Many Maryland truck accidents have multiple causes. Of course, the majority of truck accidents are caused at least in part by a driver’s negligence. However, a significant number of these accidents also involve either poorly maintained or defectively designed roads.
Traditionally, states were immune from lawsuits brought by citizens who were injured due to the negligence of a government employee. However, under the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA), much of the state’s governmental immunity is waived. Of course, there are specific procedural requirements that must be strictly adhered to when pursuing a claim against a government entity, and there may also be a cap on the maximum amount of damages that can be obtained.
One issue that frequently comes up in Maryland truck accidents is the government’s potential liability for poorly designed roadways. In a 2011 case, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals held that the state government is not entitled to immunity in a claim alleging the negligent construction of a bridge. Specifically, the plaintiff in that case argued that the government was negligent when it failed to install a barrier that was necessary to make the bridge safe.
The government argued that it was entitled to immunity under the MTCA. However, the court determined that was not the case. In so holding, the court looked to the original language of the MTCA when it was first passed in 1981. The statutory language in the 1981 version of the MTCA was quite limited, only waiving government immunity in a very select set of circumstances. Since then, however, lawmakers have continued to expand the MTCA’s waiver of immunity such that, under the current version, immunity is only retained in a few instances. Nowhere in the MTCA is a government’s alleged negligence in designing or constructing a road mentioned. Thus, the court held that, had the legislature intended to grant immunity for the government’s design and construction of roads, lawmakers would have included such language in the MTCA. Thus, as it currently stands, the Maryland state government can be held liable for injuries caused by a negligently designed or maintained road.
Dump Truck Accident Claims One Motorist’s Life
Earlier this month, an accident between a passenger car and a dump truck claimed one driver’s life. According to a local news report, the accident occurred when the driver of a Ford Focus crossed over the center line and crashed head-on into the dump truck. The driver of the Ford Focus was killed in the accident, and the dump truck’s driver sustained minor injuries.
Police told reporters that they believe the accident was the result of driver error. However, one city council member informed reporters that the section of roadway where the accident occurred is currently the subject of a traffic study. Evidently, there have been 14 crashes at the intersection over the past nine years, several of which resulted in serious injuries. The result of the report has yet to be released.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. At the Maryland truck accident law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC we represent injury victims and their families in truck accident cases across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. To learn more about how our dedicated team of personal injury advocates can assist you in recovering compensation for the injuries you have endured, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.