Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer
Trucking accidents are some of the most devastating on the road. Victims struggle with serious and sometimes life-threatening injuries, and many die.
Truck driver fatigue is an all-too-common cause of these trucking accidents—and one of the easiest to avoid. Federal regulations strictly mandate that truckers receive sufficient rest before getting behind the wheel. Unfortunately, trucking companies frequently ignore these rules, leading to inevitable accidents. If you or a loved one was injured in a crash, contact Alpert Schreyer today.
Federal Safety Regulations
According to federal government guidelines, commercial vehicle drivers must abide by “hours of service” regulations. According to these regulations, commercial vehicle drivers carrying property:
- May only drive 11 consecutive hours after 10 consecutive hours off
- Cannot drive after working for 14 hours without taking 10 consecutive hours off
- Must have at least a 30-minute rest break every eight hours, or the trucker cannot drive
- Cannot drive after 60/70 hours in 7/8 consecutive days
Unfortunately, many drivers succumb to tight deadlines and industry-wide pressure to save money by keeping tired drivers on the road. Instead of getting the required rest, drivers fudge their logbooks and take amphetamines or other drugs to try to stay awake.
According to investigative reports, about 30 percent of drivers interviewed admitted that they had exceeded the hours of service requirements. Another six percent admitted to driving excess hours in a previous month. In all, nearly 40 percent of drivers have broken federal law and driven too much. Even more disturbing: About 20 percent of drivers admitted to falling asleep while behind the wheel of their rigs. The results are often tragic.
Driving While Fatigued
Despite federal regulations, many drivers are still getting behind the wheels of big rigs without adequate sleep. According to estimates by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, about 13 percent of commercial vehicle drivers involved in accidents were fatigued.
Fatigue by itself causes accidents. But many drivers also become impaired when they couple fatigue with something else, such as alcohol or drug use, or aggressive driving tactics such as speeding. The tight deadlines truck drivers operate under create incentives for risky behavior, and when truckers are tired, disastrous consequences ensue.
Trucking Accident Injuries
Commercial vehicles are definitely heavier than passenger cars—sometimes 40 times as heavy. When a big rig plows into a car, the driver and passengers can suffer devastating injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Crushed limbs
- Cuts and lacerations
- Skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Organ failure
- Internal injuries, including bleeding and blood clots
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
Some of these injuries are slow to develop, so accident victims might not understand the severity of their injuries until several weeks have passed. Nevertheless, prompt medical treatment is essential to minimize any damage. For example, a spinal cord injury can progress to full paralysis if you do not receive adequate treatment soon after the accident.
Many unsuspecting victims die every year in commercial vehicle accidents. After these tragic accidents, grieving relatives might not know where to turn. Fortunately, Alpert Schreyer represents survivors in wrongful death lawsuits, and we can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Losses Associated With Trucking Accidents
Victims of trucking accidents suffer devastating losses and need financial compensation to allow them to pay their bills and support their families. Once we identify the party at fault for your injuries, we can analyze the full extent of economic and non-economic injuries, such as:
Medical expenses. We can sue to receive compensation for past, present, and future medical care, such as:
- Doctor visits
- Hospital stays
- Rehabilitation costs
- At-home care
- Prescription drugs
- Assistive devices, like crutches, canes, or wheelchairs
- Transportation to the hospital
Past, present, and future lost wages. If your injuries prevent you from returning to work, either temporarily or permanently, we can obtain compensation to replace those lost wages.
Property damage. Your car was probably wrecked in the accident. You can receive compensation to fix your vehicle or replace it.
Pain and suffering. You can receive compensation for all of the physical pain, mental anguish, inconvenience, and disfigurement caused by the trucking accident. These non-economic damages are harder to calculate, but you will probably receive a multiple of your economic damages (medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage).
Wrongful death. If a loved one died in the trucking accident, survivors can receive compensation for a range of injuries, including:
- Lost wages
- Lost financial contributions from the deceased
- Loss of the deceased’s care, guidance, and companionship
- Burial and funeral expenses
A Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
After a devastating truck accident, victims need time to heal, both physically and emotionally. Nevertheless, you need to begin gathering evidence as soon as possible to hold the trucking company accountable for your injuries.
At Alpert Schreyer, our attorneys can quickly investigate a crash to identify whether driver fatigue played a role. For example, we can interview the truck driver as well as any other witnesses who observed the crash or the driver immediately before it happened. We can also request a copy of the logbook to see if the driver has falsified entries.
As part of our investigation, we can visit the scene of the accident and inspect the vehicles involved, which might yield important clues about the cause of the crash. We will carefully comb through the entire factual record as we marshal all of the favorable evidence available in your case.
Based on our analysis, we might uncover that fatigue was only one contributing factor to the accident. Others might include:
- Intoxication or drug use
- Speeding or other aggressive driving tactics
- Negligence or carelessness on the driver’s part
Regardless of the cause, we will fight for full and fair compensation on your behalf.
Contact a Maryland Trucking Accident Attorney
Accident victims and their families do not need to suffer in silence. Instead, the first step to receiving just compensation for your injuries is to pick up the phone and call Alpert Schreyer today. Our trucking accident attorneys are here to answer any questions and assist you as you fight for needed compensation. Call (844) 632-7274 or send a message using our online contact form for a free case evaluation.