U.S Route 50 is a major east-west route that is part of the U.S Highway system. This road stretches over 3,000 miles from Ocean City Maryland all the way across the country and ending in West Sacramento. This road cuts through Garrett, Prince George’s Anne Arundel, Queen Anne’s Talbot, Dorchester, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. This road is frequently traveled and connects parts of Maryland to Washington D.C
Reasons for Tractor-Trailer Accidents on Route 50
There are many reasons why there might be an accident involving a tractor-trailer on Route 50. While no two accidents are the same, there are some common reasons why we have observed a tractor-trailer being involved in an accident,
- Brake malfunctions – Truck drivers put hundreds of miles on their vehicles every day. While driving on the highway may not pose too much of a problem for a driver’s brakes, trucks need to go through towns and communities to deliver their cargo. When a truck driver needs to stop his trailer it requires that the brakes be in top working condition, and even more so when there is bad weather. When a tractor is unable to stop because of faulty brakes it can lead to major accidents and injuries.
- Traffic patterns – Construction projects, other accidents, road hazards and weather conditions can all affect how traffic flows. When there is a sudden change in traffic patterns this can cause accidents particularly if a commercial driver is not paying attention.
- Alcohol use – Drivers who have a CDL license have more stringent requirements for alcohol and driving. Often a driver cannot even have a single drink if they are going to be driving a commercial vehicle and for good reason. Alcohol slows the brain’s ability to process information and to interpret difficult road conditions. Alcohol, unfortunately, leads to many accidents and injuries.
As a driver, you know that there are many reasons that can lead to an accident. Even a single moment of not paying attention can lead to an accident. While accidents are never a good event, when there is a tractor-trailer involved there is a much higher risk that there will be injuries and damages.
How do you Prove your Truck Accident?
Truck accidents and car accidents, in general, are most often tried on the theory of negligence. Personal injury law is a set of laws that are designed to compensate a person if they have been injured, however before a person can receive any compensation they need to prove that some elements. In order to recover from a tractor-trailer or commercial vehicle accident a person generally needs to demonstrate that:
- That the defendant who may be either the driver, the trucking company or another party owed the other driver a duty to exercise a reasonable degree of care to avoid injury. This depends on the circumstances of the accident and the road conditions.
- Next, you must show that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care. Generally, the law will state that the driver has “breached” the duty of reasonable care.
- Finally, a person who has been injured in a truck accident will have to show that the defendant’s failure to exercise reasonable care was the cause of injury suffered by the plaintiff.
This is a brief overview of the legal concept of negligence and personal injury, however, it serves as an important base. An experienced truck accident attorney will be able to further explain these elements.
Common Tractor Trailer Injuries
No two accidents are exactly the same, which makes the common injuries a difficult thing to prove. Depending on the type of vehicle involved, the conditions of the road, and the speed of the drivers can determine the extent of any injuries. Because each accident is unique so are the types of injuries that a person may suffer as a result of their accident. However, there are certain types of injuries and damages that tend to occur more frequently. These include:
- Fractured bones – After an accident, particularly one involving a truck or tractor-trailer, it is very common for a person to suffer a fractured or broken bone. While seatbelts and airbags can greatly reduce the chance that an accident will not be fatal, broken or fractured bones are still extremely common in truck accidents
- Traumatic brain injury – A traumatic brain injury or “TBI” is a serious and potentially deadly accident. Damage or abnormalities in the brain can cause trouble with focus, alter your personality, cause increased aggression, make communication difficult, and cause issues with focus and attention. Because the brain is the center of the body, any TBI should be taken very seriously.
- Burn injuries – Burn injuries are a very common injury anytime there is an accident yet is often overlooked when someone thinks about a car accident. Some of the major contributors to burn injuries when a tractor-trailer is involved are the amount of fuel that a tractor-trailer carries as well as any hazardous chemicals that the truck may contain.
- Whiplash – Whiplash injuries are another common injury that is routinely reported by those who are involved in any kind of accident. When vehicles collide a series of forces is rapidly applied — forces that can cause shearing of muscle and nerve tissue resulting in nausea, headaches and problems with memory. Because of the sheer amount of weight and force involved in a truck accident whiplash injuries can be particularly severe.
If you have suffered one of the above injuries in an accident or simply do not feel quite right, see a doctor or go to the emergency room immediately. Recovery from your injuries can often be greater if you receive treatment early and often.
Contact A Maryland Truck Accident Lawyer
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.