Owings Mills Truck Accident Attorney
You may find yourself in a vulnerable position as a truck accident victim. You are badly injured, your vehicle is a wreck, and you do not know what to do next. While still dealing with all those things, you may notice an unknown number reaching out. After picking up, you discover that a representative from the truck company’s insurer is on the other end.
Avoid making your current ordeal any worse by engaging the representative in a conversation. Refer them to your truck accident lawyer in Owings Mills if they want to talk. Learn more about how Owings Mills truck accident attorney John Leppler can help by continuing with the rest of this article.
Truck Accidents Cause Serious Injuries
Exercising caution around large trucks is a must for all Maryland motorists. You have probably already guessed that those large vehicles can cause massive damage, but the degree to which they do is important to emphasize. Statistics provided by the National Safety Council highlight the destructive potential of these large trucks.
The numbers indicate that 4,842 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2020. To put that number into context, it accounts for 9% of all the vehicles involved in fatal accidents that year. A closer look at the numbers brings up even more troubling revelations.
For instance, the numbers show that 71% of the fatalities recorded in those collisions were occupants of other vehicles. Non-occupants accounted for 12% of the fatalities recorded that year. Focusing more on injuries, 107,000 large trucks were involved in injury crashes in 2020. Once again, the occupants of other vehicles were most likely to be injured during those accidents. They accounted for 68% of the total injuries tallied.
Common Injuries Caused by Tractor Trailer and Semi-Truck Accidents
Injuries that truck accident victims are likely to sustain include bruises, burns, broken bones, and soft tissue damage. In addition, if you hit your head at some point during the crash, you may also experience the effects of a traumatic brain injury. Tragically, as the statistics in the previous section indicated, truck accidents also often cause fatalities.
Whether you are filing a lawsuit to help pay for your medical bills or suing for wrongful death, it is a good idea to enlist the help of an 18 wheeler accident lawyer.
Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, brake issues, traffic congestion, and impaired driving are among the factors that often contribute to truck accidents. We can also see from their research that speeding and fatigue are often contributing factors.
Understanding the main cause of the truck accident you were involved in will help you and your 18 wheeler accident attorney identify the people responsible for it. Use that information to put together a stronger lawsuit.
How Do I Know if I Have a Case?
During your trip down I-795, the large truck traveling close to your vehicle suddenly veered out of control and hit you. The result was an ugly crash that left you with broken bones in your legs and a totaled car. You know that the crash was not your fault because you did not do anything wrong. So, do you have a case against the truck driver?
Being adamant that the crash was the other party’s fault is not enough to create a viable case. At this point, your goal should be to gather as much evidence as possible to illustrate the other party’s negligence. This is where having an accident attorney is so important. While recovering, your attorney can head back to the accident site to gather evidence. They can take photos of the crash site, speak to witnesses who saw what happened and request video footage from nearby establishments.
Your attorney can also coordinate with the police and gather more information about the accident from the official report. They can also reach out to the trucking company and their partners to obtain more pieces of evidence. By the time your attorney has gathered all the available evidence, you will have a strong case that the other side will have a tough time refuting.
Never Talk to the Truck Driver’s Insurance Company!
Earlier in this article, we cautioned you against engaging the representative of the truck company’s insurer in a conversation. Whether they are reaching out to you using calls, texts, or email messages, you can ignore them. At most, you should tell them to speak to your Owings Mills truck accident attorney.
Why is it so important to avoid that conversation? For starters, you must remember that the representative you are speaking to is working for the trucking company’s insurer. They know that you will submit a claim sometime soon, and they are reaching out now to dissuade you from doing that.
The representative may also lead the conversation in such a way that causes you to admit partial blame for the accident. If that happens, it could reduce the potential value of your claim significantly. Even if the representative offers to pay you now, you should still ignore them. Chances are that offer will be lower than the compensation you may receive if you proceed with your lawsuit. However, if they are serious about settling out of court, you can tell them to negotiate with your attorney.
Lastly, you should avoid talking to the insurance representative because there is no reason to do so. You have no legal obligation to respond. Either ignore their attempts to communicate or direct them to your attorney. Those are the best ways to deal with that situation.
Maryland Truck Accident Attorney Who Will Fight for Your Rights
In the aftermath of your truck accident on MD-940, you and your attorney must prove that another party’s negligence caused your accident. To prove that party’s negligence, you must demonstrate that they owed you a duty of care, that they breached that duty of care, and their decision to breach that duty of care is why you currently have no working car and several broken bones.
Now, here is where things get tricky. There is a good chance that someone’s negligence did cause your accident, but you should not assume that it was the truck driver. With truck accidents, the fault may lie with the trucking company, the trucking company’s partner, and even parts manufacturers.
During the early stages of your fight to claim compensation, your goal should be clearly defining the party responsible for your accident. Accomplishing that goal significantly increases your chances of winning the case.
Filing Your Claim on Time
Recovering from the injuries caused by a truck accident may take a long time. During that time, you may want to focus on nothing other than your recovery, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, you cannot completely disregard your personal injury case.
The statute of limitations for truck accident cases in Maryland is three years from the crash date. As the plaintiff, you must file your lawsuit before that three-year period expires, or you cannot claim any compensation. Maryland law does grant exceptions in cases where the plaintiff is a minor or declared mentally incompetent. The state will give those plaintiffs more time to file their cases. In addition, you may receive a filing extension if the defendant has been hiding relevant evidence.
Still, it is in your best interests as the plaintiff to get your case moving as soon as possible. Hire an Owings Mills truck accident lawyer so they can manage your case while you focus on other important matters.
Contributory Negligence, What Is It?
While running down why you should not speak to the representative of the truck company’s insurer, we mentioned that talking to them could lead to the value of your claim becoming reduced. We also noted that it could reduce the value of your claim if you admitted partial blame for the accident.
Could something like that happen in your case? It is indeed possible, and contributory negligence would be the reason for it. Contributory negligence is the rule that the state of Maryland follows when determining how damages become doled out in personal injury cases. It is an especially harsh rule because even owning 1% of the blame for the accident is enough to bar a plaintiff from recovering damages.
Your lawsuit could end the moment the truck company’s insurer representative gets you to accept some blame on record. Eliminate that possibility by leaving all the case-related communications up to your legal representative.
What Type of Settlement Can I Expect for My 18 Wheeler Accident?
Because of how damaging truck accidents are, the settlement numbers for their associated cases can be quite high. We have seen recent cases where plaintiffs settle for amounts north of $1 million. Receiving a settlement for your truck accident case that is worth eight or even nine figures is also not unheard of.
Multi-million dollar settlements are rare, but you may still secure a hefty payout due to the substantial losses you sustained. The losses you must receive compensation for are detailed below.
Economic Damages – The settlement offer presented by the defendant should include economic damages. These economic damages will compensate you for the quantifiable losses you suffered from the accident. Present a full accounting of your medical expenses so they can include them in the settlement. Do not forget to include the future medical expenses you will accrue due to the injuries you suffered. The defendant should pay for those too.
Compensation for damaged property and lost wages must also be in the settlement.
Non-Economic Damages – A settlement offer in a truck accident case must also consider the unquantifiable losses that the plaintiff suffered. They must make up for those losses by providing non-economic damages. Pain and suffering is a prime example of what we are discussing here. You can also note that your injuries have permanently lowered your quality of life. That is another thing that the defendant should offer compensation for.
Leave the calculation of the non-economic damages up to your Owings Mills personal injury lawyer. They can also negotiate the inclusion of those non-economic damages in your settlement with the other side.
What Is the Black Box and Why Is It So Important?
The crash site photos, videos, and witness statements may already be enough to solidify your case. Even so, there are additional pieces of evidence you should pursue if you want to make your case airtight. The commercial trucks that roam Maryland roads today have black boxes designed to record the moments leading up to a crash. They will then translate those recordings into bits of data explaining what happened.
Simply put, the recordings made by the black box can clearly illustrate the cause of the accident. It may be the smoking gun you need to prove that the accident was 100% not your fault. Hire legal representation soon after your accident so they can quickly get to work on obtaining the black box data.
Owings Mills, MD
Owings Mills, MD, sets itself apart from other Maryland communities by presenting residents with a homey atmosphere. This is the kind of place where you can have a good time simply mingling with your neighbors. It features a tight-knit community that is pleasant and welcoming to everyone.
You also do not need to worry about having dull off days if you are an Owings Mills resident. Owings Mills features plenty of natural trails for you to explore. If you prefer to shop during your free time, you can drop by the Mill Station or the Foundry Row. Summers are especially eventful in Owings Mills because the Baltimore Ravens are often in town during that time. Pay a visit to their headquarters in the area and watch the players go through training camps.
Experienced Maryland Attorney
Going up against a trucking company is a daunting, but you have nothing to fear. Attorney John Leppler will bring the truth to light in your truck accident case so you can take home the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with us at Leppler Injury Law today if you want John to take over your case.