This road has a certain distinction that not many other roads can share. Maryland Interstate 495 is probably one of the better-known beltways in the country. This road is always sometimes referred to as the Capital Beltway and encircles the Washington D.C metropolitan area. This means that commuters, travelers, and importantly tractor-trailers extensively travel this road. There are many reasons why a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle could be involved in an accident on this road, between the commuters and the amount of traffic on this; road accidents can happen at any moment.
For example, on June 18, 2016, there was a crash involving a tractor trailer and a small Honda Civic. In this accident, which occurred in the early morning, hours on the Inner Loop of Interstate 495, the driver of the Honda Civic tried to accelerate into traffic from the left-hand shoulder when the truck hit her vehicle. The driver of the Honda Civic suffered serious injuries and had to be transported to the local hospital. This accident goes to show that when an accident happens involving a tractor-trailer they are likely going to be severe. When you take into account the size and weight of a fully loaded tractor-trailer as opposed to a small passenger car it is obvious that any accident is likely going to cause massive physical trauma to both the driver and the car.
Truck Driver Negligence
Truck accident victims often state that they were driving as they normally would, and then suddenly a truck merged into their lane either crushing their car or forcing them off the road. Another common scenario is that a driver will be at a stop light or stopped in traffic and a tractor-trailer will not stop in time and hit their car. Because a tractor is much taller than a car it is very common for the car to be pushed underneath of the tractor
It is possible that if you are involved in an accident that the truck driver is responsible for the crash because he or she acted with negligence. A truck’s size makes it extremely important that the driver is careful, responsible and attentive at all times.
In cases of truck accident negligence, the driver may have acted in a careless manner that caused a disastrous wreck. To get the compensation you need to recover, your attorney will need to prove that the truck driver of the trucking company was negligent and thus liable.
There are four elements that an injured party must prove to the court to shoe that the other party was negligent:
- Duty- In order for anyone to be able to recover, there must be a legal duty from one party to another. When a truck has been involved in an accident for there to be a duty, this means a duty for the driver to drive responsibly and within the law, and for the trucking company to maintain safe loading and maintenance practices. When there has been an accident it usually involves some breach of this duty.
- Breach – This element of negligence requires that the driver did something that violated their above mentioned duty to the other driver. There must be a breach of this legal duty by one party failing to act as described above.
- Causation – Causation tends to be a problematic element of a car accident case, and why you should contact an experienced lawyer, Causation requires that an injured person demonstrate that the offender’s actions or alternatively their inactions caused the injury and or damage to your property.
- Damages – Damages tend to be the easiest element to prove in an accident case. They can manifest themselves in many different ways. Property damage claims are very common wherein a person whose car has been damaged will seek to have the at-fault party pay for the repairs. Another common damage is for personal injuries, such as wen a person breaks a bone or has to go to the hospital as a result of a truck accident.
WHAT CAN I BE REIMBURSED FOR IF I AM INJURED IN A TRUCK ACCIDENT?
Truck accidents can affect much more than just your car. After an accident, people find that they have to pay expenses that they did not intend. If you have been injured in a truck accident and have sustained damages to your car, your body, your mind, or any of your passengers then the law may provide you with a certain amount of compensation for your injuries. Compensation comes in many different forms and under the law of negligence, any party that is negligent will be expected to compensate the innocent person for their injuries. You may be entitled to the following types of damages:
- Economic Damages – Doctors, visits, hospital stays, rehabilitation, time spent away from work, and even lifestyle changes can all be considered economic damages. These type of damages are generally paid to reimburse you for any expenses that you have sustained as a result of an accident. In addition, this type of damage can look into the future and try and compensate you for any future medical expenses you will be expected to pay as a result of an accident. If you are involved in a serious accident it is very likely that you will miss time from work due to your injuries. If you have lost wages as a result of your injuries and time spent recovering you may be entitled to receive some compensation for the wages that you lost. There is no cap on how much can be awarded in damages for economic damage reimbursement. The family of a person killed in a truck accident may receive payment for a loss of consortium or services of his or her spouse. Furthermore, funeral expenses may be paid, in the event of a death due to a truck accident.
- Non-economic Damages– In addition to economic damages, non-economic damages are another form of compensation that a person is entitled to receive if they have been in an accident. Trauma that results from an accident can be hard to quantify, but the law has determined that a driver who is negligent and causes an accident should be held accountable for mental pain and suffering as well as economic damages.
- Punitive Damages – In addition to reimbursing you for expenses, and also to restore your mental faculties. However, the law also can go on the offensive and impose punitive damages which are designed to punish a driver who has committed an act in disregard for the safety and well-fare for others. If you were involved in an accident involving a tractor-trailer driver who was drinking, driving recklessly, or who engaged in aggressive driving behavior with the intent of injuring you, you may be able to receive punitive damages.
When you have suffered damages as a result of a truck accident you may be able to recover some or all of the money that you have lost from the truck driver, the truck company, or the insurance company.
Involved in an Accident on Interstate 495, Contact our Attorneys Today
To schedule a private, no-cost evaluation, call the law offices of Reiff Law Firm Trucking at (215) 709-6940 or contact us online. If the statute of limitations expires, your window of legal opportunity will close and you won’t be able to pursue a claim.