Articles Posted in Trucking-related Injury Accidents

Earlier this year in a California appellate court, a plaintiff’s case was allowed to continue over objections from several defendants after the plaintiff was involved in a serious tractor-trailer accident. According to court documents, the plaintiff was riding in the sleeper cabin of the tractor-trailer when the driver got into an accident. The plaintiff suffered serious injuries as a result.

The plaintiff then sought financial damages from the driver of the truck, the truck’s owner, and the owner of the trailer that the truck was towing at the time.

At Trial Two Defendants Are Excused Based on a Lack of Vicarious Liability

The trial court accepted the argument of both the trucking company as well as the trailer owner that they should not be held vicariously liable for the actions of the truck driver. This was based largely on the fact that the actual driver of the truck was merely an independent contractor, rather than a benefited employee.

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Last Month, Maryland State Troopers responded to an accident on I-70, caused by a semi-truck a tire blowout. According to a report by WUSA9, the accident occurred on I-70 at Route 63 just before 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Apparently, the semi-truck was heading eastbound on I-70 when one of the truck’s tires blew out, causing the driver to lose control of the truck. The truck then crashed into a construction barrier on the right side of the road before crossing all lanes of traffic and smashing into the guardrail separating east- and west-bound traffic. Ultimately, the truck came to a rest on its side in the center median of the highway. Thankfully, no other vehicles were involved in the accident.

The driver, a 37-year old man from Odenton, MD, was taken to Meritus Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries; he is expected to recover fully. As of the time the article was published, police were still investigating the cause of the accident.

Semi-Trucks and Tire Blow Outs

When a semi-truck loses a tire to a blow out, the results can be fatal. Luckily, in the accident described above, there were no other vehicles involved. However, this is not always going to be the case. In many cases, the semi-truck careens out of control and crashes into other motorists, inflicting serious damage.

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The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia ruled on a motion earlier this fall, which gives an informative look at the concept of punitive damage awards in trucking accident cases.

The case, Boone v. Brown, Dist. Court, WD Va. (2013), involved a vehicle accident, whereby the plaintiff’s vehicle was stopped at a red light, and a professional truck driver stopped behind her, then began to steer his tractor-trailer to the left in preparation for a wide right turn. In doing so, he reportedly struck her vehicle three separate times, causing her serious bodily injury and property damage. After the collision, the driver reportedly left the scene.

The plaintiff filed suit, alleging negligence, and seeking seeking $200,000 in general, special, and compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages as a result of the driver’s conduct. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss as to her claim for punitive damages.

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A Maryland man who was in the midst of a more than 10,000-mile cross-country bike trip designed to raise money for hearing loss was halted abruptly when the bicyclist was clipped by a semi-trailer in a hit and run accident.

According to a Sheriff’s spokesperson, the bicyclist was riding in Florida when he was clipped by the mirror of a semi-trailer on Saturday evening. He then fell from his bike onto the shoulder of the roadway. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment, where doctors found that he had sustained a concussion, fractured left cheek bone, a broken nose, road rash, and bruising from his fall.

The deaf man, who was inspired to help others after receiving his cochlear implant, initially set out on a bike trip to visit all of the Major League Baseball stadiums across the country in order to raise money and awareness for cochlear implants. He had only 200 miles remaining in the trip that has so far raised more than $140,000. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into the incident.

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As consumers, we all rely on professionals to be the best they can be and to do their job with the utmost quality and consideration. When it comes to professional drivers, such as those who operate limousines, taxi cabs, city buses and commercial delivery trucks, we expect those individuals to be vigilant and take extreme care when driving their vehicles. Unfortunately, not all commercial truck drivers are perfect; and traffic accidents can and do happen on a regular basis.

As Baltimore auto injury lawyers and Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my legal staff are always aware of the dangers that average people face every day of their lives. The problem is, not all people take care to avoid situations where the potential for bodily injury is higher than average. Driving in dense city traffic or on a high-speed interstate with semi tractor-trailers all around are just a couple of instances where a passenger car driver could find herself getting involved in a serious traffic collision.

It’s not surprising to most people that being caught up in a roadway wreck with an 18-wheeler can result in life-threatening injuries. But believe us when we say that even smaller commercial vehicles, such as box trucks, dump trucks, and even garbage trucks can turn the average passenger sedan into a mass of crushed sheetmetal given the right circumstances.

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It doesn’t take much to become injured in a high-speed traffic accident on the interstate, especially when a large commercial truck is involved. A family sedan, minivan or SUV is no match against a big rig 18-wheeler, tanker truck, steel hauler, and other large motor vehicle. The shear size and mass of long-haul trucks means that a highway collision can involve multiple passenger cars, with attendant injuries to numerous vehicle occupants.

As personal injury lawyers serving the residents of Maryland and Washington, D.C., I and my legal staff know how easily an accident of any kind can knock a person out of the ranks of the healthy, physically-fit arena and into a hospital room with a long road to recovery. Similarly, the physical and psychological trauma of a car accident, boating incident, motorcycle wreck, or commuter bus collision can place a burden on the victim’ and his or her family almost from the get-go.

Of course, one of the most deadly types of traffic mishap has to be that of the commercial truck wreck. Some of the most seriously and deadly automobile accidents are caused by a negligent truck driver behind the wheel of a heavy construction vehicle, semi tractor-trailer rig, or large delivery box truck.

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As personal injury lawyers in Maryland, I and my colleagues have felt the anguish of family members and relatives whose loved one has been taken from them in fatal car accident, truck collision or motorcycle wreck. Nothing anyone can say or do will bring that person back following a deadly traffic accident, yet it is our job to help families attain some amount of closure through legal means.

Wrongful death lawsuits are common when a person has died as a result of another driver’s negligence or willful breaking of the law. Especially in cases where the victim was the sole financial provider for his or her family, there is little alternative to the lost income to pay for the necessary living expenses, and likely medical bills related to the accident that claimed the life of that individual. If only to offset the lost future earning power, not to mention the loss of comfort and companionship, a wrongful death suit is often brought against the negligent party.

Many times, in the case of a fatal or even severe injury-related accident, police and local prosecutors will attempt to bring a negligent driver to justice in the way of criminal charges. In such cases, that person can end up being sent to jail for months or years, depending on the extent of the damage, injury or pain inflicted on others.

For those people who consciously and with malice attempt to injure or kill another person or persons, the law can be quite harsh; yet for the families of the victims, even the criminal justice system seems to come up short and emotions run high. We were certainly reminded of this not long ago when the sentencing phase of a criminal trial came to a conclusion.

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Considering the damage and injury that can occur as a result of a traffic collision between a semi tractor-trailer rig and a much smaller family minivan, sport utility vehicle or economy car, it’s very important that the individuals who operate these behemoths be properly trained and licensed.

Without a doubt, commercial trucks are everywhere one looks in Baltimore, Rockville, Gaithersburg and Washington, D.C. As an important part of this nation’s flow of commerce, large trucks are a necessary evil, to put it bluntly. Of course, most truckers are careful professionals who take their jobs quite seriously. However, as with any industry, there are bad apples in the bunch.

With all these vehicles — 18-wheelers, contractor vehicles, box trucks and delivery vans — there is always the potential for a trucking-related traffic accident no matter where you are. Pedestrians and bicycle riders are also not immune to the dangers presented by thoughtless or inattentive truck drivers, especially in busy urban areas where bike, foot vehicle traffic share the same roads.

Being involved in a serious car accidents and truck collisions can be frightening enough, but once injured due to a commercial trucking accident, one must usually face the task of both physical and financial recovery. Sad to say, obtaining justice following a truck accident in Maryland may be difficult. Because they are usually associated with large businesses, commercial truck carriers usually have extensive legal resources that help them to avoid large payouts.

As mentioned, there are always some bad drivers out there, but it is important to remember that Maryland trucking firms can be held liable for employing negligent truckers who cause a serious roadway injury accident or fatal trucking collision. In these types of situations, as Maryland personal injury lawyers, it is our job to represent the victims or the victim’s families in order to gain some compensation for their loss.

The insurance companies that represent trucking firms typically try very hard to limit how much they will pay for any insurance claim. It’s not uncommon for the victims of such highway wrecks to actually be accused by the insurance company of causing the accident.

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While there are numerous factors that can contribute to a commercial truck crash, many Maryland trucking-related traffic accidents involve problems with proper loading on the vehicle or trailer. Box trucks, dump trucks and gravel haulers, as well as semi tractor-trailers must all be loaded properly to avoid dangerous roadway collisions due to shifting contents or lost loads.

As Maryland personal injury attorneys and commercial truck accident lawyers, I and my legal staff understand the potential for serious or fatal injury that can result from a highway accident between a large commercial vehicle and smaller motor vehicle. Occupants of passenger sedans, SUVs, minivans can receive life-threatening injuries during a collision with an 18-wheeler or large delivery truck. Pedestrians and even motorcycle riders hurt in these kinds of traffic accidents are often among the most likely to die as a result of such traffic wrecks.

As mentioned, improper loading, whether due to excessive weight, poor load placement, or improper tie-down or otherwise incorrectly secured loads can all be contributing factors to serious or fatal trucking accidents. With commercial semi tractor-trailers weighing upward of 80,000 pounds, it’s no surprise that commercial truck drivers must have specialized training and pass federally-mandated testing to qualify for a commercial trucking license. But in spite of all this, accident can and do occur on an alarmingly frequent basis.

A while back, a woman was killed after the car in which she was riding collided with a piece of construction machinery that fell off a flatbed trailer belonging to a Maryland firm. The crash happened on a Friday afternoon along a stretch of interstate, according to reports. Based on information from local police and fire-rescue units, 42-year-old Yingzi Wang driving southbound on the highway with three others in a 2000 Toyota Sienna when a backhoe/front-end loader apparently rolled off of the trailer in front of Wang’s vehicle.

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For most of the drivers here in Maryland and Washington, D.C., maintaining the safety of oneself and one’s vehicle occupants involves more than a modicum of active participation. In short, to survive in this part of the country a drive must, out of necessity, watch out for the other guy.

What this means for the average passenger car, light truck and motorcycle rider is to be certain that your vehicle is well-maintained, tuned up and mechanically safe and sound. We won’t go into a discussion on the dangers of defective vehicle equipment here, but suffice it to say that a percentage of roadway wrecks are sometimes found to be a result of poorly designed safety components and other critical systems, such as steering and braking systems (an area of law known as Products Liability).

As Maryland personal injury lawyers, I and my legal staff understand the causes of many traffic accidents and how easily a quiet Sunday drive can turn into a serious and sometimes life-threatening event. Keeping a vehicle in good running condition is a basic requirement for safe driving. This goes as much for automobiles as it does for commercial trucks, usually more so.

Speaking of trucking-related accidents, one cannot argue with the laws of physics when it comes to serious traffic accidents involving semi tractor-trailers, such as Kenworths, Peterbilts, and Mack Trucks; not to mention large box trucks and rather heavy and extremely dangerous tanker trucks.

Many passenger car occupants, not to mention motorcyclists, are killed on a tragically frequent basis when they become caught involved in a crash with a commercial delivery vehicle or 18-wheeler. Those smaller, lighter and less substantial motor vehicles are hardly a match for a fully loaded semi, commuter bus or dump truck. Injuries from car-truck collision can take months or years to recover from, both physically and financially, which makes prevention a no-brainer.

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