At the end of last month, a 15-year-old 10th-grader was killed after her mother’s car was rear-ended by a truck on a Maryland road. According to a local news report, the teenager was a passenger in her mother’s Toyota Camry. Evidently, her mother was traveling north on Route 413 when she stopped to make a left turn. As she was making the left into a driveway, a 2006 Freightliner commercial vehicle rear-ended her. The truck was registered to a home delivery company. An initial investigation revealed that the truck did not stop when it should have and subsequently rear-ended the Toyota, which then went on to hit a Dodge traveling in the opposite direction.
The young girl was taken to a Salisbury, Maryland hospital and was tragically pronounced dead shortly thereafter. Her mother is still in critical condition. The driver of the Dodge was treated at a hospital but was released because her injuries were not life-threatening. The driver and passenger in the truck were also released and did not seem to suffer any serious injury as well.
A preliminary investigation did not find alcohol to be a contributing factor to the accident. The State’s Attorney’s office is still awaiting the rest of the findings from the investigation to determine whether they will be pressing charges.
How to Determine Liability in Maryland Trucking Accidents
One of the first things a person should consider when they are thinking about bringing a personal injury suit against another individual or company is whom the claim should be against. Many times, people believe that the only party that can be held liable is the actual driver of the truck, but that is not always the case. In some instances, the trucking company can be held liable as well.
To bring a negligence claim against a driver, the plaintiff must be able to show that the driver breached a standard duty of care. Some ways a driver may have done that is by tailgating, unsafely merging or changing lanes, driving distracted, or driving too fast. Additionally, the plaintiff may want to hold the trucking company liable. In these cases, the plaintiff should consider things such as whether the driver was trained, if the truck was maintained properly, and whether the driver had the requisite licensures.
Defenses that the Trucking Company or Driver May Assert
In some situations if the truck driver was acting outside the scope of their employment, the trucking company may claim that they are not responsible for the truck driver’s “frolic.” It is important that you contact an attorney who can assist you in investigating the actual circumstances of the accident and whether the company should be added as a party.
Furthermore, Maryland is one of the states with a strict contributory negligence law. In Maryland, if the defendant can establish that a plaintiff is evenly slightly responsible for the accident, they will be banned from receiving any damages. This applies even if the accident victim was found only one percent responsible.
Have You Been Injured Because of Another Driver’s Negligence?
If you have been injured because of the negligent actions of another driver, you should consider contacting Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers. These cases require a significant amount of preparation and investigation. The attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen are highly trained to handle these sorts of complicated cases. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the damages you suffered as a result of the accident. Contact an attorney at Lebowitz & Mzhen today at 410-654-3600 to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Maryland’s Winter Weather Partially Responsible for Cattle Truck Accident, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published March 27, 2015.
Maryland Truck Driver Facing Criminal Charges for 2013 Fatal Accident, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published February 25, 2015.