Maryland Truck Accident Attorney
Each day, thousands of large commercial trucks roll through Maryland, delivering goods to numerous destinations within the state and throughout the East Coast. Many of these trucks weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds when they are fully loaded, and although trucking accidents account for less than 10% of all auto accidents, colliding with an 18-wheeler can have deadly consequences. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a truck accident, you may have the right to compensation.
At Grabo Law, LLC, we have successfully represented numerous victims of truck accidents in Maryland and the Washington D.C. area. Over the years, attorney Robert Grabo has filed hundreds of lawsuits and collected millions of dollars in damages on behalf of his clients. Attorney Grabo has an in-depth understanding of trucking accident cases and the complexities involved when there are often multiple responsible parties, many of whom have well-funded legal teams. He has the skills, resources, and commitment to ensure that his clients receive strong representation, and that those responsible for their injuries are held fully accountable.
Common Reasons Truck Accidents Occur
Trucking is one of the largest industries in the United States, accounting for almost 8% of our overall gross domestic product (GDP). This is also one of the most highly regulated industries, and there are many laws and regulations both on the federal and state levels that must be followed. Despite the rules and requirements, many truck drivers are under pressure to cut corners in order to deliver their loads on time, often resulting in accidents.
Some of the common reasons for trucking accidents include:
- Speeding/Reckless Driving: Because truck drivers are often given unrealistic deadlines, they tend to take more chances on the road. This leads to many instances where truckers vastly exceed the speed limit and engage in other forms of reckless driving. This is an especially dangerous practice with trucks, because they require more braking distance when they need to slow down and more space to make turns.
- Driver Fatigue: Driver shortages and pressure to make their deliveries on time causes some drivers to log more hours on the road than they are legally allowed. This inevitably results in drivers becoming tired and fatigued, which leads to slower reaction times and in some cases, falling asleep at the wheel.
- Driving while Intoxicated: Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one way some truck drivers deal with the stress of the job. They might consume alcohol to help take the edge off, or they might take ‘uppers’ and similar types of drugs to help stay awake. In either case, this greatly affects their body chemistry and inhibits their ability to drive safely.
- Distracted Driving: These days, virtually everybody has a smartphone, and it seems that motorists cannot stay off their phones when they are out driving. Practices such as texting while driving are hazardous for all drivers, but when truckers who control a large and heavy vehicle engage in this practice, the consequences can be especially severe.
- Overloaded/Unevenly Loaded Trucks: Companies that ship cargo by truck are often in a rush to get their goods on the road and on the way to their destination. Those who work at loading docks sometimes hurriedly overfill trucks or load them unevenly, which can result in trucks being tipped to the side or rolling over.
- Negligent Truck Maintenance: Big rig trucks typically log thousands of miles on the road each month. For this reason, it is extremely important to take the time to have the trucks properly serviced. Negligent truck maintenance can cause a breakdown, which can put those driving nearby in serious danger.
- Vehicle Part Defects: Faulty vehicle parts have been known to cause some trucking accidents. This can occur because of tire blowouts, computer dashboard malfunctions, brake line leaks, and many others.
Truck accidents can result in some of the most serious and catastrophic injuries, including:
- Head Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Bruises, Cuts, and Lacerations
- Internal Injuries
- Severe Burns
- Wrongful Death
Who Can be Held Responsible in a Trucking Accident?
As mentioned earlier, determining who is at fault for a big rig accident can be challenging. In many cases, the convergence of multiple factors at just the wrong time may have caused the accident. Parties responsible may include:
- The driver of the truck;
- The owner of the truck;
- The truck leasing company;
- The company in charge of truck maintenance;
- The designer, manufacturer, supplier, and/or distributor of a faulty vehicle part; and
- The cargo company that loaded the truck.
To be successful in identifying the responsible party (or parties) and holding them accountable, it is important to move quickly after an accident occurs and preserve every important piece of evidence. For example, multiple photos should be taken of the accident scene, witnesses should provide statements, a police report should be filed, and the driver’s records should be preserved. It is also important to know exactly what to look for, and how to recover critical pieces of evidence, even when other parties are being uncooperative. This is where being represented by a skilled personal injury attorney with specific experience handling trucking accidents can often make the difference between the success or failure of the case.
Maryland Contributory Negligence Laws
If the trucking accident occurred in Maryland or the District of Columbia, injury victims have to overcome the legal doctrine known as “contributory negligence.” Under contributory negligence, you are barred from recovering damages if you are found to be even 1% or more at fault for the accident. There is no doubt that the other side will try to use these laws to their advantage, and it is absolutely essential to have someone in your corner with the experience and skills to successfully argue your case.
Speak with a Knowledgeable Maryland Truck Accidents Lawyer
If you or someone close to you has suffered a serious injury or fatality in a trucking accident resulting from the negligence or reckless actions of another party, contact Grabo Law, LLC today for a free consultation. We will thoroughly review your case and advise you of your legal options, so you can make an informed decision on how to proceed. Call attorney Rob Grabo today at 301-938-7652, or you may send us a secure and confidential message through our online contact form.