Beltway and interstate accidents can be highly dangerous for drivers and passengers on the road. Although all traffic accidents can lead to serious or fatal injuries, beltway and interstate accidents are especially deadly because drivers travel at high speeds. Making a call immediately to Maryland beltway and interstate accident lawyers if you have been in a serious accident will help you recover the most compensation from your claim.
You should be careful on every interstate and beltway that you travel, and you should be especially cautious on Maryland interstates and beltways. Every year, around 115,555 wrecks occur in Maryland, and 10% of those accidents occur on Maryland’s dangerous interstates.
A traffic accident on a Maryland interstate or beltway can lead to serious injuries that impact you for the rest of your life. If you’re involved in a crash caused by someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for your medical bills and any wages you lose because of your injuries. A serious injury can impair you for the rest of your life and impact your ability to work, so you need to hold the responsible person accountable to recover compensation.
If you need legal assistance in a personal injury case contact the Maryland beltway and interstate accident lawyers at Zirkin & Schmerling Law. We’ve helped numerous Baltimore and Maryland residents recover the damages they deserved for medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and more.
Deadliest Maryland Interstates
Maryland has 16 different interstates, and our state includes nearly 528 miles of the National Interstate System. Our primary interstates are I-68, I-70, I-81, I-83, I-95, and I-97. Of those six interstates, four are considered to be in the top 100 most dangerous interstates in America. The National Highway Safety Administration determined the most dangerous interstates by the number of fatalities per mile. Be especially careful when traversing the four following interstates:
Interstate 70 is 93.62 miles of road, connecting the Pennsylvania line to Baltimore. Between 2004 and 2008, 59 people lost their lives in deadly traffic accidents, and it was considered the 81st most dangerous interstate in the United States with .52 fatalities per mile.
Interstate 97 is only 18 miles and runs from Parole to Ferndale. It’s considered the 69th most dangerous interstate because it had 11 fatalities between 2004 and 2008, meaning that the interstate had .57 fatalities per mile.
Interstate 83 appeared as the 53rd most dangerous interstate on the National Highway Safety Administration’s list. It’s only 34.5 miles, yet it had 28 fatalities between 2004 and 2008. This means that I-83 had .67 fatalities per mile.
Interstate 95 is especially dangerous, and it’s the longest-running interstate in Maryland. It’s just over 110 miles and runs from Virginia to Delaware. The interstate runs straight through Baltimore, which has a great deal of traffic. The interstate claimed 120 lives between 2004 and 2008, meaning that there were .97 fatalities per mile. It’s the 23rd most dangerous interstate in America.
Causes of Beltway and Interstate Accidents
Many different contributing factors can lead to a minor or serious crash on interstates and beltways. Often there are multiple causes leading to an accident.
Some common causes of traffic accidents include:
Most truck drivers are cautious and drive reasonably, but many trucks have caused deadly interstate and beltway accidents. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, large trucks contribute to over 500,000 wrecks yearly, and many of those lead to injuries and fatalities.
Interstates and beltways feature numerous trucks, and crashing with a truck can have life-threatening consequences. Semi-trucks can weigh 80,000 pounds, and that significant weight can cause devastating wrecks. Injuries caused by semi-trucks are often much more serious than those caused by standard passenger vehicles.
Trucks can also lose their freight or load on the road, causing serious accidents and delays. On July 1, 2021, a truck overturned on the Capital Beltway, spilling deadly liquid asphalt all over the road, leading to lengthy traffic delays. Fortunately, no one was killed in the accident, but the truck driver was taken to the hospital. The incident shows that trucks often carry dangerous loads that can potentially end someone’s life.
The AAA Foundation stated that road debris contributes to 25,000 wrecks in North America every year, leading to around 90 fatalities and many more injuries.
Some causes of road debris include:
- Trucks losing freight
- Parts falling from cars
- Shredded tires
- Furniture falling from vehicles
Road debris on an interstate and beltway can be highly dangerous because drivers travel at great speeds. It’s often impossible to avoid debris, and these collisions can cause devastating or fatal injuries.
Driving the Wrong Way
Tragically, people sometimes become confused when using interstates or beltways and travel in the wrong direction. They may miss a sign and enter an exit ramp by mistake, leading to a serious head-on collision.
Wrong-way accidents are especially dangerous on interstates and beltways because of high-speed traffic. The force from a head-on collision can easily end someone’s life or permanently disable them.
Bad weather conditions can contribute to serious accidents. Ice on the road may significantly impact your ability to slow or stop your vehicle, and inclement weather can also impact your ability to see the road ahead.
Driving While Impaired
People who drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause life-threatening accidents. Substances and alcohol impair a person’s ability to make decisions, and they can impact a driver’s motor functions and response time. Even legal drugs can affect a person’s ability to drive their vehicle safely.
Driving while distracted can lead to a fatal wreck. Even taking your eyes off the road for a second can cause a devastating accident. Common distractions include texting, adjusting the radio, talking on the phone, eating, and self-grooming.
Driving While Fatigued
Driving while tired can impair your judgment and your reaction time. You may even fall asleep at the wheel. Around 1,500 people die every year because of accidents caused by tired drivers.
Construction zones often lead to traffic congestion, and many drivers fail to reduce their speeds when entering a construction zone, resulting in rear-end collisions.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one-third of all fatal vehicular accidents involved a speeding driver. Higher speeds are far more likely to result in serious or fatal injuries, so it’s critical for Maryland drivers to not go over the speed limit on interstates and beltways.
Damages in Beltway and Interstate Accidents
If you’re injured in a vehicular accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may qualify for different forms of damages. Every crash and personal injury case is unique, but some common benefits include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Additionally, if you lost a loved one in a car accident, you can file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death benefits include medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of a parent, loss of consortium, and funeral and burial costs.
Contributory Negligence in Maryland Interstate and Beltway Accidents
One critical factor in recovering damages that you need to be aware of is the fact that Maryland is a contributory negligence state. Most states are comparative negligence states, meaning that if you are partially at fault for a wreck, that will negatively impact the amount you can recover from the other party in personal injury compensation. Multiple people can be found at fault for a wreck, and the degree to which they’re at fault is assigned a percentage. For example, if someone merges into your vehicle but you were speeding at the time of the wreck, the person who wrecked into you could be assigned 90% of the blame while you’re assigned 10%.
In contributory negligence states like Maryland, you cannot recover compensation from the other driver if you were partially at fault. Even if a driver wrecks into you, you can’t recover compensation if you share partial blame.
Sadly, this is also the case in wrongful death claims. If the victim is assigned partial blame for the incident, their beneficiaries will not be able to recover damages.
Why Maryland Beltway and Interstate Accident Lawyers Can Help
Because Maryland is a contributory negligence state, insurance companies often attempt to prove that a victim is partially to blame for an accident in order to avoid paying for their bills. They’ll do whatever it takes to evade paying your medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and other damages you may deserve from your wreck.
Maryland beltway and interstate accident lawyers can help you prove that you were not partially to blame for your accident. They’ll fight for you in and out of court to prove that the other driver was solely responsible and that the wreck directly caused your injuries. A seasoned attorney will gather evidence like eyewitness testimonies, motor accident reconstruction experts, and medical experts to corroborate the fact that the other driver is liable for your injuries.
Additionally, a personal injury attorney can maximize the amount you can receive in damages. Often, insurance companies will offer victims a settlement, but it will be much less than the amount they deserve. Don’t let insurance companies take advantage of your injuries — contact a personal injury attorney to receive the money you deserve.
Contact a Maryland Beltway and Interstate Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a Maryland interstate or beltway accident, you need legal support to fight on your behalf. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Zirkin & Schmerling Law Office. We’ve helped individual personal injury victims receive millions of dollars in damages, and we can help you with your Maryland car accident case. Call our office at 410-753-4611, or you can schedule a free case consultation here.