As Maryland trucking accident lawyers, we understand the seriousness of any highway traffic accident involving semi-tractor trailers. Every year, hundreds and even thousands of heavy trucks are involved in multi-vehicle accidents, usually resulting in serious injuries to the smaller cars caught up in the collision; some wrecks are fatal to the occupants of these passenger cars. This is an unfortunate fact when it comes to these big rigs.
What’s worse is that statistics show that large trucks are more likely to be involved in serious multiple-vehicle collisions than sedans, coupes or other smaller passenger cars. These statistics also indicate that time and time again injuries resulting from truck accidents can be much more serious and many times fatal. Common injuries include spinal cord damage, severe brain trauma, broken bones and other serious and permanent bodily harm.
Because heavy trucks such as Macks, Kenworths, Peterbuilts, Freightliners and other makes are important to the commerce of this country, the volume and frequency of these large vehicles on public roads will always be significant, especially during weekdays. Busy metropolitan areas get their fair share of truck traffic, both on expressways and surface streets near industrial parks.
As drivers of smaller, family vehicles and passenger cars, we must all deal with the presence of these larger more massive trucks on a daily basis. When fully loaded, a semi-tractor and trailer can weight up to 80,000 pounds — this is roughly equivalent to more than 20 times the average weight of a typical passenger car, minivan, SUV or pickup truck. In a crash, a fully-loaded semi can literally crush another smaller car as well as its occupants.
From research performed over the years, we know that many trucking accidents could have been avoided. Although most trucking companies are responsible enough to ensure that their trucks and drivers are safe, some are not. Cargo overloading is more common than one would expect and can cause operational problems for the driver of these big rigs. In an accident situation, and overloaded truck takes longer to stop and can more easily lose control, depending on the road conditions.
Truck drivers themselves will occasionally take risks on the road, even though such actions could jeopardize the safety of other motorists. While most truck drivers observe truck and traffic safety laws, some do not. Instances of exceeding the legal on-road driving time — for example to meet a deadline — are common in the newspaper headlines where a tragic accident resulted from the truck driver falling asleep at the wheel. Others may drive too fast or making unsafe passing maneuvers and turns. In a small number of cases, trucking accidents have been drunk driving accidents.
If you or someone you love have been injured in a trucking-related traffic accident, Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC advise you to contact a qualified legal profession to discuss your situation and determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit to recover medical costs, lost wages or other compensation for your pain and suffering.