent accidental or intentional destruction of evidence. Because trucking companies often destroy their records legally after a short period of time, your lawyer must act fast to obtain documentation while it is available. Additionally, some accidents require a physical inspection of the vehicles by a qualified expert to determine such things as point of impact, the condition of the braking system, or whether headlights or brake lights were operational. This inspection must take place before any vehicle repairs begin. Thus, your lawyer will need to know when your accident occurred to determine whether certain types of evidence are still available.
Truck accidents can cause devastating damage in the blink of an eye. Your truck accident attorney serving Gaithersburg and Rockville is on your side when it comes to achieving a personal injury settlement.
If you are in a truck accident, it’s important to take the proper steps in the aftermath to protect your right to compensation. One of the first things you should do is call a truck accident lawyer. Many trucking companies have the right to destroy essential evidence, such as rest logs, 90 days after an accident, which can make your case much more difficult to prove. That’s why it’s necessary to have a lawyer working on your case as soon as possible. A truck accident attorney can fight back against the trucking company to ensure you get the compensation you need for the damage to your vehicle, medical bills, and lost wages. Find out more about truck accidents and what steps you should take after being involved in one in this infographic from Sussman & Simcox . Our truck accident attorney serving Gaithersburg can help you get compensation after a truck accident. Help other drivers understand how to protect themselves in this situation by sharing this information.
Filing personal injury claims after suffering a car accident injury in Gaithersburg or Rockville can help you recover compensation for your losses following a rear-end collision . However, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of car and truck accidents. As a general rule of thumb, leave at least one car length of space for every 10 mph between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you. If a vehicle is following you too closely, switch lanes if possible or consider pulling over to let the vehicle pass you.
As you’ll learn when you watch this video, personal injury claims often arise because many drivers become careless when the gaps between vehicles remain consistent. In other words, drivers are more likely to take their eyes off the road when the vehicle ahead of them maintains a steady speed. Unfortunately, complacency can easily lead to a rear-end collision, as the car ahead can suddenly brake when the rear driver has glanced away.
About one-quarter of all deaths caused by truck accidents involve teen drivers. As alarming as this statistic is, it may not necessarily be a surprise, given that teen drivers lack significant driving experience. You can protect your teen by giving him or her ample opportunities to gain driving experience with you in the passenger’s seat. It’s also a good idea to discuss safe driving practices, particularly in close proximity to big rigs. If your teen does become involved in a crash despite these precautions, a truck accident attorney serving Gaithersburg and Rockville can assist you with personal injury claims.
Emphasize the Importance of Distance
One of the issues you can discuss with your teen is the limitations of commercial trucks due to their sheer size and weight. It can be hazardous to drive too closely to the truck, whether your teen is in front of the truck, behind it, or next to it. Explain that trucks require a great deal more distance to slow down and stop as compared to a passenger vehicle, which is why it’s best not to drive too closely to the truck when in front of it. Teens should be aware that if they follow the truck too closely, the truck driver is not likely to know that they’re behind the truck. Finally, a driver following a large truck cannot see the road ahead, and will have no advance warning if there is stopped traffic or other hazards ahead of the truck.
Discuss the Dangers of Blind Spots
New drivers should get into the habit of checking their blind spots each time they switch lanes. This can not only help them avoid merging into another car; it can also remind them that truck drivers have exceptionally large blind spots all around the big rig. It’s advisable to avoid driving alongside a big rig whenever possible. The truck driver may sideswipe the car when changing lanes, unaware that it’s there.
Establish a Zero Tolerance Rule for Distracted Driving
Countless personal injury claims are filed because of distracted drivers. Let your teen know that distracted driving is not acceptable under any circumstances. This will help protect your teen from all types of traffic accidents, including life-threatening collisions with big rigs. Parents might consider installing an app on their teens’ cellphones that prevent them from sending or receiving messages while driving. Even if your teen is a riding as a passenger with another teen driver, they can hold the driver’s cellphone during the trip, so it cannot be a distraction.
Did you know that there are about 400,000 big rig accidents each year in the U.S.? Personal injury claims in the Gaithersburg area often result from serious injuries or deaths as a result of truck accidents. Although filing personal injury claims after truck accidents can help you recover compensation for your losses , it’s also important to follow safety guidelines to reduce your risk of a crash.
When you watch this video, you’ll see a depiction of the wide zones around a big rig in which the trucker is unable to see other vehicles. It’s essential for drivers to avoid these blind spots whenever possible. Keeping your distance from a truck also helps you avoid dangers such as tire shards flying through your windshield after a tire blowout. Despite leaving plenty of space between your vehicle and a big rig, you may still be involved in an accident through no fault of your own. If so, a personal injury lawyer can assist you, and you should make contact with an attorney right away.
Thousands of personal injury claims arise from truck accidents. Big rigs are inherently more dangerous because of their weight, poor maneuverability, and poor stopping ability, along with the impaired ability of the truck driver to detect other vehicles in close proximity to the truck. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a truck accident, it’s critical to contact a truck accident attorney serving the Rockville area right away. Many trucking companies discard driver logs and other important evidence after a certain period of time following an accident. By working with a personal injury lawyer right away, you have a better chance of a favorable resolution.
Beware Wide Turns
You may have noticed signs on big rigs that caution other drivers about the wide turns the truck makes. When a truck needs to make a right-hand turn, the truck driver must swing wide to the left before maneuvering to the right. Other motorists can then make the mistake of thinking the truck is actually going straight through the intersection and they may try to pass the truck on the right. As a result, the passenger vehicle can easily become sideswiped by the trailer. When approaching intersections with a truck, it’s best to wait for the truck to complete its maneuver before proceeding forward.
Visibility is a common factor in personal injury cases that involve truck accidents. Truck drivers have substantial blind spots . They cannot necessarily see other vehicles that are driving alongside the truck, right in front of the truck, or right behind the truck. To improve your visibility and reduce your chances of a truck accident, maintain plenty of distance between the vehicles.
Use Caution When Passing and Changing Lanes
Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to avoid driving alongside a truck. If you need to pass a big rig, always do so on the left side of the truck. Maintain a steady speed as you pass. If you plan to merge into the lane the truck is in, make sure there is plenty of space between vehicles before doing so. You should never create a scenario where you move into a lane directly in front of a truck and then have to brake, as you may not have left stopping distance for the truck, which cannot stop as quickly as a passenger car.
Even though all drivers need to exercise caution, truck drivers need to be especially aware of the dangers presented when operating large, unwieldy vehicles. For truck drivers, even minor driving errors, such as not signaling before passing another vehicle, can lead to a catastrophic accident and subsequent personal injury claims . One way for truck drivers to prevent such accidents is by identifying the most common causes of truck accidents.
Truck accidents caused by passenger vehicle drivers
“Passenger vehicles” primarily refers to other cars sharing the road with commercial trucks. In personal injury claims involving collisions between automobiles and commercial trucks, the car drivers are sometimes at fault. The most common mistake car drivers make when interacting with commercial trucks is failing to understand the truck’s performance capabilities. These include the truck driver’s limited ability to brake quickly or see other vehicles sharing the road. In addition, car drivers often commit unsafe acts that result in truck accidents and personal injuries . For example, cars sometimes drive in the “No-Zone,” the areas behind and beside a commercial truck where the truck driver has very limited visibility. Car drivers also tend to change lanes suddenly in front of a truck or maneuver to the right of a truck when it is making a right turn. Other personal injury cases involving trucks result from drivers misjudging a truck’s speed and making a left turn at an intersection.
Truck accidents caused by commercial truck drivers
Commercial drivers receive specialized training, so most are skilled and patient drivers. However, there are characteristics inherent in the business that can lead to car accidents. For example, some drivers are subjected to systems of compensation that encourage faster vehicle speeds or more hours of continuous vehicle operation. These work incentives can lead to truckers pushing their limits and making careless mistakes to drive faster. Our personal injury lawyers serving Gaithersburg have also handled cases of inadequate training of drivers in regards to driving technique, safety concerns, and defensive driving maneuvers. If a commercial truck driver may be at fault for an accident, the auto accident victims should consult with a personal injury lawyer.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a truck accident , you need the expert help of a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer serving Gaithersburg can file personal injury claims to hold the negligent party responsible for his or her actions. Although weather conditions and vehicular malfunctions are sometimes to blame for truck accidents, they are more often than not caused by the driver.
As you’ll learn by watching this video, up to 90 percent of all truck accidents are caused by mistakes made by the driver. For example, the driver may be following the vehicle ahead of him or her too closely, or he or she may be driving unsafely in poor weather. Sometimes, a truck driver may fall asleep at the wheel because he or she failed to adhere to safety regulations that mandate a certain amount of time off the road while on a trip. Because of the large size of commercial trucks, truck accidents can often cause serious injuries to the other motorists involved. Many personal injury cases have resulted in large jury awards or settlements after a lawyer proves driver negligence.
- Car Accidents
- Personal Injury Lawyer
- Auto Accident Injuries
- Car Accident Lawyer
- Personal Injury claim
- Sussman & Simcox
- Truck Accidents
- Premises Liability
- Personal Injury Protection
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Accidents & Injury
- Slip & Fall Accidents
- Serious Injuries
- Wrongful Death
- Transit Disasters
- December (4)
- November (4)
- October (4)
- September (4)
- August (4)
- July (3)
- June (4)
- May (4)
- April (4)
- March (4)
- February (3)
- January (3)
- December (4)
- November (5)
- October (4)
- September (4)
- August (3)
- July (4)
- June (5)
- May (5)
- April (4)
- March (5)
- February (3)
- January (4)
- December (4)
- November (4)
- October (4)
- September (4)
- August (4)
- July (4)
- June (5)
- May (4)
- April (5)
- March (5)
- February (4)
- January (4)