Truck Accident Lawyer in Owings Mills
Truck drivers’ livelihoods depend on their ability to get their cargo safely to its destination. Commercial vehicle drivers are also under a lot of pressure to make deliveries as quickly as possible. Too often, this leads them to take dangerous actions, such as speeding or skipping rest breaks, which can have devastating and deadly consequences.
If you were hurt in an accident caused by a negligent truck driver, trucking company, or another entity in Owings Mills, you have the right to seek fair compensation. The law firm of Cohen & Dwin, P.A., is ready to help you pursue it.
With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our Owings Mills truck accident attorneys have the skills and resources to tackle even the toughest cases while also providing you with the respect and personalized attention you deserve.
Since 1977, Cohen & Dwin has been helping victims in Owings Mills and surrounding areas of Maryland fight for justice and maximum compensation after devastating accidents like truck wrecks, and we want to do the same for you. To get started on the road to recovery after a truck accident, contact us today by phone or online.
Types of Truck Accidents
Large commercial trucks like semis and 18-wheelers are often involved in all types of accidents.
Some of the most common kinds of truck crashes include:
- Rollovers. These types of accidents often happen when a truck driver loses control of the vehicle because they take a turn too fast, the cargo they’re carrying isn’t balanced properly, or another similar hazard. For example, a vehicle might roll over after a trucker slides on black ice and can’t recover control of the truck.
- Underride wrecks. Underrides typically happen when a smaller vehicle is driving too closely behind a truck, and the trucker must slam on their brakes. In these circumstances, the passenger vehicle might fly under the truck if they can’t stop in time to prevent an accident.
- Jackknifing. If a trucker must brake suddenly or loses control for some other reason, then the trailer might skid in a different direction from the tractor and jackknife or end up at a 90-degree angle.
- Wide-turn collisions. Drivers of large trucks usually pull to the left to turn right and vice versa because they need a lot of space to turn. If they don’t see cars around them when they’re swinging out to prepare for the turn or while they’re in the process of turning, then they might collide with the vehicles.
- Rear-end accidents. If a trucker’s brakes fail or they can’t stop for some other reason, they might run into the back of a smaller vehicle. These types of accidents often cause catastrophic and deadly injuries.
Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are incredibly complicated because so many different parties might be liable for the wreck, including the trucker, their employer, another driver, or even a government entity. Some of the most common causes of these crashes include:
- Aggressive drivers. Truckers are under a tremendous amount of pressure to deliver cargo within a short timeframe, so they might speed, tailgate, or act aggressively in some other way. Similarly, drivers of passenger cars and other vehicles often get impatient around large commercial trucks and react in a dangerous fashion.
- Distracted drivers. Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents for all types of vehicles. Truckers and car drivers alike often cause wrecks, when they text, talk on the phone, eat, read email, or engage in any other activity while driving that takes their attention or eyes off the road.
- Manufacturer defects. When a manufacturer negligently designs, produces or sells dangerous or defective trucks or other vehicles and parts, it can cause a wide variety of deadly and devastating accidents.
- Drowsy drivers. Federal regulations are supposed to limit the number of hours that truckers can work each day and force them to get a proper amount of sleep before they get on the road. However, truck drivers’ pay often depends on the number of miles they drive. Under this kind of pressure, truckers might feel tempted or forced by their employer to violate the law and drive when they haven’t gotten enough sleep.
- Poorly maintained vehicles. All drivers have a responsibility to routinely check their vehicles to make sure all important components like the brakes, tires, lights, and fluids are working properly and promptly take the vehicle in for repair when something breaks. When a trucker doesn’t maintain their vehicle regularly, it’s especially dangerous and can lead to serious mechanical failures with devastating consequences. For example, when a truck’s tire blows or its brakes fail, it can easily lose control and cause deadly injuries if they ram into other people on the road.
- Drunk or intoxicated drivers. If a truck driver is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or even a prescription or over-the-counter medication, it can significantly impair their ability to drive safely. These substances often reduce a driver’s capacity to make decisions, react quickly, and judge distance.
- Overloaded, unsecured, or unbalanced cargo. Companies and individuals load and unload trucks with a wide variety of cargo. If this cargo weighs too much or the loading crew doesn’t properly balance and secure the cargo, it often makes it difficult for truck drivers to stop in a normal amount of time or control their vehicle.
- Inexperienced, unlicensed, or poorly trained drivers. Federal and state laws regulate who is allowed to drive commercial vehicles and the requirements they must fulfill before they can get out on the road. Drivers can cause crashes if they don’t hold a commercial driver’s license, aren’t used to operating large vehicles, or don’t know the areas where they’re driving. Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that all of their drivers meet federal and state requirements, plus they must run checks on a driver’s background, driving, and criminal record before they can allow them to drive.
- Other third-party actions. A number of other individuals or parties can contribute to crashes. For instance, another car on the road, a cyclist, or a pedestrian might suddenly pull out or jump in front of a truck and cause them to crash into another vehicle. In another example, a hazardous road condition might contribute to a truck accident if the local municipality or government entity responsible for the roads doesn’t fix hazards quickly or install proper warning signs.
Common Injuries from Truck Wrecks
Some of the most common injuries that truck accidents cause include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Severe back and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Maryland Truck Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 35,000 people died across the U.S. in traffic accidents in a single recent year.
In Maryland alone, these wrecks killed more than 500 people. Most of these fatal accidents took place in urban areas, nearly 25 percent involved speeding, and almost a quarter involved alcohol-impaired driving. The majority of drivers involved in fatal traffic collisions were at least 21 years old.
Seventy percent of fatal crashes in Maryland involved a large truck, yet the majority of people killed in these accidents were pedestrians, bicyclists, or occupants of vehicles other than trucks.
Some of the most dangerous counties in Maryland for fatal truck accidents are Prince Georges, Baltimore, Anne Arundel, and Cecil counties.
Types of Compensation After a Semi-Truck Crash
Truck accidents often cause serious injuries that can leave victims with life-threatening and chronic conditions. This is why it’s crucial for victims to fight for compensation to cover both their current expenses from the crash, as well as future damages that they might suffer because of the accident.
Some types of compensation victims may be able to recover include:
- Wages lost while recovering from the truck accident
- Inability to earn a comparable income in the future
- Outstanding medical bills for things like ambulance transportation, surgeries, medications, hospitalization, and diagnostic tests like MRIs or bloodwork
- Future medical expenses, such as long-term care, follow-up visits, wheelchairs, prosthetics, rehabilitation, medical devices or equipment, prescriptions, and therapies
- Disability accommodations, including changes to your home or car
- Repair or replacement of damaged property
- Pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Mental anguish
- Lost ability to perform household tasks, such as caring for children, repairing items around the house, cleaning, or maintaining the yard
Contact an Owings Mills Truck Accident Attorney Today
Don’t wait to stand up for your rights after a truck accident. To get started, contact the Owings Mills truck collision lawyers at Cohen & Dwin right away to set up your free legal consultation. Call us today or reach us online.