There are millions of commercial trucks traveling U.S. highways every year, and in 2019, over 5,000 trucks were involved in a fatal crash. According to our experienced Frederick truck accident lawyer, regardless of what type of auto accident you're in, if you’re injured in any accident caused by someone else, you’re entitled to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company for your damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
If your accident is just a two-car fender bender resulting in minor injuries and low medical expenses, the insurer is likely to pay your claim, and you might not need an attorney to help you negotiate for fair compensation or file a lawsuit. Being hit by a tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler, however, puts you in a much different position.
Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents in Maryland
Commercial truck drivers are under pressure to meet strict delivery deadlines. In some cases, the more miles they drive, the more money they make, so some might negligently operate outside the strict guidelines set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). Doing so can result in driving behavior that causes accidents:
- Ignoring road conditions
- Operating with defective equipment
- Distracted driving
- Insufficient training
- Failing to check blind spots
- Driving for too many hours
- Driving while fatigued or drowsy
- Using drugs or alcohol
- Driving with improperly loaded cargo
According to our truck accident lawyer in Frederick, any type of negligence can lead to a truck crash causing injuries such as cuts, lacerations, and bruises, as well as severe injuries, including:
- Whiplash and neck injuries
- Fractured, broken, and crushed bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord damage/paralysis
- Burns, scarring, and disfigurement
- Internal organ damage
Many injuries can require long-term treatment, surgeries, physical therapy, rehabilitation, extensive recovery time, and total or partial disability care, sometimes for life. For these reasons, truck accident claims are among the most expensive for an insurer to pay.
The Insurance Company
While any highway accident can cause property damage and injury, a collision between an 18-wheeler (up to 80,000 pounds fully loaded) and a regular passenger car (about 4,000 pounds) often results in major damage to the smaller vehicle and catastrophic injuries or death for its occupants. This means, your accident claim is likely to be an expensive one for the trucker’s insurance company. However, according to our Frederick truck accident lawyer, because the insurance company is in business to make a profit, it tries to:
- Collect all it can in premiums
- Pay out as little as possible in accident claims
To save money for the company, insurance adjusters are likely to dispute your claim or contact you to offer a quick, low settlement before you even know the full extent of your damages. You should reject their offers and refer them to your truck accident attorney if you have one. If you don’t, they know you probably won’t sue them, so they’re not apt to negotiate seriously with you.
If you do have an attorney, the insurance company’s lawyers are much more likely to offer you a reasonable settlement rather than risk the expense of a trial. They know your experienced Frederick truck accident lawyer can and will help you seek fair compensation by:
- Investigating your accident and hiring an accident reconstructionist to prove liability
- Interviewing accident witnesses and calling in expert witnesses
- Organizing and presenting medical evidence
- Understanding state and federal laws regulating CDL holders
- Obtaining video footage of the wreck from nearby cameras
- Checking the trucker’s cell phone records for evidence of distracted driving
- Obtaining log books to check the hours and miles driven by the at-fault driver
- Gaining access to information from the truck’s “black box” data recorder
- Evaluating your claim to demand a fair award
- Negotiating with multiple defendants
Having an skilled truck accident lawyer in Frederick, MD, generally results in a significantly higher award than you could get on your own, so your legal representation should pay for itself and more.
More Than One Defendant Can Be Complex
In an accident with another passenger car, you generally have only to file a claim with one insurance company. In a commercial truck accident, however, there are several potential defendants who might share liability for your damages:
- Truck driver
- Truck owner/trucking company
- Truck leasing agency
- Parts manufacturer/mechanic/repair service
- Cargo loading personnel
Under the right circumstances, shipping companies and trucking brokerage firms can be liable in a truck accident. This can be very important in gaining sufficient resources to adequately compensate people who have suffered a catastrophic injury. Although this area of law is very complicated, pursuing this type of claim makes sense if the evidence supports it.
Each defendant could have a different insurer, so you’re more likely to receive sufficient compensation from multiple sources to cover your damages. The process of filing claims against, negotiating with, and possibly suing multiple defendants and insurers, however, is a legally complex one that requires the services of an experienced Frederick truck accident attorney.
Been Injured in Maryland? Contact Our Frederick Truck Accident Lawyer Today!
The truck accident attorney at The Poole Law Group in Frederick and Hagerstown, MD, have the experience and skill to help you seek fair compensation from multiple defendants. Please contact us online, start a chat, or call us at 301.790.3600 to schedule a free consultation with our experienced truck accident lawyer. You pay no attorney fees unless we win your case.