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.
Slip and fall lawyers regularly help victims get compensation after being hurt from falls in Gaithersburg, MD. While it may seem simple to prove that a property owner is at fault when someone is hurt on his poorly maintained property, personal injury law in this area is actually quite complex. If you have slipped on a floor, stairs, or ground that is slick or dangerous, here is how your attorney can prove the property owner’s fault.
The first step in proving fault involves showing that a property owner failed to act carefully. In short, the injured party and his/her slip and fall lawyer have to show that the property owners did not take reasonable steps to ensure that the property at issue was free from dangerous conditions. For example, an owner at an apartment complex who fails to provide any snow removal or sidewalk treatment after a snow storm might be liable to tenants who fall and sustain injury. Even where a landlord claims not to have known about a dangerous condition, such as a rotting board on a staircase, they can be held responsible for an injury if it can be shown that the landlord failed to conduct inspections of the property over time which would have revealed the dangerous condition.
A personal injury lawyer needs to show that the property owner did not meet the standard of reasonableness under the law. The property owner does not have to guarantee the safety of all persons on the property, but must meet a standard of reasonableness in keeping the property safe. For example, if a patron in a grocery store slips and falls on a grape that was just knocked from a produce display, the property owner will argue that this was an unpredictable event and that it would be unreasonable to require all grocery stores to post employees at the end of each aisle to constantly watch for random spills. The court will often look to whether the owner met an industry standard for safety, staffing or inspections.
Finally, a personal injury lawyer will need to show that the property owner bears sole responsibility for an accident. Maryland and D.C., along with just two other states across the country, still adhere to the old and disfavored “contributory negligence” standard. This means that if the plaintiff contributed to an accident through his or her own negligence, no matter how slight, the plaintiff will be totally barred from any recovery. For example, if a store positions a display table so the leg sticks out into the aisle, causing someone to trip and fall, the store owner will argue that even if its employees were negligent, the shopper contributed to the incident by not watching where they were walking. If the plaintiff can be shown to have been just 1% negligent in an incident, their claim is barred and the 99% negligent property owner owes nothing. This harsh rule has defeated numerous slip and fall and other injury claims and left seriously injured citizens owing substantial medical bills and lost wages, with no recourse against the parties primarily responsible. This reason alone should be incentive for every person who has sustained a slip and fall injury to contact an experienced attorney immediately after such an incident to fully understand their legal rights and prepare the best case possible.
If you have recently lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, you should contact a wrongful death lawyer near Rockville or Gaithersburg. While losing a family member is an understandably overwhelming event in anyone’s life, you deserve to have a personal injury lawyer who will fight for your right to compensation.
Every day, people die in car and truck accidents, plane crashes, boating accidents, property accidents, and due to medical malpractice. Most lay-people are only generally familiar with the term “wrongful death.” But wrongful death lawyers are familiar with two distinct legal claims. The first is a wrongful death claim brought by family members seeking compensation for damages such as loss of consortium, loss of support and loss of expected financial contributions the deceased would have made to the family had they lived. The second kind of claim is called a survival action and is generally brought on behalf of the decedent’s estate by the estate’s executor or personal representative. Compensation in these cases is for the pain, suffering and other losses suffered by the victim.
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.
When buying or renewing car insurance, most people naturally look for places to save money. But when you buy insurance, Rockville personal injury attorneys suggest paying special attention to PIP and uninsured motorist coverage.
PIP stands for personal injury protection and is no-fault coverage designed to pay immediate medical expenses and lost wages after an accident. Individuals apply for these benefits from their own insurance companies and they are payable regardless of who caused the accident. Minimum coverage is $2,500 in benefits, which generally covers an emergency room visit, x-rays, some follow-up care, and some time off work. PIP is a great value in that it does not cost very much to add to your auto policy, and each member of your household will then have access to their own $2,500 benefit.
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you suffer personal injury in an auto accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Like PIP, this benefit is purchased through your own insurance company. It gives you the peace of mind in knowing that if you or other occupants of your car are seriously injured, and the other driver is inadequately insured, there will still be coverage available to pay for your injuries and wages. Given the high cost of medical care, families can be devastated with uncovered hospital or surgical bills after an accident. Insure yourself. The next time you renew your auto insurance make sure you consider raising your uninsured motorist limits.
All personal injury claims in Gaithersburg or surrounding area immediately receive the attention of insurance companies eager to minimize their financial obligations to victims. Once the insured or the injured person opens a claim, an insurance adjuster gets to work to investigate the facts of the accident and try to negotiate settlement of the claim. To protect yourself, make sure you have a good accident attorney to help you navigate insurance company demands. Read on to learn more about what role insurance companies and adjustors play in personal injury cases.
Speak to the Insured Party
An insurance adjustor’s first step is to speak to the individual covered by their insurance policy. If the insured individual has suffered personal injury in a car, truck, boating, or other accident, the adjustor will ask for a recorded statement describing the accident and all injuries.
Request Official Records
Car accidents are generally accompanied by police reports and accident reports drivers file with the state department of motor vehicles. An insurance company will request copies of all these documents as they begin to build their file.
Request Additional Documentation
Once the claim has been filed, the adjustor generally identifies him/herself, explains applicable policy limits, and asks the claimant or claimant’s personal injury attorney to provide documents that may be relevant to the claim. For example, an adjustor may ask for medical bills, medical records, proof of earnings, and proof of property damage.
Investigate Injured Persons
If you are the victim of an accident, the individual who caused your personal injury most likely has his insurance company investigating you. The opposing insurance company will look for any information that might defeat your claim or lower its value. For example, the company may Google you or examine insurance claims databases to see if you have ever filed a personal injury claim before. Adjustors may call your employer to find out how you are doing back at work. They even access accident victims’ Facebook pages to see if they have posts that suggest they are not truly injured.
Pharmacy errors happen every day. Unfortunately, when pharmacists make mistakes, the results can be disastrous for Gaithersburg residents who rely on prescription medications. Lawyers in Gaithersburg regularly counsel clients who have suffered personal injury due to pharmacy error.
Most of these injury and accident cases are caused by a combination of circumstances, including overreliance on assistants, similar shapes, sizes, and colors of medications, a busy counter, and the repetitive nature of pharmacy work itself. These mistakes can cause individuals who are already sick to become even more ill. For example, a diabetic may be prescribed an inappropriate amount of insulin, or a bronchitis patient may receive too high a dose of antibiotics. While overdoses are common, patients may also suffer side effects, allergic reactions and withdrawal symptoms when they are prescribed the wrong medication. Sadly, personal injury lawyers report that the elderly are all too often the victims in personal injury cases that stem from completely avoidable pharmacy errors.
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.
If you file a personal injury claim in Gaithersburg , your insurance carrier may try to offer a settlement to resolve your case. Many people will be tempted to take early offers put forth by an insurance company, but that may not always be the best idea. Watch this video to learn more.
Insurance companies are profit-driven organizations, and are therefore motivated to reduce their expenses. One key way that these companies try to reduce expenses is by paying out the smallest settlements they can. To ensure that you receive a fair payout from your insurance carrier, rather the sum that they initially offer, consult an attorney with experience in personal injury and insurance claims immediately after an accident, who can give you professional guidance through the claims process.
If you have been wrongfully injured in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident near Gaithersburg, you might consider contacting a personal injury lawyer to help you seek compensation for medical care and other damages. While every personal injury case will be unique depending on the individual circumstances, there are some general procedures that you can expect during a case. Read on to get a closer look at the components of a personal injury case.
Your immediate priority should be to seek appropriate medical care, though you will want to make sure that your care is well-documented to be sure that all the details are available when you contact an attorney.Attorney Consultation
Most personal injury lawyers will offer a free initial consultation to discuss the viability of your case. If you do decide to pursue a case, your lawyer will gather details about the accident and your injuries or the injuries/wrongful death of a loved one you are representing. Most often, the legal fee in a personal injury cases will be based on a percentage of the settlement or trial verdict, meaning that upfront legal costs are not a factor and should not hold you back from seeking the representation you deserve.
Demand and Negotiation
Once your attorney has assembled all documentation of your injuries and losses, a demand will be made to the defendant’s insurance carrier. Typically, a claims adjustor will review the demand materials sent by your attorney. Negotiations then commence to try and settle the case outside of court. In many cases the claims representative will first request additional information about your health history or wages before completing an evaluation of your claim.
While most personal injury cases settle outside of court, there remain a large number of cases where a settlement may not be reached in negotiation. In these situations, your lawyer will file a lawsuit, which will commence the process of discovery. This process entails the gathering of information through depositions, document collection and review, medical examinations, and other exploration of the liability and injury issues in a case. As discovery is wrapping up, the case may be sent to mediation, which will be followed by a trial if a settlement is still not reached.
Boating accidents can be a complicated area of personal injury law, because they may relate to either maritime law or negligence law, depending on the circumstances of the accident. Furthermore, there are many factors that present a danger to boaters and those enjoying water recreation. Many states allow individuals as young as 12 to operate boats, and many adult boaters will operate the vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Therefore, it is important to seek an attorney experienced in both of these practice areas to be sure that your rights are protected in your case.
When you do seek proper representation near Gaithersburg or Rockville, you will have an advocate to explore the details of your case, determine appropriate compensation, and decide who may be at fault. Possible defendants in your case may include the boat owner, operator, or manufacturer. If the operator of the boat leaves the scene of the accident, there may also be felony charges involved for the defendant in your case.
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.
Car accident claims often prompt insurance companies to call those parties involved and demand a recorded statement. However, it’s essential to understand your rights in a personal injury claim and whether you are required to give a statement regarding the incident or your injuries. Contacting a lawyer serving Gaithersburg and Rockville before giving a statement is your best course of action to prevent making unintended statements that could hurt your personal injury claim.
This video explains that insurance companies often try to obtain recorded statements immediately after an accident, before you have seen a police report or spoken with an attorney. While some insurance policies do require you to give a statement, in many cases you are not required to submit a recorded statement—your personal injury lawyer can help you determine whether a statement is needed and how to address the questions you will be asked to best aid your personal injury claim.
Personal injury cases determine, in the eyes of the law, the cause of an injury and where the fault for that injury lies. If you have suffered an injury at work, in an automobile accident, or in a location where the owner is responsible for your safety and well-being, you have the right to file a personal injury claim in Gaithersburg area. Personal injury claims can be difficult to navigate on your own—hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is the best way to ensure your case is handled properly for the outcome you deserve.
While some personal injury claims are clear-cut, others are complex. Such complex cases include car accidents involving multiple vehicles and medical malpractice claims. In these cases, other parties may try to minimize or even outright deny their fault. These types of cases should never be handled on your own—instead, you need the experience and legal expertise of a lawyer to navigate the complexities of the situation and show the true fault that led to your injury.
Personal injury cases can be stressful, especially if you or a family member has suffered a serious injury that has affected your health and lifestyle. Hiring an attorney to handle your claim means you won’t need to worry about how to best present your case or show the other party’s legal responsibility. Additionally, you won’t need to put in the time and legwork to compile the facts, especially if you are hospitalized or working. Choosing to work with an attorney means you will be able to focus on recovery while knowing your best interests are in good hands.
If you are making a personal injury claim against your city, state, or even the federal government, you need the help of a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury claim against the government can be impossible to pursue without following the right legal procedures to the letter, often within a very short period of time. Your lawyer will know exactly how to handle your claim to ensure proper compliance for a successful claim.
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.
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