A fair percentage of people who are involved in automobile accidents escape serious injury, perhaps with only a few bumps and bruises, and maybe a simple bone fracture or a minor cut. Unfortunately, for many others the result of a bad roadway collision can mean weeks or months in a hospital room with complications from an internal injury, extensive reconstructive surgeries or a questionable prognosis related to a closed-head injury. As Maryland automobile accident lawyers, we have come across some very tragic medical situations of people whose only mistake was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Sadly, we cannot make people well, but at least we can help the victims and their families try to recover the costs and expenses of their medical treatment and rehabilitation from those responsible for their condition. Whether one is injured on a country road or an urban street in Rockville or the District, odds are that some amount of medical expense will be paid by the victim. Recovering those costs, which may be complicated by a loss of wages while the person is in the hospital and unable to work, is of primary concern, after that of getting better, of course.
A qualified personal injury attorney should be able to bring legal knowledge and courtroom experience to bear when filing a personal injury lawsuit or, in the case of a fatal traffic accident, a wrongful death claim for the family of the deceased victim. The trouble with car, truck and motorcycle accidents is that they are equal opportunity killers. When a distracted driver ignores a stop sign and T-bones a family’s minivan, the choice of victims is usually quite random. The same can be said when the driver of a commercial delivery truck makes a fast turn and clips a bicycle rider, sending him or her to the hospital with internal injuries and brain trauma.
It’s this random nature of roadway collisions that makes a senseless accident all the more difficult to deal with when a loved one is laying in a hospital bed. Several news items that we ran across a while ago, point up the range of outcomes that can result in the wake of a commercial truck crash. In the first instance, an out-of-control 18-wheeler just barely missed hitting a building along a stretch of McMullen Highway in Cumberland, MD, prompting more than a dozen 911 emergency phone calls from various concerned citizens who witnessed the event.
According to news reports, the crash took place on a Friday morning just after 9:30am. Police information indicated that a 30-year-old trucker from West Virginia was behind the wheel of the ‘96 Freightliner heading southbound on the road when the vehicle reportedly drifted off the tarmac and hit a nearby tree. The driver was apparently uninjured and declined medical treatment. Although nobody was hurt in the crash, a fuel leak form the truck required a Haz-Mat team to be activated to clear up the lost diesel fuel and reduce the risk of fire in the area.
In the second accident, a 21-year-old Maryland resident died when the car in which she was riding was struck by a semi tractor-trailer rig late on a Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 79 near Pittsburg, PA. According to news articles, the victim’s vehicle was going north around 4:30pm when sedan’s driver apparently lost control of the vehicle. The car then hit a guardrail and was subsequently hit by a tractor-trailer going in the same direction. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene due to blunt force trauma, according to a statement out of the local medical examiner’s office. The driver, who survived, was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Finally, a Frederick, MD, man died when his passenger car crossed over the center line and into the path of an oncoming 18-wheeler along a stretch of Rte 340 near the Boonsboro exit. The crash happened just before 6pm on a Friday evening as the victim was heading eastbound along Rte 340. The 56-year old driver had to be removed from his vehicle by EMS crews who pronounced him dead at the scene shortly thereafter. The trucker sustained only minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital for medical attention.
21-year-old Maryland woman died in tractor trailer crash on I-79, Post-Gazette.com, February 13, 2013
UPDATE: Man Identified in Fatal Crash on Route 340, Your4State.com, January 29, 2013
No one injured in tractor-trailer crash, Times-News.com, December 28, 2012