When filing a Maryland truck accident claim, it is very important to comply with all of the necessary court rules and procedural requirements. A plaintiff’s failure to do so may result in the dismissal of a case that otherwise could have resulted in substantial compensation. In most personal injury cases, once a plaintiff retains counsel, these matters are left to the attorney handling the case. However, courts very rarely will excuse a plaintiff’s non-compliance, even if it was due to attorney error.
A recent case illustrates the difficulties one accident victim had after he failed to answer the defendant’s motion in a timely manner and also failed to present any evidence establishing that the defendant was negligent.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff was a truck driver who was transporting cargo that was packed by the defendant corporation. As the plaintiff opened the truck’s rear gate, several boxes that had been packed by the defendant fell on top of him, resulting in serious injuries.
The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant corporation, as well as one of the employees who worked for the company. The plaintiff claimed that the employee negligently loaded the cargo and that his employer was vicariously liable for the employee’s negligence.
The defendants moved for summary judgment, claiming that the plaintiff offered no evidence that they were in any way negligent. The plaintiff did not respond to the defendant’s motion but instead filed a late motion to designate an expert witness. The lower court denied the plaintiff’s motion to designate an expert witness because it was untimely. The court also deemed that, since the plaintiff failed to answer the defendant’s motion, the plaintiff admitted the facts set forth by the defense. From here, the lower court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, finding that there was no evidence presented indicating that the defendants were negligent.
The plaintiff appealed to a higher court, arguing that the fact that the boxes fell when the truck’s rear gate was opened was, in itself, evidence of negligence. The plaintiff did not appeal the lower court’s decision to deny his motion to designate an expert.
The court rejected the plaintiff’s claim, explaining that courts will not presume that a party was negligent without any evidence supporting that conclusion. The court noted that, in this case, there were other explanations as to why the boxes may have fallen on the plaintiff as he opened the rear gate of the truck. For example, the court noted that the boxes may have shifted during transport. Since the plaintiff did not present any affirmative evidence of negligence, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated Maryland personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have extensive experience handling all types of truck accident cases, including those caused by shifting cargo and improperly loaded trucks. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated injury attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Establishing Liability in Maryland Chain Reaction Truck Accidents, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published January 17, 2018.
Truck Driver Is Investigated Following Deadly Train Accident, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published February 5, 2018.