Beltway and Interstate Wrecks
As Maryland personal injury attorneys experienced in auto injury claims, we know that accident events happen a great deal faster when a car is traveling at interstate speeds versus those that occur when moving along on slower surface streets. And, with speed comes greater opportunity for severe injuries or even death. That’s the bad news. The good news is that Maryland freeways, as well as the Baltimore and Washington D.C. beltway system, have fewer access points and generally no cross traffic.
Still, as Baltimore automobile and trucking accident attorneys we know how easily one can become the victim of a bad highway collision caused through no fault of your own. As drivers ourselves, we also understand that at these higher speeds, the chances for serious injury can sometimes be a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is why we always recommend that anyone hurt in a roadway collision caused by another individual contact a qualified injury attorney as soon as is practical.
Because road speeds are naturally higher on the interstates, highways and beltways, the accidents that precipitate from them can result in much more serious injuries. From simple cuts and bruises to traumatic brain injuries and life-threatening burns, these collisions are only made worse by the high speeds and/or negligent actions of a handful of bad drivers.
Consider the facts. More than 500,000 drivers are cited for speed-related offenses every week in the United States, with one in six motorists being hit with a speeding citation on an annual basis. From this, it’s not hard to believe data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which shows that nearly one-third of all fatal car, truck and SUV wrecks are directly related to speeding on the part of at least one of the drivers involved.
It’s a matter of physics that the faster a car is traveling, the less time the driver of that vehicle has to react to any given situation. Medical experts tell us that the average person requires between 0.75 and 1.5 seconds to react to a roadway event. At just 50mph, a motor vehicle will cover 73 feet in one second. Even under the best of circumstances, a car will travel 55 feet before the drive can react to a road hazard or other traffic problem. Factor in a vehicle’s braking distance it’s possible that a car or truck could go another 100 or more feet before coming to a stop.
The higher the speed, the more time needed to react and control the vehicle to avoid a collision. At 70mph, a car or truck would travel an average of 115 feet before the driver could react to a potential accident situation. To put this in perspective, that is about seven car lengths’ distance from recognizing a problem to beginning any kind of emergency maneuver. The legal staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen understands the physics behind roadway collisions, which is critical to preparing a successful personal injury lawsuit.
For instance, we know that in a 60mph car wreck, there will be much more damage to the vehicle and potential injury to the occupants than anything one might expect in a simple 5mph fender bender accident. Doing the math only confirms that as speed increases, so does the potential for bodily injury. In fact, many victims of high-speed beltway accidents typically suffer some kind of injury that requires medical attention or even hospitalization, sometimes for a prolonged period.
Because of the many and varied sources of possible negligent liability associated with an interstate or beltway traffic accident, these high-speed collisions can be some of the more complex types of injury accidents to litigate. Just a few of the factors that may come into play when preparing a highway injury accident lawsuit may include:
- Weather conditions on the day of the accident
- Roadway design at the crash site
- Road sign location and orientation
- Roadway maintenance or lack thereof
- Construction zone or other mitigating factors
- Excessive speed on the defendant’s part
- Possible fatigue or driver distraction
- Inadequate/improper vehicle maintenance
- Possible alcohol consumption on the defendant’s part
- Defective or malfunctioning equipment
- Reckless or aggressive vehicle operation
Having a lawyer on one’s side will make a difference for many accident victims. In some instances, the insurance companies may offer a settlement that is less than the damage or injuries sustained by the victim as a result of the collision. As Maryland automobile injury lawyers we find this unacceptable especially in cases of permanent disability or wrongful death.
Highway wrecks caused by another driver’s negligent actions should be pursued aggressively in order to recover the maximum damages from the responsible parties. At the law offices of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, we recommend that anyone injured in a road accident seek immediate medical attention, followed closely by a call to a qualified personal injury attorney. Since many insurance companies might offer to pay for car repairs, yet refuse to cover a victim’s medical expenses or other accident-related bills, it is essential that victims retain legal representation, especially in cases of severe bodily injury.
As road accident lawyers, the personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen understand how the law applies to those victims seeking restitution following a fatal and near-fatal highway collision. Being skilled legal professionals, we have the training and courtroom experience to recover damages from the responsible parties in order to ensure that past, present and future medical expenses will be covered for the victims of a serious injury accident. We welcome your call -- toll-free at (800) 654-1949 -- to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. Or send an email to either Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen for a one-on-one legal consult.