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Addressing the Dangers of Swinging Turns by 18-Wheeler Big Rigs

Personal injury claims involving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) can quite frequently be rather complicated legal cases due to the number of potential defendants and the large number of possible causes and special circumstances that surround each of these often tragic roadway wrecks. But facing a possibly complex legal battle is no reason not to pursue a traffic accident injury claim, especially when a victim’s injuries are significant and the medical treatments needed to restore that individual’s health are so very costly.

Being experienced trial attorneys in the Baltimore area, the members of the legal team at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, are trained in the laws that apply to trucking-related injury accidents. We also know that without the assistance of a qualified attorney, many victims may face reduced recovery amounts from insurance companies, which tend to look out more for their bottom line than for the victims of a bad Maryland beltway or interstate collision.

Every year, all across this nation, thousands of innocent motorists and pedestrians are seriously injured by a commercial truck either driven negligently or improperly maintained or designed. Our law firm has dedicated itself to helping the innocent victims and their families recover what is due to them under the laws of this state. Regardless of the type of vehicle that caused the crash -- tractor-trailers, car haulers, delivery box trucks, city buses or charter motor coaches -- the overwhelming size and weight of any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) can turn even a medium-speed beltway accident into a serious incident with the victims fighting for life in a hospital emergency room.

Stopping or turning a large and heavy 18-wheeeler is not a job for the inexperienced. And even though many truckers spend many years behind the wheel of these massive rigs, mistakes are bound to happen. When an error leads to an injury accident, we believe that the responsible party should be held accountable for his or her actions that led to the wreck. Because truckers are in control of these potentially deadly vehicles, if negligence can be proven on the driver’s part, then that individual should be liable for the injuries inflicted by his mistake or outright negligence.

One of the typical accident scenarios that crop up in regard to commercial trucking wrecks, particularly where a relatively long 18-wheeler or motor coach is concerned, is the “wide turn” type of traffic accident. At Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand the dynamics of how a big rig tractor-trailer reacts to steering inputs by its operator. Because these vehicles are so long, drivers must use special turning techniques in order to negotiate even the most simple right-angle turn.

Motorists should be aware that when a tractor-trailer executes a turn from one roadway to another street there is a definite danger posed to passenger cars, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians in the vicinity. The odds of a collision can actually increase, as well, if the truck driver does not take into account other traffic -- vehicular and pedestrian -- that may be present near his rig. The wider-than-normal turning radius required by tractor-trailer can subject some motorists to the so-called “squeeze play.”

This squeeze play scenario can result in a car or motorcycle -- that may have attempted to pass on the inside of the truck’s turn -- being literally crushed by the trailer as it tracks back toward the curb during completion of the wide turn. Again, the truck driver should be aware of the traffic around his vehicle in order to avoid such tragic circumstances. As personal injury attorneys with experience in litigating trucking-related accident cases, we know that a squeeze play-type truck accident can result in severe injury or death.

Similarly, the danger referred to as a “swinging turn” requires a trucker to watch for traffic approaching from the rear. In a typical right-hand turn, as the truck turns a corner, the rear of the truck (or the trailer) will inevitably swing to the left (in the opposite direction of the turn) and perhaps project a portion of the rear-end of the truck into an adjoining lane. Commercial drivers are trained to negotiate wide turns and, as such, they must remain aware of traffic in the left lane (when making a right turn).

Furthermore, the hefty size and extreme length of these vehicles means that some right-hand turns will necessitate the driver to cross the centerline of a two-way thoroughfare in order to set their vehicle up for a proper turn. In any one of these instances, the chances of a collision (either from the side, the rear or a head-on crash) is always present and professional drivers are required to understand the dangers and avoid collisions as a priority.

Because the need for wide berth is very dangerous (especially in right-hand turns), if a driver is negligent in executing such a turn, any resulting accident could be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Unlike roadway accidents involving passenger cars alone, traffic collisions caused by the driver of a CMV will be that much more deadly, as well as complex to litigate. The legal experts at Lebowitz & Mzhen are ready to take on cases involving a trucker who exhibited negligent behavior such as reckless driving or careless operation of his big rig.

Our attorneys understand how quickly these kinds of accidents can happen, though the physical recovery from injuries sustained as a result of a commercial trucking wreck will take much longer. The staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen advises caution when passing or traveling near any large commercial vehicle, but if an accident does occur, we are ready, willing and able to assist in filing and litigating a personal injury claim against the responsible parties. We know how stressful it can be for the injured victims of a severe car or truck crash, especially when facing mounting medical bills, and our law office is here to help.

If you have been injured a commercial trucking accident, it is important to consult with a qualified trucking injury accident attorney who has years of experience litigating Maryland personal injury lawsuits. Please contact us, either by phone or via email, so that may meet with you to discuss your case and help you understand your right to compensation. Our toll-free office number is (800) 654-1949; or you may contact Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen by email to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.

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Throughout the process [of the motor vehicle collision case] you were available, responsive and up front. You were available for my questions, and my need for reassurance, and when the opportunity arose to better the outcome of my case, you did not shy away from the extra work. You have proven yourself to be an honest, realistic and caring advocate for the little guy in need. I will refer your firm to any who may be in similar need. John C.
I can't thank you enough for your efforts and dedication to resolving my case. I also want to thank you for your consistent professional manner, touched with that extra personal care that I sensed whenever we communicated. . . . You are a wonderful person and I wish you continued success. Again, thanks for everything. Hallie W.
I am proud to have had Lebowitz & Mzhen represent me in an automobile personal injury case I was involved with. Not only did they come through with a settlement worth far more than I thought possible, the entire office was always friendly, knowledgeable, and ready to answer any questions I had. Should an incident like this occur again, I will not hesitate to contact Lebowitz & Mzhen for their counsel, advice and representation, and I would wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone seeking honest and effective attorneys. Mark B.
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