Articles Posted in Dump Truck Accidents

Each time a motorist gets behind the wheel, they expect to encounter certain risks. Most of the time, these risks are manageable, and drivers can often avoid an accident by taking certain precautions. However, dump trucks and other large construction vehicles can pose a serious and unavoidable threat to many Maryland motorists. For example, in 2018, dump truck accidents comprised over eight percent of all fatal truck accidents. This amounted to 380 fatalities caused by dump trucks. Indeed, according to a local news report, just last month, the driver of a dump truck lost control of the vehicle and ended up crashing into a ditch. While the driver of the truck died as a result of the injuries he sustained in the accident, no other vehicles or pedestrians were injured.

Dump truck drivers have an obligation to take the necessary precautions to prevent accidents. This duty extends not only to operating the truck in a safe manner, but also to ensure that the truck is loaded in a safe manner, to prevent load spillage. Indeed, a significant number of dump-truck related accidents involve debris falling from the truck onto the road.

Dump truck drivers, however, are not the only ones who could face responsibility for a truck accident. Under the theory of vicarious liability, a truck driver’s employer may also be on the hook for damages, depending on the situation. Typically, to establish an employer’s liability, an accident victim must show that the accident occurred within the scope of the truck driver’s employment. Doing so can significantly increase the likelihood that an accident victim will be fully compensated for their injuries.

When a loved one is injured a Maryland truck accident, the challenges can be overwhelming. The financial, physical, and emotional burden can be enormous, both for victims and their families. Financial compensation from a personal injury lawsuit can help alleviate some of these burdens.

In Maryland personal injury cases, different damages may be available to victims and their families depending on the specifics of the case. Plaintiffs in Maryland accident claims may able to recover compensation for medical expenses, mental suffering, wage losses, and other damages. The plaintiff has the burden to prove damages in the case. Generally, damages can be divided into two types: special and general damages.

Special damages normally include economic damages, such as past and future medical bills, loss of wages, diminished earning capacity, and others. General damages normally refer to non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. Apart from special and general damages, punitive, or exemplary, damages are available in some cases. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for his or her conduct and also to act as a deterrent to others. To be awarded punitive damages, a plaintiff has to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that the defendant had actual knowledge of the wrongful act at issue.

Many Maryland truck accidents have multiple causes. Of course, the majority of truck accidents are caused at least in part by a driver’s negligence. However, a significant number of these accidents also involve either poorly maintained or defectively designed roads.

Traditionally, states were immune from lawsuits brought by citizens who were injured due to the negligence of a government employee. However, under the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA), much of the state’s governmental immunity is waived. Of course, there are specific procedural requirements that must be strictly adhered to when pursuing a claim against a government entity, and there may also be a cap on the maximum amount of damages that can be obtained.

One issue that frequently comes up in Maryland truck accidents is the government’s potential liability for poorly designed roadways. In a 2011 case, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals held that the state government is not entitled to immunity in a claim alleging the negligent construction of a bridge. Specifically, the plaintiff in that case argued that the government was negligent when it failed to install a barrier that was necessary to make the bridge safe.

Maryland truck accidents are more common than most people believe. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Highway Transportation Safety Board (NHTSB) conduct periodic studies that analyze the cause and number of accidents occurring in each state in a given year. Both entities report on which type of vehicle is most likely to be involved in an accident and what the resulting damages are. The studies are periodically released as they are conducted.

The most recent report compiled data from 2016 and was published in May 2018. Some startling key findings were that despite stricter standards and more extensive training, truck accidents have been increasing since 2015. In fact, there has been a 5.4 percent increase in individuals killed in large truck accidents from the last study.

For the purposes of the study, a large truck includes any medium or heavy truck, not including buses or motor homes. The gross weight of the vehicles in this study was over 10,000 pounds. On average, dump trucks can carry over 30,000 pounds.

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Maryland has some of the most highly trafficked highways on the East Coast, due to its proximity to several major cities. The likelihood of an accident on a Maryland highway is an unfortunate risk for those traveling through Maryland. Regardless of whether a person is involved in a small fender-bender or a more serious Maryland truck accident, it is important that drivers are aware of their rights and remedies.

While it may be tempting to avoid calling law enforcement after a minor accident, it is very important that motorists report their accident. In some instances, it may be advisable to report it to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration as well.

A person who suffers an injury or property damage will likely report their accident to their insurance company, but that may not actually cover all of their damages. In these instances, a person should consider contacting a Maryland personal injury attorney and filing a lawsuit to recover compensation for their injuries. In most personal injury cases, a person has to file their claim within three years, but there are some exceptions that would require a claim to be filed earlier.

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When most people think of a truck accident, images of a massive semi-truck careening out of control down the highway come to mind. And to be sure, many Maryland truck accidents do occur at high speeds on the highway. However, there is also a significant portion of truck accidents that occur when a truck is stationary and pulled off to the side of the road.

In most cases, when a semi-truck has been pulled off the road, it is due either to a mechanical problem or the driver’s decision to pull over and get some rest. Indeed, truck drivers should pull over when they are tired to prevent the possibility of causing an accident. However, Maryland truck drivers have a duty to ensure that when they pull off the road, they are doing so in a safe manner and are not blocking the free flow of traffic. For example, truck drivers should always place warning cones or triangles along the road’s shoulder, providing notice of the truck to approaching drivers.

It is also common to see a stationary semi-truck or other large commercial vehicle that has been partially pulled off the road but is still blocking part of the lane nearest the shoulder. This puts motorists at an increased risk of being involved in an accident because even the most attentive motorist may find themselves without enough room to safely get by.

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Equipment failure is a major cause of Maryland truck accidents. Earlier this month, an accident between a dump truck and several other vehicles sent seven people to the hospital – three in critical condition. According to a local news report covering the accident, the collision occurred in the morning hours as the truck was hauling burn debris away from a recent wildfire.

Evidently, the dump truck was traveling downhill when it failed to stop at a red light at the bottom of the hill. The dump truck collided with a total of 10 vehicles as it careened through the intersection. Seven of the 10 vehicles caught fire, requiring a total of seven motorists to be taken to the hospital. Of the accident victims, three were admitted in critical condition.

The dump truck driver remained on the scene and has cooperated with police. When asked, the driver told police that he tried to apply the brakes, but the truck would not stop or even slow down. However, police have yet to label the cause of the accident as equipment failure and are conducting an in-depth investigation.

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People who operate large trucks for a living have an obligation to make sure that they do so with the utmost care. While all large vehicles have the potential to cause serious injuries in a Maryland truck accident, construction vehicles are some of the most dangerous, due to their moving parts and proximity to pedestrians and construction workers.

Construction sites pose a number of hazards both to pedestrians as well as to the workers on-site. While the operator of a construction vehicle always is responsible for its safety, the foreman of the job site also has a duty to ensure that the vehicles are placed in a safe spot in relation to the job site, as well as making sure that the vehicles are properly secured at the end of the day. A failure by either the operator or the foreman to follow the necessary safety protocols may result in a fatal Maryland truck accident.

In such situations, the family members of the accident victim may be able to pursue compensation for their loss through a Maryland wrongful death lawsuit. These claims must usually be brought by a surviving spouse, child, or parent, but they can be brought by other family members in some circumstances. In order to succeed in a Maryland wrongful death action, the plaintiff must be able to establish that the defendant’s negligent act was the cause of their loved one’s death. This can be done through eyewitness testimony, expert witness testimony, and the admission of other evidence suggesting the truck’s operator was somehow negligent.

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Most motorists who have spent any amount of time on Maryland highways have probably noticed the frequency of construction vehicles working on or near the highway. These vehicles are necessary to help build and maintain Maryland’s infrastructure; however, when not properly operated or secured, these vehicles can pose a serious risk to motorists and cause Maryland truck accidents.

These large construction vehicles have the potential to cause serious injuries or death when they are not used properly. Indeed, large construction machines are designed to tear down houses, break apart pavement, and move large amounts of earth. Those who use construction vehicles are responsible to operate the vehicle safely, but their duty does not end there. Operators must also ensure that the vehicles are properly secured when they are not being used.

Runaway Dump Truck Kills Two

Earlier this month, a tragic construction vehicle accident claimed two lives, including the vehicle’s operator and another nearby motorist. According to a recent news report covering the accident, the dump truck was parked at a work site that was located atop a hill near a busy roadway. At some point while the dump truck was unoccupied, it began to travel down the hill toward the road below.

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Earlier this month in North Carolina, a five-year-old boy was killed when he was struck by an unattended dump truck. According to one local news report covering the tragedy, police investigating the accident believe that the truck was not properly secured when it was left unattended by the construction crew.

Evidently, the truck was parked on the side of a road in a residential neighborhood, near the top of a hill. A witness to the accident told reporters that a construction worker exited the truck, and then shortly afterward, the truck started rolling down the hill. The truck rolled for approximately 100 yards, taking down overhead power lines along the way, until it entered a resident’s driveway. The resident’s five-year-old boy was playing in the driveway and was struck by the unmanned dump truck. The young boy was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police arrested one man, whom they claim was responsible for the dump truck before it began to roll away. While the police have not disclosed the evidence they are using to make their assessment, they believe that the dump truck was not properly restrained when the construction worker exited the truck. Police are also looking into the safety record of the construction company to determine if similar violations have occurred in the past.

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