Maryland Truck Accident Lawyers

Being on the road alongside large trucks poses a significant safety risk, particularly in the case of 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles.
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Maryland Truck Accident Lawyers


Being on the road alongside large trucks poses a significant safety risk, particularly in the case of 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles. Due to their substantial size, the likelihood of sustaining severe or life-threatening injuries in the event of a collision with these vehicles is greatly heightened.

Should such an unfortunate event occur, it is advisable to seek the expertise of a truck accident attorney in Maryland. Through a complimentary and non-binding legal consultation, you can ascertain your available legal remedies. Many truck accidents stem from the negligence of the driver or other involved parties responsible for distinct vehicle components. As a result, you may be eligible for compensation to mitigate medical expenses, endure pain and suffering, and address other damages you have endured.

The seasoned lawyers at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl bring together decades of experience advocating for compensation in various cases, including truck accidents. We handle cases on a contingency basis, meaning there are no fees or costs unless you obtain compensation.

Why Consider Collaborating with a Maryland Truck Accident Lawyer?

Collaborating with a truck accident lawyer in Maryland does not ensure an enhanced likelihood of attaining just compensation for the injuries sustained in a truck accident. Nevertheless, engaging with a knowledgeable attorney for your claim offers numerous benefits.

Investigating the Truck Accident

Truck accidents are intricate incidents that necessitate a thorough investigation to ascertain the sequence of events and allocate responsibility. Our seasoned truck accident attorneys in Maryland have conducted numerous inquiries into motor vehicle collisions, including truck crashes. We are well-versed in the essential steps required to gather pertinent evidence for building a compelling case. Some of the measures we may undertake involve:

  • Scrutinizing the police report about the crash

  • Obtaining any available video recordings of the collision

  • Collecting and reviewing photographs of the crash and the resultant injuries

  • Identifying and interviewing witnesses to the incident

  • Delving into the driver’s background to determine compliance with regulations.

  • Reviewing the vehicle maintenance records to ascertain whether the truck was non-compliant with any federal or state regulations.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

Navigating interactions with insurance companies is a critical aspect of any personal injury case, especially in the context of a truck accident. This underscores the importance of entrusting your attorney with the task of handling communications with the insurance company.

Insurers often seek to engage with the injured party directly, believing it to be advantageous for them. In the aftermath of a truck accident, victims frequently find themselves uncertain about the appropriate steps to take and how best to pursue compensation.

Moreover, individuals affected by such incidents generally possess a limited understanding of the intricacies of the trucking industry and the associated regulations. This lack of knowledge often leads them to underestimate the true value of their claim, leaving them susceptible to accepting settlement offers that may not fully address their needs.

When dealing with insurance companies, it's crucial to exercise extreme caution due to their primary focus on profitability. They will go to great lengths to deny or diminish your claim to minimize compensation payouts.

On the other hand, a Maryland truck accident attorney is dedicated solely to serving your best interests. They will refuse to accept an unjust settlement offer and will vigorously advocate for the full compensation that you are entitled to receive.

Our Maryland truck accident lawyers are fully prepared to initiate legal action if we cannot secure the rightful compensation through an insurance settlement.

Common Types of Truck Accident Cases

Our team of Maryland truck accident attorneys handles a wide range of truck and commercial vehicle accident cases, including those involving:

  • Tanker trucks

  • Dump trucks

  • Ambulances

  • Buses

  • Livestock carriers

  • Garbage trucks

  • Semi-trucks

  • 18 wheelers

  • Mail delivery vehicles (such as UPS, FedEx, and U.S. Postal Service vehicles)

  • Fire engines

These vehicles are associated with various types of collisions. Some of the most prevalent accidents leading to truck accident claims include:

Underride Collisions

You might have observed that the rear ends of certain trucks are positioned higher than the front of your car, especially if you are driving a sedan rather than a larger vehicle like a truck or SUV.

Tragically, this disparity in height amplifies the danger of rear-end collisions, as cars can potentially slip beneath the rear of the truck. Consequently, underride collisions frequently lead to severe or fatal injuries.

Rollovers

Rollovers transpire when a truck overturns, often while traveling at high speeds or when attempting to negotiate a turn too quickly. These accidents put at risk all nearby vehicles, as the driver loses control once the vehicle tips over.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on crashes between trucks and smaller vehicles are among the most hazardous types of accidents. Due to the significant force generated, particularly at higher speeds, these incidents pose a grave risk. Fatigued drivers traveling in the wrong direction often cause these collisions.

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end crashes occur when a truck collides with the rear of a smaller vehicle. Although these accidents produce less force than head-on collisions, they remain highly perilous due to the substantial size differential between the truck and the car. Such incidents frequently occur when truck drivers fail to maintain attention and do not decelerate in time to prevent a collision.

Blind-Spot Collisions

When truck drivers are not vigilant, they may collide with cars present in their blind spots while attempting to change lanes. It is crucial to avoid traveling in these blind spots of large trucks, as visibility for the drivers is greatly hindered.

Lost Cargo Crashes

Regrettably, freight companies frequently neglect to appropriately secure cargo on trucks, resulting in instances where the cargo falls off and impacts other vehicles or creates obstructions that are challenging for other cars to navigate around.

Jackknife Accidents

When a truck's brakes lock up, the trailer may swing away from the cab, forming a 90-degree angle and potentially colliding with other vehicles. These types of truck accidents, along with others, can occur in various locations, but they are particularly common on busy roadways such as Interstate 95, Baltimore Beltway, Washington Beltway, or Interstate 895. Accidents on these routes can pose a significant danger due to the high speeds at which vehicles travel. If you have been involved in these or any other truck accidents, we encourage you to contact our Maryland truck accident lawyers for a free, no-obligation legal consultation to assess whether you may be eligible for compensation.

Common Causes of Trucking Accidents

Maryland Truck Accident Lawyers



Tragically, truck accidents often result in severe injuries and fatalities, and they are frequently attributed to negligence, making them largely preventable.

Truck drivers, in particular, must exercise extreme caution to prevent accidents due to the limited maneuverability of their vehicles, extensive blind spots, and the significant stopping distance required because of their weight.

Regrettably, drivers frequently face challenging deadlines which can incentivize speeding and other dangerous driving behaviors to meet delivery schedules. Prolonged hours on the road also increase the likelihood of risky maneuvers.

However, additional parties who own or bear responsibility for various aspects of the truck or its cargo may also demonstrate negligence, potentially resulting in an accident.

Certain forms of negligence that could precipitate truck accidents encompass:

  • Failure to check blind spots

  • Disregarding right-of-way regulations

  • Neglecting to repair or replace faulty truck equipment, such as brakes

  • Transporting hazardous cargo without the appropriate permits

  • Disregarding traffic signals and signs

  • Inadequate driver training

  • Failing to properly secure the truck's cargo

  • Overloading the truck with excessive cargo

  • Operating a truck without a valid license

  • Tailgating other vehicles

  • Driving under the influence

  • Engaging in distracted driving, such as using a cell phone while driving

  • Driving while fatigued or falling asleep at the wheel

  • Operating a vehicle in adverse weather conditions

  • Exceeding safe speeds given the prevailing weather conditions.

  • Exceeding the speed limit

  • Inadequate maintenance of various truck components

  • Failure or malfunction of parts, such as engine components or brakes

If you suspect that your collision was the result of these or any other negligent actions, our team of Maryland truck accident attorneys is prepared to assist you. Arrange a complimentary legal consultation to establish whether you have a basis for an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.

Liability in the Event of a Truck Accident

Truck accident cases are often complex due to the potential liability of multiple parties. The extent of liability is contingent upon the specifics of the collision and any violations of traffic laws or trucking industry regulations.

Potential parties that may be held accountable in the event of a crash include:

  • The driver

  • The entity in charge of loading the truck's cargo

  • The organization that conducted maintenance on the truck.

  • The owner of the cab or the trailer

  • The driver's employer

  • The company that leased the truck

  • The company that manufactured the truck

  • The manufacturers of various truck components, such as tires, brakes, engine parts, or the trailer

Our team of Maryland truck accident attorneys will thoroughly examine the specifics of your collision to identify every potentially liable party. Our objective is to ensure all responsible parties are held accountable, allowing you to receive the full compensation you are entitled to.

How Does Regulation Affect the Trucking Industry?

The trucking industry falls under regulation from both state and federal authorities. In Maryland, the Department of Transportation (MDOT) oversees trucking operations, while nationwide regulation is managed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

These regulatory bodies establish and enforce a comprehensive array of rules governing drivers and various other facets of the industry, encompassing:

Drug and Alcohol Testing Requirements for Commercial Drivers

Following Section 382 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, drivers seeking a commercial driver's license are subject to mandatory drug and alcohol testing. Employers are prohibited from utilizing an individual as a driver unless that person tests negative for alcohol and illegal substances. This testing is required before the driver’s first assignment with the employer.

Employers must promptly test drivers for alcohol and controlled substances following a traffic crash. If the employer fails to conduct an alcohol test within eight hours of the accident or a controlled substances test within 32 hours, they are obligated to discontinue these efforts and document the reasons for not administering the tests.

Medical Qualifications for Truck Drivers

Truck drivers must meet federal regulations regarding their medical qualifications to safely operate commercial vehicles. This includes conducting pre-trip and post-trip inspections, securing the cargo, and ensuring it remains properly positioned.

Certain medical conditions can disqualify individuals from operating commercial vehicles, such as:

  • Hearing loss

  • Vision loss

  • Epilepsy

  • Insulin use

Securing Cargo

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that all cargo in commercial vehicles be adequately immobilized and secured using appropriate devices, such as tiedowns or dunnage, which are materials designed to support and protect the cargo.

The working load limit of any cargo securement system must be at least one-half of the weight of the cargo being secured.

Regulations also specify the number of tie-downs required based on the length and weight of the items being secured:

  • One tiedown is necessary for pieces of cargo that are five feet or less in length and 1,100 pounds or less in weight.

  • Two tie-downs are required if the cargo exceeds 1,100 pounds and is less than 10 feet in length.

Large Vehicles Exceeding Weight and Size Limits

Under MDOT regulations, vehicles exceeding weight and size limits are not permitted to travel on state highways unless the driver has obtained one of the following permits:

  • Blanket hauling permit

  • Book permit

  • Containerized cargo permit

  • Special hauling permit

  • Special vehicle permit.

MDOT categorizes oversized vehicles as those with a height of 16 feet or greater, a width of 16 feet or more, or a length exceeding 100 feet. Overweight vehicles are defined as those that surpass 60 tons or 120,000 pounds in weight.

The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl, renowned Maryland truck accident lawyers, possess extensive expertise in the regulations governing the trucking industry and in their application to the specific details of your claim.

How Long is the Filing Period for a Claim?

It is crucial to initiate the claim process promptly after an accident, as there are typically specific deadlines for filing insurance claims.

In instances where truck accident cases are not resolved through insurance procedures and need to be escalated to the court, it's important to be aware of Maryland’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, which includes truck accident lawsuits.

The time limit for filing such lawsuits in Maryland is three years from the date of the accident. This statute of limitations signifies the deadline for initiating a lawsuit. Once this deadline elapses, the opportunity to submit a claim is forfeited. In Maryland, the statute of limitations commences on the date of the accident and expires three years thereafter.

It may seem like a lengthy period for many individuals when three years is considered. However, individuals who have suffered as a result of accidents often overlook the fact that a significant portion of this time may be consumed by the insurance claims procedure. Additionally, the thorough investigation of the incident can also contribute to the prolonged timeline.

It is advisable to promptly engage the services of a Maryland truck accident attorney to initiate the process. By doing so, if insurance compensation cannot be secured, there will still be ample time to initiate legal proceedings before the statute of limitations expires.

Types of Compensation for Truck Accidents

One of the most frequently asked questions regarding a truck accident claim is what types of compensation are available.

If you have a strong case and opt to pursue it, our team of Maryland truck accident attorneys could seek compensation for various damages, including:

Medical Expenses

If your accident resulted from another party's negligence, you may be eligible for compensation for all past, present, and future medical costs arising from your injuries. This may encompass:

  • Hospital transportation following the accident

  • Hospital stay expenses

  • Surgical procedures

  • Travel to medical appointments and consultations with specialists

  • Medical examinations, including blood work, X-rays, and CT scans

  • Medication prescriptions

  • Physical therapy and recovery programs

  • Medical aids such as canes, crutches, and wheelchairs


Lost Income and Impacted Earning Potential

You may experience a loss of income during your recovery period, including missed work days due to medical appointments. 

Fortunately, you may be eligible for compensation for the wages you missed and for the impact of your injury on your future earning potential. This compensation accounts for any inability to work in the same capacity as before, which could necessitate a change in career path or a reduction in working hours and income.

Physical and Emotional Trauma

Injuries from truck accidents often result in significant physical pain, presenting a challenging obstacle as you strive to move forward with your life. Furthermore, these injuries can lead to various forms of emotional suffering, including depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues.

According to the law, you have the right to seek compensation for both physical pain and emotional suffering caused by your injury.

Our team of truck accident lawyers in Maryland will thoroughly assess your claim to identify all potential forms of compensation to which you may be entitled. Additionally, we will assist you in gathering documentation and other evidence to support the assessment of these different forms of compensation.


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