Unlike traffic accidents involving passenger cars, collisions between a cars and pedestrians, and motorcycle-related roadway crashes, trucking accidents can be and many times are serious events affecting multiple vehicles and numerous individuals. Here in the Baltimore area, as well as throughout Maryland and in the Washington, D.C., area, commercial truck drivers are held to higher standards than the average motorist.
As a Maryland personal injury law firm, our attorneys know the law as it applies to traffic accidents caused by drivers of commercial vehicles. With specific standards required of truckers and the companied for which they work, any personal injury lawyer who handles cases involving these kinds of large-vehicle crashes must fully understand both state and federal regulations covering commercial vehicles. Any truck driver or commercial trucking company that is found to be in violation of Maryland’s commercial vehicle laws, could possibly be held responsible if any one or a number of those rules has been violated while the vehicle in question is out on the road.
It’s quite true that trucking accidents are an unfortunate reality in our modern world; these is really no avoiding these vehicles as passenger car drivers and other motorists must inevitably share the road with extremely large and massive vehicles. It’s no surprise, then, that thousands of innocent victims killed, injured or maimed in accident involving collisions with semi tractor-trailer rigs and other large commercial motor vehicles.
While driver fatigues is one of the major causes for crashes between large trucks, such as flatbed steel haulers, gasoline tankers, box-style delivery trucks and automobile carriers, sometimes simple driver error can be the singular cause of a traffic accident. Whatever the reason, an experienced automobile accident lawyer knows that modern trucks have certain devices built into them that can help to root out the specific factors leading to a serious injury accident or a fatal roadway collision.
For instance, many semis these days come equipped with a version of the so-called “black box” similar in function to that found on commercial aircraft. These black boxes constantly record the operating parameters of the commercial truck, including vehicle speed and other data inputs, which could help a plaintiff and his lawyer to sue a truck driver and/or the company who employed him following an injury accident.
We bring this up because every roadway collisions is different. For example, a little while ago three people were injured to the point of requiring hospitalization when a FedEx delivery truck collided with an 18-wheeler along a stretch of Interstate 79 in the Virginia area. According to news reports, the multi-vehicle wreck took place around one o’clock in the morning when the driver of the Fed Ex box truck attempted a U-turn from one of the northbound lanes.
Based on police reports, as the smaller delivery truck was making its turn, it hit a semi tractor-trailer that was coming in the other direction along one of the southbound lanes. As a result of the impact, the semi apparently was forced to cross the roadway median, heading across all of the northbound lanes and then driving through the guardrail on the southbound side before coming to a stop. A third vehicle, which was reportedly traveling ahead of the tractor trailer just barely avoid the FedEx vehicle and ended up itself being run off the roadway. The 38-year-old FedEx driver and a 27-year-old passenger were both taken to a local hospital, as was the 42-year-old operator of the semi. The passenger car driver was not hurt in the incident, according to police.
The three-vehicle accident resulted in a temporary shutdown of one of the northbound and one of the southbound lanes of that stretch of I-79. There was no further information at the time of the news article, and while a police investigation was likely ongoing at that time, it would appear that driver error was a key cause of this particular commercial trucking crash.
UPDATE: 3 People Transported to Hospital After I-79 Accident in Monongalia County, WBOY.com, October 25, 2012