Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued as many imminent hazard orders in the last two years, getting rid of more unsafe bus and truck companies, than the prior 10 years combined.

Buses are incredibly safe. If you are in the bus. This shocks parents but it is probably true: your child is better off with an unsafe bus driver taking her to school than you. But if you are in a bus’ path, it is a different story obviously, particularly for pedestrians.

You can read the DOT release here.

The hardest car accident cases to try are he said/she said accidents where there are not natural facts that make one version more likely than another. The classic example of this scenario is lane change/merger accidents. Which car came over into which lane? Even a good accident reconstructionist struggles to put the pieces together. So it often comes down two factors: (1) which version seems more likely (incredibly subjective), and (2) which driver has more credibility (incredibly subjective squared).

According to a Jury Verdict Research study of jury verdicts in these types of cases, the results are what you might intuitively expect: 50/50. The JVR study found car accident plaintiffs win about 48 percent for lane change collisions and 45 percent for merging collisions. The average verdict is $47,807.

lane change accidents

We have tried and won these cases. But our firm will turn down most lane change or merging crash cases unless there is something compelling that makes us think we will win the case. We need two things to move forward in a lane change or merge crash case: (1) a very serious injury (sad but true commentary on the real world), and (2) a client that is extremely credible.

Red light/green light cases are maddening to take to trial. Sometimes, an accident lawyer just knows the defendant is lying… but can’t prove it. Often, there is no solution to this problem in red light/green light or other liability dispute car and truck accident cases. There are no witnesses and all you have is the police report. But sometimes, there is proof out there that the defendant is lying because the light sequence report is mutually exclusive of the defendant’s version of how the car accident occurred.

The solution by now for Maryland accident lawyers is obvious: if you have a liability dispute where light sequencing is an issue, get a copy of the traffic sequence report from the state of Maryland.

The problem with big rig trucks is there are just too many ways they can cause serious accidents. My husband just called me and reported the traffic is stopped on the Baltimore Beltway because a truck apparently shifted too abruptly causing the pavers it was hauling to fly out of the truck, sending them across the jersey wall and into oncoming traffic.

There are just so many different consequences that can stem from negligence in big rig tractor trailers accidents that don’t exist with passenger vehicles. Apparently, what happened here is one of those truck accident risks the general public thinks very little about: properly securing the truck’s load. Federal law clearly sets forth a trucker’s obligations in this regard under 49 CFR 392.9

For years, Maryland law—specifically Insurance Code Section 19-513—expressly prohibited the stacking of insurance policies. This meant that for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, the insurer was liable to its insured for the full amount of the accident victim’s damages minus the amount paid by the liability carrier or the Defendant.

After years of criticism for this, the Maryland legislature finally changed the law. As of July 1, 2018, insurance companies who write private auto policies in Maryland are required to offer something called Enhanced Underinsured Motorist Coverage (EUIM). Insureds who chose to add EUIM to their policy will be able to “stack” coverage to ensure they receive full compensation up to their UIM limits. This means that drivers with EUIM can get a policy limit settlement and still get the full policy limits of their UIM coverage.

Here is a simplified example to demonstrate how stacking will work for drivers with the new EUIM coverage and for drivers who don’t have EUIM coverage:

A head-on truck accident is a type of motor vehicle accident that occurs when a truck hits a vehicle traveling in opposite directions, and they collide directly into each other. When a head-on truck accident happens, the consequences can be devastating, as the impact is usually severe due to the size and weight of the trucks involved.

The most severe car or truck accident is a head-on collision. You would expect settlement amounts and jury payouts to reflect this.

A recent Jury Verdict Research study found that 79% of plaintiffs involved in a head-on truck accident—defined as a truck accident where at least one of the vehicles traveled across the centerline, with a truck causing the damages—received a damage award.

In the late 90s, Europeans figured out that thousands of fatal truck accidents occur every year as the result of head-on collisions between cars and large trucks. The EU did something about it and required European truck builders (Volvo, Renault, Scania, and Mercedes-Benz) to develop a front underride bar connected to the bumper and the chassis to prevent the underride effect in truck accidents. Our country, regrettably, has done nothing to impose the same requirements here in the United States.


Maryland accident lawyers will find of interest in my cross-examination of the defendant driver in a Baltimore City truck accident case tried last month in which the Plaintiff received a verdict of over $1 million. The case has since settled.

This truck driver cross-examination underscores that truck accident lawyers need to know the applicable trucking regulations inside and out. As you will see if you read the cross-examination, this red light/green light truck accident case was arguably won based on an obscure trucking regulation. If you are a Maryland accident lawyer and you think, “Gee, car, truck, it is all pretty much the same thing,” you will miss a ton of angles that could make or break your accident case.

The recession has created another problem for Maryland accident victims: more uninsured motorist accident lawsuits. A new study indicates that one in six drivers in the U.S. might be driving without insurance by 2010. Uninsured drivers had been declining because of sharper enforcement efforts. (In Maryland, the hammer is the FR-19 which Maryland sends out every time you leave your current insurance company.) In fact, the estimated percentage of uninsured motorists in the United States decreased to 13.8% in 2007 from 14.9% in 2003, but it’s expected to sharply increase because of the recession.

A recent study estimated the number of uninsured motorists by using a ratio of insurance claims made by people injured by uninsured drivers to claims by people injured by insured drivers. I’m not sure about the accuracy and I doubt there is an entirely linear relationship, but the theory is that an increase of 1 percent in the unemployment rate causes a nearly three-quarters of a percent increase in the uninsured motorist rate.

That sounds incredibly high, but I don’t know. In Maryland, we have never really gotten a handle on the number of Maryland uninsured drivers. A study from 1977 – sorry it is all I have – suggested the uninsured motorist rate in Maryland was 2.8%. I cannot imagine it was that low, either.

Most car accidents occur with injuries. Maryland accident lawyers typically do not get involved in such cases, leaving accident victims to deal with handling the property damage claim and getting a rental car themselves.

Convincing the insurance company to provide a rental car is a hassle in some Maryland accident case, even if you have a lawyer much less without. This article on getting a rental car from the insurance company after an accident provides a few thoughts for those of you who are traveling solo without a Maryland accident lawyer.

Remember that one good way to take this issue out of play even further is to purchase rental reimbursement coverage. It costs very little – only $12 a year under most auto insurance policies – but it is an investment worth making.