Getting into an accident with another car is a frightening experience, but colliding with an 18-wheeler or other large truck can be totally devastating. These hazardous collisions often cause horrifying injuries, severe mental trauma, and serious property damage. Read on to get the facts about truck accidents, understand these complex insurance claims, and get in touch with a Maryland truck accident attorney.
Why Are Truck Accidents So Dangerous?
Each year in the United States, over 100,000 people sustain serious or life-threatening injuries as a result of these brutal collisions. In 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, recorded over 400,000 large truck collisions. Roughly 80,000 of these crashes led to injuries, and around 3,500 resulted in at least one death.
Large truck accidents are so deadly because these vehicles are, on average, twenty to thirty times heavier than the rest of the vehicles on the road. Here are a few more of the major risk factors that set tractor-trailers apart from other cars:
- A tractor-trailer driver has a much larger blind spot than the one that you need to watch out for in your car. Most tractor-trailers have several spots, located at both the rear and sides of the truck, that their drivers call “no zones.” Any vehicles in these large "no zones" are completely invisible to the driver, making some collisions almost inevitable.
- Tractor-trailers also take much longer to accelerate and stop than an ordinary car, which frequently cause them to rear-end other drivers or collide while joining and exiting the freeway.
- Some tractor-trailers transport hazardous materials such as gasoline or nuclear waste. A collision can ignite these materials, causing severe injuries.
- Many tractor-trailer drivers work long shifts with very few breaks and very little sleep. Although governmental regulations demand that trucking companies give drivers regular rest breaks, these rules have loosened in recent years and are not always observed. When drivers are required to work without enough sleep, accident rates predictably climb. Some drivers use prescription drugs to stay awake, but this often has the undesired effect of numbing observational skills and lengthening response times.
- Sometimes, because of massive maintenance and repair costs, tractor-trailers are not kept in ideal road safety condition. A faulty brake pad, busted transmission, or improperly inflated tires all present serious risks to other drivers.
Because tractor-trailers are so much larger and difficult to maneuver than a sedan or SUV, even the slightest collision can total your car and gravely injure the people inside.
If you feel like you need some legal help, contact our Truck Accident Law attorney to schedule a free case evaluation today.
Who Is Responsible For A Maryland Truck Accident?
After an accident involving a large truck, drivers and passengers of other vehicles are usually able to file claims against several responsible parties. Here are some of the people and groups that may share liability for your truck accident:
- The truck’s driver
- The truck’s owner or lessee
- The truck’s maintenance and cargo loading teams
- The trucking company that employed the truck’s driver
- The manufacturer of the truck or any of its parts
As you can probably tell from the number of potential parties involved, truck accident cases are much more complex than a regular fender-bender between two cars. Maryland truck accident attorneys can evaluate your situation and determine the best way to move forward with your claim.
Do I Need To Hire A Maryland Truck Accident Attorney?
Since truck accidents can cause immense damage and trauma, their victims can make a claim for injuries and medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. As mentioned above, truck accident victims can often file suit against multiple parties. In addition, since truck accidents can cause a large amount of damage, most truck drivers and trucking companies are required to carry larger insurance policies than everyone else on the road. Higher insurance limits means that there is a larger pot of money that the insurance company could have to distribute to a victim. After a truck accident, finding the right attorney is essential to securing the best possible settlement.
Everyone who is injured or otherwise harmed in a truck accident should receive total compensation for their suffering, but sadly not everyone does. Hire a dedicated, knowledgeable Maryland truck accident attorney to ensure that you receive every penny to which you are entitled. At Zirkin and Schmerling Law, we have years of experience helping Maryland residents like you fight for the settlements they deserve. Call us at 410-753-4611 today.