Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers
Accidents involving commercial vehicles have some of the most devastating consequences for those involved. Large trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger vehicles. This weight disparity, coupled with the massive size and limited maneuverability of a truck, pose a unique danger to other vehicles, drivers and passengers on the road. In 2013, 3,602 people died in accidents involving large trucks, and 67% of those killed were occupants of passenger vehicles.
Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard than everyday motorists because of the increased safety risk posed by large trucks. Before receiving a commercial driver’s license, drivers must undergo specialized training and be tested on both knowledge and skill. Additionally, both drivers and the companies they work for are subject to specific federal trucking regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These regulations address several of the potential safety hazards associated with driving large commercial vehicles.
Hours of Service
The most well-known of these rules is the Hours of Service (HOS) regulation. The trucking industry is notorious for the excessive physical demands it puts on truck drivers. Tight deadlines lead many drivers to push the limits and continue driving, even when they are too tired. The consequences can be deadly. Truck driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of fatal truck accidents. HOS regulations attempt to mitigate the risk of drowsy driving truck accidents by requiring drivers to take rest breaks and setting limits on the number of consecutive hour’s truck drivers can work.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
The following are some of the more common ways that truck accidents may occur:
- Adverse weather conditions
- Aggressive driving
- Alcohol or drug use
- Cargo not secured properly
- Defective equipment
- Distracted driving
- Driver error
- Driver fatigue
- Hazardous road conditions
- Improper maintenance including brakes or tires
- Overloaded truck or trailer
Injuries in Trucking Accidents
Accidents involving large commercial trucks or busses result in higher rates of fatalities and serious injuries than typical motor vehicle crashes. This is in part due to basic physics. When a large, heavy truck collides with a smaller passenger vehicle, the injury-producing force transferred to occupants of the smaller vehicle is much greater than when a car strikes another car. Additionally, large trucks are more likely to be involved in multi-vehicle accidents, resulting in greater numbers of injuries.
In some cases, it is not even the initial crash that causes harm. If a truck carrying hazardous materials crashes, the resulting spillage of toxic substances can cause harm to anyone in the vicinity of the accident. Other motorists, first responders, even nearby neighborhood residents can be injured or sickened by the exposure to toxic chemicals or fumes.
Truck Accident Liability
Determining liability in truck accident cases is more complex than an average car accident case. For this reason, it is essential to hire an experienced Baltimore truck accident lawyer with an in-depth knowledge of federal regulations and industry standards to handle your case. Maryland trucking accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton work with leading accident investigators and industry specialists who can dissect key pieces of evidence to support your claim. Key evidence may include:
- Data from onboard communications systems
- Driver’s hours of service log book
- Driver’s personal and professional driving record
- Driver’s phone records
- Driver’s training record qualifications
- On-board video system recording
- Post-crash drug and alcohol screening
- Photos from the accident scene
- Vehicle inspection and maintenance history
- Vehicle weight tickets
- Witness testimony
Truck accidents often involve multiple layers of liability. In many cases, it is not only the negligent actions of the truck driver or driver of the passenger vehicle that can be blamed for a crash. Other potential parties may include the trucking company for failing to adhere to safety regulations; the shipper or loader of the cargo for failing to secure it properly; or even the manufacturer of the vehicle, its tires or other parts who can be held responsible in the event of a serious crash.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Obtain Compensation for Injured Victims of Truck Accidents
Baltimore trucking accident lawyers of LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton have helped accident victims and their families recover more than $100 million in verdicts and settlements. Our dedicated Maryland truck accident attorneys are driven to achieve the best possible results for our clients and will stop at nothing until justice is served. We handle claims arising from all types of truck accidents. To schedule your free consultation, call 800-547-4LAW (4529) today or submit an online contact form.
We are happy to meet at a time that is convenient for you and will even come to your hospital or residence if your injuries prohibit you from coming to us. We also offer a 24-hour hotline to answer your questions or provide immediate help.
We have offices located in Baltimore, Maryland allowing us to serve truck accident victims in Baltimore and throughout the state of Maryland.