Truck accidents can be hazardous. Trucks are usually heavier and generate more force when they impact smaller vehicles. The result can be catastrophic injuries or death. If you were involved in a Maryland truck accident and want compensation for losses, such as medical bills, property damage, or income loss, you first must know how to prove negligence. Establishing negligence is the first step to proving fault.
According to the National Safety Council, in 2021, 42 trucks were involved in fatal accidents in Maryland, representing 5.2% of total vehicles in fatal crashes.
If you lost a loved one in a truck accident and they could have sued the defendant, you can file a wrongful death claim for monetary compensation. As with any truck accident, you must prove negligence caused it and the victim died as a result.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence is acting in a careless way that causes injury to another person. Under this legal principle, the negligent party is liable for harm or damages. The negligent party can be the truck driver, the truck owner, the truck or parts manufacturer, or the cargo loader.
To prove negligence in a Maryland truck accident and pursue a truck accident claim, you must establish the following:
- Duty of Care shows that the defendant owed the other driver and pedestrians a standard of reasonable care to avoid careless acts that could harm others.
- Breach of Duty is when the defendant breaches their duty of care through careless actions such as distracted driving, driving under the influence, disobeying traffic laws, failing to maintain their truck properly, aggressive driving, or speeding.
- Causation proves that the defendant’s breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident.
- Proving there were Damages, such as physical injuries, property damage, or medical expenses, is necessary to pursue compensation.
How to Prove Negligence: Collecting Evidence
Gathering evidence is the first step to establish negligence in a Maryland truck accident. Maryland follows contributory negligence rules. Those rules dictate that you receive no compensation if you were involved in a truck accident and are as little as one percent at fault. That is why you must hire an experienced legal team to help you obtain the evidence you need to determine liability. Evidence may include:
- Police reports typically include contact details for all involved parties and witnesses, notes on immediately apparent injuries, points of impact, vehicle damage, and the driver’s condition.
- Witness statements from anyone passing by or driving in nearby vehicles provide a detailed account of the accident.
- Expert witnesses, such as trucking safety experts or accident reconstruction experts, can help clarify the accident’s cause.
- Medical records include details about the cause and extent of your injuries, a written prognosis, information about the point of impact, quantification of loss of income, and medical bill costs.
- Vehicle inspection reports reveal whether the truck had manufacturing or repair defects.
- A black box recording device may include information about how the driver operated the vehicle, including speed and direction.
- Photos and videos, from dashcam footage and commercial surveillance or security camera footage, also provide important details.
Zirkin & Schmerling: Maryland Truck Accident Attorneys
The truck accident attorneys at Zirkin & Schmerling have the knowledge, expertise, and grit to get you the fair compensation you deserve. We will gather evidence, deal with the insurance companies, and handle all your legal needs so you can focus on your recovery. If you are wondering how to prove negligence after an accident, learn more about a truck accident in Maryland and our services, and contact us for your free consultation – 410-753-4611.