Firetruck Causes Nine-Vehicle Crash, Illustrating the Importance of the Maryland Tort Claims Act

Typically, individuals are grateful when they see fire trucks on the roads, responding to emergencies and saving lives. Maryland firefighters are first responders to many emergencies and perform an essential governmental function. However, there may be tragic instances when fire trucks, speeding to get to a burning building, cause more harm than good and cause an accident.

A recent incident illustrates this point. Last month, a fire truck was responding to a call at around 8:15 in the evening when it hit a car. According to a local news report, this led to a multi-vehicle crash involving seven other vehicles and significant injuries. Two individuals were trapped inside of a car and had to be extracted, and six people were taken to local hospitals, two as trauma alerts. The nine-vehicle crash was so significant that all lanes of the road were closed in the aftermath. While the condition of those injured is still unknown, there are likely to be long-term severe injuries and medical bills as a result of this tragic accident.

While nothing can undo the damage that was done that evening, those who were injured in the incident may have a route to financial recovery. Under the Maryland Tort Claims Act, the state government, including the fire department, may be sued in personal injury lawsuits. If it was found that the firefighters driving the truck were acting negligently in some way that led to the accident, the injured victims might be able to recover for their injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills, each up to $400,000. However, successfully filing a personal injury suit against a government entity is difficult to do, with more procedural requirements and regulations than typical lawsuits against other civilians or private businesses.

For example, the Maryland Torts Claims Act requires that potential plaintiffs must submit a written claim to the Treasurer within one year of their injury, and then file suit within three years. If they miss either of these deadlines by even a day, their lawsuit is barred, and they are unable to proceed. When filing their suit, their written claim has to contain several specific things, including a statement of the injury, where and when it occurred, a demand for specific monetary damages, and the plaintiff’s contact information. Leaving one of these elements out may also result in a dismissed suit, even if the lawsuit would have succeeded on its merits. Because of these procedural hurdles, individuals considering a suit against the government should consult a personal injury attorney who can ensure that all the requirements are met.

Have You Been Injured In a Maryland Truck Accident?

If you’ve recently been injured in a Maryland truck accident, you may be wondering if and how you can recover for your injuries. Contact Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, today to discuss your claim with one of our seasoned attorneys and learn about your different options. With decades of experience representing Maryland victims through every stage of a personal injury lawsuit, you can trust that our attorneys are knowledgeable and dedicated and will fight for your legal rights at every step of the way. To learn more and schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-654-1949.

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