Trucks are everywhere in Maryland, literally. Just in our state, there were almost 2,000,000 trucks registered in 2014: 1,879,645 privately owned vehicles, 45,954 federal registrations and 9,483 state, county, and local government registrations. These cover a wide range of sizes, types, and uses, and all share the road with significantly smaller motor vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.
Larger trucks and heavily laden delivery vehicles are always a mismatch against automobiles, in terms of size and weight. In a collision, the injuries suffered by the occupants of the smaller vehicle tend to be severe. Nationally, truck accidents killed almost 4,000 people in 2012 and injured 100,000 more.
Commercial trucks involved in interstate hauling are subject to a host of federal regulations covering everything from the qualifications and hours of work for drivers, to the safety equipment that must be on board. If a truck is involved in an auto accident as a result of violating any of these regulations—and violations are far more frequent than most people know—that’s evidence of negligence and gives you a major head start on establishing the right to compensation for injuries suffered in the accident. The first job of any experienced truck accident attorney is to scrutinize the accident and the regulations to identify any connection between the two.
There are several distinct types of truck accidents. Each is associated with fairly specific injury patterns and causes, and each presents different problems in proving who caused—and should be responsible for the injuries suffered in—a truck accident:
Big rig accidents are a cause of many deaths and truly severe injuries. The very nature of the big rigs or semi trucks unfortunately also makes them susceptible to accidents:
The combination of injury severity and susceptibility to accident makes it imperative that the drivers of these vehicles be extremely well trained and trustworthy, and explains why the federal regulations are so extensive. That also places a great deal of responsibility on the companies who hire these drivers.
Unfortunately, the long haul freight business in which most big rigs operate tends to involve very complicated relationships. It’s often not even clear who owns the rig; it might be the driver, but it’s often a separate transport company or another third party. Sometimes it’s the shipper. Untangling the relationships is the initial step in any big rig accident case.
Accidents involving delivery trucks often involve unique legal problems. A prominent factor is that many companies place severe time pressure on their drivers; UPS is infamous for this. Delivery drivers may place time pressure on themselves for various reasons. These pressures are a strong incentive for risky behaviors that invite accidents:
Delivery truck accidents often occur because of problems associated with their cargo, such as spillage, overloading that causes tire blowouts, and improper loading that results in shifting cargo and loss of control of the truck.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, responsibility for a delivery truck accident may fall on the truck driver, the driver’s immediate superior, the owner of the truck, the party whose goods are being delivered, even a government agency or department responsible for road maintenance.
It’s hard to overstate how important it is get the help of an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident. It’s crucial to preserve and gather every bit of evidence in order determine precisely what happened during the accident and in the time just before it. The ability to recover compensation will depend on establishing, at a minimum:
If you have been involved in a truck accident, call Baltimore personal injury attorney G. Randolph Rice today for experienced legal representation that gets results. The initial consultation is entirely free and you pay absolutely nothing until you receive your compensation award. Call us today! 410-844-5333