Anyone knows that a car accident can happen in the blink of an eye. While many accidents are fortunately very minor, other accidents are not. However, when there is a large truck involved the inverse is true, and most accidents involving a commercial vehicle will result in thousands of dollars of property damage and can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal 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 accidents on Interstate 170 in Maryland
Interstate 170 is a relatively small freeway in Maryland, that is located in Baltimore. While this road may only be a few miles long, because it is an auxiliary route of route 70 it is frequently used by thousands of motorists every day. This includes trucks and other large commercial vehicles which overwhelmingly are involved in accidents on the road. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents are:
- Driver fatigue
- Driver substance abuse
- Poor truck maintenance
- Inadequate training and tight delivery schedules
- Inadequate stopping distance
- Quick change of lanes
- Blind spots
- Broken down cars
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released a report in 2010 that highlighted that nearly 1.4 percent of all fatal truck accidents were the result of truck driver fatigue. Truck driver fatigue in addition to this report was one of the reasons why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted legislation in 2011 called the “hours of service” which were enacted in an effort to keep drivers from driving for excessive periods of time and to encourage drivers to get more rest. Some organizations equate driving while fatigued to driving while under the influence, and several notable organizations have noted that fatigue and inebriation result in many similar characteristics.
In addition to fatigued driving, one of the next leading causes of fatal and serious truck accidents is due to drivers who take illegal substances. Unfortunately, driver fatigue and substance abuse are often interconnected as many drivers will turn to illegal substances to stay awake behind the wheel. Studies indicate that drug abuse is a significant cause of large truck accidents and by some accounts nearly 35 percent of all truck drivers who die in truck accidents test positive for cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, or other stimulants.
When you are sharing the road with a vehicle that weighs several thousand pounds more than your vehicle you would hope that the truck next to you has the best possible parts and is in proper working order. However, all too often drivers and companies will avoid keeping their vehicles off the road in the name of making sure a delivery time and appointment is met.
Unfortunately, there are a litany of reasons why a truck may be involved in an accident.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the most frequent causes of tractor-trailer accidents occur when:
- The truck driver moves outside his lane of travel into another lane or travels off the road altogether.
- The truck driver loses control of his vehicle because of cargo shifts; he is traveling at a speed faster than conditions allow; he has a vehicle system failure, or the road conditions are poor.
- The truck driver collides with the rear end of the vehicle directly in front of him because he is following too closely.
If you have been the victim of a truck accident then there is a high probability that you will sustain injuries or damages. If you find yourself in this situation it is crucial to contact an attorney immediately who will be able to help you fight the large trucking companies that will attempt to deny their drivers were the reason behind an accident.
Damages and Compensation for a Truck Accident on Interstate 170
If you have been in an accident on Interstate 170 in Maryland it can be difficult to determine how much compensation you may be entitled to unless you work closely with an experienced attorney. Fair compensation for your injuries and damages under Maryland law can be difficult to prove. While most accidents are brought under a theory of negligence, Maryland is in a small minority of states that provides that a negligent driver cannot recover from another negligent driver even one driver was overwhelmingly at fault for the accident. This means that in an accident case between your car and a truck if the jury finds that you were even a small percentage negligent you will not be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, if it is overwhelmingly apparent that the other driver was the reason for the accident, then drivers can take advantage of the insurance systems in Maryland which provide for compensation for:
- Property damage
- Economic injuries such as medical bills and doctors appointments.
- Non-economic injuries such as pain and suffering and mental anguish.
However, it is crucial that you prove that the other driver was the cause of your accident. Maryland requires that truck drivers and truck companies provide $750,000 of insurance for bodily injury and truck accidents. Which are intended to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other related expenses that result from a truck accident. In addition, 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.
Because of the harsh negligence laws in Maryland, it is important to consider how seriously you or your car was injured or damaged, how long you might suffer from your injuries, and if you will ever fully recover from your injuries.
Let Our Truck Accident Lawyers Handle Your Case
To schedule a private, no-cost evaluation, call the law offices of Reiff & Bily Trucking 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.