Where did the accident occur?
Who hit you?
Was a commercial vehicle involved?
These are all important questions regarding an accident claim, but the last is perhaps the most important. Truck accidents are in a genre all on their own, and it takes a special kind of attorney to handle these complicated cases. Why? Here are just three reasons truck accidents may need extra attention:
1. DUI Standards Are Higher
Whereas most drivers can be charged for a DUI if they are caught with a .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) level, the standard for truck drivers commuting through Maryland is even higher. A commercial driver is considered too drunk to drive a work vehicle once his or her BAC hits .04, half the amount allowed for a person driving a personal vehicle. If you spot any signs of potentially drunk behavior in the truck driver who hit you in Maryland, chances are good that he or she has already reached this significantly lower threshold.
2. Accidents Must Be Reported
By law, every driver, whether in a personal car or a commercial vehicle, must report to the police any accident that results in more than $1,000 in damages. Similarly, any accident that results in personal injury of any kind must be reported. Truck drivers are typically required to advise their employer of any accident in which they are involved, regardless of how small it is. This includes what is often referred to as “incidents,” or any type of minor accident that involves very little property damage and no injury. Be wary of a truck driver who hesitates to call the police to the scene of an accident, even if it’s minor.
3. Restrictions Are Common
Everything in the trucking industry is regulated, including the following:
- The type of vehicle or load a particular driver is eligible to transport (proof must be in the vehicle)
- The training a driver must undergo to get those additional endorsements
- A pre-trip inspection the driver must conduct
- How long a commercial trucker can drive before taking a break
- How many hours a trucker can drive per week
- When and what maintenance must be done on the vehicle
- How the vehicle is loaded
There should be a paper (or electronic) trail to prove all regulations are being followed. You have every right to be suspicious of a commercial driver who fails to present his or her endorsements at the time of the accident or who cannot say how long he or she has been driving. This is information that should be readily available, and if it’s not that may signal a driver who has something to hide. An attorney familiar with truck accidents in Maryland will be able to help you track down the evidence to prove your case.
Check out our library section for more helpful tips on pursuing a truck accident claim, or start a live chat now to get a fast and free personal consultation.