As any student of physical science knows, the heavier an object is, the greater the force required to move it from a stationary position. Conversely, when a very heavy object, such as a large commercial motor vehicle (CMV), is already in motion, it takes a great deal of energy to stop that motion. Under normal and safety highway circumstances, that energy is absorbed by the tractor-trailer’s braking system as well as the engine/transmission. But this applies to controlled stopping.
During a serious beltway or interstate collision, the very nature of this kind of event means that a significant part of the vehicle’s speed will not be dissipated by the truck’s mechanical systems, but by the act of hitting another vehicle or other object near the roadway. The potential for injury or death in such cases has a great deal to do with what kind of vehicles the larger CMV ends up hitting in the process of stopping its forward motion.
While car-to-car traffic accidents can be quite injurious and sometimes deadly, the fact that vehicles of near-equal mass are striking each other typically means that the energy absorbed by each car (and its occupants) is more or less equal. Although there is no real upside to a bad traffic accident, if the vehicles are well-matched in size and weight, the crash energy is distributed somewhat equally, though circumstances will alter these outcomes as well. The real problem with commercial trucking accidents is that a passenger car is outweighed by the typical CMV by 10 times or more. This dangerous disparity in mass is what can make a trucking-related roadway wreck such a deadly event for some victims.
As a Maryland personal injury law firm, Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, is dedicated to assisting victims and their families recover monetary damages following a car, truck or motorcycle crash in which one of the drivers (or a third party) is found to be at fault. The fact that large commercial trucks -- including car haulers, gasoline tankers, charter buses, moving vans, and large box-type delivery vehicles -- are so much more massive than the passenger cars with which they share the road should mean that commercial truckers are that much more responsible for the safety of not only themselves, but also the general public.
When it comes to a road accident involving a CMV and one or more passenger vehicles, it is usually the larger truck that comes out ahead. At beltway speeds, even a relatively small vehicle can cause quite a lot of property damage, bodily injuries and sometimes fatalities; however, when a large box truck or 18-wheeler is involved in a collision, the energy involved is many times greater than any similar passenger car accident.
Whether a car-truck crash takes place in the Gaithersburg, Rockville or Annapolis area, or over in the District of Columbia, the potential injuries can be wide ranging, to say the least. The human body itself is an amazing mechanism capable of enduring a great deal of abuse, but it is also delicate, especially when it is exposed to something as violent as an impact with 25 tons of rolling iron and steel.
As Baltimore trucking accident attorneys, over the years the legal team at Lebowitz & Mzhen has represented numerous victims of injury-related and fatal traffic collisions. While some roadway collisions result in sudden and untimely deaths, many other traffic wrecks leave the victims in very bad physical shape with the need for multiple or even ongoing medical treatments for months or years to come.
Our professional legal staff understands how a seemingly inconsequential injury can turn into a much more chronic and debilitating condition down the road. Understanding that some medical conditions can develop into life-altering complications, our attorneys are prepared to help accident victims in their pursuit of past, current and future damages resulting from a single negligent act on the part of a commercial truck driver or his employer.
One area of the human body that is extremely sensitive to injury of the type that occurs in trucking-related highway accidents is the spinal column. This remarkable design of nature acts as the supporting structure for a person’s entire upper body. It houses the delicate spinal cord, a bundle of nerve fibers that convey motor impulses between the hands, arms and legs to the brain. Most commonly referred to as the spine or backbone, the human spinal column consists of 24 articulating vertebrae, as well as nine other fused vertebrae farther down in the sacrum and coccyx.
In car, truck and motorcycle crashes, the spine can be severely affected by extreme forces received during the collision. Needless to say, trucking-related accidents can result in some of the more damaging spinal injuries. Separating the vertebra are the spinal discs that can be compressed by the force of a bad traffic accident causing what medical professionals call a prolapsed (herniated) disc. The loss of the nucleus pulposus that makes up the disc can cause direct pressure on the nearby nerve bundles, which can result in symptoms of sciatica.
Shooting pain and other complaints are typically associated with a herniated disc injury. The effects can be felt in many different parts of the body depending on which disc(s) are affected. As Maryland traffic accident injury specialists, the professional legal team at Lebowitz & Mzhen has the training and litigation experience to represent individuals who suffer from nerve root pain, pain in the legs, arms or other areas as a result of a herniated disc.
The pain from these kinds of injuries may not be manifested immediately following a car, truck or motorcycle accident, sometimes taking days, weeks or months to become acute. Because of this, patients may not fully realize that the problem is related to the traffic accident until much later. Considering the life-altering effects of a pain-related injury, it is wise to contact a qualified personal injury lawyer if the collision was the result of another driver’s negligence.
Some accident victims who suffer from one or more herniated discs caused by a trucking-related crash can experience almost constant pain for months or years after the fact. Back surgery, steroid injections and physical therapy can help to temporarily relieve the pain, but often this kind of injury lingers with some people throughout their lives. For this reason, our attorneys look at every facet of a trucking-related accident case.
While it is important to determine who is responsible for the accident, a skilled lawyer must also rule out any pre-existing condition or degenerative disease (such as osteoarthritis) in order to establish a settlement value for his or her client’s particular injury claim. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we recommend contacting a personal injury expert even if you suspect that a spinal injury may not be related to a recent traffic accident. Our attorneys can help you make the decision to file a personal injury claim against a negligent trucker or other responsible party.
Our experienced legal team prepares each and every case with the full intent to take the lawsuit to trial. This not only can make for an improved outcome, it can occasionally influence an out-of-court settlement without the need for a protracted court battle. As legal professionals, we are comfortable working with insurance companies to ensure that past, present and future medical care and physical therapy costs will be covered for those individuals who now suffer from painful spinal cord injuries, closed-head trauma and other debilitating injuries.
Please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation to see if you are legally justified to recover damages from a careless or reckless commercial truck driver or trucking company. We are ready, willing and able to help and one of our experienced lawyers will be happy to sit down with you to answer your questions. You can call us at 800-654-1949; or email either Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen to arrange for a meeting to discuss your case.