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 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 the truck driver was entirely at fault for your losses.