Truck Wrecks

Maryland Truck Wreck Lawyers


Trucking Companies Owe a High Duty of Care

A truck driver may lose his job if he is found to be at-fault for a wreck. Can you count on that driver to admit his mistake?

How did this happen?

Truck Driver’s Safety Rules

A truck wreck is not a technical term or an industry term.  It is not a specific type of truck accident, nor is the result one particular type of mistake.  Yet we all recognize that not every truck accident is a truck wreck.  A truck wreck is usually an exceptionally bad truck accident that has led to catastrophic injuries and horrific property damage. This page is geared to explain the types of safety violations that lead to truck wrecks.  A Maryland truck wreck lawyer is ready to help you and your family recover.

Trucking safety rules protecting the public and following these rules is the responsibility of the truck driver and the truck company. Every truck driver has to demonstrate knowledge of the rules and demonstrate that they are capable of following the rules. Truck wrecks follow violations of these rules that are often due to fatigue, carelessness, weather conditions, greed and laziness. Truck wrecks are  investigated by authorities, the trucking companies’ risk management team and also their insurance company.  The most important type of investigation is a preventability investigation.  This is not a simple evaluation of what act caused the accident but rather a detailed review of what actions could or should have been taken to prevent this truck wreck.   The truck driver knows the rules that he should have followed and it is important to have a lawyer that knows the same rules.  Maryland truck wreck lawyer, George Patterson is a Board Certified Truck Accident Lawyer that knows the rules and procedures that a truck driver and the trucking company should follow to prevent a wreck.  If you have been told that the safety rules are all common sense then ask yourself whether the truck driver or the truck company bears any responsibility for the following accident:

Smith is driving west on Route 50 to deliver a shipment to a warehouse in Frederick, Maryland.  A winter storm is forecasted to hit the Washington D.C. area with snow to the west  of Fredrick and a mix of freezing rain and rain in Howard County, Maryland. The trucking company is monitoring the forecast and directs the trucker to adhere to scheduled route by taking Route 97 north to Route 100 west through Howard County.  As the truck enters Howard County on Route 100 west, ice starts to freeze to the outside mirrors.  The Truck is travelling in the left lane of Route 100 west at 50 miles per hour when a car loses control on the east bound lanes Route 100 and crosses the center median and smashes into the semi-truck.  The truck driver had barely enough time to apply his brakes before the caw was destroyed and its driver and passenger were killed. Was the truck driver at-fault for this truck wreck? Was the trucking company at fault for this truck wreck?

If we applied the safety rules for cars the answer to both the questions would be No.  The correct answer is that this wreck was the fault of the truck driver, the trucking company and probably the car driver.  Why?  The truck company knew that the designated Route was going to send the truck into extremely hazardous conditions that mandate that trucks be pulled off the road. The trucking company could have directed the truck to stay on Route 50 and take the 495 to Route 270 to avoid the freezing rain.  The truck driver should have been looking for ice and checking his mirrors for the  formation of ice.  He should have identified that he was about to enter a section of road covered with freezing ran or was about to and pulled off Route 100 for a place of safety.  The safety rules required him to do so, not because he couldn’t maintain control over his 80,000 pound truck on Route 100 but because it was foreseeable that cars would loose control on the ice.  An out of control car on ice should never be mixed with an 80,000 pound truck travelling within his lane.  A lawyer not properly trained in the applicable trucking safety rules would likely fail to properly evaluate this case.

The Maryland truck wreck lawyers at Patterson law know the detailed requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Many companies that engage in interstate trucking provide copies of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to their drivers. These detailed requirements provide fertile ground to establish negligence on the part of the driver of a commercial truck.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations should apply directly or indirectly to most trucks with a weight over 26,000 pounds.  There are some exceptions to the application of these rules but there are other industry standards and safety rules that should be applicable.   Also, trucking companies may try to avoid these regulations by only conducting intrastate business.  You should always seek the assistance of a Board Certified Truck Accident Attorney if you were involved in an accident with a truck that has a DOT number or MDOT number.  Most vehicles that have a weight over 10,000 pounds require such a number.  Truck companies and their drivers may claim that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act regulations do not apply to your accident, but these regulations are often incorporated by State Law and also by the required knowledge and skills for a commercial drivers license.

If you need a Maryland truck wreck lawyer, please call 301-888-HURT to schedule a free consultation with a Board Certified Truck Accident Lawyer at our offices in Annapolis or Bowie, Maryland.  We also offer consultations virtually and at homes and medical facilities for serious truck wreck cases.  Patterson Law has an office located near the intersection of Route 2 and Route 50 by the  Anne Arundel Medical Center.  Our Bowie, office is located in the Omni Medical Building. The Omni Medical Building is located close to the intersection of Route 50 and Route 301.

What to Expect?

You Must Prove the Violation of the Safety Rule

Commercial trucks have large blind spots that require the proper adjustment of mirrors for the truck drivers to monitor those areas for traffic.  A truck driver that fails to monitor the large blind spot to the right front of the tractor may change lanes in to a car sending that car out of control and directly into the path of the truck.  The Maryland truck wreck lawyers have litigated numerous cases involving unsafe lane changes made by commercial truck drivers into cars that were in known blind spots. Interstate truck drivers are also required to maintain a log documenting the hours that they had been driving as well as the location and times of stops. This information is helpful to determine if a truck driver was sleep deprived or running late. Violations of the rules of the road are more likely to occur when a driver is tired or rushed. Improper truck maintenance also leads to serious truck wrecks. Annapolis truck accident lawyer, George Patterson has litigated truck accidents caused by illegally parked trucks and by trucks that failed to have adequate lighting or reflective markings. This is particularly important in preventing night time accidents when trucks are crossing multiple lane roadways. Maryland truck wreck lawyer, George Patterson has also handled wrongful death claims arising from serious truck accidents.

Large commercial trucks have blind spots on the passenger side of their cabs. If mirrors are improperly adjusted a truck driver can’t see a car driving next to their truck.

Protect Yourself

Winning in Court is no Accident

Early in George Patterson’s career he was hired by a major trucking company to represent the company after serious truck wrecks.  The scene after a truck wreck can be chaotic and overwhelming.  This is why trucking companies will often send investigators and lawyers to the scene to protect their driver and the company from liability.    In one case, a truck accident occurred when a truck driver ran into multiple cars that were stopped on a highway. The weather reports indicated that there had been fog in the area before the accident. An exhaustive review of the driver’s logs and corresponding records followed. Mr. Patterson has experience with meeting with truck drivers immediately after serious accidents and sometimes on location. These meetings were done to preserve critical evidence.   This evidence could include records showing that the driver was fatigued and driving over the maximum safe hours of driving time. Trucking companies hire lawyers immediately after serious accidents as a way to shield the lawyer’s work through attorney-client and attorney work-product privileges. Unless your lawyer knows what evidence to look for, preserve and obtain it is unlikely that the trucking company will voluntarily disclose and/or preserve critical evidence.  It is critical that you contact an experienced truck wreck lawyer as soon as possible if you or loved one have been involved in a truck wreck.  Otherwise, valuable evidence may be lost forever or suppressed by a truck company or the driver.

George Patterson is one of the best attorneys that I have ever worked with!!!!! I found him on AVVO and the reviews are so true about him. I am very pleased to have worked with him!! I would recommend him to anyone that needs a great attorney!!! He will work for you and with you!!!

Thanh-Le

A personal injury client.

Truck drivers that are at risk for losing their jobs due to a driving error often fail to take responsibility. The failure to take responsibility invariably leads a wrongfully injured person’s claim being denied.

George Patterson, Truck Accident Lawyer

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Our Successes

Patterson Law takes pride with every client that recovers. Recovery is more than the settlements and verdicts obtained for our clients. Each and every one of these clients had been shepherded through a process where powerful insurance companies fought to defeat or minimize their claims. Each result represents a client’s dignity being affirmed.

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George Patterson was selected as the best civil trial attorney in Maryland for 2014.

The Maryland truck wreck lawyers at Patterson Law serve clients in Prince George's, Montgomery, Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's, Howard, Anne Arundel, Queen Anne's and Baltimore Counties. Our clients are from Silver Spring, Upper Marlboro, Bowie, Forestville, Prince Frederick, Leonardtown, Annapolis, Edgewater, Rockville, Mayo, Bethesda, Germantown, Olney, Beltsville, Deale, Bethesda, Severna Park, Largo, Landover, Oxon Hill, La Plata, Waldorf, Crofton, Columbia and Riverdale. Patterson Law has offices located in Bowie and Annapolis, Maryland.

Get Started Today

If you have been involved in a truck accident, please contact the truck accident lawyers at Patterson Law to schedule a free consultation. It is critical to retain a lawyer shortly after a truck accident so that a request for the trucking records to be preserved is issued. George and Maria Patterson may be reached at 301-888-4878 to discuss your truck accident case. The truck accident lawyers at Patterson Law are available for meetings at our offices located in Annapolis and Bowie, Maryland.

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