Injury-related Beltway Accidents Involving Unlicensed Commercial Truck Drivers
Many multi-vehicle accidents are quite serious, especially when a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is involved. Without a doubt, compared to the majority of passenger car-only collisions, semi tractor-trailer crashes and other wrecks involving a large commercial vehicle and a smaller sedan, SUV or minivan have the potential to inflict serious and sometimes fatal injuries to the occupants of the passenger vehicle. As Baltimore personal injury attorneys, the lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, are very aware of the opportunity for bodily injury with almost any trucking-related road accident.
Being legal experts working in the area of personal injury law, we understand how to handle CMV-related injury claims. Whether a trucking wreck occurs in the metropolitan Baltimore area, or in Annapolis, Gaithersburg or Washington, D.C., our staff is prepared to assist those victims of injury-related commercial truck accidents. Our years of experience allow us to prepare and litigate our clients’ traffic accident cases in courtrooms all around Maryland and in the District of Columbia.
To help protect the motoring public, as well as innocent bystanders, the federal government (via the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration -- FMCSA) has created numerous rules and regulations that govern the trucking industry. These safety regulations, procedures and guidelines are also maintained by Maryland’s State Highway Administration and are meant to protect Maryland’s residents from the potential hazards presented by these massive CMVs.
Among the many and varied state and federal requirements, basic driver qualifications must be met by all individuals applying for a commercial driver’s license or CDL. These include the following:
- Being 21 years of age or older
- Possessing a working knowledge of English sufficient to understand road signs and be conversant with the public, as well as law enforcement officers
- Successfully passing a medical exam as specified by the Department of Transportation (DOT)
- Holding a valid motor vehicle operator’s license
When it comes to safety on the road, it is essential that truckers are properly licensed and that they follow all the necessary regulations when operating their vehicles. As part of this, any commercial trucker who is involved in interstate commerce is required to pass a physical exam by a medical doctor. The certification requirements -- found in FMCSR, Part 391.41 (a), 391.43 and 391.45 -- apply to intrastate drivers who operate CMV combinations with gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWRs) or combined ratings (GVWRs) of more than 10,000 pounds.
Commercial truck drivers must provide the State of Maryland with copies of their latest medical examination, plus their DOT Card (and waiver, if applicable). This information is required to remain on file for as long as the trucker holds his or her CDL regardless of whether they are actively operating a CMV.
There is no doubt that qualified and licensed commercial truck drivers have a great deal of training; typically much more than any holder of a general passenger car license. In order to qualify for a CDL, individuals must put in many hours behind the wheel of large motor vehicles, such as semi tractor-trailers. Being able to control an 18-wheeler properly is one of the important abilities that every commercial trucker must have.
Unfortunately, as Maryland personal injury attorneys, the legal team at Lebowitz & Mzhen knows that there are unqualified individuals who operate CMVs every day throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia without the proper training or licensing.
As skilled trucking accident specialists, we understand the dangers that are posed by unlicensed drivers of commercial motor vehicles. While driving a passenger car without a license may lead a person to run afoul of the law, whether as a result of a traffic stop or a roadway accident, the consequences of similar problems arising for a driver of a commercial motor vehicle can be huge, not only for the operator himself, but also for those who share the road with that unqualified truck driver.
There are a variety of studies conducted by highway safety organizations and police departments throughout the U.S., which indicate that individuals who do not apply for a legitimate motor vehicle operator’s license -- or worse, those who have had their driver’s license revoked or suspended -- can easily present a genuine danger to the rest of the motoring public. It goes without saying that unqualified or unlicensed heavy truck operators constitute one of the more dangerous groups on our roadways today.
In the Baltimore area alone, our staff fully understands the negative effects that less-than-qualified drivers can have on traffic safety. For anyone injured by an unlicensed commercial trucker, the painful injuries resulting from a trucking accident can often be rivaled by the anger and frustration of having discovered that the individual who caused the crash was operating the truck illegally.
When Lebowitz & Mzhen takes on a trucking accident case, we prepare our clients’ lawsuits with the full intent of going to trial. Our experienced legal team is ready and willing to assist victims of commercial trucking wrecks. Having experience in all types of traffic-related injury claims, we understand personal injury and insurance law, and how it pertains to trucking-related injury accidents.
If you have been badly injured by the careless or negligent actions of an unlicensed commercial truck driver, we recommend that you contact a qualified trucking accident lawyer as soon as possible. If you need to speak to an experienced trucking accident attorney, the professional trial lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen are more than happy to provide legal counsel. Please call our offices -- toll free -- at (800) 654-1949 and request a free, no-obligation consultation. You may also email Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen to set up a one-on-one meeting to discuss your trucking-related injury claim.