Two Successive 18-Wheeler Wrecks on the Capitol Beltway; No Injuries, But Long Tied Ups

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: anyone who is injured in a traffic accident caused by the negligence of another driver or other responsible party owes it to themselves and their family to consider speaking to a qualified Maryland personal injury attorney. Especially in cases where expensive medical care and costly rehabilitation is or will be required, there is no reason for the victim of traffic accident to bear the brunt of the costs from a crash caused by another individual.

At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, we understand how easily a family can be sent into a devastating spiral of financial debt and emotional pain when a loved one — especially a breadwinner, such as a single mother or father — is injured or killed in a senseless traffic collision. Over the years, our legal staff has assisted numerous victims and their families affected by bad injury accidents or fatal roadway crashes resulting from the negligent actions of a truck driver, bus operator or cabby. These commercial vehicle-related auto-truck collisions have the potential to interrupt or destroy the lives of victims because of both the physical and emotional injuries that can result.

Whether the financial problems come due to emergency room bills, hospital costs, rehabilitation expenses, or lost wages, victims and their families have the right to pursue the responsible party and recover those costs incurred through no fault of their own. And those responsible do not have to be the trucker himself; many times responsibility in whole or in part can be attributed to the owners of the commercial trucking fleet that employed the driver and supplied the vehicle for him or her to operate.

Based on state and federal commercial trucking regulations, the operators of large trucking companies have a legal obligation to maintain safe commercial vehicles on public roadways. Sadly, this obligation is sometimes either not taken seriously or completely ignored in the pursuit of profits. Shoddy or inadequate vehicle repairs or maintenance can result from a company policy tailored to increase profit margins; yet only serves to make these large and massive vehicles even more dangerous than they already are.

The NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) has estimated that nearly 400,000 large commercial motor vehicles are involved in accidents in years past. Back in 2008, more than 4,000 people died in traffic collisions with a semi tractor-trailer or other large commercial truck. Even though about 10 percent of traffic accidents involve commercial vehicles, only about one quarter of those injured are the truckers or their passengers. Such is the benefit of the large size of these trucks. On the flip side, more than two-thirds of those injured are usually the occupants of the smaller vehicles which are caught up in crashes with large commercial delivery trucks and 18-wheelers.

Consider accidents like the two that took place within hours of each other on the Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway back in October. According to news reports, the Inner Loop at Old Georgetown Rd. was the scene of two separate tractor-trailer crashes on a Friday morning. Based on police reports, the crashes took place about three hours apart from each other and wreaked havoc with traffic for about nine hours that day.

According to reports, the first wreck involved a tractor-trailer hauling kitchen cabinets, which struck a guardrail and then jackknifed at around one o’clock in the morning. According to the Maryland State Highway Administration officials, the vehicle’s fuel tank ruptured as cleanup crews were attempting to remove the wreck from the roadway. During that operation, a second 18-wheeler carrying building materials also jackknifed as it approached the original crash site a little before 5am.

For anyone who wonders if a fire is possible when a tractor-trailer accident takes place, keep in mind that the fuel tank in the second truck also ruptured spilling diesel fuel across the roadway and complicating the cleanup efforts. Fortunately, no injuries were reported, however that may have been just luck, since both crashes occurred before the major part of rush hour traffic had commenced.

Inner Loop In MD Reopens After 2 Tractor Trailer Crashes, WUSA9.com, October 19, 2012
Inner Loop reopens after 2 tractor-trailer accidents, WTOP.com, October 19, 2012

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