Articles Posted in Truck Accident News

Being involved in any kind of traffic accident can take its toll on an accident victim. Between the physical recovery and the emotional distress most accident victims endure, the recovery process can take months or even years. Add to this the likely prospect of mounting medical bills and time away from work, and the recovery process becomes one of not just physical and emotional wellbeing but also financial stability.

Cloudy HighwayIn Maryland, those who have been involved in a serious truck accident may be able to seek financial compensation for the injuries they have endured through a Maryland truck accident lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances of the accident and the severity of the accident victim’s injuries, recovery packages may include amounts for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and any pain and suffering that the accident victim endured as a result of the accident.

Before an accident victim is entitled to receive compensation, however, they must establish that the named defendant or defendants were legally responsible for causing the accident as well as the accident victim’s injuries. A dedicated personal injury attorney should be consulted prior to filing any truck accident case, not just to ensure that all procedural rules are followed but also to assist the accident victim in preparing a strong case for recovery.

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Drunk driving has long been a concern among lawmakers and motorists when it comes to those who operate large trucks for a living. While the majority of truck drivers obey the laws requiring they remain free from the effects of drugs or alcohol while behind the wheel, the reality is that too many truck drivers break the rules when it is convenient for them do so.

Head of HairFor example, some truck drivers use illegal stimulant drugs so that they can remain alert and travel longer distances per day. This is important for many truck drivers, who are compensated on a per-mile basis. However, while stimulant use may temporarily increase a driver’s alertness, it can also have unanticipated consequences, including difficulties maintaining concentration, sudden fatigue, and an altered sense of which risks are acceptable to take while behind the wheel.

Maryland lawmakers understand the dangers drunk truck drivers pose and have enacted strict penalties for any truck driver found to be operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Rather than the .08 blood-alcohol limit applicable to most motorists, commercial truck drivers are subject to the lower limit of .04 blood-alcohol content. This can be as little as one or two drinks in a period of two hours.

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Earlier this month, a Georgia jury awarded a Louisiana woman $15 million in a truck accident lawsuit. According to a local news source reporting on the recently resolved case, the accident occurred back in April 2015 on a Georgia highway. Evidently, a car full of six nursing students on their way to a hospital rotation in Savannah was stopped in a long line of traffic when a semi-truck came from behind, slamming into them.

Big TruckThe truck was traveling at approximately 70 miles per hour and did not apply the brakes at all in the moments leading up to the crash. Five of the six people inside the car were killed. The families of the five deceased students filed wrongful death lawsuits against the driver of the truck as well as the trucking company that employed him. These lawsuits have all been settled out of court. However, the trucking company was unable to reach a settlement with the lone survivor, and that case went to trial.

At trial, the jury heard that the woman sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of the crash and suffers from ongoing anxiety. Her roommate told jurors that the woman “is scared to sleep alone because her dreams are so scary and she wakes up in a puddle of sweat” and that she is afraid to be alone.

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On April 22nd of last year, a fatal truck accident claimed the lives of five young nursing students from Georgia Southern University. Earlier this month, a settlement agreement was reached with four of the five families of the deceased students. According to one local news source, the exact terms of each of the settlements is not yet known, but one family will be receiving $14 million for the loss of their daughter.

road-train-1185254_960_720The Accident

At around six in the morning on the day of the accident, seven nursing students were carpooling to a Savannah hospital for training. The students were split up in two cars and were driving on Interstate 16, when an unrelated collision up ahead of the students slowed traffic down to stop-and-go speeds. As the students’ vehicles were stopped, a truck driver came at full speed from behind and crashed into the vehicles.

The truck first made contact with a Toyota Corolla carrying three of the students. After the initial collision, the truck rolled over the Corolla, killing all three inside. Then, the truck slammed into a Ford Escape carrying four other students. The Escape was thrown into the air as a result of the collision and then rolled multiple times. Two of the occupants were ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. The driver of the Escape was trapped behind the car’s steering wheel, and she needed to be extricated by emergency responders. She was taken to the hospital but was unable to recover from her injuries. She passed away a few hours later.

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Last year, actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was involved in a New Jersey truck accident that left Morgan seriously injured and claimed the life of one of his good friends, James McNair. According to a report by People Magazine, the Wal-Mart truck driver who was behind the wheel when the accident occurred has recently asked a judge to dismiss the criminal charges that were filed against him after the accident.

freeway-1477436Court documents filed by the truck driver’s attorney claim that the driver will not be able to get a fair trial, due to the mass media coverage of the accident. The National Transportation Safety Board conducted an investigation into the accident and determined that the truck driver was at fault.

Back on June 7, 2014, the driver of the truck rear-ended the vehicle Morgan and friends were in while on the New Jersey Turnpike. A subsequent investigation revealed that the driver had not slept for the past 28 hours and was traveling at least 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit in a construction zone.

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In June of last year, a Wal-Mart truck allegedly failed to slow down for an approaching construction project, rear-ending the limousine that Tracy Morgan and his entourage were occupying. A fellow comedian, and one of Mr. Morgan’s good friends, James McNair, was killed in the accident. Tracy Morgan was seriously injured, suffering a broken leg, broken ribs, and a broken nose.

semi-mirror-2-26788-mAccording to one news source, Wal-Mart and Mr. Morgan reached an agreed-upon settlement for the case earlier this month. The details of the settlement agreement have not been made public, likely as a condition of the agreement. However, Mr. Morgan told reporters that “Wal-Mart did right by me and my family, and for my associates and their families. I am grateful that the case was resolved amicably.”

The allegations in the case were serious. There was evidence that the truck was traveling at around 20 miles per hour over the speed limit at the time of the accident. Additionally, the driver of the truck was allegedly near his drive-time limit and had not slept for the past 24 hours.

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Earlier this month in Everett, Washington, an 86-foot beam fell off the back of a semi-truck as the truck was making a left turn. According to a report by one local news source, the 55-ton beam fell off the truck on a Thursday afternoon around 4:30 in the afternoon and remained on the road for approximately nine hours until emergency crews were able to remove it.

rust-1-700787-mEvidently, the truck driver was almost to his destination when he made a left turn and the beam fell off the back of the semi-truck. There is no indication as to how the beam was secured on the truck, or how it came off the back of the truck. Luckily, no one was hurt when the beam fell off the truck.

Police are currently investigating the cause of the accident. Thus far into the investigation, they do not believe that drugs or alcohol were involved.

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Fatal truck accidents have steadily been increasing since 2006, a recent article by NBC News reports. The article claims that as the US economy has gotten better, more and more goods are being shipped across the country via trucks. When there are more trucks on the road, there are bound to be more trucking accidents.

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According to the NBC News article, there are 11 fatal truck accidents each day across the country, killing roughly 4,000 people annually. On top of the fatal trucking accidents, over 100,000 people are injured each year in serious truck accidents.

The article also points out that, surprisingly, there has not been a national outcry to increase the restrictions, regulations, and laws governing interstate truckers. Normally, when a certain type of accident becomes more common, people react by trying to stop the cause of the accident. However, even the very public accident that injured actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and killed one other person only resulted in minimal effort to change the laws surrounding truck drivers.

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Last week, ten people lost their lives in Orland, California, when a Fed Ex truck crossed the center median of the highway and got into a head on collision with a bus full of high school students on their way to visit a northern California university. According to a story by the Huffington Post, the bus was head north from Los Angeles to Humboldt State University, when it was involved in the tragic truck accident.

school-bus-793842-m.jpgOnce the two vehicles collided, students, counselors, and chaperones all tried to escape the bus before it caught fire and eventually exploded. Most of the 44 aboard made it out of the bus alive, however, nine aboard the bus did not. The driver of the Fed Ex truck was also killed in the accident.

The bus was taking low-income, high-achieving high-school seniors on a trip to visit the college campus. Two other busses from the Los Angeles area arrived safely at Humboldt State.

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report.jpgThe National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a report earlier this month regarding its findings in the investigation of the July 19 collision in which a tractor-trailer pushed another vehicle over the railing of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The most surprising conclusion of the report was that the driver of the tractor-trailer was on his first solo drive within the United States.

At the time of the collision, the tractor-trailer collided with a young woman’s car, sending it into another vehicle, and then over a railing. The woman’s car fell about 27 feet into 6 to 8 feet of water. The woman somehow managed to escape vehicle and swim to shore. According to reports, she was subsequently hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries.

The report further indicated that the driver of the tractor-trailer was licensed in Canada and was a recent immigrant from Hungary to Canada. The driver emigrated as part of Canada’s Temporary Foreign worker pilot program, and was on his first drive in the United States without being paired with a more experienced driver. The report indicated that the driver had already made a delivery in Virginia and was on his way to pick up a load in Maryland when the accident occurred.

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