According to a recent article, a driver was severely injured on a highway in Maine last month in an accident involving a tractor-trailer. The injured driver was driving behind the tractor-trailer in an SUV when the truck unexpectedly slowed and tried to turn around in a vehicle turnout reserved for police and other government vehicles. The injured driver swerved to avoid crashing into the rear of the tractor-trailer, but he lost control of the vehicle and crashed anyway. In the article, the Maine State Police stated that the driver of the truck faces criminal charges for endangering the life of another driver.
In Maryland, drivers who cause a serious bodily injury to other drivers may face criminal charges. Drivers may also be liable for damages in civil court if the driver is found to be negligent. A driver is negligent if he or she fails to take reasonable care while operating a motor vehicle, and this failure causes an injury to another person.
Maryland law provides for two types of damages. Economic damages compensate injured drivers or passengers for out-of-pocket costs like lost wages, unpaid medical expenses, and decreased future earnings. Non-economic damages, which are sometimes referred to as damages for “pain and suffering,” are also available to injured parties who can no longer enjoy life as they did before being injured.
In Maryland, the amount of non-economic damages that a person can collect for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident is limited, or capped, at an amount set by law. Certain family members may also receive compensation for injuries suffered by loved ones to compensate for future economic and non-economic losses, like reduced income and a loss of companionship.
In contrast to many other states, Maryland employs a contributory negligence standard. This means that if an injured driver contributes to an accident in any way, he or she is not eligible for compensation from the other driver, no matter how little the injured driver’s actions contributed to the accident.
A driver involved in an automobile accident may be negligent in many different ways. If a driver is talking on the phone or texting while driving, he or she may be driving negligently. The same is true if the driver is speeding or otherwise distracted. In accidents involving tractor-trailers, negligence often arises as a result of drivers who are tired or fatigued, due to long hours behind the wheel. Under pressure to meet delivery deadlines, these drivers may fall asleep while driving or simply lack the concentration needed to safely operate such a large and potentially dangerous vehicle.
Maryland and Washington, D.C. are highly traveled areas. Highways are rarely quiet, and even back roads draw regular commuters and vacationers. Today more than ever, commerce never ceases, and tractor-trailers can be found on local roadways at just about any time, including evenings and weekends. With all of this driving, truck accidents are unavoidable. Even with airbags and other advanced safety features, injuries still occur, and sometimes they are severe.
Have You or Someone You Love Been Injured by a Tractor-Trailer or Other Motor Vehicle?
The lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen work with accident victims every day. Our lawyers are tireless advocates for those suffering from injuries due to another driver’s carelessness. It is important not to delay when filing a negligence lawsuit against another driver. It is just as important to retain an attorney who has a long history handling all types of personal injury cases and a proven record of success. For a free consultation, and to speak with a lawyer about your injuries, call (800) 654-1949.
More Blog Posts:
Court Determines Insurance Contract in Trucking Accident Was Not Ambiguous, Finding in Insurance Company’s Favor, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published September 7, 2016.
One Dead, Two Injured in Chain-Reaction Semi-Truck Collision on Interstate Highway, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published August 17, 2016.