Areas of Practice

Maryland Truck Accident Lawyers

One of the biggest threats to your safety on the road is large trucks, like 18 wheelers and other commercial vehicles. These vehicles are much larger than yours, which increases the likelihood of suffering severe or life-threatening injuries if one of these vehicles crashes into yours. 

If this happens, you should meet with a truck accident lawyer in Maryland for a free, no obligation legal consultation to determine your legal options. Many truck accidents are caused by the negligence of the driver or other parties that own or are responsible for different parts of the vehicle. This means you may be entitled to compensation to help cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages you have suffered.

The experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl have decades of combined experience pursuing compensation in a variety of cases, including truck accidents. We take cases on contingency so there are no fees or costs unless you receive compensation.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form or call 410-244-7005 to schedule a free legal consultation.

Why Should I Work with a Maryland Truck Accident Lawyer?

There is no guarantee that working with a truck accident lawyer in Maryland will improve your chances of recovering fair compensation for the injuries you suffered in your truck accident. However, there are many advantages to working with an experienced lawyer on your claim.

Investigating the Crash

Truck accidents are complicated and require an extensive investigation to determine what happened and who is at fault.

Our experienced truck accident attorneys in Maryland have investigated many motor vehicle collisions, including truck crashes, and we know what we need to do to gather relevant evidence to build a case. Some of the steps we may take include:

  • Collecting and reviewing the police report about the crash
  • Obtaining any available video footage of the collision
  • Collecting and reviewing pictures of the crash and your injuries
  • Seeking out and interviewing witnesses to the crash
  • Reviewing the driver's history to determine if he or she violated any regulations
  • Reviewing vehicle maintenance records to determine if the truck was in violation of any federal or state regulations

Dealing with Insurance Companies

This is one of the most important aspects of any personal injury case, particularly a truck accident case. This is one of the many reasons why you should strongly consider letting your attorney deal with the insurance company.

Insurers would prefer to talk to you instead of your attorney because they think it gives them advantages. For example, truck accident victims are often unsure what to do after a truck accident and how they should try to obtain compensation.

Victims also do not have much knowledge of the trucking industry or its many regulations. Accident victims are also more likely to not know the true value of their claim, which makes them more likely to accept any settlement they are offered.

You have to be extremely careful dealing with insurance companies because they are businesses whose only goal is to make a profit. That means they will do whatever they can to deny or devalue your claim so they pay out no compensation or as little as possible.

However, a Maryland truck accident attorney is motivated exclusively by your best interests. He or she will not accept an unfair settlement offer and will aggressively negotiate for all of the compensation you deserve.

Our Maryland truck accident lawyers are fully prepared to file a lawsuit if we are unable to obtain the compensation you deserve through an insurance settlement.

Call a truck accident attorney in Maryland today at 410-244-7005.

Common Truck Accident Cases

Our Maryland truck accident attorneys take truck accident cases involving many types of trucks and commercial vehicles, such as:

  • Tanker trucks
  • Dump trucks
  • Ambulances
  • Buses
  • Livestock carriers
  • Garbage trucks
  • Semi-trucks
  • 18 wheelers
  • Mail delivery vehicles, such as UPS, FEDEX and U.S. Postal Service vehicles
  • Fire engines

These vehicles are involved in many different types of collisions. Some of the most common crashes that result in truck accident claims include:

Underride Collisions

You may have noticed that the backs of some trucks are higher than the front of your vehicle, particularly if you are driving a sedan and not a larger car like a truck or SUV.

Unfortunately, this height difference makes rear-end crashes even more dangerous because cars can slide under the back of the truck. That is why underride collisions often result in severe or fatal injuries.

Rollovers

Rollovers occur when a truck tips over, often while speeding or attempting to go too fast around a corner. These crashes endanger every vehicle that is nearby because the driver has no control once the vehicle tips over.

Head-On Collisions

These are some of the most dangerous truck crashes because these vehicles generate so much force when they hit a smaller car head-on, particularly when this occurs at a high speed. Head-on collisions are often caused by fatigued drivers who are traveling the wrong way.

Rear-End Crashes

These are collisions where a truck crashes into the back of a passenger vehicle. While these crashes create less force than a head-on collision, rear-end crashes are still extremely dangerous because of the size difference between the truck and the car. This type of crash often happens when a truck driver is not paying attention and does not start slowing down in time to stop to avoid a crash.

Blind-Spot Collisions

If truck drivers are not careful, they can hit cars that are in their blind spots as they try to change lanes. This is why it is so important to not travel in the blind spot of a large truck because it is almost impossible for the driver to see you.

Lost Cargo Crashes

Unfortunately, cargo companies often fail to properly secure cargo on trucks, which can lead to it falling off and hitting other cars or creating obstacles that cars have a tough time maneuvering away from.

Jackknife Accidents

When a truck's brakes lock up, the trailer can sometimes swing away from the cab until it forms a 90-degree angle. The trailer could collide with other cars around the truck.

While these and other truck accidents can occur almost anywhere, they often happen on busy roadways like Interstate 95, Baltimore Beltway, Washington Beltway or Interstate 895. Accidents on these roadways can be particularly dangerous because vehicles are traveling at high speeds.  

If you were a victim of these or any other types of truck accidents, contact our Maryland truck accident lawyers for a free, no obligation legal consultation to determine if you may be entitled to compensation.

Call 410-244-7005 today to schedule a consultation.

Common Reasons for Truck Accidents

One of the worst parts about truck crashes, besides the severe injuries and deaths they often cause, is that they are often a result of negligence and could have been avoided.

Truck drivers in particular must exercise great care to avoid crashes because their vehicles have limited maneuverability, large blind spots and take a long time to bring to stop because of their weight.

Unfortunately, drivers often have deadlines that are difficult to meet, which may encourage them to speed or engage in other reckless driving behaviors to deliver their cargo. Spending many hours on the road increases the likelihood of making dangerous maneuvers.

However, other parties that own or are responsible for different parts of the truck or its cargo can also act negligently and cause an accident.

Some of the types of negligence that can lead to truck accidents include:

  • Not checking blind spots
  • Violating right-of-way laws
  • Failing to fix or replace defective machinery on the truck, such as brakes
  • Transporting hazardous cargo without the proper permits
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Poor training of drivers
  • Failing to secure the truck's cargo
  • Putting too much cargo on the truck
  • Driving without a license
  • Tailgating other vehicles
  • Drunk driving
  • Distracted driving, such as talking or texting on a cellphone while driving
  • Drowsy driving or falling asleep at the wheel
  • Driving in bad weather
  • Driving too fast for the weather conditions
  • Speeding
  • Poorly maintaining different parts of the truck
  • Failing or defective parts, such as engine components or brakes

If you believe your crash was caused by these or any other forms of negligence, our Maryland truck accident lawyers are ready to help you. Schedule a free legal consultation so we can determine if you have grounds for an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.

Call our firm today at 410-244-7005.

Liability for a Truck Accident

Truck accident cases are often complicated because numerous parties could be held liable. It depends on the circumstances of your collision and what traffic laws or trucking industry regulations were violated.

Some of the parties we may be able to hold liable for your crash include the:

  • Driver
  • Company that loaded the truck's cargo
  • Company that performed maintenance on the truck
  • Owner of the cab or the trailer
  • The employer of the driver
  • The company that leased the truck
  • The company that manufactured the truck
  • The manufacturers of different parts on the truck, such as tires, brakes, engine parts or the trailer

The Maryland truck accident attorneys at our firm will carefully review the details of your crash to determine all of the parties that could potentially hold liability for the crash. Our goal is to hold all liable parties accountable so you can recover all of the compensation you deserve.

Contact a truck accident lawyer in Maryland today by filling out a Free Case Evaluation form.

How is the Trucking Industry Regulated?

The trucking industry is regulated by each state and at the federal level. The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) regulates trucking in the state while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates trucking nationwide.

These organizations set a wide variety of regulations on drivers and other aspects of the industry, including:

Drug Testing

According to Section 382 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, drug and alcohol testing is required for drivers who are required to obtain a commercial driver license. Employers are not allowed to use someone as a driver unless he or she tests negative for alcohol or other illegal substances. This test must be obtained prior to the driver's first trip with this employer.

Employers are also required to test drivers for alcohol and controlled substances as soon as is practical after they are involved in a traffic crash. However, if the employer does not administer an alcohol test within eight hours of the accident or a controlled substances test within 32 hours of the crash, the employer is required to cease its attempts to do these tests. The employer must create a record explaining why these tests were not administered.

Medical Issues

Federal regulations state that all truck drivers be medically qualified to safely operate their vehicles and conduct pre-trip and post-trip inspections, secure the cargo and ensure it has not shifted.

Certain medical conditions disqualify people from being able to operate commercial vehicles, including:

  • Hearing loss
  • Vision loss
  • Epilepsy
  • Insulin use

Securing Cargo

FMCSA regulations mandate that all cargo in commercial vehicles be firmly immobilized and secured with adequate devices, such as tiedowns, or dunnage, which are loose materials designed to support and protect cargo.

The working load limit of any cargo securement system needs to be at least one half of the weight of the cargo being secured.

Regulations also mandate a certain number of tiedowns based on the length and weight of the items being secured:

  • One tiedown is required for pieces of cargo that are five feet or less in length and 1,100 pounds or less in weight
  • Two tiedowns if the cargo is more than 1,100 pounds and less than 10 feet in length

Oversize and Overweight Vehicles

MDOT does not allow oversize and overweight vehicles to travel on state highways unless the driver obtains one of the following permits:

  • Blanket hauling permit
  • Book permit
  • Containerized cargo permit
  • Special hauling permit
  • Special vehicle permit

MDOT defines oversize vehicles as those that are 16 feet or more in height, 16 feet or more in width or 100 feet or more in length. Overweight vehicles are those that weigh more than 60 tons or 120,000 pounds.

The Maryland truck accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl have extensive knowledge of the regulations governing the trucking industry and how to apply them to the specifics of your claim.

Schedule a free legal consultation today by calling 410-244-7005.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?

There are often deadlines for filing insurance claims so it is best to get the process started as soon as possible after your crash.

However, some truck accident cases are not resolved in the insurance process and must be taken to court. Maryland's statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, including truck accident lawsuits, is three years from the date of the crash. The statute of limitations is a deadline for filing a lawsuit. Once the deadline passes, you will lose the opportunity to file a claim. In Maryland, the statute of limitations begins to run once the crash occurs and it runs out three years from that date.

Three years sounds like a long time to many people. But victims often forget that much of that time could be taken up by the insurance claims process. It can also take a while to fully investigate the crash.

It is best to contact a Maryland truck accident attorney as soon as possible to get the process started. That way if we cannot obtain insurance compensation, we still have time to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.

Contact our truck accident attorneys in Maryland today by calling 410-244-7005.

Types of Truck Accident Compensation

One of the most common questions about a truck accident claim is: what forms of compensation are available?

If you have a viable case and decide to pursue it, our Maryland truck accident lawyers could pursue compensation for a variety of damages, such as:

Medical Care

If your crash was caused by another party's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for all past, current and future medical expenses created by your injuries. This could include:

  • Transportation to the hospital after the crash
  • Bills for stays at the hospital
  • Surgeries
  • Mileage to appointments with doctors and specialists
  • Medical tests, such as blood tests, x-rays and CT scans
  • Prescription medications
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Medical equipment, such as canes, crutches and wheelchairs

Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity

You may not be able to work while you are recovering from your injury. You could also miss time at work while you are attending appointments with doctors and other health care providers.

Fortunately, you may be able to obtain compensation for wages you lost when you missed work. You may also be able to obtain compensation for your injury's effect on your future earning capacity. You may be entitled to this form of compensation if you are unable to work in the same capacity as before your injury. This could mean that you have to work in a different field or work fewer hours for less money.

Pain and Suffering

Truck accident injuries are often physically painful, which can be difficult to deal with as you try to move forward with your life. There can also be different types of emotional suffering because of your injury, such as depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health issues.

The law allows you to pursue compensation for these and other forms of physical pain and emotional suffering caused by your injury.

Our Maryland truck accident lawyers will carefully review your claim to determine all of the forms of compensation you may be entitled. We will also help you collect documentation and other evidence to establish the value of these different forms of compensation.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today or call 410-244-7005.

Schedule Your Free Truck Accident Legal Consultation Today

Truck crashes often have devastating consequences, with victims suffering life-altering or even fatal injuries. If this happens, victims should strongly consider seeking legal representation from a Maryland truck accident attorney. A lawyer can determine if you can pursue fair compensation for damages, such as medical bills for treating your injuries, lost wages, and physical pain and emotional anguish from your injuries.

The Maryland truck accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl can review your situation in a free, no obligation legal consultation to determine your options. If you have a viable claim and want to move forward, we will represent you on contingency. This means you will not have any fees or costs unless you recover compensation.

We understand the complexities of truck accident cases, from federal and state regulations to insurance negotiations and conducting a thorough investigation. We are prepared to aggressively pursue all of the compensation you deserve.

Call 410-244-7005 right now to schedule your free, no obligation consultation. 

Contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation if you have been injured by another’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation.

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410-244-7005

Our Offices

Maryland
Local phone 410-244-7005
36 South Charles Street, Suite 1700
Baltimore, MD 21201

Virginia
Local phone 757-397-6424
355 Crawford Street
Portsmouth, VA 23704