Articles Posted in Legal Concepts in Truck Accident Cases

The danger of not wearing your seatbelt is compounded when a truck or other large vehicle is involved in the crash. That goes for people in the truck as well as others on the road. Large commercial vehicles like trucks are on the road to transport heavy items over long distances. That means that trucks can become difficult to maneuver under the best of circumstances. This danger is compounded in emergency situations, preventing truck drivers from turning or stopping suddenly due to the weight of their vehicle and cargo.

Even without heavy cargo or large trailers, trucks are heavy, making accidents involving them inherently more dangerous than collisions between two smaller vehicles. Additionally, truck drivers are under extreme pressure to spend long hours on the road, as they often need to meet delivery or cargo deadlines. This can lead to exhaustion and impaired judgment on the roads. Tired drivers are more likely to make mistakes when driving, increasing the likelihood of accidents. This is why you often see semi-trucks pulled off on the side of the road, as drivers will sometimes take naps or rest in the midst of their long-haul rides.

According to a recent news article, Maryland State Police said a tractor-trailer was stopped on the right shoulder around 6:10 a.m. in the northbound direction near the Beltway exits in Rosedale. According to a preliminary investigation, a second tractor-trailer rear-ended the stopped tractor-trailer. The driver of the second tractor-trailer was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Their condition was not immediately released. Police did not specify whether the other driver was injured. The express toll lanes were shut down at Interstate 895. The left two main travel lanes were shut down on northbound I-95 at the site of the crash. The scene was cleared by the afternoon. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Truck accidents can occur for a number of reasons. From drivers’ negligence to a faulty vehicle part, there are several issues that can lead to a truck accident. No matter the cause of the accident, it is important to understand your options for recovery if you have suffered serious injuries. A Maryland truck accident attorney can help you gather evidence and develop the strongest possible argument to recover damages.

According to a recent news article, a Maryland truck accident shut down all lanes of southbound I-95. The crash involved a car and a tractor-trailer, which was parked on the shoulder when the accident occurred. Fortunately, there were no fatalities reported.

What Are the Causes of a Maryland Truck Accident?

A Maryland truck accident can have several overlapping causes. First, a truck driver may have negligently operated their vehicle. In general, distracted driving is a common cause of auto accidents. When drivers fail to pay attention to the road, they may fail to respond to traffic patterns or lose control of their vehicle. Due to the size of a typical truck, truck drivers must stay extra vigilant and minimize distractions to avoid causing a serious crash. When a truck driver fails to exercise reasonable care, their negligent behavior may lead to an accident. On the other hand, a distracted driver may crash into a truck, which occurred in the accident discussed above. Consequently, staying focused on the road can help both car and truck drivers avoid an accident. In addition to drivers’ negligence, a truck accident can result from a manufacturing or design defect in a piece of equipment. For example, a truck’s braking system may have a design flaw that prevents truck drivers from braking quickly in the event of an accident. Alternatively, a mechanic’s shop may have negligently repaired the brakes. Finally, a local government may have negligently maintained the roads, resulting in an increased risk of an accident.

Shoulder lanes are emergency stopping lanes that are reserved by the verge of a road and on the right side of the road. Shoulder lanes are typically not used by moving traffic, but instead used in the event of an emergency, such as a vehicle malfunctioning or becoming disabled. In some cases, tow providers may be en route to assist a driver of a disabled vehicle, or working on moving a disabled vehicle from the shoulder. Shoulder lanes also may be used by emergency vehicles, such as an ambulance or police cars, in order to bypass traffic. However, in some unfortunate incidents, shoulder lanes may become the scene of accidents.

According to a recent news report, a 22-year-old was fatally struck by a vehicle on I-95 in Maryland. A vehicle drove on the right side of the shoulder and struck a pedestrian who was outside of their tractor-trailer on the shoulder. The vehicle was disabled and parked on the shoulder with hazard lights on. It is unclear what caused the driver to travel out of lane three onto the shoulder.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety data found that among drivers who do not comply with Move Over laws at all times, 42 percent thought the behavior was somewhat or not dangerous at all to roadside emergency workers. In some instances, these shoulder lane accidents may occur because of distracted driving.

There’s no denying that at any moment, the unexpected can happen with a vehicle you are driving. A flat tire, or a car that suddenly stops and becomes undrivable with little to no warning. On some occasions, the warning signs of a mechanical issue happen days, weeks, or even months before, but unfortunately, some drivers may choose to ignore those warning signs. Routinely checking your vehicle to ensure that everything is working properly is extremely important, as it can prevent dangerous mechanical issues from happening suddenly while you’re driving, and it could save you more money instead of having to pay for even more expensive vehicle repairs later on.

When a mechanical car issue happens suddenly while you are driving on the road and if your vehicle becomes undrivable, it can be important to call a tow truck to remove a vehicle from the road. Some drivers fail to do so, choosing to leave their vehicles abandoned on the road, which can be dangerous for all drivers. When you’re driving on a road or highway, it can be a bit of a surprise if you find a vehicle left unattended that you suddenly have to maneuver around.

A recent news article revealed the dangers of abandoned vehicles left on the road. According to the news article, charges have been filed against a man who is accused of leaving his tow truck on the interstate in North Dakota due to a later crash involving the abandoned vehicle. The 43-year-old-man has been charged with negligent homicide in the death of a 43-year-old woman, in addition to reckless endangerment, driving under suspension and driving without liability insurance. The driver of the tow truck experienced a mechanical issue and stopped in the right lane of the interstate. He then proceeded to get a ride from someone else and left his tow truck where it had stopped. Unfortunately, the 43-year-old woman crashed into the tow truck, and the impact killed her. In addition, her two children were severely injured in the crash.

Throughout the country, truck companies are increasingly exploring the use of autonomous trucks in order to increase profits and decrease reliance on drivers. As a result, autonomous truck accidents in Maryland will likely become more common as a greater number of these vehicles hit the road. As autonomous truck accidents in Maryland increase, the fault of drivers in such accidents will also begin to evolve. The addition of autonomous driving software to trucks fundamentally changes the role and concept of the driver. While autonomous trucks currently often have safety drivers, people in the cab monitoring the artificial intelligence driving the truck autonomously, leading autonomous truck development companies have increasingly used completely driverless trucks on the roads. In December of 2021, a truck completed an 80-mile trip in Arizona on public roads.

Given the increasing risk of being involved in an autonomous truck accident, drivers should be aware that this could fundamentally impact how fault is determined in Maryland truck accidents. Currently, Maryland uses contributory negligence in truck accident cases, which can dramatically impact a victim’s recovery if they are at fault. The introduction of autonomous trucks to the road may change that process. A recent news article discussed an autonomous truck accident that occurred in April 2022.

According to the news article, the accident occurred when an autonomous truck suddenly veered left, cutting across the I-10 highway and smashing into a concrete barricade. At the time, there was a driver and an engineer on board, and the company blamed human error. However, regulatory disclosures and internal documents reveal that there may have been issues with the autonomous software operating the vehicle at the time. An internal report on the incident, states that the truck veered suddenly because the person operating the vehicle did not properly reboot the system before engaging the autonomous driving function, causing it to execute an outdated command. In this case, the truck engaged in a left-turn command that had been made 2 ½ minutes prior, resulting in the accident.

Every year, about two percent of motor vehicle collision deaths are attributed to bicyclists. These bicyclists often share the road with larger vehicles, including heavy trucks like commercial trucks and dump trucks. Despite the relative size of these vehicles on the road, heavy truck drivers still owe bicyclists all the care and consideration when driving that they owe other, larger forms of transportation like passenger cars. Even so, truck drivers often forget to look for smaller vehicles and bicycles when sharing the road. This can be particularly devastating in the event of a collision because of the relative sizes of vehicles and the protections they afford. If this lack of care causes an accident, it may lead to a personal injury lawsuit.

According to a recent report, a bicyclist died of crash-related injuries 10 hours after they were struck by a dump truck driver. Witnesses to the scene say the driver and bicyclist were traveling side by side when the truck took a left, hitting the bicyclist. One witness said the truck driver wasn’t looking before turning, leading to the bicyclist’s death. The accident remains under investigation, and police have not determined who is liable for the accident.

Responsible drivers owe each other the bare minimum of looking before making a turn. Bike lanes often run next to traffic, meaning drivers should be aware of the possibility of a bicyclist riding next to them, especially when trying to turn. In Maryland, drivers, including truck drivers, are responsible for using reasonable care when operating a vehicle, including truck drivers. When truck drivers breach this duty of care, the victim or the victim’s family could bring a personal injury claim.

Sometimes, no matter how diligent we are on the road, things beyond our control may take place and result in devastating consequences. Despite being a careful, proactive, and alert driver, it is often impossible to control the actions of others. Factors outside of our control that may cause an accident are often exacerbated when the accident involves a large commercial vehicle or truck. Thus, Maryland drivers should understand the distinctions between accidents involving commercial trucks and regular trucks or SUVs before proceeding with their legal claims.

According to a recent news report, a commercial truck driver is facing 41 charges following a major truck accident that left four dead and ten others injured. The truck driver, during his first solo trip, was driving through the mountains on his own despite having little experience navigating the terrain. While on the road, the truck driver realized his brakes had given out. Despite doing his best to remain on the shoulder and out of traffic, he crashed into a large trailer, which he hoped would slow down the trajectory of his truck after the crash. Upon impact, the truck driver lost control and four people died instantly.

During the trial, the prosecution argued that the truck driver had multiple chances to prevent the accident and did not take them. In response, the defense argued that the truck driver was simply at the mercy of mechanical failures of the truck, and lost control without any good options. In addition, the defense reiterated the preventative steps the truck driver took, such as calling his boss, roughly 40 minutes before the crash, to ask for advice on how to proceed moving forward since his brakes were faulty. The outcome of the case will ultimately fall into the hands of the jury.

When most people think about car accidents, they usually assume that a crash takes place between two parties. Sometimes, however, car accidents can often take many forms and levels of complexity. In some cases, crashes can involve multiple parties and it can be unclear who is at fault, how to establish fault, or even how the accident took place. This is especially the case in Maryland truck accidents, which often end up in chain-reaction collisions.

According to a recent news report, a five-vehicle accident left one person dead. The crash took place when a car was heading west and the driver veered into an eastbound lane and collided with a propane truck. Upon impact, the propane truck rolled over and crashed into at least two other vehicles and caught on fire but did not explode. Local authorities reported that the driver of the initial vehicle that crashed into the propane truck died at the scene, the propane truck driver was transported to a local hospital, and the condition of the other drivers remained unknown.

Maryland, like many other states, has specific laws on how to determine fault in car accidents involving multiple parties and a complicated chain of events. When it comes to establishing liability, Maryland law uses joint and several liability, which allows for there to be more than one cause of a car crash.

Large vehicles, especially commercial trucks, are often more susceptible to car accidents because of their size and the dexterity required by drivers to operate them. Because they require more space for turns, backing up, or just generally traveling along any stretch of road, accidents can take place for a variety of reasons. If the truck driver cannot see you because of the size of the truck, or if the vehicle is operated negligently, for example, the likelihood of an accident is amplified.

Sometimes, however, mechanical failures that have nothing to do with a truck driver’s negligence or lack of care can take place and result in major accidents. When these mechanical or structural failures happen, they can be deadly when combined with a negligent truck driver operating tricky road conditions.

According to a news report, a dump truck collided with two cars, which led to three people being transported to a local hospital for treatment. Images from the scene show that the truck careened downhill and violently crashed into a stone wall before coming to a rest on the other side of the wall. The truck had extensive frontal damage.

After a Maryland truck accident, victims may have to deal with immunity defenses if one or more defendants are government entities. For example, if a truck driver or other vehicle driver was working for a city government or another government entity at the time of the crash, the defendant may assert immunity as a defense to the lawsuit.

What Are the Government Immunity Laws in Maryland?

Generally, state and local governments in Maryland are protected from lawsuits through immunity. Similarly, employees of state and local governments are generally protected from lawsuits while they are acting within their official capacity. They are generally immune from lawsuits unless immunity is waived in some way. Immunity is specifically waived in some circumstances under the law. For example, a city government generally is not protected when carrying out proprietary functions—generally, propriety functions that are done for the benefit or profit of a corporation. In contrast, city governments are protected when carrying out government functions—generally, those that are sanctioned by the legislature, are only done for the benefit of the public and have no element of private interest. Employees also may lose the protection of immunity if they act with malice or gross negligence. Immunity for states such as the state of Maryland, as opposed to city and county government, is generally broader. But immunity may still be waived if, for example, the employee was not acting within the scope of their public duties or if the employee acted with malice or gross negligence.

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