Maryland Accident Update: Injured Parties can Use Trucker’s Traffic Citation as Evidence in Injury Suits

As a vehicle driver or passenger car occupant hurt or injured as a result of a truck driver’s negligence, you have the right to present the police-issued traffic citation as evidence in a personal injury or wrongful death suit against a big rig operator or trucking company. Being involved in a crash with an 18-wheeler can have serious medical implications and can cause life-changing results to a victim and his or her family.

As Maryland trucking accident lawyers, we know from first-hand experience how a multi-vehicle accident involving semi tractor-trailers can affect individuals months and even years following a crash. Whether someone is involved in a collision with a delivery truck, tanker trailer rig and over-the-road commercial hauler, the results can be financially crushing and medically devastating to say the least.

Injuries from such accidents can range from typically serious injuries, such as head and neck trauma, to lesser bodily harm like cuts, bruises and contusions. The smaller the victim’s vehicle the more chance there is for serious injury or death.

When it comes to bringing a suit, the injured party can use the truck driver’s traffic citation as part of his or her evidence that the truck driver was considered by the police to be negligent. As any person who has received a speeding ticket in this state knows, our traffic laws govern all Maryland drivers. What is important to understand, however, is that truck drivers are also governed by other federal as well as state regulations. If a commercial truck driver violates any of these laws and causes a car accident, the injured party may use that violation as evidence of the truck driver’s negligence.

Since heavy trucks including Mack, Volvo, Freightliners to name a few are used to maintain the commerce of our state and country, the number of these large trucks found on public roads will always be significant, especially during the work week. Busy metropolitan areas see a significant number of truck traffic, both expressway and surface street truck volume, and especially in areas populated by industrial parks and manufacturing centers.

Drivers of small family vehicles, such as minivans and passenger cars, must continually deal with the presence of these larger vehicles on a daily basis. In fact, a fully-loaded semi can weight as much a 80,000 pounds — close to 20 times the weight of an average car or SUV. In a crash, a fully-loaded semi can literally crush the smaller vehicle with little effort.

As trucking accident attorneys we know that many trucking accidents could possibly be avoided. But due to many adverse factors such as cargo overloading — a common problem — accidents can an do occur. It’s a fact that an overloaded truck takes longer to stop and can more easily lose control than a properly maintained and legally loaded vehicle. Road conditions also have an impact on whether or not a crash is minor or severe.

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