FAQs About Truck Accidents in Maryland
Truck accidents are often devastating. Many result in enormous pain and other costs for victims and their families. If you have suffered damages due to the negligence of a trucker or trucking company, get in touch with the dedicated Maryland personal injury attorneys at Alpert Schreyer today. The insurance company may give you a tough time, but we’ll ensure your rights to a full and fair settlement are protected. For more information, please call us today at 1(844)-MDCRASH.
What are the most common contributory factors behind accidents between commercial trucks and automobiles?
I crashed into a truck that was carrying toxic materials. The incident left me with an illness related to the materials. Can I file a lawsuit against the shipper of the chemicals along with the truck driver?
Q: What are the most common contributory factors behind accidents between commercial trucks and automobiles?
A: A truck accident can occur due to driver error or mechanical failure. Examples of driver error include distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, changing lanes without looking, and failing to navigate turns properly. Motorists in automobiles may cause an accident by staying in a truck’s blind spot. And as for mechanical failures, certain vital parts of the truck may break due to inadequate maintenance or being defective. Brakes and tires especially should be kept in good condition since disastrous accidents can result when they fail.
Q: I crashed into a truck that was carrying toxic materials. The incident left me with an illness related to the materials. Can I file a lawsuit against the shipper of the chemicals along with the truck driver?
A: The shipper can be held liable for damages if s/he failed to notify the trucker and/or trucking company of the dangerous nature of the transported material, or otherwise failed to exercise their standard duty of care. To prove the shipper’s negligence, you must be able to determine that the shipper failed to adhere to certain standards and that the failure directly contributed to the accident.
Q: What is a truck’s “No-Zone?”
A: A commercial truck, being lengthier than the average automobile, has multiple blind spots: the left rear quarter, the right rear quarter, and directly behind the truck. These areas are referred to as the “No-Zone.” Motorists are highly advised not to linger in these areas any longer than they have to.
Q: Can I sue the truck driver’s trucking company for damages?
A: If there is an employment relationship established between the truck driver and the trucking company, then the company can be held liable for the driver’s negligence under a legal theory called “respondeat superior.” However, it may be more difficult to hold the company responsible if the driver is an independent contractor.
Q: I was injured in a jackknife accident. Am I automatically qualified for compensation?
A: Not necessarily. Driver error is not the only thing that contributes to jackknife accidents. In some cases, the driver may be forced to jackknife to avoid another potentially more devastating accident, such as avoiding a vehicle that suddenly stops. Bad road conditions may also contribute to a jackknife accident. Even if the truck driver/company is not responsible, you may still recover damages from the liable third party or from the uninsured motorist coverage of your own auto policy.
Q: I may have been partially at fault for the truck accident. Can I still recover damages?
A: Unfortunately, Maryland is one of the few states that follow the doctrine of pure contributory negligence, under which an accident victim may be barred from recovery of any damages if s/he is found to be even just partially at fault.
If you have any other questions relating to your specific case, don’t hesitate to contact Alpert Schreyer for answers.