Truck accidents are usually the result of several factors and forces that all come together in an instant. Drivers can be distracted, or over-worked, or may not know where they are going. Interstate 83 is a well-traveled road in Maryland and replaced the formed U.S. 111. This road runs from Baltimore northward to York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In addition, this freeway entails the Jones Falls Expressway between downtown Baltimore and Interstate 695, the Baltimore Beltway (Interstate 695) between Exits 23 and 24, and the Baltimore-Harrisburg Expressway from Interstate 695 northward to the Pennsylvania state line. The exit signs on this road vary between a sequential system within the Beltway and a mileage-based system from the Beltway northward, which can cause confusion to drivers who are not familiar with the road and the area.
Why do accidents happen on Interstate 83 in Maryland?
Recently, an overturned dump truck on the southbound lane of Interstate 83 near Exit 16 at Timonium Road blocked traffic for several hours. Firetrucks, police, and paramedics all responded to the scene to try and clean the road, tend to injuries, and open the road for traffic to pass. It took several hours for the truck to be moved to the shoulder of the road and no longer block traffic, during this time the traffic was diverted to less widely traveled roads, which can cause additional accidents.
Understanding Negligence and the potential theories of liability
Most car accidents and truck accidents in are generally litigated under a theory of negligence. In its most simple form, if a person is negligent, it means that they failed to do something that they were required to do. The law provides a slightly more expanded definition of negligence. However, when people are involved in an accident they often point to the truck driver as being responsible for the accident because he or she acted with some form of negligence. There are many factors that can contribute to a tractor-trailer accident and commercial drivers, in general, must maintain a high level of concentration and focus when they are driving in order to avoid an accident. 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 to proving negligence:
- Duty – Duty in a negligence claim must be a legal duty that one party owes to another, or in the case of a truck driver or any driver it would be the legal duty that they owe to the other drivers on the road. Each state, and Maryland has a set of traffic codes which all impose the legal duty that one driver owes to another driver. Additionally, this duty can also extend to the manufacturers and people who are loading the tractor trailers.
- Breach – as noted above there are traffic codes, laws, and ordinances in every state. If a person breaches one of these laws this may be sufficient to prove that there was a breach of a legal duty.
- Causation – It was the offender’s actions (or inactions) that caused the injury and/or damage to your property.
- Damages – You were harmed or injured as a result of the offender’s actions.
Money compensation for truck accidents
Accidents of any sort can cost a lot of money. You may have to take your car into the shop to have it repaired, or you may have to purchase a new car altogether. If you have been injured in a truck accident because a driver was negligent, then you may be entitled to receive damages and compensation from the truck driver, their company or contractor, or insurance companies. 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 – Monetary damages that result from an accident can include damage to your car or even more serious, damage to you or other people in your car. These type of damages are generally designed and awarded to cover or reimburse, any present and future medical costs that you may incur as a result of your accident, lost wages and future loss of wages, which can be caused by missing work or sustaining an injury so severe that you are no longer able to work. There is no cap on how much can be awarded in damages for economic damage reimbursement, which is fortunate because medical expenses, in particular, can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
- Non-economic Damages– The law protects not only your body and your property but it also tries to protect your mental health and fortitude. Being in an accident can be a traumatic event that can greatly affect your life. Under the law, you may be entitled to receive non-economic damages for any pain and suffering, mental anguish, or loss of enjoyment in life, which you have suffered because of your truck accident injuries. Because these injuries are different than those mentioned above such as medical expenses they are known as non-economic damages.
- Punitive Damages – These damages are designed to punish a driver or company for their wrongdoing. An at-fault driver may be responsible for paying punitive damages in instances where their behavior is considered intolerable. A classic example of when punitive damages may be awarded is when a driver has been drinking and driving. Every driver knows that they are not permitted to drink and drive, but when a person chooses to do so, they put themselves and everyone else at risk of injury, If you were involved in an accident involving a tractor-trailer driver who engaged in aggressive driving behavior with the intent of injuring you, you may be able to receive punitive damages.
Personal injury law has determined that the best way to compensate a person in the event that they have been injured is to award them an amount of money so that the person feels as if the accident never happened. While it is impossible to recover from certain unfortunate events, such as when death results, the law will attempt to provide as much relief as possible.
Have you been involved in an accident on Interstate 83 in Maryland? Contact Our Truck Accident Attorneys Today
To schedule a private, no-cost evaluation, call the law offices of Reiff & Bily Trucking at (800) 861-6708 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.