Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyer | Zirkin & Schmerling Law

Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyer

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    How a Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You Recover After Being Hit By A Truck Driver

    best personal injury attorney maryland

    Every year, hundreds of residents in Maryland are injured in semi-truck and tractor-trailer accidents. Busy Maryland roadways have all kinds of road hazards, confusing turns, high-speed lanes, extreme weather conditions, and construction zones that contribute to these catastrophes.

    Truck driver error is often a contributor, too: excessive speeding, driver fatigue, distracted driving, failure to understand the rules, and driving while impaired or under the influence.

    Whether you’re suffering from physical pain, psychological damage, or financial distress, our Baltimore truck accident lawyers can help you heal and move forward. Give a Baltimore truck accident lawyer at Zirkin & Schmerling a call today at 410-753-4611.

    $325,000 Truck Accident Settlement

    Our client made a legal U-turn after ensuring all oncoming traffic had passed. While making the U-turn, a delivery truck, positioned at a red light, made a right turn on red and collided with our client, pushing her car. There was minimal damage to our client’s vehicle and none to the delivery truck. Two initial mistakes were made after the accident. Our client opted not to involve the police and didn’t seek immediate medical attention. However, as is with many injuries, symptoms were a bit delayed and our client did incur a shoulder injury, leading to eventual surgery.

    Initially, the opposing party asserted our client’s fault for the U-turn and refrained from making an offer. However, before reaching trial, they eventually extended an offer of $325,000.

    Prevalence of Baltimore Truck Accidents

    accidents involving tractor trailers

    Accidents involving tractor-trailers and semi-trucks are some of the most traumatic on Maryland roads. They’re much more likely to cause a fatality or life-altering truck accident injury due to the extreme forces involved.

    According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, about 11% of annual fatal car accidents involve a large truck, 30% involve speeding and 15% involve rollover accidents.

    Fatalities of Truck Accident Victims

    Every year, 55,000 auto injuries occur in Maryland and 635 Maryland people die in vehicle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    Half of Maryland auto deaths are people under age 40.30% of all deaths are people aged 29 and younger. Tragically, 5% are young children.

    For immediate legal help, contact our experienced truck accident attorneys for a free case evaluation today.

    Have you been injured in a truck accident? Contact our Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation.
    Zirkin and Schmerling Law
    Free Case Evaluation

    Type of Injuries From a Baltimore Truck Accident

    passenger car injuries

    In accidents involving trucks and passenger cars, the passengers tend to have much more serious injuries than the truck driver. A study of 43,000 crashes by the National Institutes for Health finds no fatalities for drivers hired by trucking companies, while 82% of the passenger car inhabitants were either injured or killed.

    With non-fatal injuries, some are apparent immediately while others aren’t obvious until a long while later. You’ll notice a broken leg right away but a persistent back injury might reveal itself hours, days, or weeks after truck accidents.

    Most Common Types of Semi-Truck Accident Catastrophic Injuries

    Back Injuries

    A back injury commonly happens in a truck accident due to the huge and sudden impact involved. Rear-end collisions are responsible for a high proportion of back injuries sustained because the rear vehicle suddenly collides with the front vehicle and jolts the spine, vertebrae, and discs of the occupants inside. When truck accidents occur, they’re a common source of sprained backs, strained backs, and spinal fractures.

    Shoulder Injuries

    A shoulder injury can be extremely painful. Shoulder injuries happen in all kinds of auto collisions, especially side impacts and corner impacts that twist the car and the people inside. A torn rotator cuff occurs when the tendons in the arm are separated from the joint/socket of the shoulder. This is a very difficult personal injury to heal and may require extensive rehabilitation.

    Bone Fractures

    Broken bones frequently happen in truck collisions because the smaller passenger vehicle can’t withstand the impact of a huge truck. If the truck creates an impact on your body, your bones may break under the force. You may also suffer broken bones from your safety precautions, like the airbag or seat belt.

    Brain Injuries

    One of the most severe common truck accident injuries a person can suffer in a trucking accident is a brain injury. It often happens with head on collisions, a rollover truck accident, or underride truck accidents. It also can happen during whiplash, when the brain moves inside the skull with high force, or it may occur due to blunt force trauma to the head. Unfortunately, some brain injuries are irreversible and may cause life-altering consequences for the victim.

    Neck Injuries and Spinal Cord Injuries

    In a semi-truck accident, a neck injury or spinal cord injury can be just as serious as a back or head injury. You may have whiplash, which occurs from a sudden impact, or a spinal or disc displacement. Neck injuries tend to be painful and difficult to heal and are frequently the source of long-term suffering. Like all injuries, a neck injury should be evaluated by a medical professional as quickly as possible after the truck accident.

    Internal Injuries

    Internal injuries sustained in a commercial vehicle accident are some of the most serious injuries. This type of personal injury is typically invisible and requires immediate medical treatment to prevent death or permanent disability. Medical treatment can include surgery and require a lengthy recovery. Both the driver of the commercial vehicle and the other vehicles are susceptible to this type of personal injury.

    Have you been injured in a truck accident? Contact our Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation.
    Zirkin and Schmerling Law
    Free Case Evaluation

    Maryland Semi-Truck Accident Laws a Trucking Company Have to Abide By

    maryland truck accident laws

    Commercial vehicles are subject to state and federal regulations about how, when, and where they operate. The state of Maryland requires all commercial truck drivers of big rigs to learn the Maryland Motor Carriers’ Handbook and hold a commercial driver’s license. Truck drivers and their commercial vehicles are subject to rigorous rules, testing and inspection, and federal regulations.

    Failure to familiarize themselves with the rules for commercial vehicle drivers can cost truckers their driver’s licenses. Sometimes it can even cost their freedom.

    Maryland’s Most Notorious Case

    Many Maryland residents remember a famous case from the 1990’s when a Maryland trucking company was accused of falsifying documents and forcing their truck drivers to stay on the road for excessive hours. Gunther’s Transport, Inc., run by Mark Gunther, routinely skirted the law and failed to meet federal trucking regulations, which allegedly led to several serious accidents and injuries on Maryland roads. As a result, Gunther received a 30-month jail term for his role in the scheme.

    Sadly, even going to jail didn’t stop Gunther. After he got out of jail, his firm was later held liable for another trucking accident that caused permanent brain damage and disability to Brian Buber. Buber was the passenger in a pickup truck that was hit by one of Gunther’s trucks. Buber’s family won a $13 million judgment against Gunther, and Gunther tried to avoid paying it by filing for bankruptcy.

    The Moral of the Gunther’s Transport Story

    What these stories show is that no matter how strict Maryland’s laws are for commercial vehicles, semi-trucks, and tractor trailers, some companies will still fail to follow the law. When trucking companies cause harm to the citizens of Maryland, these injured people must stand up for their rights and sue to receive the full medical treatment, care, and other damages they deserve.

    Have you been injured in a truck accident? Contact our Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation.
    Zirkin and Schmerling Law
    Free Case Evaluation

    Who to Trust After a Truck Injury

    Be cautious about trusting anyone’s advice, other than that of your accident lawyer, in the days following a truck-related accident. As the authorities and insurance companies work to assign blame for what happened, you may receive an offer from the trucking insurance company to take a quick payment.

    This is very important to remember: An insurance company will always offer you far less than the amount of minimum insurance coverage you deserve under the law. Don’t be fooled. They only have their own best interests at heart. If your accident lawyer can prove negligence, the trucker may not be held personally responsible for your financial damages, but their employer could be, and insurance companies won’t tell you that.

    zirkin and schmerling truck accident attorneys

    Your Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyer Will Help You Find the Driver or Trucking Company and Put the Blame Where it Belongs.

    With the help of a Maryland auto accident lawyer, you can refuse the offer from the trucker’s insurance company and file a civil lawsuit instead. The results are usually much better and you’ll be happier with your settlement in the end.

    What are the Most Dangerous Intersections in Baltimore for Semi-Truck Accidents?

    semi-truck accident damages

    Each year, 25% to 40% of all Maryland traffic accidents happen at intersections. That’s because intersections are confusing, unpredictable places where many things are happening at once. Many vehicles of all shapes and sizes are coming together in one central spot, so an increased opportunity for a collision exists.

    Urban Baltimore is a particularly hazardous zone for semi-trucks and is one of the busiest trucking cities. With its combination of old-fashioned roads and high-speed expressways, Baltimore is a minefield for truckers to navigate. When they misjudge a turn or merge unexpectedly, your passenger vehicle can be the unfortunate victim of their mistake. Serious injuries sustained are all too common and often merit an accident lawyer to file a personal injury claim.

    Five Most Dangerous Intersections for Semi-Truck Accidents

    Here’s a countdown of the five most dangerous intersections for semi-truck accidents, according to the National Highway Travel Safety Administration and the Baltimore Sun:

    #5: Orleans/GayEnsor Streets

    Just west of the Jones Falls Expressway in western Baltimore is the congested area of Orleans, Gay, and Ensor Streets. The street splits suddenly and catches people off guard, especially truckers who aren’t from the area. All it takes is one tractor-trailer driver to get confused, wedge their vehicle into the tight intersection, and cause an accident with personal injury.

    #4: Jones Falls Expressway/West Cold Spring Lane

    This is an extremely busy area at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, when workday traffic spills out from the expressway and clogs the Cold Spring Lane area. Traffic statistics show an average of 30 accidents a year occurring here, especially side-swipes that happen when vehicles try to rush through the area at high speed.

    #3: Jones Falls Expressway/Northern Parkway

    This is another Jones Falls Expressway exit where truckers often get confused and frustrated with traffic. As the expressway and parkway meet, speeds vary. Lanes of traffic come together and truck drivers fail to merge smoothly. More than 35 crashes happen here in a typical year.

    #2: Gwynns Falls Parkway/Reisterstown Road

    The NHTSA rates this the #1 most dangerous intersection in Maryland for passenger vehicles and it’s also quite risky for truckers. You know what we’re talking about: People ignore the traffic signals, rev their cars at traffic lights, and grow impatient with the congestion that inevitably occurs. About 45 crashes per year happen here.

    #1: Any Exit/Entrance Ramp On the Jones Falls Expressway/Interstate 83

    An investigation by the Baltimore Sun finds that, while most roadways in Baltimore are about as hazardous for passenger cars as truckers, the Jones Falls Expressway/Interstate 83 had a rate of crashes more than twice as high as any other comparable Maryland highway primarily due to truck-involved crashes.

    In the year studied, there were 38 crashes per mile and the risk was elevated at the entrance and exit points. As a passenger vehicle driver, if you can avoid the expressway, it’s a good idea. But if you can’t avoid it and are injured in an accident with a trucker, report it to the state of Maryland and sue the trucking company to get the reimbursement you deserve.

    Possible Damages Awarded for Your Semi-Truck Accident

    After a semi-truck accident, you may have extensive injuries and property damage. You may be eligible to receive an array of damages. Consider whether you have suffered any of the following damages and discuss them with your trucking accident attorney.

    Medical Expenses Due to a Trucking Accident

    Maryland uses a rule called the collateral source rule to allow plaintiffs who have been injured in auto and truck accidents to recover damages for medical expenses. Even if the defendant truck manufacturer’s insurance company covered your costs, you can still use the collateral source rule. You may be able to recover damages for past and future medical expenses that can be attributed to the collision with the semi-truck.

    Property Damage Caused by the Semi-Truck

    Trucking accidents cause extreme damage to the vehicles involved. While the big rig may survive mostly intact, because the truck manufacturer designs them to be heavy and strong, there is a high likelihood that a passenger car will be destroyed due to the forces involved. Sue to recover the cost of your vehicle and possibly other property that was destroyed inside the vehicle at the time of the collision.

    Lost Income After the Truck Collision

    Semi-truck accidents can justify personal injury lawsuits because the drivers typically need long periods of recovery time. Your injury could be extensive and prevent you from working. If you missed workdays or lost business as a result of the truck accident, hold the trucking company responsible. A lawsuit can help you recover both past and future lost wages/income.

    Pain & Suffering Since the Accident         

    After coming close to losing your life in a trucking collision, the pain and suffering you experience can be deeply emotionally damaging. The truck accident itself is traumatic, but the effects of traumatic brain injuries don’t end there. You could have mental and physical effects for a lifetime. Your Baltimore truck accident lawyer can help you seek compensation for your suffering.

    Have you been injured in a truck accident? Contact our Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation.
    Zirkin and Schmerling Law
    Free Case Evaluation

    Defendants Commonly Involved in Maryland Semi-Truck Accidents

    Trucking accidents can be complex and involve multiple parties. After an accident, stay on the scene and contact the police. Gather information from the trucker, including the name and contact information for their employer and insurer. You’ll need this information later to pursue a lawsuit against the trucking company. Common types of drivers and other enterprises involved in a semi-truck accident include:

    Individual Commercial Truck Drivers

    In a collision with a semi-truck, you are the individual (passenger car) driver. Your insurance company may be involved in investigating the incident and conclude where the fault lies. They will ask you for evidence, including the other driver’s contact information. Never assume even your auto insurance has your best interests in mind without talking to your experienced truck accident lawyer.

    Commercial Vehicle and Semi-Truck Drivers

    The truck driver is sometimes known as a commercial vehicle operator if they are driving on behalf of a commercial company. They may also be driving on behalf of a different type of enterprise, like a church, nonprofit organization, or school. Maryland has specific laws for heavy-duty trucks, including nationwide companies that run thousands of trucks across Maryland roads. Both the commercial truck driver and their employer, plus the defendant’s insurance company are usually responsible for damages you suffer as the result of a truck accident.

    Owner/Operators

    Sometimes the truck driver is an independent driver who owns the truck they drive and doesn’t work for one of the traditional trucking companies. In this case, you may be able to hold them personally liable for your damages and justify a personal injury case. Unfortunately, independent truck company drivers/owners are more likely to be some of Maryland’s 12% of all uninsured citizens. These situations can quickly become complex to manage and you should consult a Maryland truck accident attorney for advice.

    Government Drivers

    State and local governments can be sued for truck accidents their employees cause while driving government-owned trucks and vans. It’s also possible that the government can be held liable for poorly maintained roads, walkways, traffic devices, and so forth that contributed to the accident. Under Maryland law, the state has a duty to keep its citizens reasonably safe.

    What is the Deadline to File a Personal Injury Claim or Semi-Truck Accident Lawsuit in Maryland?

    When injured in large truck accidents, injuries are likely to be quite severe. Your top priority will be healing and recovering from your injuries – but don’t wait too long before contacting our Baltimore truck accident lawyers, or you may lose your chance to file a lawsuit.

    Maryland has a statute of limitations on personal injury claims of three years from the date of an injury, including those involving truck accidents (a Baltimore truck accident lawyer should know when your claim needs to be filed.)

    As stated in Maryland Code Ann. Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-101: “A civil action at law shall be filed within three years from the date it accrues unless another provision of the Code provides a different period of time within which an action shall be commenced.”

    This means unless a different law makes an exception, you have three years to file your truck accident claim. That might sound like enough time but the statute of limitations will pass faster than you might expect.

    Within three years, you must try to heal from your personal injury, secure medical and financial documentation, retain any evidence gathered at the scene, and handle all of the legal ins and outs with your Baltimore truck accident lawyer.

    What if I Try to File Later?

    Remember your three-year timetable is based on the date of the accident, not the date you reported it, the date an insurance company contacts you, or the date of your medical bills. You may have lingering after-effects for many years, like psychological damage and emotional trauma. Nevertheless, the three-year limit applies.

    If you allow the statute of limitations to expire, it is rarely extended by the court and would likely require special circumstances. Don’t gamble on your personal injury claim being barred from filing. Find an experienced Baltimore truck accident lawyer to help as soon as possible after the truck crash.

    Have you been injured in a truck accident? Contact our Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation.
    Zirkin and Schmerling Law
    Free Case Evaluation

    We Can Help Your File On Time and Get The Settlement You Deserve

    In the moments after a truck accident, you’ll be overwhelmed by sounds, sights, pain, and fear. Emergency responders will arrive to help. You’ll hear confusing messages from doctors and police officers and you might not even remember what happened.

    Despite all of this chaos, here’s what you need to do following your accident to protect your rights:

    • Call 911 or contact emergency help immediately.
    • Remember to preserve all evidence you can, like in-car video footage, accident reports, and paperwork from your insurance company.
    • Contact an experienced Baltimore truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.
    • Begin recording lost days from work.
    • Request a copy of the police report or work with your attorney to do so.
    • Keep track of all visits to the hospital and doctor, including physical therapy and other long-term treatments you pursue as a result of the accident.
    • Document every out-of-pocket expense you make, including fixing damage to your vehicle, towing fees, and the cost to replace personal property that was inside the vehicle.
    • Use a Maryland licensed/authorized safety inspection repair shop to examine and repair your vehicle. Approve all repairs in advance while working with your insurance company and attorney.
    • Never talk to the trucking company’s representatives, truck accident claims adjusters, or other representatives without discussing it with your attorney first.

    Don’t Trust The Insurance Company to Handle My Compensation

    Today, trucking commercial insurance companies are paying less and less to the victims of trucking accidents. That’s outrageous. Never settle for a quick check from a trucking company’s insurance company because it won’t even begin to compensate you fully.

    Zirkin & Schmerling Law will help you hold the right party responsible after your semi-truck accident. During this difficult time, we want to help you receive the compensation that helps you move on with your life. 

    Presumed Liability

    In most truck accident cases, Maryland law presumes liability for rear-end collisions falls on the rear driver. If a stopped vehicle is struck from behind by a semi-truck, the semi-truck is automatically assumed to be at fault. There are exceptions to this general rule, so it’s important to document the accident as thoroughly as possible.

    Breach Of Contract Cases

    It’s possible that you may have a breach of contract case against someone after your trucking accident. For example, this can happen if a party involved fails to perform within a certain timeframe or fails to come through at all.

    Wrongful Death and Survival Action

    If the death of a loved one occurred as a result of the semi-truck accident, you have rights under two actions: the wrongful death action and the survival action.

    The wrongful death action allows relatives of truck accident victims to seek compensation for the accidental death. The survival action seeks to reimburse the victim’s estate for all of the pain, suffering, and other damages the truck accident victim experienced up to the moment of their death.

    To pursue a personal injury claim, you’ll need to prove harm to your loved ones and harm to the truck accident victims themselves. It is a complex and emotionally challenging process so it’s crucial to hire an experienced truck accident lawyer to help you.

    Have you been injured in a truck accident? Contact our Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation.
    Zirkin and Schmerling Law
    Free Case Evaluation

    Contact an Experienced Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyer in Maryland

    client testimonial

    After a commercial vehicle accident in Maryland, you’ll need an experienced Baltimore truck accident attorney to file your truck accident claim. Here are some important factors experienced truck accident lawyers to consider.

    1. Experience. Does the truck accident lawyer have the credentials to represent you? Are the accident lawyers experienced with serious commercial truck collisions and knowledgeable about a situation like yours? Not all accident lawyers are, so be sure to ask for proof.
    2. Results. Good accident lawyers have a solid history of getting high-dollar results for their clients. Can your personal injury attorney name high-dollar verdicts they have received for their clients in semi-truck lawsuits? We can.
    3. Reputation. Not all personal injury lawyers are effective. The insurance companies and trucking companies know that Zirkin & Schmerling’s accident lawyers get results for our clients and that helps you get the settlement you deserve.

    We can’t erase the damage done by large commercial vehicles and truck drivers, but we can give you the representation and advocacy you deserve going forward. To learn more, call a Baltimore truck accident lawyer Zirkin & Schmerling Law today at 410-753-4611 for a free consultation.

    Video Transcript
    Hi, my name is Bobby Zirkin of Zirkin and Schmerling Law. And if you’ve been involved in an accident with a semi truck, you need a team of experienced attorneys to handle that type of a case. They often have very large injuries since you’re dealing with a very large vehicle and you need attorneys who are experienced to deal with the insurance companies, to deal with the attorneys on the other side. These are trucking companies that have very large firms often that are working with them while you focus on your recovery. These are cases that have big injuries, they often take many months if not years to get through.

    And at Zirkin and Schmerling Law, whether your case is big or small, we handle them all with the same energy, the same degree of hard work. We treat every client like they’re a member of our family. We have a team of attorneys that will work on these cases to make sure and get good results for you while you focus on your recovery. It’s important that you have attorneys that have experience in these matters. At Zirkin and Schmerling Law we’ve handle many of these cases. And so while you are getting better and getting back to where you were before the accident, you know that you have attorneys that know what they’re doing, that are willing to go toe to toe with these law firms. And we’ll get you the best result we possibly can.

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