Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyer
It is intimidating to share the road with a massive 18 wheeler. You must always be wary of it because you know its potential to cause massive damage. No one wants to be in a position where they need to call a Baltimore truck accident lawyer because they were involved in an unfortunate mishap.
Still, trailer tractor and truck accidents do happen. As a motorist, you must take the steps necessary to prevent that scenario. If anything, you can do things to protect yourself better if you are ever involved in that nightmarish situation. Continue with this article by trusted local Baltimore John Leppler’s personal injury law firm to learn more about 18 wheeler accidents.
Truck Wreck Statistics
To fully grasp the dangers that 18 wheeler accidents pose, let’s take some time to discuss some important statistics. We first need to highlight the number of large truck accidents. According to crash data from the Maryland Department of Transportation, there were approximately 415,000 crashes involving large trucks back in 2020.
Nearly a quarter of those 415,000 crashes led to someone getting injured. Also, they recorded 4,444 fatal crashes that year. Some statistics are also highlighting a disturbing trend related to large truck accidents. In 2010, the number of fatal large truck accidents per million people stood at 10.6. In 2020, that number jumped to 13.49.
You should be especially careful if you are going through a rural area and see an 18 wheeler nearby. Per the FMCSA, around 54% of fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas. Interstate highways are also dangerous for the drivers of 18 wheeler trucks and other motorists around them; 27% of the 4,444 fatal crashes occurred on those interstate highways.
Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of large truck accidents take place during the weekdays. Also, 82% of fatal large truck accidents occur during the week. That number goes up to 87% for non-fatal large truck crashes. Jot down the number of a reputable truck crash attorney in Baltimore County so you can secure legal assistance as soon as possible.
Most Dangerous Roads in Maryland for Truck Crashes
Some of the roads in Maryland have developed an unfortunate reputation. They are roads that have become synonymous with danger. More specifically, they are roads that have had numerous large truck accidents over the years. These are the roads that Baltimore and Towson residents should do their best to avoid if they are wary of large truck accidents.
The first road we need to talk about is the I-95 highway. Authorities have recorded numerous fatal accidents on this highway. That should be no surprise, given how many major cities use that road. If you are traveling at a time when you know that 18 wheeler trucks are out, it may be a good idea to avoid the I-95.
Aside from the I-95, Maryland drivers should also be careful when using MD 90 and 202. Over the years, those roads have also served as the sites for many unfortunate crashes. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of vehicles that routinely pass through those roads drives those numbers up. Call a truck wreck lawyer immediately if you are ever involved in an accident on one of those roads.
What Are the Most Common Causes of 18 Wheeler and Truck Wrecks?
Learning more about the common causes of 18 wheeler truck accidents can help you stay safe while sharing the road with those gigantic vehicles. Expert 18 wheeler accident lawyer John Leppler’s injury law firm shares some of the common causes below.
Truck Driver Fatigue: One of the main causes of large truck accidents is driver fatigue. Truck drivers routinely travel long distances during the dead hours of the night. Often, they also stay on the road for days at a time because they must make consecutive deliveries. That kind of schedule will take a toll on anyone. Work with a truck accident attorney so you can pursue legal action against the trucking company putting their drivers through that.
Distracted Driving: Given the amount of time truck drivers spend on the road, you can understand why they need to secure some entertainment. That said, their entertainment should not actively pull their focus away from the road. If that happens, an accident is likely to occur.
Improper Loading of Cargo: According to the FMCSA resource we linked to earlier, rollovers played a significant role in causing fatal large truck accidents. You can trace many rollover accidents back to the improper loading of cargo, but this is a preventable issue that truck drivers and companies should set safeguards against.
Lack of Visibility: Some of those 18 wheelers are so big that their drivers can hardly see anything on the road around them. If you are sharing the road with an 18 wheeler, you need to make sure that you are visible to the truck driver. Turn on your lights and use your horn to alert the driver to your presence.
Equipment Issues: Large trucks need diligent upkeep because they would be unsafe to drive otherwise. Companies that fail to maintain their fleet of trucks open themselves up to potential litigation.
What to Do Following a Truck Accident
Truck accidents can cause widespread damage. It would be best if you pursued compensation to cover your medical expenses and repair bills. If you want to improve your chances of winning your truck accident lawsuit, you should follow the steps listed below.
- Check Yourself for Injuries: Your priority right after the accident should be your safety. First, check yourself for injuries so you can determine if you need medical assistance.
- Call 911: Call 911 immediately if you are badly hurt. Place that call even if you are not injured because you will need officers from the Baltimore police department on the scene immediately.
- Exchange Information with the Truck Driver: In Maryland, drivers involved in an accident must exchange names, addresses, license numbers, and insurance details. So request all that information from the driver of the truck when you approach them.
- Gather Evidence at the Accident Site: You should now take the time to collect evidence at the accident site. Take pictures while you are there and record videos too. During that time, you should also speak to any witnesses and ask for their accounts of what happened.
- Talk to the Police Officers: Speak to the police officers as soon as they reach the scene. Share your side of the story and hand over the evidence you have gathered. Ask for the names and contact details of the police officers before you leave.
- Consult with Your Doctor: Book the earliest appointment with your doctor so you can head in for an examination. If you sustained injuries due to the accident, your doctor could tell you.
- File an Insurance Claim: Report your accident to your insurer and file a claim while you are at it. Share the information of the other driver but stop there. Avoid discussing the specifics of the accident for now.
- Hire a Truck Wreck Lawyer: Finally, you should hire a legal representative if you do not already have one. Their assistance will be essential as you move ahead with your lawsuit.
What Does a Maryland Truck Injury Lawyer Do?
Why do you need legal representation? The services detailed below should tell you everything you need to know.
Establish That You Bear No Fault for the Accident
Because Maryland adheres to the principle of contributory negligence, plaintiffs can lose the right to recover damages if they share even 1% of the blame for the accident. Your tractor trailer lawyer will investigate the case thoroughly to prevent that from happening.
Handle Important Discussions on Your Behalf
Insurers and truck accident injury attorneys may attempt to contact you to discuss the accident. They could be reaching out to settle the case or to gather information. If they want to talk, direct them to your truck wreck lawyer.
Grant You More Time to Recover
You may have sustained some serious injuries due to the accident. Allow your Baltimore personal injury lawyer to handle your affairs so you can recover for as long as you need.
Determining Responsibility in a Semi-Truck Accident
When it comes to truck accidents, plaintiffs should not assume that the drivers are always at fault. Truthfully, many drivers are also victims themselves. To determine if the blame is on the truck driver, the company, or both parties, you should closely examine what happened.
In a case where a tired driver caused the accident, you must look closer and check what kind of schedule they were working. The company may have forced the driver to stay on the road. If so, the trucking company deserves the blame for the accident. You should also check the truck while you are trying to sort out that mess. Check if the truck is in any condition to be on the road. A negligent company may allow an unsafe truck to leave its lot; they should be held responsible for that.
The driver should be accountable if the cause of the accident is due to reckless or distracted driving.
What Is the Average 18 Wheeler Accident Settlement?
Now that your medical and repair bills are piling up, you may wonder how much you can get in a settlement. Since many personal injury cases get settled, it makes sense for you to wonder about that topic.
On average, plaintiffs who opt to settle large truck accident lawsuits walk away with upwards of $10,000 in damages. The economic and non-economic damages help settlements reach that level.
Economic Damages: Tractor trailer attorneys account for economic damages when negotiating settlements for Baltimore, MD personal injury cases. The economic damages will account for a plaintiff’s medical bills, damaged property, lost wages, and other tangible losses.
Non-Economic Damages: Your personal injury attorney will also consider the non-economic damages in your case. If you have suffered from significant emotional distress following the accident, the defendant should compensate you for that.
What to Consider When Choosing an 18 Wheeler Accident Attorney
Even if you have a valid claim, it does not automatically mean that you will win your case against the driver or the trucking company. You also need to secure the services of a personal injury lawyer who can represent you properly. How can you find the best truck accident injury lawyer? The tips listed below should prove helpful.
Seek Recommendations from Trusted Friends and Family Members
If you know someone who has already pursued a personal injury claim, you can ask them for a recommendation. They may know someone who can help you, so do not hesitate to reach out.
Ask Other Professionals for Recommendations
The professionals you know may also help you find a good truck accident injury lawyer. Many doctors have experience working with attorneys on personal injury claims. They can point you in the direction of upstanding professionals who will prioritize your best interests.
Look for Reviews Online
The reviews posted online for truck accident injury attorneys can also tell you which professionals are worth your time. Check out the reviews and see what previous clients have to say about a particular attorney. If you like what you are reading, you should give that Baltimore injury attorney a call.
Interview Your Candidates
Before you hire any Baltimore trucking accident lawyer, you should set aside some time to interview them. Make sure you hit on important questions during that interview. Ask your truck wreck attorney about their familiarity with truck accident cases. Examine their track record and see if it offers any promise.
You should seek a Baltimore personal injury lawyer willing to negotiate settlements and go to trial. Keeping your options open is crucial if you want to get fair compensation. If your Baltimore, Maryland attorney is only comfortable negotiating a settlement, you should look elsewhere for assistance.
After conducting your interviews, you should clearly know who you need to hire.
Baltimore Truck Accident Law Firm
Reach out to us at our truck accident injury law firm if you need competent legal representation. We will hold the appropriate party responsible for what happened and secure the compensation you need.