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Hartford County Personal Injury Law Blog

Here is a look at the right steps to take following a collision

Another car just struck yours from behind due to another person's carelessness, and you feel searing pain in your body. You can't believe you have just become a car accident victim, but unfortunately, you are not asleep. The nightmare is real.

As you try to find your bearings, you feel at a loss for what to do immediately following the accident. Unfortunately, taking the wrong steps after a crash that was not your fault can have an adverse impact on you long term. Here is a rundown on what to do after you have been involved in a collision caused by another motorist's negligence.

Motorcycle deaths steady in Maryland; down across country

The number of deaths due to motorcycle accidents is down slightly across the country, according to a recent report. The report compared preliminary statistics from 2017 with the total number of motorcycle fatalities from 2016.

Based on those numbers, the report concluded that 4,990 motorcyclists died in crashes across the country. This was almost 300 fewer deaths than in 2016, which is a decrease of about 5.5 percent.

Representing victims of distracted drivers

A previous post here discussed how distracted driving is an ongoing problem, both in Maryland and in other parts of the country. Distracted driving is a problem in the sense that many motorists in this state see it as a significant danger on this state's highways, and also in the sense that so many people, even those who recognize it as dangerous, continue to engage in behaviors like texting and driving or talking on their phones while driving.

Distracted driving is, in fact, a problem that has been around for about as long as people have been using cars to get from one place to another. Although texting and cell phones are relatively new distractions, people have for decades attempted to read, eat, shave, apply makeup, change the radio station and try to reach to another part of the car while driving. Even a conversation with another live passenger can create a distraction.

Getting to the truck owner after an accident

Most Maryland residents probably figure that if a truck driver, through carelessness, causes a truck accident, then the driver is liable to pay compensation to victims. Sometimes, however, it is to a victim's advantage to also sue other parties who may be responsible for the driver's negligence as well. This gives a victim additional options for pursuing compensation and can serve as a way to assure that the victim will get the compensation needed to recover from injuries and move on with life.

For instance, one relatively straightforward way to sue the owner of the truck involved in the accident is if the owner of the truck happens to be the same company that employs the negligent truck driver. In this sort of situation, the legal doctrine called respondeat superior applies. In plain English, this principle of law just means that employers are accountable for their employee's actions when that employee is doing his or her job.

Man weaving in traffic strikes, kills child alongside road

A pedestrian accident in Maryland claimed the life of a 12-year-old boy who was walking with his mom and brother. The accident happened in Anne Arundel County. According to reports, the boy suffered catastrophic injuries in the accident and died after being transferred to Johns Hopkins. The man driving the van which hit the boy was also taken to the hospital for injuries, which were not life-threatening. Police also indicated that while at the hospital, the man received testing for drugs and alcohol. The results of those tests are still pending.

In the meantime, the man has been detained in connection with the accident and is charged with manslaughter. He has also been charged with drug possession. Police say the man was driving a van used for commercial purposes, but it wasn't clear if the man was on the clock at the time of the wreck. They indicated that the man simply left the road, striking the child. He eventually crashed into a tree before coming to a stop. Police described the man's driving as "reckless."

Recent traffic safety report shows distracted driving a concern

According to a recent report, around one out of every five people in Maryland and in other parts of the country have experienced motor vehicle accidents that were serious enough to send at least one victim to the hospital. Over one in 10 people claimed to have personally suffered a serious injury in a car accident. Additionally, about one-third of motorists said that they had some relation who had either died or had suffered a serious injury in a car crash.

Those drivers who offered answers as part of this report indicated quite strongly that they considered distracted driving a huge problem that is only getting worse. Other concerns heavy on the minds of those who use the roads and highways included aggressive driving, as well as drunk or drugged driving. Problems with too much traffic were also mentioned as concerning.

Detecting rule violations after a truck accident

A recent post here discussed how important it can be for a Maryland truck accident victim to be able to demonstrate that, at the time of the truck accident, the driver of the semi was operating in violation of an important safety regulation or law that, had it been followed, might have prevented the accident. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to tell whether a truck driver was following the law at the time of an accident. A truck driver is rarely going to come out and admit that he or she broke the law, especially right after an injury accident. In some cases, a driver and his or her trucking company may actively try to cover up the truth or, at least, make it harder for the victim to discern it easily.

Moreover, it is not always evident that a trucker broke a rule. Without a radar detector, for instance, it can be hard to tell whether a truck driver was going too fast at the time of an accident, even if the police measure the skid marks carefully. The same is true, and perhaps even more true, when it comes to figuring out whether a trucker was in violation of one of the many federal and state trucking regulations designed to keep people safe.

Drugged driving blamed for fatal car accident

A recent multi-vehicle accident near Annapolis left one person dead and several other people with injuries. Two of those who were injured, including the driver who was presumptively responsible for the accident, had to go to a special hospital in order to get treatment for their critical injuries.

The person who died was initially transported to a hospital as well before succumbing to her injuries. The victim was about 80-years-old.

A rear-end accident can be a pain in the neck

As you make your way to your workplace, a sea of cars is flowing right along with your motor vehicle. You are prepared to reach your cubicle by 8 a.m., as you do every other morning, to tackle the day. However, all of a sudden, you feel a crash from behind, and you immediately realize that this morning will not be your ordinary work morning.

You almost immediately notice that your neck hurts, as you have suffered whiplash from the rear-end accident. On top of that, you are emotionally shaken from the crash. Fortunately, if the accident was the result of a negligent driver, you have the right to seek justice in Maryland.

The importance of 'negligence per se' after a truck accident

This blog has on previous occasions discussed how truck drivers in Maryland are often subject to federal regulations and laws which cover truckers who haul property over state lines.

Basically, the federal government is the entity which grants authority for transportation companies to transport property in interstate commerce, and, as a condition of that authority, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration can and does require drivers and their companies to follow extensive rules and regulations, many of which exist to reduce the number of truck accidents and protect those Maryland residents with whom truckers share the road.


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