Sometimes, no matter how diligent we are on the road, things beyond our control may take place and result in devastating consequences. Despite being a careful, proactive, and alert driver, it is often impossible to control the actions of others. Factors outside of our control that may cause an accident are often exacerbated when the accident involves a large commercial vehicle or truck. Thus, Maryland drivers should understand the distinctions between accidents involving commercial trucks and regular trucks or SUVs before proceeding with their legal claims.
According to a recent news report, a commercial truck driver is facing 41 charges following a major truck accident that left four dead and ten others injured. The truck driver, during his first solo trip, was driving through the mountains on his own despite having little experience navigating the terrain. While on the road, the truck driver realized his brakes had given out. Despite doing his best to remain on the shoulder and out of traffic, he crashed into a large trailer, which he hoped would slow down the trajectory of his truck after the crash. Upon impact, the truck driver lost control and four people died instantly.
During the trial, the prosecution argued that the truck driver had multiple chances to prevent the accident and did not take them. In response, the defense argued that the truck driver was simply at the mercy of mechanical failures of the truck, and lost control without any good options. In addition, the defense reiterated the preventative steps the truck driver took, such as calling his boss, roughly 40 minutes before the crash, to ask for advice on how to proceed moving forward since his brakes were faulty. The outcome of the case will ultimately fall into the hands of the jury.
Unfortunately, Maryland is no stranger to similar truck accidents. In 2017, there were more than 23,000 truck accidents that took place in Baltimore City, which accounted for nearly 22 percent of Maryland’s overall reported traffic accidents. In addition, there were 785 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the state, with 49 involving trucks larger than 10,000 pounds. Overall, crashes involving these larger trucks accounted for roughly six percent of all fatal accidents in Maryland.
In Maryland, 18-wheeler and tractor-trailer accidents are handled differently under the state’s laws than pickup truck, SUV, or small truck collisions. This is both because Maryland has specific laws for commercial trucks but also because, in addition to the driver, potential plaintiffs may also consider holding the truck company legally responsible for the accident as well if the driver was employed by them.
Can a Trucking Company Be Liable for a Maryland Truck Accident?
Yes, both commercial vehicle drivers and trucking companies can be held liable for a truck accident. For example, both truck drivers and truck companies may be financially responsible for accidents caused by distracted driving, not inspecting or maintaining trucks, conducting improper repairs, overloading cargo, violating Maryland traffic laws and regulations, or negligent hiring of drivers who lack proper qualifications.
Do You Need a Maryland Truck Accident Attorney?
If you or someone you know was recently injured or killed in a Maryland truck accident, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today. Our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in all types of truck accident claims in Maryland and will work to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation today, contact us at 800-654-1949.