Articles Posted in Truck Accident News

The 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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A terrible crash happened earlier this week in Baltimore, when a CSX freight train collided with a commercial truck and derailed. Officials said the truck’s driver was seriously injured, and that the crash led to an explosion, which could be both seen and felt blocks away, according to witnesses.

A local firefighter reported that the crash happened in Rosedale, just to the east of Baltimore.

The cause of the accident was not readily apparent. The National Transportation Safety Board is reportedly sending a team to investigate. The explosion that followed the collision sent black plumes of smoke into the sky, but according to CSX there were no toxic inhalants.

The crash has apparently led to damage of several nearby buildings, though firefighters were able to get the fire under control relatively quickly. As a precaution, several nearby residents were asked to evacuate their homes. Video footage depicted at least five of the train’s cars off the track.

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Authorities released a statement last Friday, stating that they now believe that a bridge that collapsed suddenly last week in Washington State was most likely caused by a truck carrying an oversized load that crashed into at least one girder.

The crash caused two vehicles to plummet into the freezing river below, along with some concrete and steel. Thankfully, the three people traveling in the vehicles were rescued, and no one was killed.

The accident raised concerns about the potential safety concerns of the bridge, which was built in 1955, and reignited a discussion in Washington D.C. amongst lawmakers, regarding the need for a greater investment in our country’s aging infrastructure. Washington state officials stated that, based upon preliminary indications regarding the bridge, including two inspections within the past year, it was structurally sound. The truck striking the support beams with some speed is believed to be solely responsible for its collapse.

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As we have mentioned time and time again, avoiding a traffic collision may not be something motorists actively think about day in and day out, but the fact remains that every day, week or month that any of us is not involved in a car, truck or motorcycle accident is one more day we have each beaten the odds. Naturally, good drivers and those experienced as professionals skew the results for the rest of the driving population by getting through months or years without being caught in a traffic collision.

Remember, however, that on average, anyone reading this right now has an even chance of being involved in a roadway collision at some point in their lifetime. As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my colleagues are more than certain that those individuals who are involved in traffic accident here in Maryland, or over in Washington, D.C., will have a much higher chance of being seriously injured or killed if that crash includes a large commercial truck.

This is because the massive size and overall weight of 18-wheel tractor-trailers, large box trucks, flatbed trailer trucks, construction dump trucks, and fuel tankers can only exacerbate the injuries associated with any highway accident. When a trucking-related collision does happen, it is an almost certainty that the injuries sustained by those in smaller passenger cars, motorcyclists, pedestrians and other bystanders will be more severe than a “typical” car-to-car crash.

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Hard as it may be to reconcile at time, we all put our lives on the line each and every time we step out of homes and into a motor vehicle to travel to work, school or even to the grocery store. It’s not a pleasant thought, to be sure, but it is a reality: People are killed and injured every day across the state of Maryland, and throughout the U.S., doing simple day-to-day activities that none of us would think twice about. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, we have to concur that operating a motor vehicle can be intrinsically life-threatening, if only from a statistical standpoint.

Of all the many and varied causes of traffic collisions, a percentage of these are the result of a failure in some safety- or control-related vehicle component or system. Be it a fractured steering shaft, poorly cast suspension arm, improperly torqued bolt or other fastener, even a faulty safety belt, each of these items can result in a serious accident. Depending on the part, the vehicle’s speed at the time of the failure, and other factors, it’s not a stretch to say that a fatality or multiple fatalities could be in the cards as well.

As automobile, trucking and motorcycle accident attorneys, we understand that these are not uplifting subjects. But the fact remains, at least for experienced legal professionals like ourselves, the existence of a faulty or poorly designed vehicle part or component can be grounds for a products liability suit, especially if a person is hurt or killed as a result of the failure.

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It is an unfortunate outcome of many a highway wreck involving a large commercial motor vehicle, but occupants of passenger cars that are involved in collisions with big rigs — have a fairly good chance of being hurt or seriously injures during a bad multi-vehicle pileup. The issue in many of these cases is that the simple factor of mass, or weight, for those non-scientific among us, can make the difference between life and death. Size is certainly a factor here, but all things being equal, the two are interrelated.

For anyone who has not been involved in, or been witness to a severe car-truck traffic accident the statistics kept of such events tend to bear this out; that time and again, injuries from trucking-related collisions, especially those involving smaller and more lightweight passenger vehicles, can typically result in much more serious and often fatal bodily injury. These can include, but are in no way limited to traumatic brain damage, spinal cord injuries, broken bones and compound fractures, and other sometimes permanently disabling injuries.

It is because larger and heavier 18-wheelers and other commercial motor vehicles are so common on our highways and city streets that these kinds of accidents occur at fairly frequent rates. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, the legal professionals at my firm understand very well that any traffic accident involving a semi, large box truck or heavy commercial equipment can easily turn into a life-threatening event for the individuals involved.

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While it’s probably true that most drivers who live in cities — such as Gaithersburg, Annapolis and the District of Columbia — feel that driving in the country is mostly relaxing and free from the stress and dangers associated with urban traffic, there are still significant risks for car, truck and motorcycle riders out in the more rural areas. For example, tractors and other farm vehicles that use the roadways here in Maryland and across the United States are usually slower and more ponderous than any passenger car or commercial truck.

The very nature of a farm tractor or hay wagon makes it a relatively slow vehicle compared to other passenger cars, SUV and even large over-the-road commercial trucks. These are such slow vehicles that owners are required to display a caution triangle on the rear of the vehicle to warn other drivers of the potential hazard. On country roads were speeds can range from 35, 45 and even 55mph, a farm implement moving from one part of a farm to another may only be able to hit 15mph or so. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, we know that one of the more significant causes of traffic accidents is speed disparity.

When a car, truck or motorcycle traveling at 50mph or more encounters a tractor along a country road, the speed differential can be as much as 20 or 30mph, sometimes more depending on the type of load being pulled by the tractor, as well as other factors. Cresting a hill to find a slow-moving farm implement, a driver may have only a couple seconds to either slow down or attempt to pass the slower moving vehicle. In such situations, especially is an oncoming vehicle is closing as well, a roadway collision could be imminent.

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It’s a fair bet that anyone who drives here in Maryland travels at one time or another on an undivided highway or high-speed surface street. As human beings most of us don’t dwell too much on the potential carnage that could result from a head-on car collision at almost any speed, much less highway speeds. Sometimes it takes a certain lack of imagination to venture out onto roads with no barriers separating opposing traffic lanes.

Of course, it goes without saying that accidents can and do happen on a rather regular basis in rural areas as well as urban locales such as Gaithersburg, Bowie, the District and Rockville. As a Maryland personal injury law firm, I and my legal team represent victims of automobile, motorcycle and commercial trucking accidents. In cases where a family has lost a loved one to a traffic accident caused by the negligent act of another motorist, we can help pursue a wrongful death claim against the responsible parties.

Nothing is permanent in this life, but the loss of a life through a senseless or preventable act is one of the more tragic ways to lose a parent, child, friend or colleague. While accidents happen all of the time around this country, car and motorcycle wrecks can result in serious injuries, permanent disability or even death. Whether a family has had a loved one die on a Maryland highway, or be injured with weeks or months of medical treatment and rehabilitation ahead of them, it is always a wise choice to contact a qualified injury attorney before talking with the other driver’s insurance company.

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As motorists we are all tested and licensed by the state of Maryland before we can legally operate a motor vehicle on public roads. This is reasonable and as a matter of tradition and the law, completely acceptable considering the dangers that an unqualified driver could pose on the streets of Rockville, Howie, Columbia and Washington, D.C. By extension, it is no surprise that drivers of commercial motor vehicles have an ever stricter set of hurdles to clear before being granted their commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Anyone who disagrees with the added regulatory requirements imposed on operators of 18-wheelers, semi tractor-trailers, commercial box trucks, and even city bus drivers, should consider the heady responsibility of driving a 30-plus-ton, multi-wheeled behemoth on a public road. At nearly 20 times the mass of an average passenger car, a long-haul semi rig can easily become an almost unstoppable and indiscriminate killing machine if driven recklessly on an expressway or city street.

As Maryland trucking accident lawyers and personal injury attorneys, I and my colleagues are keenly aware of the potential for bodily harm or death from one of these vehicles when its driver is caught unaware or even actively negligent in his or her operation of that 18-wheeler. And this goes for being in or working around even a stationary truck.

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Because of their training as emergency responders — prepared at a moment’s notice to provide help and care to anyone in trouble — it’s difficult to imagine a police officer, firefighter or paramedic intentionally causing harm to another individual. This is why it is always a shock when we read of a serious traffic accident involving a patrol car, ambulance or EMS vehicle. Yet, these kinds of accidents can and do happen all over the country. As Baltimore auto accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers, I and my colleagues have seen the results of serious and fatal car, truck and motorcycle collisions involving police and fire vehicles. The damage that can be sustained by a relatively small passenger car when it is hit by a fire truck many times more massive can be significant. This means that depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident that the occupants of the smaller motor vehicle can receive serious to critical bodily injuries. Needless to say, while police cruisers are approximately similar in weight or mass to most average passenger cars and sport utility vehicles, serious accidents involving police cars could be the result of the higher speeds at which that these patrol cars travel. Anyone who follows the news regularly will remember some instance of a patrol car hitting another vehicle while responding to a 911 call of some sort. Continue reading ›

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