We Seek Justice for Baltimore, MD Semi-Truck Accident Victims
Maryland has a booming trucking industry and a large population. An unfortunate result of those two things is that truck accidents are common across the state. Suffering an injury in a trucking accident can be devastating. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in Baltimore, MD, Ashcraft & Gerel can provide expert representation to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
You don’t have to face the complexities of your truck accident case alone, our experienced truck accident attorneys are here for you. By working with Ashcraft & Gerel, you will have knowledgeable lawyers on your side who understand the regulations that play a role in truck accident claims and the intricacies of handling these kinds of personal injury cases.
Our law firm has served Baltimore for over 70 years. We’ve fought (and won) many cases on behalf of truck accident victims, ensuring they received just compensation. Are you in need of a Baltimore truck accident lawyer? Contact us at (410) 346-3983 for your free case review.
CALL 866-709-0505 OR CONTACT US ONLINE FOR A FREE, CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION.
What Should You Do Immediately After a Truck Accident?
The steps you take immediately following a truck accident are important not only for your personal safety, but for any legal actions you may need to pursue later. Here are some crucial steps to help you navigate through the chaos and secure your interests:
1st Prioritize Medical Attention:
First and foremost, check for injuries and call 911 to report the accident and request medical assistance. You should also ensure everyone involved moves to a safe location away from traffic if possible.
2nd Document the Scene:
Obtain the truck driver’s name, contact and insurance information, driver’s license and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) numbers, employer details, and license plate number. If other drivers were involved, collect similar information from them. Take detailed photos of the scene, including damages to vehicles, road conditions, and any visible injuries.
3rd Gather Witness Information:
If there are witnesses, obtain their contact information and statements if possible.
4th Maintain Silence on Liability:
Avoid discussing the details of the accident or admitting fault with anyone at the scene. You never know what may be used against you when disputing your case.
5th Cooperate with Emergency Personnel:
Provide accurate information to the police and other emergency personnel, ensuring to note down the names and badge numbers of the responders. Police reports are often critical evidence in accident cases.
6th Preserve Evidence:
Keep a record of any medical expenses, repair bills, and other accident-related costs which will be essential when pursuing a claim with the help of your truck accident attorney.
7th Seek Legal Guidance:
After ensuring the safety of all individuals involved and gathering necessary information, consult with a trusted Baltimore truck accident lawyer from Ashcraft & Gerel to understand the nuances of your case and the steps towards getting compensation.
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Why Hire a Baltimore Truck Accident Attorney?
Navigating legal claims and proceeding after a truck accident can be a daunting task. The intricacies of regulations and the need to meet strict deadlines requires an in-depth understanding of the law combined with efficiency. Having a truck accident attorney by your side not only eases the burden but significantly enhances your chances of a favorable outcome.
Our seasoned truck accident lawyers meticulously investigate the accident, gathering pivotal evidence including accident scene photos, witness statements, and medical records. We can also collaborate with accident reconstruction specialists to identify the root cause, be it driver fatigue, speeding, or other negligent behaviors.
Truck accidents often pit individuals against formidable trucking companies armed with attorneys and vast resources, intent on minimizing the compensation they payout. This is where the expertise of a truck accident attorney becomes invaluable. Our dedicated team at Ashcraft & Gerel advocates for your rights, skillfully negotiating on your behalf to ensure you receive the rightful compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and suffering.
When Should You Contact a Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyer?
It’s advisable to contact a Baltimore truck accident lawyer from Ashcraft & Gerel promptly if your accident involved multiple parties, or if you are facing substantial damages or injuries that hinder your ability to work.
Engaging a lawyer early in the process can provide invaluable guidance, especially when you are uncertain about the best legal strategy or if your insurance company is proving to be difficult to work with.
Each accident carries its unique set of circumstances, and a consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Baltimore can clarify your position and the potential advantages of your case. Expert legal counsel is necessary to safeguard your rights and interests, ensuring you are well-informed and supported every step of the way.
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What Are the Most Common Truck Accident Injuries?
The substantial size and weight of trucks often lead to severe injuries when they are involved in accidents, particularly when colliding with smaller vehicles. The impact of such accidents can be life-altering, underscoring the importance of understanding the common injuries sustained in these incidents. Here are the most common truck accident injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury
- Internal organ damage
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Soft tissue damage
- Burn injuries
- Rib and torso injuries
- Seat belt injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Wrongful death
Who Is Liable For Your Injuries In A Truck Accident in Baltimore, MD?
Truck accident cases can become complex partially because it is often difficult to determine who is at fault. This is why it is critical to gather substantial evidence to support your claim. It’s also critical to understand that Maryland is considered an at-fault state following the doctrine of contributory negligence.
Contributory negligence means that even if you are found to be 1% responsible for an accident, it becomes extremely difficult to claim compensation from the other driver. To hold a driver liable you must also be able to prove they owed you a duty of care, violated that duty, and you suffered damages due to that violation.
What can improve your chances of a favorable outcome is your potential to hold several parties liable for the truck accident, including:
- The trucking company
- The insurance company
- The manufacturer of a defective part
- The truck or trailer rig owners
- The cargo loading company
An experienced truck accident lawyer in Baltimore can gather and sort through the evidence to determine who should be held liable for your accident, ensuring you go after the right parties for your compensation.
What Truck Accident Evidence is Collected?
In the wake of a truck accident, gathering comprehensive evidence is crucial for building a solid legal case to claim compensation for your losses. The evidence collected not only helps in establishing the cause and liability of the accident but also in demonstrating the extent of damages and injuries incurred. Here is a list of common truck accident evidence that is collected:
- Black box data
- In-cab camera footage
- Logbooks of the trucker’s
driving hours and breaks
- Truck maintenance records
- Trucker’s personnel records
- Trucker’s cell phone records
- Alcohol and drug testing results
- Truck inspection reports
- Dispatch instructions
- Weigh station and loading dock reports
- Witness reports
- Police reports
- Expert witness testimony
- Photos and videos of the accident scene,
damages, and injuries
- Traffic camera footage
- Tire or gouge marks on the road
Collecting and analyzing this evidence meticulously is key to pursuing a truck accident claim. It empowers your truck accident lawyer to construct a robust case on your behalf.
What Happens if You Don’t Have Auto Insurance?
In Maryland, all drivers must insure their vehicles. Failing to insure your vehicle, which requires a minimum of $30,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 for two or more people, and $15,000 for property damage per accident, can lead to serious consequences. Without valid car insurance, you could face hefty fines up to $2,000 plus accumulating administrative fees, suspension or revocation of your license, and even up to two years in jail depending on the circumstances surrounding the violation.
While lacking auto insurance significantly restricts your options in the aftermath of an accident, it does not bar you from pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against another driver if they were at fault. However, the absence of insurance could complicate the process and might force you into pursuing a lawsuit even for minor damages, as other simpler routes to compensation, like relying on coverage from your insurance, are unavailable.
What if You Are Hit by an Uninsured Truck Driver in Baltimore, MD?
Being involved in an accident with an uninsured truck driver in Baltimore presents a unique set of challenges. However, you still have avenues to seek compensation for your damages. You may opt to file a lawsuit against the truck driver or their employing trucking company, or tap into your uninsured motorist coverage within your auto insurance policy, if you have such coverage.
In instances where the truck driver and the trucking company fail to have the required commercial truck insurance, pursuing the truck driver’s personal assets could be a viable option. Alternatively, leveraging the legal principle of respondeat superior, you may hold the trucking company liable for the damages caused by their employee’s negligence.
What Damages Can You Pursue After a Baltimore Truck Accident?
The repercussions of a truck accident can be vast and enduring, impacting various areas of your life. Here’s a breakdown of the damages you may pursue after a truck accident in Baltimore to alleviate the financial and emotional burden:
✓ Medical Costs:
✓ Lost Wages:
- Including benefits, sick leave, bonuses, and vacation time
✓ Property Damage
✓ Transportation Costs
✓ Legal Fees
✓ Reduced Earning Capacity:
- If injuries prevent you from returning to work or earning your pre-injury income
✓ Wrongful Death Damages:
✓ Punitive Damages:
- Applicable in cases of fraud, malice, or willful misconduct by the wrongdoer
✓ Reduced Quality of Life:
- If you suffer permanent impairment
✓ Scarring and Disfigurement
Each case is unique, and other damages may also apply to your situation. Engaging with a professional legal team can help in precisely calculating and pursuing the rightful compensation to cover your losses and support your recovery journey.
What Is The Average Settlement For A Truck Accident in Baltimore, MD?
Determining an average settlement for truck accidents can be quite challenging due to the unique circumstances surrounding each case. The settlement amounts vary significantly based on several factors including the severity of the accident, extent of injuries incurred, and the insurance coverage available from the parties involved. It’s essential to understand that an ‘average’ settlement may not provide a clear indication of what to expect in your particular case.
The focus should ideally be on whether the settlement offer in your case is fair and compensatory for the losses and damages you have suffered, which a skilled truck accident lawyer from Ashcraft & Gerel can help determine and negotiate.
How Long Does it Take To Settle A Truck Accident Case?
The duration it takes to settle a truck accident case largely hinges on the complexity of the circumstances surrounding the incident. Some cases may reach a settlement within a few months, provided there are no intricate fact patterns or multiple parties at fault.
On the other hand, more complex truck accident cases, especially those involving larger vehicles like 18-wheelers or semi-trucks with multiple liable parties, could significantly extend the settlement timeline to several years.
Truck accidents often come with specialized regulations and technical details, which necessitates engaging a truck accident lawyer familiar with such legal intricacies to navigate the process proficiently and as quickly as possible.
What Causes Most Baltimore Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents in Baltimore can arise from a multitude of factors, often stemming from human error or negligence. Here’s a compilation of the prevalent causes:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Tired or fatigued drivers
- Inexperienced or poorly trained drivers
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Failure to obey traffic signals
- Improper trailer loading or unsafely loaded cargo
- Overweight trailers or overloading beyond legal weight limit
- Faulty truck components or defective vehicle parts
- Neglected maintenance or improperly maintained trucks
- Unsafe lane changes or merging
- Poor weather conditions
Each of these causes may contribute to hazardous situations on the road, potentially leading to severe accidents with lasting repercussions. Being informed about these common causes can serve as a step towards creating safer road conditions for all.
How is a Truck Accident Different from a Car Accident?
Truck accidents differ from car accidents due to their potential for greater devastation, attributed to the sheer size and weight of trucks. When a truck, often weighing around 70,000-80,000 pounds, collides with another vehicle, the resulting impact is considerably more catastrophic compared to an accident with a 3,000-pound car. Additionally, the entanglement of distinct state and local safety regulations governing truck drivers and trucking companies further complicates the scenario, making the aftermath of truck accidents a more intricate domain to navigate.
Furthermore, determining who is liable in truck accidents can become difficult. Unlike car accidents, where fault typically lies with one of the drivers, truck accidents might see liability distributed across several parties – from the driver to the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, or even the company responsible for maintenance or loading.
The multifaceted nature of truck accidents requires a more detailed approach towards litigation, ideally managed by an experienced truck accident attorney well-versed in the meticulous regulations and potential multi-party liability typical of such accidents.
What Are The DOT Regulations for Truck Drivers?
The Department of Transportation (DOT) oversees and enforces a comprehensive set of regulations aimed at ensuring the safety and compliance of truck drivers and trucking companies. Below is a summary of key DOT regulations for truck drivers:
- Mandatory rest after 70 hours of driving in a week for 34 consecutive hours
- Restriction on working more than 70 hours in eight consecutive days
- Limitation of working up to 11 hours within a 14-hour workday
- Adherence to federal weight limits for trucks
- Requirement of hazmat certification for transporting hazardous materials
- Maintenance of a work logbook
- Undergoing a physical exam every two years
- Abstaining from alcohol or behavior-impairing substances for eight hours before driving
- Undergoing drug and alcohol screening
- Adherence to vehicle inspection and maintenance protocols
- Ensuring cargo securement
- Obtaining and maintaining necessary licenses and permits
These regulations help to promote safety, protect the well-being of truck drivers, and ensure the smooth operation of the trucking industry. Truck drivers and trucking companies should be fully aware of and comply with these regulations to maintain a high standard of safety on our roads.
Our Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers Are Ready To Serve You
The bustling trucking industry in Maryland, coupled with a dense population, unfortunately paves the way for truck accidents, which are all too common across Baltimore. The aftermath of a trucking accident can be overwhelming, leaving victims with not only physical injuries but also emotional and financial distress. At Ashcraft & Gerel, we deeply understand the challenges you are facing and are committed to providing the expert representation you deserve in pursuing justice and rightful compensation.
You don’t have to face the ordeal of a trucking accident alone. Our truck accident attorneys are well-versed in the regulations and intricacies pertinent to truck accident claims. With over 70 years of dedicated service to the Baltimore community, our track record in championing the rights of truck accident victims and securing just compensation is a testament to our unwavering commitment.
Types of Truck Accident Cases We Handle in Baltimore, MD
Our truck accident attorneys are skilled and knowledgeable in handling all kinds of truck accident cases, including but not limited to:
- Carriage underride accidents
- Jackknife accidents
- Unsecured loads
- Oversized loads
- Major spills
- Poorly screened drivers
- Poorly planned routes
- Unrealistic schedules