Each time a motorist gets behind the wheel, they expect to encounter certain risks. Most of the time, these risks are manageable, and drivers can often avoid an accident by taking certain precautions. However, dump trucks and other large construction vehicles can pose a serious and unavoidable threat to many Maryland motorists. For example, in 2018, dump truck accidents comprised over eight percent of all fatal truck accidents. This amounted to 380 fatalities caused by dump trucks. Indeed, according to a local news report, just last month, the driver of a dump truck lost control of the vehicle and ended up crashing into a ditch. While the driver of the truck died as a result of the injuries he sustained in the accident, no other vehicles or pedestrians were injured.
Dump truck drivers have an obligation to take the necessary precautions to prevent accidents. This duty extends not only to operating the truck in a safe manner, but also to ensure that the truck is loaded in a safe manner, to prevent load spillage. Indeed, a significant number of dump-truck related accidents involve debris falling from the truck onto the road.
Dump truck drivers, however, are not the only ones who could face responsibility for a truck accident. Under the theory of vicarious liability, a truck driver’s employer may also be on the hook for damages, depending on the situation. Typically, to establish an employer’s liability, an accident victim must show that the accident occurred within the scope of the truck driver’s employment. Doing so can significantly increase the likelihood that an accident victim will be fully compensated for their injuries.
For example, Maryland law requires all motorists to have a certain amount of insurance. Specifically, motorists must obtain the following:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist protection: $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident
Thus, if a dump truck driver causes an accident, the driver’s insurance policy would only provide benefits in the amount of $30,000/$60,000. If there were multiple people in the car, or a motorist’s injuries were particularly severe, these limits would not be sufficient to cover their expenses. An injured motorist may then file a claim with their own insurance company under the underinsured motorist provision. However, again, if only the bare minimum amount of coverage was purchased, the insurance company will only provide $30,000/$60,000 in coverage. If, however, an accident victim is able to prove that the driver was acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident, the driver’s employer’s insurance policy may cover the accident.
Determining all applicable insurance policies is a crucial step in any Maryland personal injury case, especially truck accident cases, where often the driver is acting within the scope of their employment.
Have You been Injured in a Maryland Truck Accident?
If you or someone you love has recently been injured in a Maryland truck accident, contact the dedicated injury advocates at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal injury Lawyers. Our team of experienced Maryland personal injury attorneys represents clients in all types of truck accidents, including dump truck accidents and other accidents involving large construction and commercial vehicles. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation to speak with an injury attorney today, call 800-654-1949. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we can help you recover for your injuries.