Articles Posted in Trucking-related Pedestrian Injuries

Semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles used to transport goods across the country are necessary to the nation’s economy. Most of the time, truck drivers spend their time on highways, bringing goods from one side of the country to the other. These highways with long straightaways, several lanes, and wide shoulders were designed to accommodate large trucks. Of course, Maryland truck accidents still occur on highways across the state.

As truck drivers approach their final destination, however, it is likely that they will need to navigate smaller roads that were not designed for large trucks. These roads may present truck drivers with several difficulties, including limited room to turn, reduced visibility, and crowds of people both in the form of other motorists as well as those on bicycles and on foot.

While driving a large truck on a small city street may be challenging, truck drivers are still held to the same high standard as though they were driving on the open road. This includes refraining from drinking or taking drugs while on the road, following traffic laws and all posted signs, and also maintaining the required amount of rest between trips. When truck drivers fail to take the necessary precautions while driving, and they cause an accident injuring one or more people, they may be held responsible through a Maryland truck accident lawsuit.

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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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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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Traffic accidents involving pedestrians are still one of the many causes of wrongful death in Maryland and across the nation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which recently released its 2009 traffic safety findings, more than 33,000 people were killed in automobile-related collisions across the nation last year. While this was a drop from 2008, that’s a lot of people killed in car and trucking accidents.

For those on foot, be aware that in 2009 there were more than 4,000 fatal pedestrian accidents in all 50 states. On average, that’s more than six people killed in each state every month of the year. Annually, more than 500 people were killed in heavy, commercial truck accidents across the U.S. Here in Maryland, as Baltimore personal injury lawyers, we try to help victims of traffic crashes recover the costs of medical treatment, lost wages and other accident-related costs.

A trucker whose negligent driving results in the death or injury of another person should be held responsible for his actions. This is only right, since innocent bystanders and other pedestrians are at great risk when the driver of a large tractor-trailer or commercial deliver truck loses control of such a massive motor vehicle.

As a Baltimore injury lawyer and trucking accident attorney, I’ve observed many times the various types of severe injuries that pedestrians receive when hit by a large motor vehicle. There is no comparison between the relatively fragile and delicate features of the human body and that of a passenger car, not to mention a commercial truck such as an 18-wheeler, or big rig.

It’s a fact that trucking accidents can cause horrendous injury to the occupants of an otherwise enclosed and protective steel-bodies passenger vehicle. But when a Freightliner or Peterbilt truck hits or clips a person on foot, there is no comparison. While drivers of smaller vehicles, such as compact cars and motorcycles, can be serious hurt when struck by a massive semi, commercial box truck or tanker vehicle, pedestrians have virtually no protection from the impact.

Fatal and life-altering injuries are typically the result of a direct impact with an unprotected human body. It is because of this that over-the-road heavy haulers must be piloted by professional and well-trained drivers at the very least. Outside of driver error or negligence, poorly maintained roadways or defective vehicle equipment may also be causes of these kinds of commercial truck accidents. Whatever the cause, however, the costs are always high for the victims due to extensive and costly medical care, lost wages and unmet financial obligations following a serious injury.

Late last month a Carroll County bicycle rider died when he was hit by a tractor-trailer that police said did not yield to the cyclist. As a Baltimore trucking accident attorney and personal injury lawyer serving Maryland and the Washington, D.C. area, I can attest to the fact that heavy commercial trucks and bicycles are a bad mix when it comes to traffic collisions.

The result of a bicycle-motor vehicle accident can vary widely, but it is not uncommon for a rider to fall and suffer broken bones and possible severe head injury. Even under the best of circumstances a cyclist may suffer cuts and bruises as well as road rash and other minor, yet painful bodily injuries.

A recent news story shows how dangerous and deadly a collision between a bike and a large commercial truck can be. According to reports, 51-year-old Arthur Martin Jr. of New Windsor, MD, was biking along Shepherds Mill Road on a Tuesday afternoon when a semi trailer made a right turn onto Route 75 directly in front of the cyclist.

Even police are not immune to trucking-related accidents. Not long ago, an officer from the Montgomery County Police Department was injured trying to avoid an out of control tractor-trailer rig. As part of our work involving Maryland personal injury suits, my firm also handles a wide range of trucking accident cases. These include injury accidents from truck crashes, fatal collisions with big rigs, and pedestrian deaths and injuries from commercial delivery trucks.

This latest news article tells a story of unforeseen consequences, which the officer in question acknowledged was not foremost in her mind when confronted by a jackknifing tractor-trailer on a bridge along the Capital Beltway in the middle of the night.

Based on news articles, Officer Sarah White received a call just after 2am on October 6 to handle traffic control at the scene of a truck crash. The incident occurred on the inner loop of the Beltway between the Georgia Avenue and U.S. 29/Colesville Road exits. The crash scene was blocking the far right-hand lane.

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