Some Steps to Take Following a Serious Maryland Commercial Trucking Wreck
There are few experiences in life worse than being involved in a bad trucking-related beltway collision or interstate wreck. While few people, if any, are ever prepared for the pain and discomfort following the aftermath of a serious highway accident, hundreds of thousands of people nationwide are involved in severe injury-related and fatal car, truck and motorcycle crashes every year. Ending up in a hospital room unable to work and facing what may be a life-threatening medical condition is a tragic situation indeed, especially when the incident need not have happened in the first place, if only because of the negligent act of one individual.
As Baltimore personal injury attorneys serving clients throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia, the legal team at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, is ready, willing and able to help victims and their families weather the storm. Our skilled staff has the legal training and courtroom skills to represent victims of automobile and trucking-related injury accidents. While many roadway collisions are the result of a simple error on one driver’s part, the repercussions from a head-on impact or auto-pedestrian collision can leave the victim with severe medical complications and an uncertain future, both physically and financially.
Even when a victim makes a full recovery following something as potentially deadly as a commercial trucking wreck, getting past the physical and emotional trauma is just one hurdle -- many accident victims face the very real possibility of a lost job and personal financial problems bordering on bankruptcy due to the sheer weight of tens of thousands of dollars in hospital and doctor bills. For some people left in dire financial circumstances following a bad traffic accident, they may be asking themselves which is truly worse, the bodily injuries or the cost of treatment.
As personal injury lawyers whose job it is to represent victims of Maryland motorcycle, automobile and commercial trucking accidents, our firm believes that the financial damage imposed on victims of traffic wrecks caused by another person should not be shouldered solely by the victim himself. Why should an injured person be left to foot his or her entire medical costs when the negligence can be traced to another motorist or commercial truck driver? We believe that the responsible party(s) should be held accountable for their actions, and we use the law to help our clients recover what is due to them under the Maryland legal statutes.
As professional auto and trucking accident lawyers, we frequently receive numerous questions from potential clients regarding traffic accidents and the legal procedures needed to file a personal injury lawsuit. For those individuals who have been involved in an injury-related auto or commercial trucking crash, there can be a great deal of uncertainty when considering legal action against a negligent driver. The following is a representative collection of just some of the many questions we field from individuals interested in the steps to take following a passenger car or trucking-related beltway, interstate or highway collision:
Q: Should I call the police following a traffic accident?
A: This should never be a question in anyone’s mind. It is absolutely important to contact the police immediately after a roadway incident. This pertains to any collision even if it doesn’t seem that serious. Aside from the possible legal consequences of not reporting an injury-related traffic wreck, a police report can be an important piece of evidence when preparing an personal injury claim. Keep in mind that as a victim of a trucking-related roadway crash, if you received injuries that are not readily apparent until some days following the incident (or if your vehicle begins to exhibit signs of serious mechanical problems sometime later), it is critical to have an official accident report on file as proof that the collision did actually take place and which party was at fault, according to police.
Q: What types of driving behavior amounts to negligence on the part of another individual?
A: There are many kinds of negligent conduct that can occur when a person is behind the wheel of a car or truck, which can result in a serious accident. These include the following:
- Inattention or distraction (texting or using a mobile device while driving)
- Failing to recognize changes in road conditions
- Speeding or exceeding posted limits
- Failing to signal a turn or change of lane
- Failing to stay within one’s lane of travel
- Dropping one or more wheels off the roadway shoulder
- Failing to maintain a motor vehicle’s mechanical systems
- Failing to repair or correct any potentially deadly vehicle problem
- Operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs
Q: What type of compensation can I expect as a victim of a traffic collision?
A: The particular kind of compensation, as well as the amount, usually depends on the nature of the accident that caused the injury to begin with. A qualified personal injury attorney will typically look at the facts of the collision, plus the extent of the victim’s injuries and the type of medical treatment required to help the person recover. Regarding instances where a roadway collision resulted from a commercial trucker’s carelessness, the victim may receive compensation for the following:
- Hospital ER fees and surgical costs, plus any other related medical or doctor expenses
- Rehabilitative therapy costs
- Damages related to either temporary or permanent disability
- Damages arising from physical disfigurement
- Permanent or temporary loss of one’s job
- Pain and suffering resulting from the accident
- Costs related to wrongful death (loss of companionship, loss of financial support, etc.)
- Additional accident-related out-of-pocket expenses borne by the victim
Q: Should I see a doctor following automobile or trucking-related traffic accident?
A: Anyone who has any concern that their health may have been compromised as a result of a trucking-related road accident should certainly seek medical attention. Especially when involved in a beltway or interstate collision with an 18-wheeler or other large commercial motor vehicle (CMV), a person should check to for any obvious signs of injury. However, this is no guarantee of physical health. It is best to consult with a medical professional to be certain there are no adverse effects from the crash.
Traffic accident victims who appear to have serious injuries, and even those who feel “fine,” should dial 911 immediately, especially if they are not sure about the extent of their injuries. It is important to get to a hospital as soon as possible because symptoms arising from traumatic head and neck injuries, as well as possible spinal trauma, are known to develop hours after a collision. The latter kinds of injuries can prove to be life-threatening if allowed to go untreated. In any case, be sure to watch for possible signs of brain and spinal cord injury in the hours and days following a beltway crash.
Many aches and pains resulting from a trucking-related traffic wreck do not necessarily show up until 12 to 14 hours following the collision. Therefore, any difficulty with memory, loss of sensation throughout the body or other kinds of unusual discomfort should be a signal to contact a physician immediately.
Q: What information should I record following a car or truck collision?
A: Victim of a negligence-related car or trucking accident should take down all pertinent information related to the accident. Having all the relevant information will allow you to more easily recall the details of the accident when discussing your personal injury case with an attorney. If possible, obtain and document the following information as soon as possible after a serious injury accident:
- Time, date and place of the collision
- Names and contact information from each of the people involved, including eyewitnesses to the incident
- Descriptions of the vehicles involved (manufacturer, model and year, plus trailer and load details)
- Injuries sustained by you as a result of the collision
- Insurance information for all drivers involved
Finally, it is important to mention that photographs of the crash scene can be of great help when filing your personal injury claim. Take advantage of the camera in your cellphone or smartphone, and snap numerous pictures of the vehicles and crash site. Even if you see the police doing the same thing, it never hurts to have your own record of the event. If you don’t have a camera available at the time of the crash, be certain to take photographs of your vehicle as soon as possible following the collision. At the very least, doing so will allow you to document the extent of the property damage that your vehicle has received.
Contacting an experienced Maryland trucking accident injury lawyer is always a good idea, especially when you have received any kind of serious injury. The skilled legal staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen can help victims decide whether or not to pursue a personal injury claim against a commercial trucker or his employer. We prepare every client’s case by collecting all relevant accident information as well as the costs of medical treatment, prognosis for the victim’s future medical condition and driving history of the trucker who caused the crash.
When it comes to serious injuries, never take your health for granted. Even if you are not hospitalized, it is wise to consult a doctor following any severe car, truck or motorcycle accident. Because your health is the most important asset you have, the staff at the law offices of Lebowitz & Mzhen is ready, willing and able to lend legal assistance to those victims seeking recovery of damages. If you wish to sue a negligent driver for compensation for your medical fees, rehab costs and other accident-related expenses, our legal team is here to help. Please call our law offices today at (800) 654-1949 to arrange for a free, no-obligation consultation. You can also email Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen to set up a one-on-one meeting to go over the facts of your commercial trucking injury case.