Over $150 Million Recovered For Our Clients “Roger K. Gelb is one of the area’s most respected and sought-after legal minds” – Washingtonian Magazine
Maryland Truck Accident Lawyer
Our experienced Maryland truck accident lawyers have handled such accidents for nearly 70 years. The obvious factor that differentiates a truck accident from any other type of motor vehicle accident is the immense weight of the truck. This makes stopping more difficult, accelerating more complex, and maneuvering between lanes more difficult. However, driving is dangerous for all drivers and can be a matter of life and death. Truck drivers are often on the road for hours per day, and fatigue will set in no matter how proficient one may feel.
This enhanced risk makes driving carefully around a truck especially important. In Maryland in 2021, only 1% of fatal accidents on the road were from inside of a truck. Meanwhile, those in smaller motor vehicles or on foot fared far worse. While they are professionals, certain unavoidable factors work against them and enhance your risk on the road. We have seen all kinds of truck accidents in Maryland, and they can often be fatal. While no truck accident is the same, below highlights some valuable topics to understand if you are unfortunate to be involved in a truck accident.
Compensation in a Truck Accident
Our Maryland truck accident lawyers sometimes ask whether they can recover against a trucker because he works for a company like Amazon or FedEx. In some ways, healing in a truck accident works the same as any other motor vehicle accident. As a plaintiff (victim in the truck accident), we will likely sue both the driver and the company the driver works for as long as he was driving within the scope of his employment. This phrase of art has legal significance under the doctrine of respondeat superior or vicarious liability. You could also recover against the driver for his negligence in injuring you.
Special damages are also known as economic damages. They are costs that a victim incurs due to the tortfeasor’s negligence. Medical expenses and lost wages are the two most common examples of special dama. These are distinguishable from general damages for a few reasons. First, they are quantifiable. A medical expense, for example, is an exact number. Of course, there can still be, and often is, debate between plaintiffs and defendants on this amount. However, the law is clear that a plaintiff should be able to recover this precise amount upon meeting a few thresholds. Your Maryland truck accident lawyer will explain how these thresholds apply to you as needed.
General damages are also known as pain and suffering damages. These are not precise damages like a medical provider’s bill. Instead, we consider several intangible factors that dictate the value of your pain and suffering claim. As a simple example, if you tear your shoulder, you will get thousands of dollars more in pain and suffering than if you have just back spasms. While weeks or months of back spasms entitle you to compensation, it is a relative scale that depends on how much pain you undergo.
While the pain you undergo may be an apparent compensable damage, you also may recover for loss of enjoyment of life in some cases. A Maryland truck accident case can lead to life-altering injuries. Accordingly, if you are no longer able to play your favorite sport or participate in your favorite hobby due to your injury from the accident, you absolutely may recover from this loss of enjoyment of life. Moreover, proving this as damage is pretty simple. At trial, we would need a doctor to testify that, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, you can no longer perform this function. For settlement purposes, a doctor’s note should be enough.
Claims Process in a Maryland Truck Accident
Speak With Attorney
Besides seeking immediate medical treatment if necessary, speaking with an attorney is always the first step in your claims process. At Gelb & Gelb, we can get you started on your path to financial compensation and even put you in contact with trusted doctors near you. This is an essential step for several reasons. First, we would like to help you evaluate the merit of your claim free of charge. As we do not charge for a consultation, this can be a valuable tool for someone unsure whether their claim has merit. Further, an insurance company seldom makes a reasonable settlement offer to a truck accident victim without a good truck lawyer.
When you do not have an attorney, you have no leverage in negotiating with the insurance company. Since you cannot file a suit, they don’t have any reason to offer a reasonable offer on your claim. Of course, they may be able to provide you with well below the actual value of your claim in hopes that you will take it and the matter will go away. This would be a significant win for the insurance company and the defendant.
Complete Medical Treatment
This is a critical juncture in the claims process simply because it allows the legal aspect of your case to proceed. Before the completion of your medical treatment, your case is on hold. Your attorney can begin settlement negotiations once we know your special damages. Otherwise, it would be a premature settlement. You are entitled to recover precisely the amount of your medical expenses so long as it is reasonable. So, settling your case before knowing what your final bills will be from all your medical providers may, in turn, leave money on the table for you. We will need help to leave you to handle this part of your case.
Holding the Truck Company Liable
This legal tool can provide liability to an employer for its employee’s negligence. To apply, the employee must act within the course and scope of his employment. If he is, the employer may be liable. This is excellent news for plaintiffs. Large employers likely have more cash or insurance to pay for your medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, it is not necessarily that simple. A rule under this doctrine hinges on whether the employee was on a “frolic” or a “detour”.
If the employee was on a mere detour, vicarious liability still applies. An example of a detour is if the truck driver deviates insubstantially from his path to get a cup of coffee, then returns to his path and continues down the highway. Meanwhile, a frolic is if the truck driver drives 25 miles off the path to get something from his favorite store when he hits your car. This is not within the course and scope of his employment as a truck driver, and his employer would not be vicariously liable for your injuries. Contact a Maryland truck accident lawyer for questions on vicarious liability.
Responsibility of a Truck Driver
The general rule in personal injury law is that a defendant owes the standard of duty of care of a reasonably prudent person in a similar situation to all foreseeable plaintiffs. In some circumstances, such as for children, there is a different standard of care. However, driving is an adult activity under the law. And we are all equal on the road. While vague, the duty owed to other drivers is to behave with ordinary care.
Why Choose Gelb & Gelb, P.C.
Gelb & Gelb, P.C. has been a pillar in personal injury law in Maryland for the past 70 years. With our experience in practicing personal injury law and handling truck accident cases, we can help you resolve your claim quickly. We will aggressively pursue your claim on your behalf, whether we do so in or outside of court.
Maryland Truck Accident Lawyers With 70 Years of Experience
Experience proves beneficial in nearly every industry. For handling truck accident cases, experience provides us with the knowledge of how to best serve you in your case. We understand the difficulties you are going through in a truck accident case. Due to the sheer weight and size difference of an 18-wheeler and nearly any other car, your injuries may be debilitating. This can make every aspect of your life more difficult. We have handled cases involving paralysis, broken bones, major surgeries, and deaths. So, when you work with us, you get peace of mind knowing you are in good hands.
A Maryland attorney in a semi-truck case with experience knows the law and state and federal trucking regulations. Of course, under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, federal law prevails when it directly conflicts with state law. But understanding when it conflicts and what it is can be invaluable knowledge in pursuing a truck accident case. Moreover, besides understanding the law, court experience can substantially increase your ultimate recovery. As discussed in the section on damages on this page, some of the debate leaves room for negotiation. One jury may interpret the value differently from another group of jurors.
Maryland Truck Accident Lawyers Who Can Help You Resolve Your Claim Speedily
Working in hand with our decades of experience, we know what it takes to resolve a claim speedily and effectively. Of course, resolving your claim efficiently does not mean we are rushing the process. Instead, we found the insurance companies likely ducking calls and unwilling to provide a payout. Generally, it is well below the claim’s actual value if they make an early settlement offer, especially for a truck accident victim without an attorney. They may do this either as a negotiation ploy or, if you do not have an attorney, because they think you do not know better. However, it is almost always the case that there are better offers than this. A good Maryland truck accident lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company to make a higher offer.
Maryland Truck Accident Lawyers Who Will Aggressively Pursue Your Claim in Court
Aggressive pursuit in a case is necessary to recover maximum compensation for your injuries. To be clear, aggressive pursuit does not mean disrespect or over-pursuit. Instead, it means aggressive pursuit against the insurance company representing the tortfeasor. As referenced above, insurance companies are in business to pay as little as possible for their client’s negligence. If there is any loophole in their contract allowing them to evade liability, they will use it. Further, despite settlement being in the best interest of all parties over going to trial for many reasons, the insurance companies nonetheless like to evade calls for as long as possible.
What to Do if You Are in a Maryland Truck Accident
Like in all cases, the first step is to assess and treat your injuries. A truck accident can lead to severe and life-threatening injuries. It is always prudent to seek medical treatment if you are injured. Unfortunately, some injuries, such as soreness in the neck and back, may not develop until the day after the accident. Once treated for your injuries requiring immediate attention, contact a Maryland truck accident lawyer to ensure just compensation. Additionally, if your spouse, parent, or child is in a truck accident that results in a wrongful death, you may have a claim under a separate action.
Contact a Maryland Truck Accident Lawyer
At Gelb & Gelb, P.C., our Maryland truck accident lawyers have experience fighting for the rights of those injured by a truck driver’s negligence. Decades of experience have afforded us familiarity with the truck companies and their insurance companies. We may be able to resolve your claim speedily and outside of court by settlement. If they are unwilling to offer a settlement proportionate to your injuries, we will aggressively pursue them in a Maryland court. Call us today for a free consultation.
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