Fatal Truck Accidents Reach a Crisis Level

Fatal Truck Accidents Reach a Crisis Level With the pandemic dying down, traffic numbers are rising-- and so are the number of fatal truck accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports a 13% increase in fatal truck accidents between 2020 and 2021.

The same report states that traffic fatalities in 2020 were the highest across the board since 2005, with a 10.5% increase. There is still data to be collected, and the numbers are sure to increase. Many factors contribute to truck accidents, and you should work with a Maryland truck accident lawyer to get justice and compensation for your loss.

Causes of fatal truck accidents in Maryland

The causes of truck accidents do not falter, which begs the question of why more isn't being done to prevent these actions and inactions leading to fatalities. Among the most common causes of fatal truck accidents are:

The list is not exhaustive, and a truck accident can also happen for other reasons. Many of these causes of truck accidents are avoidable, and the parties responsible for these violations bear legal responsibility for their actions. There are federal regulations that should prevent these actions, but many drivers and employers do not follow them. Our Maryland wrongful death lawyers know how to build a solid case and recover compensation for grieving families.

What are the federal regulations for truck drivers?

Many regulations exist for cargo, driving time, rest breaks, and more. Failure to adhere to these regulations may lead to fatal accidents. Regarding cargo, it must be stably immobilized or secured within a truck using items with the appropriate strength. The use of tie-downs and other materials is vital to securing cargo and ensuring it does not move or slide.

Truck drivers cannot drive beyond federal hour-of-service regulations because they can become fatigued and inattentive while driving. Some regulations truck drivers must follow include the following:

  • No driving more than 11 hours without rest
  • Ten consecutive hours of rest after 11 driving hours
  • Drivers can remain on duty for a maximum of 14 consecutive hours, which cannot extend with rest breaks, meals, or fuel stops
  • No more than 60 hours on duty in 7 consecutive days
  • No more than 70 on-duty hours in 8 consecutive days
  • Minimum 30-minute rest break after 8 consecutive driving hours

These are minimum hours of service regulations, and when drivers do not adhere to them, they can cause accidents and death.

Where truck accidents commonly occur in Maryland

A person can die from a truck accident on any road, but commercial trucks frequent some roads more than others. A mail truck is unlikely to be on a highway, while a commercial truck is unlikely on a residential street. Commercial truck accidents are prevalent on interstates and US highways. Some Maryland interstates where truck accidents occur are:

  • I-68
  • I-97
  • I-195
  • I-270
  • I-370
  • I-695

Any interstate is dangerous and can lead to a fatal accident, and the family should consider consulting a Maryland fatal truck accident lawyer to discuss the next steps and legal options.

Truck accident wrongful death liability

Liability for truck accidents is very complex, and you may have the right to recover compensation. The truck driver is responsible for the accident, but their employer is another party who may also be liable for your losses. Depending on the circumstances, you can also hold repair shops and vehicle or parts manufacturers responsible for your loved one's death. Determining liability is contentious, and you need a fatal truck accident lawyer in Maryland to identify and hold the right parties accountable.

Damages in Maryland wrongful death claims

You may seek damages contingent on the circumstances of your loved one’s truck accident. You can recover property damage, economic and non-economic damages. You can also recover your loved one's medical expenses, out-of-pocket costs, loss of consortium, and more. In Maryland, you have three years to file a claim and recover compensation. However, you may wish to start investigating the claim well before the three years to file a lawsuit.

Your loved one was partaking in the mundane task of driving when their life was cut short because of someone else's negligence. Surviving family members have legal options to recover damages for their loss. You must consult with a Maryland truck accident lawyer from Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A., as we have served victims and their families for over 35 years. We have offices across the state for your convenience. Call our office or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.