Truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road, making accidents more likely. In the tragic event of a fatal Maryland truck crash, certain family members can file a wrongful death claim against parties at fault after a wrongful death in a Maryland truck accident. Maryland’s wrongful death statute is intended to compensate family members for the loss of their loved one. Eligible family members can recover compensation for a range of damages.
In Maryland, damages are generally made up of two categories of compensatory damages: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages, or special damages, are damages with a fixed dollar value, including past and future medical bills, transportation costs, and lost income. Non-economic damages, or general damages, are damages that do not have a fixed value, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and mental anguish. Compensatory damages are meant to compensate the victim for their pain and losses. Punitive damages are also available in some Maryland cases and are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from engaging in such wrongful conduct. Generally, a wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the decedent’s death.
NTSB Issues Findings After Truck Driver Killed by Fallen Pipe in Tunnel
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently issued findings in a fatal 2018 truck accident. According to the report, a Raymour & Flanigan truck driver was driving a semi tractor-trailer. The driver was driving through a tunnel on a highway when it struck an electrical pipe that had fallen and was hanging by electrical wires. The pipe hit the windshield and struck the truck driver. The truck exited the tunnel and crossed into the median, striking the guardrail, which propelled the truck across the highway and onto the guardrail on the other side. The truck driver died in the crash.
The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the crash was the failure of the electrical conduit support system in the tunnel due to long-term corrosion. The NTSB also concluded that the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) insufficient guidance regarding tunnel maintenance and inspection contributed to the crash. It explained that FHWA did not sufficiently prioritize the repair of corrosion, which led to the delay in repairing documented deficiencies in the support system. In response to the investigation, the NTSB issued two safety recommendations to the FHWA. The first was for the FHWA to notify tunnel owners of the circumstances of the crash, and emphasize the importance of inspecting, documenting, and repairing corrosion. The second was to revise the FHWA’s manual on tunnel operations, maintenance, inspection, and evaluation.
While findings such as these will not automatically result in liability, they can be useful in a personal injury or wrongful death case. Of course, in claims made against a government entity, accident victims must be prepared to navigate the additional hurdles these claims often raise.
Call a Maryland Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Maryland truck accident, contact an experienced Maryland injury attorney to discuss your claim. The personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC represent accident victims in truck accident cases as well as in other types of injury cases. We can guide you through each step of the legal process, from the initial investigation through settlement negotiations and any litigation that becomes necessary. To discuss your claim with an attorney, call 1-800-654-1949 or contact us online through the form on our website.