Let’s take a look at which of the large commercial trucking companies cause the most auto accidents and which company has the highest accident rate. Our Baltimore auto accident attorneys see hundreds of traffic accident cases every year. We have first-hand experience with how destructive serious auto accidents can be. Major truck accidents can life-altering events with permanent consequences.

Of all the accident cases we handle, commercial truck accidents are by far the worst and most destructive. Big trucks (e.g., delivery truck, tractor-trailers, and other commercial trucking vehicles) can be 4 or 5 times the size and weight of an average passenger car. When these massive moving objects collide with smaller vehicles, the outcome is often tragic.

The Maryland truck accident lawyers at our firm represent dozens of big truck accident victims every year. There are certain big trucking companies that we run into as defendants in these cases on a fairly regular basis. This is because there are a handful of very large commercial trucking companies that cause a very high percentage of truck accidents. To be fair, this is partly due to the fact that these companies are bigger and have more trucks logging more mileage. But it is also true that certain truck companies place less emphasis on driver safety and training. This post will look at who these companies are and why they account for so many truck accidents.

Consider the following common scenario. One morning while you are driving to work, you slow down for traffic on I-95 and get rear-ended by the car behind you. Your car is a mangled mess.

At first, you feel fine physically. You even make it into your office and work a full day. You go to be still feeling fine and counting yourself lucky. Then in the middle of the night, you suddenly wake up with shooting pain in your neck and shoulder.

By morning, the pain is so bad that you can barely get out of bed let alone go to work. Your spouse takes you to the local urgent care facility. Nothing is broken, but the doctor says you may have suffered a herniated disc in the car accident. He also says you probably tore your rotator cuff. You spend the next 3 months in and out of various doctor offices undergoing escalating treatment efforts to stop the debilitating pain in your back and shoulder. You end up missing almost 4 months from work and racking up thousands in medical bills.

Last Sunday, September 27th, on I-95 near the exit for Route 100, the lives of 4 totally unconnected people were randomly shattered forever in a span of just 14 minutes. The disastrous accident started with a lone deer who stranded on the narrow sliver of woods in the 95 median strip near Elkridge, MD. It ended with 1 man dead, 2 more clinging to life in Shock Trauma, and a fourth person being hunted by police.

What happened near Route 100 on Sunday is a stark reminder of how tragedy on the highway can strike down lives suddenly and randomly. The fallout also raises a lot of common legal questions about civil liability and who will end up paying for the financial cost of the accident.

The Accident

Getting in a car accident is a miserable experience. Even if you don’t get hurt in the collision, you can expect weeks and possibly even months of stress and hassle. The primary source of this stress is usually the car insurance company and their adjuster. Whether it is your own insurance company or the other driver’s carrier, negotiating a settlement in a claim with an insurance adjuster can be a frustrating ordeal.

Most insurance adjusters come across as very friendly. This often causes people to let their guard down and get lulled into thinking the adjuster is there to help you. They are NOT there to help you. The adjuster is there to resolve your claim quickly and at the lowest possible cost to the company. Below are some tricky tactics that insurance adjusters often use to save money on your claim while making you feel like they are doing you a favor.

Getting You to Accept a Lowball Initial Settlement Offer

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has designated October as National Pedestrian Safety Month. The “virtual kickoff” for this first-ever Pedestrian Safety Month was held on September 29th.

USDOT Secretary Elaine Chao, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Deputy Administrator James Owens, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator Nicole Nason, and others spoke at this event. They discussed the pedestrian fatality rate and potential reduction policies. This new safety awareness campaign comes eight months after a February 2020 report found that pedestrian fatality rates increased over the last decade.

Awareness of pedestrian safety is good, and the focus is long overdue.

Most people injured in a rear-end car accident in Maryland look for fair settlement value for their case. No one wants to get ripped off by an insurance company. These companies spend a lot of time training their insurance adjusters how to rip you off. So fair settlement value is not something that will be handed over to you easily. As I explain below, I think “fair settlement value” is the wrong lens to use when approaching the settlement of a rear-end accident case. But let’s start with this premise.

What Is a Fair Settlement Offer for a Rear-End Accident Case in Maryland?

On this page, we will try to give you an idea of what a fair settlement offer should be for a rear-end auto accident case. Rear-end accident cases are the most common type of vehicle collision, accounting for over 40% of all accidents. Not surprisingly, rear-end accidents also generate the greatest number of personal injury claims. Our Maryland auto accident lawyers have literally settled thousands of rear-end cases. We know these cases well. We have a solid understanding of what a fair settlement offer should look like.

The Value of a Rear-End Accident Case Depends on the Severity of Injury

Riding a motorcycle can be very dangerous. If you get in almost any type of accident on a motorcycle you can expect some serious injuries and you could easily die. Of course, this danger and the thrill it generates is exactly what draws people to motorcycles in the first place.

Have Fun and Not Die

There are certain basic safety principles that anyone riding a motorcycle, sports bike, or similar vehicle needs to follow. The first and most obvious is the use of protective gear. Wearing a helmet is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself on a motorcycle. If you’re wearing an appropriate helmet and you get in a motorcycle accident, your chances of suffering a brain injury will be decreased by 67%. Your chance of dying decreases by 40%.

Federal regulations regarding commercial trucking require states to notify other states when licensed truck drivers incur violations that warrant license suspension. The purpose of these rules is to keep dangerous truck drivers off the road.  Unfortunately, however, a recent report by the Boston Globe found that over half of all states routinely fail to comply with this warning requirement.

When a commercial driver receives a license suspension or conviction, the state is supposed to notify other jurisdictions within 10 days. But most state agencies take months (and sometimes years) to send out these warning notices to other states. In some cases, truckers were allowed to continue driving in other states for more than 20 years after a license suspension or revocation.

This is a situation that puts people in danger. A 70,000-pound big rig truck can cause serious injuries and death in an accident. Ensuring that the individuals driving these massive vehicles are qualified and responsible is extremely important. Tractor-trailer trucks cause 5,000 deaths on U.S. roadways each year and that number has been on the rise recently. The habitual failure of state motor vehicle agencies to communicate with each other on truck driver license violations is contributing to this growing problem. The Boston Globe study found that at least 1 out of every 20 commercial truck drivers on the road is illegally driving with an active, unresolved violation of their license.

Car accident lawyers fighting for injured victims have an uphill battle to climb in many respects. Public opinion has turned on victims in 2020, and judges and juries often assume when a car accident victim walks in the door that he/she is exaggerating their injuries.

So smart Maryland accident lawyers take the benefits that the system provides for their clients. A big advantage plaintiffs’ lawyers have is that they are better able to dictate the pace of the progression of a motor vehicle accident case.

File Your Expert Designation with Your Lawsuits

Maryland accident lawyers complain very little about not having punitive damages for accident lawsuits in Maryland. Why? I think it is just because we are so used to it in 2020, no one really imagines a punitive damages world for car crash cases.

While all roads lead to Rome, let’s talk about punitive damages generally and Maryland car accident cases and employment law cases.

What Is the Leading Maryland Case on Punitive Damages?

In Owens-Illinois, Inc. v. Zenobia, 325 Md. 420, 601 A.2d 633 (1992), the Maryland Court of Appeals redefined the standard for awarding punitive damages. The court “implied malice” was not enough to support a punitive damages award. The court ruled that punitive damages may not be awarded unless the defendant’s conduct was found to the characterized by evil motive, intent to injure, ill will, or fraud.  This actual malice standard is a departure from many statutes that allow an award of punitive damages for implied malice.