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In cases where more than one party is at fault, some plaintiffs may be barred from recovery altogether. The laws concerning the effect of the plaintiff’s negligence vary depending on the jurisdiction. The law that applies in Maryland truck accident cases is the doctrine of contributory negligence, which is a particularly harsh law for Maryland personal injury plaintiffs.

Contributory negligence comes from the common law, and has been the law in Maryland since 1847. Under the doctrine of contributory negligence, if the plaintiff is found even partially at fault for the damages, the plaintiff is barred from recovery. Many have criticized the doctrine of contributory negligence, as it leads to harsh consequences and what many consider unfair results. Few states still follow the contributory negligence doctrine.

The General Assembly of Maryland has so far rejected the adoption of comparative negligence, which could replace the contributory negligence doctrine. Under the general comparative fault doctrine, or “pure comparative negligence,” the fault of both the plaintiff and the defendant are considered, but comparative fault only reduces the award by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. Under pure comparative negligence, a plaintiff can recover even if the plaintiff is found mostly at fault. Under some comparative fault doctrines, a plaintiff can recover as long as the plaintiff is found 50% or less at fault. This is generally referred to as “modified comparative negligence.”

To hold another person accountable in a Maryland truck accident claim, a plaintiff must prove that the other person caused the plaintiff’s injuries, at least in part. Proving these facts is part of establishing the essential elements of a negligence claim.

In Maryland, a negligence claim requires proving that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, the defendant failed to meet the relevant standard of care, the plaintiff was injured because of that failure, and the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff damages. Proving causation requires proving both legal cause, and cause-in-fact. Cause-in-fact means proving that the defendant’s conduct actually caused the injury, whereas legal cause means showing that the defendant should be held liable for the plaintiff’s damages. A court may decline to hold a defendant responsible even where a plaintiff proves that the defendant’s conduct was the cause-in-fact of the plaintiff’s injuries, based on policy considerations and fairness. Such a decision usually involves considering whether the injuries were a foreseeable result of the defendant’s actions.

A plaintiff generally has the burden to prove all elements of a negligence claim, including causation. The standard for establishing causation, like all elements of a negligence claim, is whether it is more probable than not that the defendant’s acts caused the plaintiff’s injuries. A mere possibility that the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injuries is insufficient to prove causation. This means that in a Maryland truck accident claim, a plaintiff cannot simply declare that there was a crash and that the plaintiff was injured in the crash—a plaintiff has to point to the defendant’s specific acts that were negligent, that those acts resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries, and that those injuries were a foreseeable result of the defendant’s actions. If a plaintiff fails to prove causation, the claim will be dismissed.

Motorists confront a variety of dangers on Maryland highways. A significant number of these hazards have to do with the many semi-trucks or other large commercial vehicles that seem to be a permanent fixture along the I-95 corridor, the Beltway, and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

While the dangers presented by large trucks number too many to count, one of the most unrecognized hazards arises when a truck driver has the need to pull over onto the shoulder of the road. A Maryland truck driver may need to pull over for many reasons, including a blown tire, shifting cargo, or some other equipment failure. Truck drivers may also pull over if they feel too drowsy to safely operate a truck. Whatever the case, when a semi-truck pulls over onto the side of the highway, it can present a serious danger for passing motorists.

Included in the duties of a Maryland truck driver is the responsibility to safely operate the rig at all times. This includes parking a truck on the side of the highway. Except in cases of an emergency, truck drivers must only pull off the road in designated areas. Moreover, truck drivers must ensure that they are completely off the road, and not blocking any lane of travel. A driver’s failure to take these basic precautions may result in a serious Maryland truck accident.

Maryland hit and run accidents occur when one party collides with a vehicle, person, or object and knowingly leaves the scene of the incident without providing their identifying information or arranging for medical care for anyone injured in the accident. These types of accidents contribute to the financial burden and physical injuries typical of truck accidents but also escalate the severity of harm because many victims do not receive timely or adequate medical attention. Additionally, Maryland hit and run truck accidents create burdens for victims and families looking to recover damages from the at-fault party’s insurance company.

According to the Foundation for Traffic Safety (FTS), the rate of fatalities and injuries related to hit and run accidents are steadily increasing. Data suggests that a hit and run accident occurs approximately every 43 seconds in the United States. Maryland ranks as one of the top 20 states with the highest rates of hit and run accidents.

Typically, hit and run truck accidents occur when the at-fault driver panics, and decides to leave the scene of a crash. This panic may occur because the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or they were engaged in some other negligent behavior. To avoid a hit and run charge, drivers must stop their truck and pull off to a safe location. They should call for medical and police assistance. The driver should provide all of their identifying information including, driver’s license and insurance information.

More than 800 students are killed each year going to and from school, according to the National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences. In addition to citations and fines, illegally passing a school bus could result in a crash with students walking to or from the bus. If a student is injured in a Maryland truck accident, a driver may be held responsible through a Maryland personal injury claim.

Under section 21-706 of the Maryland Code, if a school vehicle is flashing red lights, a driver must stop for a school vehicle at least 20 feet from the rear of the front of the vehicle. A driver cannot proceed until the school vehicle continues moving or deactivates the flashing red lights. According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, the greatest danger to students taking the bus is when approaching or leaving the bus. The stop sign on a Maryland school bus will show yellow flashing lights to indicate that the bus is preparing to load or unload children. Motorists are supposed to slow down and prepare to stop. The stop sign will show red flashing lights and the extended stop arm to indicate that the bus has stopped and that children are getting on or off. Motorists are required to stop until the flashing lights stop, regardless of which direction they are coming from and irrespective of how many travel lanes there are.

In the first 40 days of the 2017-2018 school year, 7,919 drivers in Montgomery County, Maryland, were recorded on school bus cameras illegally passing school buses. The Montgomery County Public School District has stated that it reports nearly 800 to 1,200 illegal passes in a single day. A school bus camera citation comes with a $250 fine. If a police officer issues a citation for the same offense, the fine is $500.

Every parent is nervous the first time they send their child to school on the school bus. School buses are generally known to be safe for students. However, accidents can happen while students are on the bus, but also while they are approaching the bus. In fact, students are most at risk of being involved in a Maryland bus accident when they are getting on or off a school bus.

These days, all school buses are equipped with additional safety features such as swinging gate arms or deployable stop signs that bus drivers can use to warn other motorists that students will be getting on or off the bus. Of course, these signals are not recommendations, and drivers must not pass a stopped school bus, or drive around a lowered gate arm. However, whether it be because they are in a rush or because they are not paying attention, too many drivers ignore school bus drivers’ signals and try to navigate around buses as they drop off or pick up students, putting children at great risk.

In most situations when a child is struck while getting on or off the school bus, the driver that struck them is responsible. However, in some situations, the bus driver may also bear some responsibility. In either case, injured students and their families can pursue a Maryland personal injury case against all potentially at-fault parties. It is important to keep in mind that the student’s own potential negligence may come up as a defense to their claims.

Traveling by tour bus can be an inexpensive way to visit sites while traveling. But in these circumstances, you are leaving your life in the hands of the driver. In cases in which a person is killed in a commercial or non-commercial bus accident, certain family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation. In general, Maryland bus drivers must undergo certain educations programs in order to receive commercial licenses. As drivers, they are required to meet certain federal and state regulations. Trucking companies also must abide by certain laws concerning who is allowed to drive commercial vehicles and under what circumstances.

Maryland’s Wrongful Death Act is meant to compensate family members who were killed due to another person’s negligence. A claim can be filed if a person’s wrongful act would have permitted the decedent to recover damages if the decedent were still alive. Wrongful death claims generally must be filed within three years of the death of the decedent. Claimants generally can recover financial compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and for damages relating to what the family member lost, including parental care, marital care, filial care, and guidance.

Wrongful death claims generally must be filed by a spouse, a parent, or a child. These are referred to as primary beneficiaries. In cases of decedents without a spouse, parent, or child, a secondary beneficiary may be able to bring the claim. Secondary beneficiaries are those who are wholly dependent on the decedent and related to them by blood or by marriage.

Individuals who suffer injuries because of the negligence of a government entity or employee must overcome challenges to file a personal injury lawsuit against the government. Maryland injury victims must understand the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA) if they want to recover damages for their injuries successfully.

Historically, citizens have not been permitted to sue government agencies or employees. However, in an attempt to address the inherent unfairness of this archaic rule, state lawmakers enacted the MTCA to provide Maryland injury victims with some recourse against negligent government actors. The MTCA covers various Maryland state and government employees, as long as they are paid by the Central Payroll Bureau of the Treasury. Additionally, the statute covers county, city, and local government employees and entities, such as the Maryland Transportation Authority, local employees who work for social services, judges in some courts, and sheriffs in Baltimore City.

Maryland accident victims must comply with the statute to avoid dismissal. For example, an appellate court in another jurisdiction recently dismissed a plaintiff’s lawsuit against the government. In that case, the victim rear-ended a stopped waste removal truck while the truck was on the side of the highway. The victim filed a lawsuit against the municipality, alleging that the truck driver was negligent. The appellate court found that the plaintiff did not establish negligence and failed to comply with the state’s torts claims act.

Pedestrians face many dangers when walking or working along the edge of a road. Indeed, each year, there are nearly 3,500 Maryland pedestrian accidents. Of those, roughly 92% result in either injury or death to the pedestrian. Not surprisingly, these figures show that pedestrian accidents are among the most dangerous type of Maryland car accidents.

To be sure, drivers and pedestrians share the duty to prevent Maryland pedestrian accidents. And each must behave safely and predictably. However, ultimately, many of the pedestrian accidents that occur on Maryland roads are the result of negligent drivers who are either not paying attention or consciously make a poor decision. Maryland law requires motorists follow all traffic laws and posted signs when driving, and yield to pedestrians when appropriate. When drivers fail to live up to this duty, they put pedestrians at risk.

Those who work along the road’s shoulder, such as utility workers, law enforcement, construction workers, and other city workers, are at unusually high risk. The state’s “Move Over Law,” attempts to reduce the number of Maryland roadside accidents by requiring motorists to change lanes to avoid certain vehicles on the side of the road. The state’s move over law applies mostly to government workers such as police officers, firefighters, hazmat workers, ambulances, and emergency rescue vehicles. There is a similar law requiring motorists to move over for bicyclists and scooters.

Sending a child to school on a school bus is a fact of life for many Maryland parents. Indeed, school buses make it possible for the children of busy parents to get to and from school. However, while school buses are by and large a safe means of transportation, there are many Maryland school bus accidents each year.

School buses themselves do a reasonably good job of keeping students safe, even in the event of an accident. However, this is not the case when students are not correctly sitting in a designated seat. According to a recent news report, several students spoke up after the bus they were riding in was involved in a traffic accident.

Evidently, one student told reporters that the bus was so packed that some students were sitting on the floor. She explained that the bus was often so crowded that there would be three students to a seat. Some students who did not want to be crammed into the seat, would not allow other students to sit with them, forcing them to sit on the floor. She also explained that it was common for students to ride with their legs in the aisle because there was no room to sit facing forward.

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