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Large commercial vehicle such as semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, dump trucks, and big-rigs pose a serious threat to motorists when they are not operated in a safe and responsible manner. Indeed, on March 11, 2019, a fatal Maryland truck accident claimed the lives of two people. According to a recent news report, the truck driver responsible for causing that accident now faces criminal charges, including manslaughter, for his role in causing the accident.

The accident occurred near the intersection of MD 24 and Ring Factory Road, at around 7 a.m. Evidently, there were several vehicles stopped at the intersection during rush hour traffic. However, as the truck approached, it did not slow down. The truck ended up rear-ending several of the stopped cars, which then caused a chain-reaction accident involving other nearby motorists. In all, the accident involved a total of 12 cars and trucks. Two vehicles were pinned underneath the semi-truck when it caught fire. A local businessman and a young boy were killed in the collision. Four others, including the young boy’s mother, were seriously injured.

After the fatal accident, police launched an in-depth investigation. They quickly determined that the truck driver was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, investigators believe that he may have been using his cell phone at the time of the accident. Thus, among the charges the truck driver faces are four counts of causing serious injury while using a cell phone.

When a loved one is injured a Maryland truck accident, the challenges can be overwhelming. The financial, physical, and emotional burden can be enormous, both for victims and their families. Financial compensation from a personal injury lawsuit can help alleviate some of these burdens.

In Maryland personal injury cases, different damages may be available to victims and their families depending on the specifics of the case. Plaintiffs in Maryland accident claims may able to recover compensation for medical expenses, mental suffering, wage losses, and other damages. The plaintiff has the burden to prove damages in the case. Generally, damages can be divided into two types: special and general damages.

Special damages normally include economic damages, such as past and future medical bills, loss of wages, diminished earning capacity, and others. General damages normally refer to non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. Apart from special and general damages, punitive, or exemplary, damages are available in some cases. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for his or her conduct and also to act as a deterrent to others. To be awarded punitive damages, a plaintiff has to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that the defendant had actual knowledge of the wrongful act at issue.

In March of this year, a Maryland traffic accident involving a semi-truck killed two and injured four. According to a recent news report covering the tragic accident, the driver was using his cellphone while driving a truck in rush-hour traffic one morning. Evidently, the truck crashed into a line of other vehicles, bursting into flames as it came to a stop. Debris from the accident covered the highway for at least a quarter of a mile, and the road was subsequently closed for most of the day.

Two individuals were tragically killed as a result of this crash: a 65-year-old man and a 7-year-old boy. Additionally, four others were seriously injured. Law enforcement recently charged the truck driver responsible for the fatal accident with two counts of gross negligence manslaughter by motor vehicle, two counts of criminal negligence manslaughter by motor vehicle, and four counts of causing serious injury while using a cellphone while driving. The case is still under investigation.

Unfortunately, distracted driving and truck crashes are not uncommon. Truck drivers often drive for long hours, leading to boredom or fatigue, which truck drivers may attempt to remedy by looking at their phone. Other common causes of distracted driving include watching television, talking to passengers, eating, grooming, and texting.

While many Maryland truck accident cases do not require testimony from an expert witness, some do. Typically, these are the cases that present complex issues regarding causation. When a plaintiff intends on calling an expert, it is reasonable to assume that the defense will also present their own expert. It is important that Maryland personal injury plaintiffs anticipate testimony from a defense expert.

In a recent state appellate opinion, the court discussed the permissible scope of expert witness testimony that was designated as impeachment evidence. Impeachment is a term used to describe a party’s attempt to discredit an opposing witness by showing the jury that their testimony is biased or flawed.

According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was arrested and placed in a county bus for transport. During the transport, the van struck a concrete barrier and the plaintiff was injured as a result. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the county. The plaintiff had been in one prior accident, and was involved in another accident after the bus accident, but before this case went to trial. The plaintiff provided notice that he was calling a medical expert.

In a Maryland personal injury case, the jury typically determines not only whether the defendant should be liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, but also the amount of damages that the plaintiff is entitled to. Usually, a jury’s damages award is respected by the courts. However, there are a few procedural mechanisms by which a court can review – and alter – a jury’s award.

In a recent state appellate decision, the court was asked to review a jury’s damages award in favor of a truck accident victim. Evidently, the victim was involved in a devastating truck accident when another semi-truck collided with his truck. Initially, the victim thought the injury was minor, but as he sought medical treatment, he realized that it was more severe than he initially thought. The man had doctors give him a steroid shot with only temporary improvement. Then the man went through surgery; however, again, the improvement was marginal at best. He still suffers from back pain.

The victim filed a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver, and that driver’s employer. The case went to trial, and the jury awarded the plaintiff over $2.8 million in damages. Among those damages was a $1 million award for future pain and suffering, a $140,000 award for mental anguish, and a $1.1 million award for future physical impairment. The defendant filed an appeal, arguing that four damages awards were improper. However, the defendant only objected to two of those awards at trial.

Despite strict DUI laws, Maryland drunk driving crashes and fatalities continue to occur at a startling rate. Maryland’s Drunk Driving Reduction Act went into effect in 2016. Under the Act, anyone convicted of driving under the influence must have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle. The device prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has a certain level of alcohol, based on a breath test. However, despite this, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation, in 2018 there still were about 7,000 crashes involving the driver’s use of alcohol or drugs in the state.

New information was uncovered in a recent DUI crash involving a 23-year-old commercial truck driver who killed seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire. According to a news report, the driver, who crossed a double-yellow line on a highway, was high on drugs and reportedly was reaching for a drink just before the crash took place. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a report that was obtained by the media. He had previously been arrested for drug-related and driving offenses in five other states. His license commercial license should have been suspended the month prior due to another drunk driving charge, according to the state motor vehicle department.

The report showed that the driver tested positive for a narcotic or amphetamine, which rendered him incapable of safely operating the truck. The report also indicates that the driver admitted to investigators to reaching for a drink before the crash. The crash revealed that the driver was first charged with drunk driving in 2013 in Massachusetts, and his license was suspended, but he was still able to obtain a commercial license. An investigation into the crash showed that in addition to the driver, over 1,600 Massachusetts drivers should have had their licenses revoked due to out-of-state infractions, but were not processed.

As a general rule, the law imposes a duty on all motorists to drive in a safe, reasonable, and law-abiding manner. When a motorist violates this duty, and injures someone as a result, the accident victim can often pursue a claim for compensation. Bus drivers are no exception, and when a student is injured in a Maryland school bus accident, parents may have a claim against the driver or their employer.

Bus drivers, however, are often employed by the school district, making them government employees. Because of this, Maryland school bus accident cases are often brought against the government, and implicate the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA). Unlike other states’ tort claims acts, the MTCA broadly waives government immunity, allowing injury victims to pursue a broad range of claims against government entities. However, claims under the MTCA are subject to strict procedural requirements and also to a damages cap. As of October 2015, recovery in an MTCA claim is limited to $400,000 per accident victim and a total of $800,000 per accident.

Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a tragic bus accident that resulted in the student’s death. According to the court’s opinion, the bus driver stopped the bus across the street from the student’s home. The driver turned on the vehicle’s flashing lights, and lowered the “stop” arm and crossing gate. The student exited the bus as the bus driver told him, “see you tomorrow.”

Truck drivers spend almost their entire working lives behind the wheel. Naturally, truck drivers can get bored or fatigued on long trips. Too often, however, truck drivers who find themselves bored or tired engage in distracting behavior to stay awake, increasing the risk of causing a Maryland truck accident. For example, typical examples of distracting behavior are talking on the phone, texting friends or loved ones, watching television, playing games, or working on crossword puzzles.

When a truck driver causes an accident as a result of being distracted, anyone injured in the accident can pursue a claim for financial compensation against the driver through a Maryland truck accident lawsuit. To succeed in a truck accident lawsuit, an injury victim must be able to show that the trucker violated a duty of care that he owed to the plaintiff. They must also establish that the driver’s breach of this duty was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

Earlier this month, a truck driver was arrested and charged with criminal vehicular homicide after he was involved in a truck accident that killed roadside construction worker. According to a local news report covering the tragic accident, the collision occurred back in October, 2018, when the semi-truck rammed into the back of a pick-up truck that was pulling a trailer. As a result of the crash, the trailer disconnected from the truck and collided with two construction workers. One of those men was killed, the other seriously injured.

Intoxicated driving is one of the leading causes of auto accidents. Of course, many Maryland DUI accidents are the result of drivers drinking too much alcohol or taking illegal or recreational drugs before getting behind the wheel. However, many prescription drugs impair a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle as much as alcohol or street drugs.

Under the law, a driver who is intoxicated by prescription drugs can still be negligent and held responsible for an accident victim’s injuries. A recent case discusses a tragic bus accident in which an intoxicated driver killed a young boy.

According to the court’s opinion, a young boy rode his bike into the street without stopping, right into the path of a school bus. The school bus had just stopped, and was proceeding to go through the intersection when the driver heard and felt the bus hit something. The driver slammed on the brakes, exited the vehicle, and learned that she struck the young boy. The boy later died from his injuries,

The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) was passed in the early 1900s in response to the increasing number of railroad worker deaths. FELA allows for injured railroad workers who are not covered by workers’ compensation to sue their employers based on the employer’s negligence. Importantly, a FELA claim may entitle a claimant to compensation for pain and suffering, unlike a traditional Maryland personal injury lawsuit.

Unlike traditional workers’ compensation programs, FELA is not automatically applicable. In other words, an injured worker must present evidence that their employer was negligent. In addition, an employer may try to defeat a FELA claim by showing that the employee was covered under a traditional workers’ compensation plan. If an employer is successful in proving workers’ compensation coverage, that will generally be seen as the employee’s sole remedy against their employer. Thus, a common issue that arises in Maryland railroad accident cases brought under FELA is whether the injured employer is covered by a workers’ compensation program. A recent federal appellate opinion discusses a case involving such a dispute.

According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was injured while working for the defendant railway. Evidently, the plaintiff was working on a bridge when the walkway he was standing on gave way. The plaintiff was able to avoid falling into the river, but sustained serious injuries as a result. The plaintiff filed a FELA claim against his employer.

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