Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

Earlier this month, a truck accident shut down a major road, sending several motorists to the hospital with injuries, highlighting the dangers that Maryland truck accidents pose to motorists. While it’s true that any vehicle can cause an accident—from small bicycles to large semi-trucks—accidents involving trucks tend to be some of the most catastrophic because of the sheer size of a truck. This is especially true when a truck driver loses control and swerve off the road or into other lanes, as illustrated by a recent crash.

According to a local news report covering an incident from early this month, a crash occurred just before 6 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, when a semi-truck traveling south on the highway hit a Buick Lacross that was parked on the road’s right shoulder. The collision caused the truck to lose control. As the truck swerved out of control, it ended up going up the highway’s embankment where it crashed into a pedestrian bridge. The pedestrian bridge suffered structural damages as a result, but thankfully, no pedestrians were on the bridge at the time. The driver of the truck, as well as the driver of the Buick, were taken to a nearby hospital with injuries following the accident.

Sometimes, in accidents such as this one, it may be difficult to initially determine which party was at fault. Those injured in Maryland truck accidents might not know how to prove the other party caused the accident, and may never consider bringing a personal injury suit. However, most accidents are preventable. Often, there is one or more negligent parties who can be held responsible for an accident victim’s injuries.

Public transit is becoming increasingly popular in Maryland and across the United States. Public transportation options such as buses, trains, and subways allow people to travel relatively quickly and inexpensively, and is better for the environment than driving an individual car. However, just like any form of transportation, accidents can occur on public transit, and can lead to severe injuries or even death. In some cases, Maryland public transit accidents may be even more dangerous, because of the number of people in a vehicle.

For example, recently a bus crash made headlines when multiple people were injured. According to a local news report covering the collision, a bus was driving along its normal route when a tow truck driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle. The bus driver swerved out of the way to avoid an accident with the tow truck, but in doing so caused the bus to crash into a building. Fortunately, no one was killed, but six individuals were injured and had to be hospitalized after the crash.

The crash illustrates that no vehicle is immune from getting into a Maryland traffic accident. In the aftermath of an accident such as the one above, it can be difficult for injury victims to understand how the accident occurred, who is at fault, and whether or not they have a path to recovery.

It is generally well-known that Maryland truck accidents are dangerous. A single accident, on its own, can cause severe injuries or even death, drastically impacting those involved. However, one truck accident on the highway may actually lead to more accidents, as distracted drivers crash into the scene of the original incident. These chain-reaction accidents can be extremely hazardous to motorists traveling on the highway, who may not be expecting to encounter a massive pile-up.

According to a local news report, a crash first occurred early in the morning, just before 4:00 a.m., and involved two semi-trucks. A little over an hour later, at 5:11 a.m., another semi-truck was driving by when it slammed into the original crash scene, injuring one highway worker and two state troopers. All three were transported to the hospital.

An hour and a half after that, at about 6:45 a.m., a third crash occurred. A statement from the police indicated that a semi-truck created the chain-reaction crash, which involved at least seven vehicles: two semi-trucks, a dump truck, and four passenger vehicles. An eyewitness quoted in the local news article reported that he was traveling behind the vehicles that got in the crash and that he noticed the truck did not seem to brake at all before the collision. Instead, “he hit the stopped traffic at 70 miles per hour.” That truck driver was among the four individuals killed. The crash also resulted in multiple injuries. Fortunately, bystanders were able to pull two motorists out of a wrecked car before it burst into flames, saving their lives. However, in total, four lives were lost and many more were severely disrupted by the series of accidents and the resulting injuries.

All drivers in the state of Maryland must abide by the rules of the road and exercise reasonable care whenever they are operating a truck or any motor vehicle. Failure to do so may result in the driver being held liable for the damages resulting from a Maryland truck accident. In some cases, a driver’s conduct is more than negligent, but not necessarily to the level of being intentional.

In Maryland, gross negligence is considered conduct that goes beyond mere negligence. Under Maryland law, the conduct must rise to the level of an intentional failure to meet a duty in reckless disregard for the effect on another person’s life or property. It also suggests a disregard for the consequences without any attempt to avoid them. Even if it is impossible to prove a driver’s state of mind in some cases, the driver’s actions may be sufficient to show such conduct. A finding of gross negligence is significant because it may overcome a plaintiff’s contributory negligence, allowing a plaintiff who was partially at fault to recover. In considering whether a driver’s conduct rises to the level of negligence or gross negligence, a trier of fact will consider all relevant circumstances in the case, including the weather, the actions of other drivers, and whether the driver was presented with an emergency situation.

Eight People Injured After Tow Truck Driver Runs Red Light

According to a recent news report, eight people were injured in a recent multi-vehicle accident after a tow truck driver reportedly ran a red light. The crash occurred around 10 p.m. on a Wednesday night. Police believe that a tow truck driver ran the light and crashed into three cars, including a police patrol car. Two police officers were among those injured and one had to be rescued from the car using the Jaws of Life. According to police, the tow truck driver may have been responding to another accident.

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In cases where more than one party is at fault, some plaintiffs may be barred from recovery altogether. The laws concerning the effect of the plaintiff’s negligence vary depending on the jurisdiction. The law that applies in Maryland truck accident cases is the doctrine of contributory negligence, which is a particularly harsh law for Maryland personal injury plaintiffs.

Contributory negligence comes from the common law, and has been the law in Maryland since 1847. Under the doctrine of contributory negligence, if the plaintiff is found even partially at fault for the damages, the plaintiff is barred from recovery. Many have criticized the doctrine of contributory negligence, as it leads to harsh consequences and what many consider unfair results. Few states still follow the contributory negligence doctrine.

The General Assembly of Maryland has so far rejected the adoption of comparative negligence, which could replace the contributory negligence doctrine. Under the general comparative fault doctrine, or “pure comparative negligence,” the fault of both the plaintiff and the defendant are considered, but comparative fault only reduces the award by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. Under pure comparative negligence, a plaintiff can recover even if the plaintiff is found mostly at fault. Under some comparative fault doctrines, a plaintiff can recover as long as the plaintiff is found 50% or less at fault. This is generally referred to as “modified comparative negligence.”

Maryland hit and run accidents occur when one party collides with a vehicle, person, or object and knowingly leaves the scene of the incident without providing their identifying information or arranging for medical care for anyone injured in the accident. These types of accidents contribute to the financial burden and physical injuries typical of truck accidents but also escalate the severity of harm because many victims do not receive timely or adequate medical attention. Additionally, Maryland hit and run truck accidents create burdens for victims and families looking to recover damages from the at-fault party’s insurance company.

According to the Foundation for Traffic Safety (FTS), the rate of fatalities and injuries related to hit and run accidents are steadily increasing. Data suggests that a hit and run accident occurs approximately every 43 seconds in the United States. Maryland ranks as one of the top 20 states with the highest rates of hit and run accidents.

Typically, hit and run truck accidents occur when the at-fault driver panics, and decides to leave the scene of a crash. This panic may occur because the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or they were engaged in some other negligent behavior. To avoid a hit and run charge, drivers must stop their truck and pull off to a safe location. They should call for medical and police assistance. The driver should provide all of their identifying information including, driver’s license and insurance information.

Among the hazards that motorists must address when driving on the highway are large trucks parked on the road’s shoulder. There are a number of legitimate reasons why a Maryland truck driver may pull their rig over. For instance, a truck driver may feel fatigue setting in and decide to pull over rather than risk driving while drowsy. While there is generally no traffic law prohibiting a motorist from pulling over to the road’s edge when necessary, a motorist must take care when parking their vehicle to avoid obstructing traffic and must pull off at an appropriate location.

In May 2019, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case discussing a situation involving a motorist who was seriously injured after rear-ending a truck driver who had pulled over near a highway offramp. According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was entering the highway when he crossed into the “gore area,” which is the triangular area between the highway and the ramp. Evidently, the plaintiff’s car rear-ended a parked semi-truck.

Apparently, the truck driver had been traveling on the highway when he noticed red warning lights on the dashboard. Shortly afterward, the engine lost power, and the truck driver pulled into the gore area. The truck driver immediately called his employer, and about five to eight minutes later, the plaintiff rear-ended the truck. The plaintiff suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of the accident.

Any time a semi-truck is involved in an accident with other motorists, it is very likely that there will be significant injuries. Maryland rear-end truck accidents, are no exception. Indeed, it is estimated that rear-end truck accidents are responsible for over 23,000 injuries and 700 fatalities across the country each year.

The most cited reason for the large number of rear-end truck accidents is the stopping distance of large trucks, especially when they are fully loaded and traveling at highway speeds. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, it takes the average truck the length of two football fields to come to a complete stop when traveling at 65 miles per hour.

While the significant stopping distance of semi-trucks certainly plays a role in many rear-end accidents, it is somewhat misleading to label the truck’s stopping distance as the cause of these accidents. In reality, many of these accidents are the result of the truck driver’s negligence. Commercial truck drivers are trained to operate large vehicles at high speeds, and should be familiar with how to do so safely. This includes knowing how long it takes their rig to come to a complete stop. However, often, truck drivers follow too closely, leaving little to no time to react if the vehicle in front of them unexpectedly slows down or comes to a stop.

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Under Maryland’s contributory negligence law, a judicial finding that a plaintiff is even the slightest bit at fault for causing an accident can result in the plaintiff being precluded from proceeding with a case against the other motorists involved in the crash. Thus, in many Maryland truck accident cases, a defendant truck driver may attempt to avoid liability by arguing that the plaintiff was also negligent in causing the accident.

Because the doctrine of contributory negligence often results in a minimally at-fault plaintiff being entirely precluded from pursuing a claim against a much more culpable driver, most states have shifted to the more forgiving comparative fault model. However, several states including Maryland, Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia still apply this harsh doctrine.

A recent case, however, illustrates that mere allegations that the plaintiff is partially at fault for causing an accident will not necessarily result in the plaintiff’s inability to recover for their injuries.

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Any time a motorist’s vehicle breaks down on the highway, it’s a stressful occasion. The first thought in most motorists’ minds after a breakdown is ensuring that they are able to stop the car safely and park it in a secure location. After that, however, a motorist’s attention likely shifts to the logistics of how to get the car to a repair shop, gas station, or back home.

Leaving a vehicle on the side of the highway, of course, is very dangerous. Passing motorists may not be paying attention and can run into a roadside vehicle, even if it is not blocking a lane. In fact, each year there are hundreds of Maryland roadside accidents involving parked or disabled vehicles on the side of the road.

Determining fault in a roadside accident can be tricky. For instance, if the motorist was safely parked on the side of the highway and was not obstructing any of the lanes, the passing motorist may be at fault. However, if a driver leaves a portion of their vehicle protruding into a lane of travel the passing motorist may not be at fault. These cases depend heavily on the specific facts surrounding the accident.

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