Upper Marlboro Truck Accident Lawyer
Whether you are driving around Upper Marlboro or on US Route 301, you share the road with commercial trucks. Although most truckers are competent and safe drivers, accidents could still occur.
If a truck driver crashes into your car, you may be eligible to recover compensation for damages. It is best to retain the services of a knowledgeable and experienced Upper Marlboro truck accident lawyer. Roger Gelb can help you determine who is responsible for your accident and hold the negligent party accountable. Reach out to learn more about how a skilled personal injury attorney could help your case.
Commercial Trucking Regulations
Commercial trucks such as car carriers, tractor-trailers, dump trucks, and box trucks must meet rigid requirements mandated by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). For instance, truck drivers are limited to a certain number of hours they are permitted to drive each day, and each week, which addresses driver fatigue, the number one cause of trucking accidents. They also must carry a valid Commercial Driver License (CDL).
State Trucking Rules
Maryland also regulates commercial trucking. The Maryland Department of Transportation publishes the Motor Carrier Handbook detailing the extensive rules that govern the industry. For example, Page 28 explains how truck owners must comply with Maryland’s Preventive Maintenance Program by certifying they have knowledge of and are complying with all federal and state motor carrier regulations. This certification must be made when a truck owner purchases or renews registration plates. An Upper Marlboro attorney knows the special rules for truckers and could determine a commercial driver broke any of the special regulations before an accident.
Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
Most truckers follow all the rules, including limiting the hours they are on the road each day. But often, trucking companies provide cash bonuses to drivers who can deliver their freight ahead of schedule, so drivers may sacrifice safety and drive more hours for that incentive. Although driver fatigue is the primary cause of truck accidents, other reasons include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Insufficient training
- Improper truck maintenance
Insurance vs. Negligence Lawsuit After Truck Accident
Maryland applies the doctrine of vicarious liability, which means an employer can be held accountable for its employees’ negligent acts. Also, the US Code of Federal Regulations § 387.9 requires motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce to carry liability insurance of $750,000, or up to $5 million if the cargo is hazardous. An Upper Marlboro truck crash attorney could negotiate with a trucking company’s insurance carrier because more money is available to victims of truck accidents than car accidents. The alternative is to file a lawsuit in which the negligent driver and trucking company could be held liable.
The plaintiff’s attorney must prove that either the driver or trucking company had a duty to others on the road and breached that duty, causing the accident that harmed the plaintiff. If a driver acts recklessly, such as driving while drunk, or a carrier did not renew its Certificate with Maryland’s Preventive Maintenance Program, negligence would probably be found.
Also, if an attorney can prove the driver violated any federal or state laws, such as driving too many hours the day of the accident, negligence will be presumed. An Upper Marlboro tractor-trailer collision attorney will request and review the truck’s black box, an on-board computer that measures truck functions while it is in motion. If the truck is equipped with an on-board camera system that films the truck’s surroundings just before and after an accident, a local attorney should quickly request the data before it is lost or destroyed.
Call An Upper Marlboro Truck Accident Lawyer
If you were devastatingly injured in a collision involving a big rig, our attorneys at Gelb & Gelb, P.C. could help. Let our dedicated legal team help you get the compensation you need following an accident. Call today to schedule an appointment with an Upper Marlboro truck accident lawyer.