Interstate 195 in Maryland is another major highway that runs through the state. Interstate 195 provides a high-speed route to Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) passenger terminal. In addition, this freeway connects commuter routes to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, which is also known as Maryland 295. This means that there is generally a very high volume of traffic that uses this road. People from all over the world will fly into the airport and then rent cars to drive to their final location.
Understanding Negligence When Dealing With Truck Accidents
Negligence is a commonly used term and you will hear it often when there has been any accident. Cell phones, beeping GPS devices, sleepless nights and long hours spent on the road can all lead a truck driver to lose focus even for an instant. When this happens there is a much greater likelihood that a tractor-trailer is going to be involved in an accident. A truck’s size makes it pivotal that the driver maintains absolute focus at all times, however, as noted above, they are being pulled in many different directions. In order for a person to recover any damages after they have been the victim of a crash, they will need to prove that the truck driver or another driver, or even a combination of all drivers involved were to some degree negligent in how they operated their vehicle.
If you are trying to assert a claim that the other party was negligent, then you will need to prove the following four elements:
- Duty – Negligence requires that one party owes a duty to another party. In the event of a truck accident, you will need to show that the truck driver owed the other driver a certain duty to act as a reasonable driver would act.
- Breach of duty – In order for a person to recover for a negligence claim, they will need to show that there was a breach of a duty that was imposed by law. An example of this would be if a driver has been driving for a number of hours that they are legally permitted to drive, and are subsequently in an accident then they may be in breach of their duty.
- Causation – the third element of a negligence claim requires that a person shows that there was some causal connection between the acts of the driver and the accident. This can be shown through either the driver’s actions or their failure to act in some instances. It is important to create the connection between the events and the injury or damage.
- Damages – Finally, damages. Damages can take the form of property damage, such as when you have to get your bumper replaced as a result of a fender bender, or if you had to replace your car because it was totaled. However, the law also will provide compensation if you have suffered personal injuries to your body or even your psyche.
In addition to the elements of negligence, a there may be certain theories of negligence that a person may recover under. Some of this include:
- Negligent Operation – which is a failure to place or provide warnings near disabled vehicles, such as placing flares and orange reflection cones on the road. Another common event that can prove negligent operation is when the driver is too fatigued, or when they have been driving for too long without a sufficient break as prescribed by law.
- Negligent Inspection and Maintenance – Vehicles of any type are complex and intricate devices that require careful inspection and thorough and regular maintenance. Brakes need to be replaced and calibrated, tires need to be inspected and changed.
Compensation for An Accident?
As noted above, if you have been involved in an accident where one driver or multiple drivers were negligent, then you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Generally, when one party has been negligent then they will be expected to compensate the other person for their injuries. You may be entitled to the following types of damages from the driver, their insurance company, or perhaps their company:
- Economic Damages – Economic damages take the form of monetary damages. These types of damages are generally paid to cover or reimburse, to compensate for present and future medical costs, and to cover lost and future loss of wages. Under personal injury law, you may be entitled to receive economic coverage for medical expenses that you paid before filing the lawsuit since it is not always feasible for a person to wait until they file a case before they go to the doctors. Economic damages can also be awarded for lost time at work since it is very likely that if you have been severely injured, you will not be able to return to work until you have recovered from your injuries. In addition, 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.
- Non-economic Damages – As opposed to economic damages which are for the most part designed to compensate for objects lost, and quantifiable injuries, non-economic damages are the type of damages that are not easy to quantify and explain. 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 – Punitive damages are designed to punish a person who has committed an act willfully or maliciously, these type of damages are the ones that make the headlines where the company is slapped with a penalty of several million dollars. 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.
CONTACT An Experienced TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER 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.