Last week a truck driver was sentenced for his role in a tragic traffic accident that killed a 46 year old man during his commute to work. The accident happened in January 2012 as the victim was en route to his job at the Maryland-National Capital Park And Planning Commission, traveling southbound on Route Md 75. The defendant was traveling northbound in his 26,580-pound tractor-trailer at the same time. According to trial testimony, at times the driver reached speeds of up to 67 mph in the 40 mph zone of the road.
A state trooper testified that the accident occurred when the truck driver headed up a hill, and attempted to negotiate a sharp right curve in the road, the trailer portion of the truck, which happened to be empty, swung into the southbound lane, where it struck and crushed the victim’s passenger truck.
Earlier this month, a jury found the driver guilty of criminally negligent vehicular manslaughter, speeding, and failure to remain right of the center line. The driver’s sentence of eight months in prison, with an additional suspended sentence of two years and four months, was the first of this kind reached in Frederick County, following the statute’s 2011 enactment. Following his release, the driver must also complete a three-year term of supervised probation or risk being incarcerated for the suspended sentence.
While this verdict deals only with the criminal aspects of this tragic trucking accident, it touches upon the same sort of principals handled in civil lawsuits. The main difference between criminal and civil proceedings, is that the criminal justice system is intended to punish the defendant for the wrongdoing, whereas the civil process is intended to help attempt to compensate the individual (or their family, as the case may be) who has been wronged. Typically, a financial recovery is the best, and in some cases only, way to attempt to make the wronged person whole again.
In cases such as this one, where the truck driver was judged to have been traveling some 27 miles per hour above the speed limit, there is a strong argument, if not a legal presumption that he was driving in a negligent manner. Negligence occurs when an individual acts in a manner that is inconsistent with what the reasonably prudent (safe) person would do under the circumstances. Drivers are required to drive in a way so as not to put others on the road at an unreasonable or unnecessary risk of harm. In addition to excessive speeding, other examples of negligent driving include things such as distracted driving, failure to yield, failure to stop at a red light or stop sign, and driving aggressively.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a trucking accident that occurred in the Maryland or Washington D.C. areas, contact the experienced trucking accident attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers today. Our law firm has extensive experience in handling trucking accident cases, and we will fight to ensure that you recover the damages that you deserve. There are certain evidentiary advantages which may expire if you wait to pursue your case. Contact us today in order to schedule your free initial consultation, and learn how we can help you. You can reach us by calling 1-800-654-1949 or through this website.
More Blog Posts:
Port of Oakland Trucker Strike Highlights Factors that can Influence Drivers, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published October 15, 2013
Truck en route to Maryland Farm involved in Bridge Collision, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published October 8, 2013