Being injured in a trucking-related accident is no laughing matter. For those people who have been involved in a traffic accident with a commercial delivery truck or 18-wheeler and can still talk about it, they would probably tell you it was a harrowing experience. Anyone who can walk away from such a truck wreck without a scratch is lucky in deed.
As Baltimore auto accident lawyers and Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my staff have represented trucking accident victims and their families for years. We understand the potential for serious injury and even death when a heavyweight motor vehicle such as a semi tractor-trailer rig, commercial delivery vehicle, tank truck or commuter bus strikes a smaller and more vulnerable passenger car.
One doesn’t need to be a physics major to comprehend how a motor vehicle ten or twenty times the mass of a small sedan or family minivan can wreck devastation on that smaller car or SUV. (We won’t mention the near fatal effect that a trucking-related collision can have on a relatively unprotected motorcyclist hit by 20-ton commercial vehicle.)
Suffice it to say that bodily injury is a typical result when a car is truck by an 18-wheeler, large box truck, cement mixer or other heavy construction vehicle. Broken arms and legs are common, while severe cuts and contusions are also typical. Some accidents cause the occupants of the passenger car to be trapped in their vehicle until emergency responders can literally cut them out of the twisted wreckage; all the while hoping to get to the hospital for possibly life-saving surgeries or other medical treatment.
Not long ago, a tanker truck carrying milk from local dairies overturned on a local roadway in the course of delivering its cargo. Although this was a single-truck accident, and therefore no other vehicles were involved, the example it makes as to the ever-present danger of commercial vehicle crashes is valid. It is road accidents like this one that should be a warning for any driver who approaches or follows a large commercial motor vehicle on Maryland’s roadways.
According to news articles, the crash occurred in the early morning hours along a stretch of Church Lane in Talbot County. The truck was in between pickups of milk in the local area when the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle in what Maryland State Police described as a sharp turn in the road.
In cases such as this, where a single-vehicle accident happens, it is not uncommon for the investigation to focus on driver error. In addition to human error being a factor in a traffic accident, occasionally a defective mechanical component in the vehicle itself could be the cause of a wreck. In cases where a vehicle’s steering, braking or other control or safety system has allegedly failed, there is always potential for a products liability suit based on defect equipment.
In this particular instance, the initial police investigation showed that the tractor-trailer rolled over as a result of an apparently unexpected weight-shift in his trailer while the truck was negotiating the tight corner. According to police, James Sanchez, 43, was traveling northbound on Church Ln. when the trailer tipped, pulling the entire rig onto its side. Based on reports, Sanchez was thought to have been trapped in the cab of his truck for up to an hour before a local farmer came upon the crash site and informed police.
After emergency responders arrived on the scene, the trucker was extricated from the vehicle and then airlifted by MSP helicopter to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. At the time of the article, the driver was listed in stable condition.
UPDATED: 5,000 Gallons of Milk Spilled After Tractor-Trailer Overturns, WBOC.com, July 12, 2011