Big rig semi tractor-trailers and other large commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) have been a part of our transportation and economic landscape for many decades. Moving millions of tons of commodities, merchandise and other commercial goods from coast to coast, these 50,000-pound behemoths are critical to the continued economic success of the United States. That said, however, it must be realized that as with any motor vehicle, unexpected and costly outcomes are often a consequence of having thousands of trucks plying Maryland roadways every day.
Considering the sheer number of large commercial trucks on the road -- including box-type delivery vans, car transporters, tanker vehicles, garbage and refuse haulers, 18-wheeled flatbed tractor-trailers and other heavy and industrial vehicles – it is not surprising that statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that one of nine roadway deaths (in 2008) are caused by accidents involving commercial trucks.
At Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, we recognize the numerous challenges that victims of traffic wrecks face; not only in terms of the physical pain and emotional anguish that a car, truck or motorcycle accident can cause, but also because of the financial distress that medical costs and work loss can place on individuals and their families. Here at our Baltimore law offices, our experienced legal team is dedicated to aggressive defense of auto and trucking accident victims’ rights. Our aim is to ensure that each of our clients receive the compensation they deserve under the laws of the state of Maryland.
Not every accident is due to simple driver error. A fair number of serious highway and beltway accidents are caused by negligence, such as a commercial truck driver who is overly fatigued, distracted by their cellphone or other mobile device; or impaired by alcohol, doctor-prescribed medication or illicit drugs. Oddly, intoxication is at the lower end of the spectrum, with the NHTSA has reporting that only two percent of fatal trucking-related accidents in 2008 involved drivers who had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more. Interestingly, in nearly a quarter of all fatal wrecks involving large commercial trucks in 2008, the trucker behind the wheel had at least one previous conviction for exceeding the posted speed limit.
While a fair number of passenger car drivers at one time or another in their lives make a mistake that causes some kind of traffic accident, a commercial truck driver who makes a simple error may end up with a fatal accident on his or her record. Although these professional drivers receive better training than the average motorist, accidents still happen; and the results can be deadly. The legal staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen fully understands the dangers associated with high-speed trucking-related beltway accidents. It is a sad fact that an overwhelming majority of people who are injured or killed in commercial trucking crashes are actually occupants riding in other, usually smaller vehicles at the time of the crash.
Whether you are a motorist, passenger or pedestrian, your right to compensation following a negligence-related commercial truck wreck is defined by Maryland law. Whenever a victim of a CMV-related collision finds that his or her emergency room and doctor bills are adding up, it may be time to contact a qualified auto and trucking accident attorney; if not sooner, especially when one believes that their injuries are a direct result of the negligent actions of a commercial truck driver or his employer.
While we believe that victims of traffic accidents should make every effort to pursue compensation from those responsible for their injuries -- as well as other damages, such as lost wages -- we also know that going toe-to-toe with a large trucking company or insurance carrier is certainly not an easy task. Having represented numerous individuals recover monetary damages for injuries or wrongful death, we are well equipped to assist victims get their full and just compensation for medical expenses, work loss, pain and suffering, and other related damages.
As Maryland personal injury lawyers and commercial trucking accident attorneys, Lebowitz & Mzhen undertake every case with the full intent of going to trial. With years of experience in such cases, we understand that a well-prepared trucking injury claim has a better chance of succeeding than a poorly prepared case. Our years of training and litigation experience gives us the skills to help drivers, passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians recover damages arising from medical expenses necessitated by a negligence-related highway wreck.
We recognize that commercial trucking injury cases often turn on the finest of details. Knowing, as we do, that CMV-involved personal injury cases are similar to auto accident claims only in that they both take place on a Maryland roadway; the rest of the incident will generally be wholly different from a similar car, SUV or minivan accident lawsuit. Just as CMVs are very different from those smaller passenger sedans and sport utility vehicles, so are the laws governing the operation of a commercial vehicle different from those affecting passenger vehicles.
Fortunately, the state of Maryland provides specific laws that were created, on the whole, to assist commercial trucking accident victims. When taking on these more detailed trucking accident cases, we remind our clients of the need to understand the subtle details that can affect the outcome of a Maryland commercial vehicle injury case. Aside from the important legal considerations, investigating the root cause(s) of these types of crashes is critical to the success of a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Taking into consideration all of the factors affecting the outcome of a serious injury accident or fatal truck crash, the era of modern electronics has helped to provide additional insight into the how and why of a particular traffic collision. These days, most commercial 18-wheelers usually employ one of the well-known "black boxes" that measure a variety of vehicle and engine/transmission functions and parameters. Getting legal access to the data from such electronic units can go a long way toward assisting a plaintiff in his or her successful claim against the responsible party(s).
It goes without saying that if you or someone who you care about has suffered serious injury as a result of a bad trucking-related roadway collision, you may be concerned about which way to proceed or even where one should go for help. In some cases, it might be difficult to actually establish who the responsible party is. Because of this, the legal professionals at Lebowitz & Mzhen rely on its collective years of experience to determine liability and build a strong case for recovery of monetary damages.
Whether a case depends on the data from a truck’s black box, a dash-cam video or relevant testimony from a key witness, we have found it important to act as quickly as possible to have trucking companies preserve the data or video footage, or obtain eye-witness testimony before too much time elapses. Our efforts over the years have helped many victims of car and truck accidents recover the damages due them, making an often harrowing event less burdensome from a financial standpoint.
We urge victims of such traffic-related injury accidents to contact our law offices to set up a free, no-obligation initial consultation. If you believe that your injuries, and the related medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and lost wages, are the result of the negligent actions of a commercial truck driver or the company who employs him or her, please take a moment to call us, toll-free, at 1-800-654-1949. We will be happy to schedule a one-on-one initial consultation with our legal team. If you prefer, you may email either Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen to make arrangements for a free, no-obligation meeting to go over the details of your commercial trucking injury claim.