Truck Accident FAQs

If you are in a car (typical weight 3,000 pounds) and are hit by a fully loaded 18-wheeler (typical weight 80,000 pounds), you lose. If you don’t pick the right law firm to handle your case, you may get hit again. Cars are designed under Federal Motor Safety Standards to provide protection in most accidents with other cars, vans or SUVs. They are not designed to protect their passengers from impacts with 80,000-pound vehicles. The laws of physics are not on your side. Check out our truck accident FAQs to learn more about what you should do after a truck accident.

Truck accidents can cause devastating injuries and even a lifetime of suffering. The medical bills alone can bankrupt a family. Every year in the United States there are over 400,000 truck crashes with about 5,000 people killed and 100,000 injuries. That’s about one accident involving death or serious injury every few minutes. Your life can change in an instant.

When tragedy strikes, you need the best help possible. The truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. have been successfully handling truck accident cases in Baltimore and throughout Maryland since the 1980s. We represent truck accident victims or their survivors in settlement negotiations and in litigation at every level of the court system. Most importantly, we have a deep knowledge of the trucking industry itself, including all pertinent State and Federal Motor Carrier Rules and Regulations.

Industry Knowledge is Critical

Our lawyers, paralegals and office investigators are trained to evaluate, develop and negotiate cases involving 18-Wheelers (“Big Rigs”), Semis, Tankers, Doubles, Freight liners, Buses, Fire Engines, Dump/Garbage/Cement trucks or any other heavy-duty commercial vehicle, and we get exceptional results. Our record speaks for itself. Last year, we settled a case involving a commercial vehicle for over $4 million and had the highest jury verdict in the State of Maryland for a case involving a motor vehicle. LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. has collected over $100 million in cash settlements for accident victims of all types. Never settle for less!

Truck accidents can be complex. Case analysis involves both State and Federal law. A whole multitude of regulations come into play. We know how to navigate through this web of rules and pitfalls. And we know the tricks and defenses typically used by insurance companies to defeat your claim. We won’t let that happen. Experience counts!

Preparation is the key to winning a truck accident case. When you retain LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A., our team of lawyers, reconstruction experts and highway safety engineers, in addition to a complete legal and factual review of your case, do a full collision analysis of your car, the truck and the scene, including, where appropriate:

  • Braking performance studies
  • Certified Crash Data Retrieval (black box downloads)
  • Lamp analysis
  • Occupant kinematics
  • Road design defect study
  • Tire failure analysis
  • Time and distance computations/speed calculations
  • Vehicle dynamics and characteristics analysis
  • Weight shift and rollover analysis

We understand that when you are seriously injured, you want prompt answers and prompt action. We take immediate scene photos, obtain statements from all witnesses, and take crucial measurements before evidence is lost or destroyed. Truck accident investigation typically involves extensive field work. If necessary, we can obtain court orders to inspect the truck. This can demonstrate safety or maintenance issues that may have a critical effect on liability.

We take cases involving:

  • Bone fractures
  • Brain injury
  • Burns
  • Death
  • Head trauma
  • Locked-in syndrome
  • Loss of limb
  • Muscle injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Paraplegia
  • Persistent vegetative state
  • Quadriplegia

Common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Aggressive driving/improper lane change
  • Driver fatigue/negligent hiring
  • DWI/DUI (alcohol or drugs)
  • Failure to inspect brakes, tires and lights
  • Failure to install blind spot mirrors
  • Jackknifing
  • Long work shifts (state and federal law impose mandatory break periods)
  • Mechanical failure
  • Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo
  • Reckless driving
  • Road design defects
  • Speeding or ignoring reduced speed limits
  • Tailgating
  • Truck rollover
  • Unrealistic schedules
  • Unsafe safety systems, reflectors, lights

We understand the serious financial hardship and pain and suffering that comes with a major injury when involved in a truck accident. We do all the work so you are free to focus on your physical and emotional recovery. We will be with you every step of the way giving you the best in personal service and aggressive representation. We have the know-how, resources and network of experts necessary to give you peace of mind when you need it most. Our record of collecting over $100 million for our clients assures you that LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. are the three names you can trust. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident in Maryland, contact us online or call today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) and let us fight for you!

For fatal or crippling injuries, click here.

Frequently asked questions

State law requires drivers of commercial vehicles to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). There are different categories of CDLs depending on, among other things, the size of the vehicle and the cargo shipped. To obtain a commercial driver’s license, an individual must pass a knowledge and driving skill test.
If the truck is found at fault, you will be able to make a claim against the driver of the truck, the trucking company, and, in some cases, the manufacturer of the truck if you can demonstrate that the accident was caused by some defect in the truck’s construction or design. Even if the driver is an independent contractor of the trucking company, and not an employee, you may still be able to bring an action against the trucking company for negligent hiring and/or supervision.
Yes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations control the amount of time that a truck driver can spend on the road. They apply to every vehicle involved in Interstate Commerce and they impose strict limitations on the amount of time a driver can operate a vehicle. These regulations are complex and are case specific.
An underride accident occurs when a car runs underneath a truck or the trailer of a truck. The roof of the car can be sliced off or crushed. These accidents are very serious and often result in death or crippling injury. There are two types of underride accidents: side and rear.
Commercial vehicles involved in Interstate traffic must carry a minimum of $750,000 insurance to satisfy both bodily injury and property damage claims. Personal auto policies in Maryland have mandatory minimum limits as low as 20/40. This can make a significant difference in the size of your cash settlement.
In a Personal Injury Action against the truck driver, the trucking company, or the truck manufacturer, you can recover compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, future medical bills or chronic care, income loss because of missed work, permanent disability, and loss of earning capacity.
Trucks have limited maneuverability due to their size. Additionally, tanker trucks carrying liquids may sway while turning. Trucks have longer stopping distances than cars and completely different brake systems. These are some of the factors that require expert analysis by a team of lawyers, accident reconstructionists and safety engineers.