Truck Accident FAQ
Answers you can trust from our Maryland truck accident lawyers
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident caused by a commercial truck driver in Maryland, you probably have a lot of legal questions. But finding accurate information can be challenging and confusing.
This is why our law firm created this page. We know how complicated truck accident injury claims and lawsuits can be for everyone involved. That’s because our legal team at Goldberg Finnegan has years of experience handling such serious cases.
This is also why we want to meet with you right away. We know what obstacles can often come up in such cases. We know the barriers to justice you might encounter. That’s why we want to help. Simply contact us and schedule your free case evaluation with a Maryland truck accident attorney you can trust. We’re here for you when you need us most.
What Is Your Truck Accident Question?
- Should I call the police after my truck accident?
- Who investigates commercial truck accidents?
- What laws apply to truck accidents?
- Who’s responsible for paying for my truck accident?
- Should I accept a truck accident settlement offer?
- Can I ask for more money for my truck crash?
- How much is my truck accident worth?
- What expenses can I be compensated for?
- Should I file a truck accident lawsuit?
- How long do I have to take legal action?
- Why should I hire a Maryland truck accident lawyer?
By reporting your truck accident, you will also create an official record for your collision. That way, if there are any questions later about what happened, you will have an accident report documenting your truck accident.
This can be very important since many trucking companies and insurance companies try to deny accident claims rather than pay injury victims the compensation they deserve. Why? Because many truck accident injury claims are worth a lot of money.
Commercial truck accidents are different than other motor vehicle accidents. And part of that has to do with who investigates such collisions. Along with local police and state troopers from the Maryland State Police, many commercial truck accidents are investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), especially if the truck accident results in a fatality or serious injury.
In addition, trucking companies and insurance companies often conduct their own independent truck accident investigations. You should do the same thing. That way, you can make sure your truck accident claim gets the attention it deserves. And the best way to independently investigate your truck crash is to hire an experienced Maryland truck accident attorney at our Silver Spring law firm.
Along with Maryland’s traffic safety laws, commercial truck accidents involving drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) are subject to many other additional rules and regulations, especially on the federal level.
In particular, many of these federal trucking laws can be found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which is part of the Code of Federal Regulations governing the trucking industry. There are nearly 100 different sections included in Title 49. That’s why it’s critical that you have a lawyer handling your case who’s familiar with the latest version of these complex rules and regulations.
When it comes to truck accidents, Maryland has an at-fault insurance system. This means the at-fault party must pay for all accident-related expenses for injury victims. In your particular case, the at-fault party that must pay for your collision could include any one or more of the following individuals or businesses:
- Truck driver who caused your collision.
- Trucking company the truck driver works for.
- Company that loaded the truck, especially if the truck was improperly loaded and caused a rollover or jackknife truck accident.
- Business responsible for maintaining the truck.
- Truck parts manufacturer, especially if your collision was caused by defective truck brakes or a tire blowout accident.
- Insurance company for each one of these businesses.
As you can see, truck accident claims can be complicated. Knowing who’s responsible for paying for your crash might not be clear. That’s why it’s critical that you talk with a lawyer who can help you explore all your funding options after your collision.
Many times, trucking companies or insurance companies will make a settlement offer soon after a truck accident. Receiving such an offer might seem like a lifeline, especially if you already have mounting medical expenses and many other bills due to your truck crash.
But it’s important to understand how truck accident settlement claims work. These are one-time checks designed to pay for a lifetime’s worth of accident-related expenses. And once you accept such an offer, that’s it. You cannot ask for any more money in the future, even if your accident expenses go up significantly months or years later.
This is why you should always carefully consider any settlement offer before agreeing to accept it. Otherwise, you could end up having to pay for many accident expenses out of your own pocket, even though you did nothing wrong.
Yes. If you have not agreed to accept a settlement offer, you can still ask for more money from the at-fault party responsible for compensating you. However, negotiating a better settlement offer can be very complicated. And many trucking companies and insurance companies will often insist that their first offer is their best and final offer. This is why it often pays to have an experienced Maryland truck accident attorney negotiating your settlement offer on your behalf.
There’s no set dollar amount when it comes to truck accident claims in Maryland. Some might be worth a few thousand dollars. Other, similar collisions might be worth a lot more. The bottom line is you should be paid for all your accident expenses, now and in the future. What you might not realize is just how many expenses your injury claim or settlement covers.
As briefly explained above, you should be financially compensated for all your accident expenses, including:
- Cost of all medical care, including emergency medical treatments, physical therapy, follow-up doctor’s appointments and future surgical procedures.
- Vehicle repairs or the cost of buying a new car if your vehicle was totaled in your truck accident.
- Home modifications (installing a wheelchair ramp, for example) if you have mobility issues due to your truck accident.
- Replacement income if you need time off to rest and recover after your truck crash.
- Lost future income if you cannot return to work or can only work in a limited capacity due to a permanent disability.
- Pain and suffering in certain circumstances.
This is a very difficult decision that you need to carefully consider. Sometimes, the best way to get the money you deserve is to take legal action and file a truck accident lawsuit seeking damages, the legal term for financial compensation.
Often, some of the reasons why people decide to file a lawsuit include:
- Insurance company makes a lowball settlement offer, acts in bad faith, and refuses to offer more money.
- Insurance company denies your truck accident injury claim.
- You believe the best way to get the maximum-financial compensation is to take legal action.
In most cases in Maryland, you have three (3) years from the date of your truck accident to file a truck accident lawsuit. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations as defined in Maryland Code Section 5-109.
But just because you have three years does not mean you should wait that long to take legal action. If you do, the evidence you need to build a strong, successful legal case might no longer exist. And without such evidence, you might have a hard time winning your case.
For example, truck companies only have to keep certain evidence for a short period of time. This includes:
- Hours of Service (HOS) logs, which can be destroyed after 6 months.
- Truck inspection and repair records, which can be destroyed after 12 months.
- Black box truck data records, which are often destroyed after only a few weeks.
There are so many reasons why you should hire a truck accident attorney. Each case is different. But in general, an experienced lawyer can make sure your accident claim gets the attention it rightfully deserves. Your attorney can also aggressively advocate for the maximum financial compensation you deserve.
We realize no amount of money can make up for serious injuries sustained in a truck accident. But you have already suffered enough. The last thing you need is to worry about how to pay for all your truck accident-related expenses, which can add up fast.
Our job is to deal with all the red tape often associated with truck accidents. We also know how to negotiate effectively with insurance companies and have extensive courtroom experience as trial attorneys in Maryland. We’re the law firm you want it matters most.