Anytime a life is lost it is a true tragedy, but in cases of traffic accidents one must consider that most circumstances likely could have been prevented. Sadly, tens of thousands of innocent people lose their lives in fatal car, truck and motorcycle collisions every year in this country. As Baltimore personal injury lawyers, we more than most understand the pain, anger and resentment felt by the victims’ families at the time of their greatest loss. Nothing can bring back a loved one who has been killed in a senseless roadway accident; and no amount of compensation can make it alright.
Families who have seen a parent, child, sibling or grandparent taken from them by the negligent action of another driver have recourse. Certainly, if the victim was not killed outright, but suffered from his or her injuries, the family is fully within their rights to file a lawsuit to recover medical costs, as well as punitive damages from the responsible party or parties. When a commercial trucker is found to be negligent, both the driver and his employer may be subject to a wrongful death lawsuit as well.
We all can understand that trucking-related accidents, whether they occur here in the Baltimore area, in Annapolis, out in Washington, D.C., or over in Rockville, are something that none of us can stop from happening. Laws are put in place to help protect the motoring public, but laws can only go so far. Physics and fate are sadly the more influential forces in the real world. Short of banning all vehicular traffic everywhere, there is no way that every automobile or commercial trucking accident can be prevented, at least from a practical standpoint.
No matter the cause, be it driver fatigue, distraction, drinking and driving, or simply driver error, a commercial trucker is the one responsible for his or her actions when behind the wheel of a 30-ton motor vehicle. It is a huge responsibility, and one that requires professionalism and discipline. Keeping these drivers in line, federal and state regulations have been established to control the operation, maintenance and ownership of commercial trucks. Be it a large 18-wheeler or a smaller box truck, if a driver is found to be at fault in an accident there may be an opportunity to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against him and/or his company.
We think about the people injured and killed every year by negligent drivers quite frequently, especially after reading news stories documenting what are many times preventable accidents. The tragedy of a death caused by a thoughtless or negligent act is something that should never happen, but unfortunately they do, and all too often. Consider the news story we ran across a little bit earlier. According to reports, a traffic accident involving a tractor-trailer and a Jeep in Queen Anne’s County resulted in the death of a 27-year-old Glen Burnie woman on a Saturday afternoon.
Based on police reports, the Jeep was headed westbound along a stretch of Rte 405 when the accident occurred a little after 3pm at the intersection of 405 and U.S. Rte 301. Apparently, the 31-year-old driver of the Jeep was trying to cross 301 and failed to yield the right of way to an oncoming tractor-trailer, which slammed into the passenger side of the ‘07 Grand Cherokee. After the southbound 18-wheeler hit the Jeep on the passenger side, both the big rig and the SUV traveled off the right side of 301. As a result, the tractor-trailer overturned.
According to police, two young girls, aged 6 and 10, were also in the Jeep at the time of the collision. A chopped owned by the Maryland State Police took the Jeep’s driver and the two children to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. The trucker was transported by ambulance to the Chester River Hospital Center in Chestertown, MD. Sadly, the Glen Burnie woman apparently died at the scene of the accident. At the time of the news article, the state police CRASH Team and Commercial Enforcement Division was in the process of investigating the wreck.
Woman killed in accident on Route 301, MyEasternShoreMD.com, August 23, 2012