Spoliation refers to the destruction or the failure to preserve evidence relevant to a case. Under Maryland law, spoliation occurs when there is an act of destruction of discoverable evidence that occurred after a lawsuit has been filed or at a time when the filing is imminent, as well as an intent to destroy the evidence. The doctrine of spoliation of evidence is based on the principles of fairness and equity. The reasoning is that a party should not be permitted to destroy evidence to the detriment of their opponent. In Maryland, if there has been spoliation in a Maryland truck accident case, the court may give a spoliation jury instruction that permits an adverse inference even if it did not involve an act of bad faith. This means that a jury can infer that the evidence was harmful to the party that destroyed the evidence. Apart from a potential jury instruction, courts are authorized to impose a range of sanctions, including dismissing the case.

In a recent case before a state’s supreme court, the court considered whether a trucking company’s case should be dismissed against a manufacturer after it discarded parts relevant to the case. In that case, a truck driver for the trucking company experienced the dump gate activating on its own twice in one week, causing it to open and dump its load unexpectedly. The trucking company replaced the rig’s valve, rewired the control circuit for the system, and added a master switch in the truck’s cab. About a year later, the dump gate in the truck driver’s trailer again activated on its own while he was driving on an interstate. The trailer opened and dumped its load of gravel unexpectedly. The release of the gravel caused several collisions, injuring several people. On the same day, another one of the company’s trucks experienced the same issue, dumping sand unexpectedly on the same interstate.

After several people filed suit against the trucking company, the company filed suit against a company that manufactured the dump gate valves. It alleged that the rig’s valve was defectively designed. Experts retained by the trucking company found that the valve system had design defects and lacked safeguards, and that the valves could activate unexpectedly when exposed to external electromagnetic fields.

In this blog, we focus a lot on Maryland truck and bus accidents caused by semi-trucks driving on Maryland highways. Anyone who has driven on a highway in the state has probably seen multiple trucks driving alongside them, and the trucks’ size makes them particularly susceptible to involvement in accidents. However, a more seemingly innocuous vehicle might be dangerous to Maryland drivers and passengers: the school bus.

While admittedly less common than accidents involving semi-trucks, school bus crashes can be incredibly dangerous, especially considering the number of children often on board. Like other vehicles, school buses are driven by people, and are on the road with other vehicles. The same factors that could cause another accident—distracted driving, failure to follow traffic signs, running a red light, etc.—can also cause a school bus accident.

For example, take a crash that occurred just this month. According to a local news report, the school bus driver, a 42-year-old man, was driving around 23 students to school one morning when the accident occurred around 7:30 in the morning. The school bus ran off the road and crashed into a tree, based on a preliminary report, however, the crash is still under investigation. Of the 23 or so students on board, six suffered injuries and were transported to receive treatment. The driver of the bus was not injured.

Maryland truck accidents can be incredibly destructive, hurting vehicles, property, and of course, people. Because trucks are much larger than most other vehicles on the road, an accident involving one may be particularly dangerous. As in other accidents, Maryland state law allows those injured in Maryland truck accidents to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver to recover. However, it is important to note how these truck accidents may differ from other accidents, including car and motorcycle accidents. Unlike cars and motorcycles, most individuals do not drive trucks as their primary form of personal transportation. Instead, most truck drivers are driving for work, and are employed by a third party. Thus, a legal doctrine called vicarious liability, which may allow injured accident victims to sue a truck driver’s employer as well as the driver themselves, is especially relevant in these cases.

To illustrate the point, let’s use a real-life truck accident that occurred just last week. According to a local news report, one truck was passing by another parked truck when the passenger side mirror struck the second truck. Immediately afterward, a pedestrian—a 58-year-old man—was then struck by the moving truck as well. While the accident is still under investigation, let’s suppose for a moment that the driver of the first truck was negligent in some way—perhaps they were distracted while driving, leading to the incident. The injured man may want to file a personal injury lawsuit against him. These suits can cover hospital bills, past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Now let’s suppose that the injured victim—the plaintiff—incurred $100,000 in total costs as a result of this accident. It may be that the truck driver—the defendant—does not have sufficient funds to cover these costs. So, the plaintiff in this case may want to file suit against the defendant’s employer, for whom the defendant was driving the truck. Depending on the case and the nature of the employment, the plaintiff may be able to recover from the employer as well, even though they were not actually present at the time of the crash. This is known as the doctrine of vicarious liability—holding the employer vicariously liable for something negligent their employee did while on the job.

Last month, a Maryland chain-reaction crash on Interstate 95, in Cecil County, claimed one life and injured six others. The crash was really two crashes, one of which was caused by the other. According to a local news report covering the incident, the first crash occurred early in the morning on I-95 near Perryville. Maryland State Police reported that several vehicles were subsequently stopped because of the first crash when a tractor-trailer failed to slow down whilst approaching them and hit the stopped vehicles. The impact of this second crash caused a chain-reaction crash that killed a 56-year-old woman from Colora, and injured six other people. Several lanes of traffic had to be closed in the aftermath, and both crashes remain under investigation.

This tragic instance shows how quickly lives can be changed, or ended, by a Maryland truck accident. One truck driver’s mistake here—not slowing down for the stopped cars—cost someone their life and left six others with injuries that may take years to recover from. The crash is also an example of how just one small error can cause one crash, leading to another larger crash and several injuries. Maryland drivers are thus encouraged to practice safe driving techniques, obey all traffic laws, and stay vigilant for potential issues while on the road.

In a perfect world, all drivers would drive perfectly safe and there would never again be an accident like the one described above. However, we know that this is not the case, and Maryland truck accidents will tragically continue to occur. If a Maryland resident finds themselves involved in one of these accidents, they should remember that state law provides them an avenue to recover financially in the aftermath. A personal injury lawsuit can be filed in court against the negligent driver who caused the accident, in order to hold them accountable for their negligent actions. These suits can result in significant amounts of money being awarded to the injured victim of the crash to cover medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. While these lawsuits cannot undo the damage that is done in the accident, they can play an important role in the recovery process.

Most motorists understand that there is always a small risk of being injured in a Maryland truck accident. Maryland’s roads are often traveled by trucks transporting goods within the state or across it, and, like any vehicle, these trucks occasionally get involved in accidents. However, it is important for Maryland residents to remember that it’s not just drivers and passengers who are at risk of Maryland truck accidents. Tragically, these accidents can also injure or kill pedestrians who are not even in a vehicle but happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

For example, take the recent tragic death of a college freshman, who was struck by a semi-truck earlier this month. Not much is known about what caused the accident, except that it occurred around 2 PM one Friday afternoon. According to a local news source, when officials responded to the scene, they escorted the pedestrian to the hospital, where he tragically died. Unfortunately, this tragic accident reflects a harsh reality: truck accidents can occur in the blink of an eye and cause serious injuries or even death to unsuspecting pedestrians.

Pedestrians should always be on the lookout for trucks, and can take certain precautions to avoid accidents, such as avoiding walking near busy streets, looking both ways before crossing a road, and not walking on or near a road in the dark or other low-visibility conditions. However, sometimes there is nothing a pedestrian can do to avoid an accident. When truck drivers are negligent and careless, they may run a red light or swerve off the road, hitting even the most careful pedestrian. While this is a tragic reality, and nothing can undo the harm caused in these truck accidents, Maryland pedestrians should keep in mind that state law allows them an avenue to recovery — a personal injury lawsuit.

In the tragic event of the loss of a loved one, a wrongful death claim may allow family members to recover compensation based on their loved one’s wrongful death. Maryland’s Wrongful Death Act (the Act) allows a parent, spouse, or child (or others in some circumstances) to recover based on the deceased’s wrongful death. There are some limitations depending on the circumstances of the deceased’s death. Spouses, parents, and children are considered primary plaintiffs under the Act. In addition, if the deceased had no spouse, parent, or child who qualifies under the wrongful death act, any person who is related to the deceased by blood or by marriage who was substantially dependent upon the deceased may file a wrongful death claim. These plaintiffs are considered secondary plaintiff, meaning that they can only recover if no primary plaintiff exists.

A wrongful death claim is based on a wrongful act that would have allowed the deceased to recover if he were still alive. This type of claim is meant to compensate close family members who wrongfully lost their loved one. Successful claims allow claimants to recover compensation for damages relating to the claimant’s suffering, including mental anguish, loss of companionship, loss of guidance and education, emotional pain and suffering, and loss of parental, marital, or filial care. A wrongful death claim normally must be filed within three years of the death of the deceased. In the case of an occupational disease, the claim must be filed within ten years of the deceased’s death or within three years of the date when the cause of death was discovered, whichever comes first.

Claimants also often have to defend the actions of the deceased leading up to their death. A defendant will often argue that the deceased was partially at fault for their death. If a defendant is successful in doing so, a claimant can be barred from recovering compensation if the deceased is found to have been partially at fault for their death.

A recent tragic truck accident illustrates the importance of Maryland truck drivers being aware of their surroundings along with the height and size of their vehicle. Not being so can lead to horrible and even fatal truck accidents. Trucks are, to state the obvious, larger than cars, and their size can make them very dangerous. For example, a truck driver not realizing their truck’s size may cause an accident when they merge onto the highway or when they pass under roadway signs or overpasses. This is exactly what happened last month in a truck accident that claimed one man’s life.

According to a local news report covering the incident, the driver of a dump truck was traveling west on an interstate with its bed raised when it struck an overhead sign at an exit. The impact caused the sign to fall, and it landed on a 2019 Ford F-150, driven by a 62-year-old man. Tragically, the 62-year-old man died as a result of the accident.

While it is unlikely that the dump truck driver intentionally hit the overhead sign trying to kill the driver in the Ford behind him, that does not mean the truck driver can’t be held responsible. While criminal charges have not been filed against the driver, this case may still lead to civil charges. Specifically, the deceased victim’s family may decide to bring a wrongful death suit against the dump truck driver, an avenue available to many Maryland residents who lost a loved one in a truck accident.

When someone drives carelessly, ignoring traffic laws, or running through red lights, they most likely know that they are being risky and that there is a risk of getting into a car or truck accident. Tragically, careless driving causes fatal Maryland car and truck accidents all the time. However, these accidents affect far more than just the at-fault driver, especially when large commercial trucks are involved. Oftentimes, Maryland truck accidents involve several vehicles because one vehicle crashing into another can set off a chain reaction.

For an example of a recent multi-vehicle crash, take a recent accident from late September. According to a local news report covering the incident, the crash occurred around 11:30 in the morning. An 80-year-old man driving on the highway attempted a left turn when a dump truck hit his van from behind, pushing it into oncoming traffic. The van then collided head-first with another truck, and then was pushed partially into another lane of traffic, where a motor home hit it. Tragically, the 80-year-old van driver was killed, pronounced dead at the scene by responding officials. The drivers of the other vehicles were reported to have minor injuries. As a result of the accident, the highway was closed for two hours.

This crash, which involved four vehicles, is a tragic example of how dangerous one incorrect driving maneuver can turn out to be. While the accident is still under investigation and it is unclear exactly who was at fault, it is important for Maryland residents to remember that if they are injured in an accident such as this one, they may have a claim against whoever was responsible.

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows private individuals to file suit against the federal government and its agencies for certain torts committed by persons acting on behalf of the United States. However, the FTCA provides only a limited right and exempts certain claims. For example, the FTCA exempts a number of intentional torts as well as claims based on the performance or failure to perform a “discretionary function or duty.” This means that if a Maryland truck accident case involving a federal employee or entity is based on a discretionary function or duty (the discretionary-function exception), the case will be dismissed.

Whether a claim is based on a discretionary function or duty is the subject of much litigation. Courts have held that the conduct cannot be considered discretionary if there is a directive that an employee has no choice but to follow. If the conduct does involve an element of discretion, courts must also consider whether the discretion is actually or potentially affected by legitimate policy-related decisions. If the conduct is discretionary and is affected by legitimate policy-related decisions, the exception applies, and the government is immune from suit. If the federal government claims that it is immune from suit under the FTCA, the government has the burden to prove that an exception applies.

In a recent FTCA claim before a federal appeals court, the court considered a truck accident case involving an individual who was delivering mail for the U.S. Postal Service. In that case, the individual working for a contractor that was delivering mail for the Postal Service rear-ended a school bus, leaving two students severely injured. The plaintiff sued the Postal Service under the Federal Tort Claims Act, alleging that it was negligent for failing to inspect the contractor’s vehicles. The Postal Service argued that the case should be dismissed under the discretionary function exception.

Although public transportation is generally safe, accidents do occur. They can occur on buses, trains, and other forms of transportation. The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is the 13th largest public rapid transit system in the country, with buses, trains, and metro service. In the event of a Maryland public transportation accident, there are generally multiple people involved and often multiple responsible parties. In the case of public transportation, such as a city bus or train, injured victims may also run into the issue of immunity. Cities often have immunity from lawsuits unless the legal claim meets an exception. In addition, in cases involving cities, parties may have to act fast and file a notice of the claim to the appropriate authority within a certain period of time. Needless to say, Maryland public transit accident cases can be exceedingly complex.

If you have been injured in a Maryland public transportation accident, the first thing is to seek medical attention if you are injured. Injuries may also manifest after some time so it is good to get evaluated by a doctor after an accident even if you feel fine. Once you are safe and able to do so, if possible, it is important to document the scene, as well as your injuries and property damages. It is also important to get the names and contact information of involved parties as well as witnesses at the scene who may be able to testify in support of your case. Getting insurance and policy information from involved parties is also a good idea. You may need to file a claim with the insurance company before you can file in court.

Public Bus Accident Leaves Many Injured

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