Accidents involving tractor-trailers or other large commercial vehicles are some of the worst accidents on the road. In addition to being frightening, they almost invariably lead to significant property damage and severe personal injuries. In addition, drivers who are involved in an accident with a truck find themselves up against trucking companies who will try and deny their driver was liable for the accident and resulting injuries.
If you have been involved in a serious commercial truck accident with an 18 wheeler or other commercial truck, you may be entitled to damages. Commercial trucks large size and significant weight often mean that the injuries inflicted are significantly worse than those typically suffered in other accidents. The truck accident injury lawyers of Reiff & Bily’s The Truck Accident Team may be able to fight for you. To schedule a free and confidential consultation call (800) 896-6173 or contact us online today.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents on Intestate 370 in Maryland
Interstate 370 is a relatively short road in Maryland running just about two and a half miles in Gaithersburg Maryland. Interstate 370 is a spur route coming off of interstate 270 and runs to Maryland Route 200. However, even though this is a relatively short route this six-lane freeway cuts through highly congested shopping areas as well as residential areas.
Common causes of tractor-trailer accidents on Interstate 370 in Maryland are:
Trucks drivers work some of the longest hours out of any profession. While there have been numerous federal and state regulations developed to stop drivers from driving for excessive periods of time, driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), nearly 4,000 people lose their lives every year in large truck crashes, and the FMSCA attributes many of these accidents to driver fatigue. Other estimates suggest that overly fatigued and tired drivers contribute to as much as 30% of fatal crashes and 15% of serious injury. Linked to driver fatigue is the use of narcotic and other stimulants while behind the wheel. Truck drivers will often turn to alcohol and marijuana), cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, other stimulants, phencyclidine (PCP), and codeine in an effort to stay awake or merely because of the long hours they spend on the road by themselves. A 2007 study conducted in Oregon by the state police found nearly ten percent of randomly selected truck drivers tested positive for drugs, with both marijuana and methamphetamine rates higher than in similar checks in 1998.
Maintaining a vehicle that weighs nearly 80,000 pounds requires diligent and regular inspection, maintenance, and repair. However, poor truck maintenance is also a significant cause of truck accidents. Truck drivers and trucking companies have a responsibility to inspect truck brakes, address tire wear, and tear, inspect joint inspections.
Other reasons behind truck accidents include inadequate stopping distance, quick change of lanes, blind spots, and distracted driving.
Damages for a Truck Accident on Interstate 370
While this road may be short, it is often used by trucks and other motorists to get to shopping centers and even to their homes. Truck accidents and all car accidents are based on a fault system which means that in order to receive the compensation you need to show that the truck driver was at fault for the accident. Some of the reasons highlighted above can be the basis for imposing liability on a truck driver and a trucking company. Truck drivers, like all other drivers, are required to carry certain liability insurance in the event that they are involved in an accident. Under the fault based system in Maryland, an injured driver who has proven that the truck driver was liable for an accident can seek compensation from the driver’s insurance company for:
- Property Damage
- Economic losses e.g medical bills, loss of income, other economic losses
- Noneconomic losses such as physical pain, mental anguish, disfigurement, physical impairment.
After proving causation, the attorneys will look at the recoverable damages. A consideration in all serious accident cases is the available insurance coverage. Fortunately, coverage in the truck accidents is generally higher than insurance coverage in automobile accident cases. For example, Maryland requires large commercial trucks to carry $750,000 of insurance for bodily injury and truck accidents. Federal law also requires that trucking companies have the following minimum liability insurance:
- $750,000 for vehicles over 10,000 lbs carry non-hazardous freight;
- $1,000,000 for those having hazardous materials and oil; and
- $5,000,000 for trucks operating portable tanks, capacity over 3,500 gallons, passenger trucks.
CONTACT OUR TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYERS TODAY
To schedule a private, no-cost evaluation, call the law offices of Reiff & Bily The Truck Accident Team at (800) 896-6173 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.