Four Laws That Affect a Maryland Truck Accident Claims

Truck Accident Claims

While semis, 18-wheelers, and other large trucks account for just 10% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes nationwide, a closer look at the data reveals disturbing trends. According to the National Safety Council (HSC), deadly truck accidents spiked 43% from 2010 to 2019. In addition, there were more than 118,000 large truck collisions that resulted in injuries in 2019 – a 5% increase over the previous year. These statistics are shocking, but one figure may not come as a surprise: 71% of all fatalities in truck accidents are occupants of the other vehicle.

Truck crash losses for victims and their families can be devastating, but Maryland provides you with options if you were hurt or lost a loved one. Seeking compensation requires in-depth knowledge of several laws, and your Baltimore County truck accidents lawyer will handle the details. Still, you should be aware of some basics.

Maryland’s Statute of Limitations

Every US state imposes a deadline on personal injury lawsuits, including those arising out of a truck collision. In Maryland, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in court. If you do not sue within this timeframe, you lose your right to seek compensation. Note that any negotiations or discussions to settle your claim do NOT stop the clock on the statute of limitations.

The Harsh Contributory Negligence Law

Maryland is one of just a few jurisdictions that follows the rule of contributory negligence, which acts as a bar to compensation if you were partly at-fault in the accident. You might recover nothing if you contributed to the crash by:

  • Speeding;
  • Failing to yield right of way;
  • Texting, talking on the phone, or other forms of distracted driving; or,
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Statutory Cap on Noneconomic Damages

There is a limit on how much you can recover for certain types of losses after a Maryland truck accident. The statutory cap is $905,000, but it only applies to pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other noneconomic damages. You are not limited to a dollar value when seeking amounts for:

  • Medical bills;
  • Lost wages;
  • Expenses related to treating your injuries, such as pain medications.

Note that the statutory cap on noneconomic damages changes yearly, so the amount will increase as of October 1, 2022

FMCSA Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues regulations regarding trucks and their operators, and one of the most important regulations covers insurance. Most trucks must have a minimum of $750,000 in coverage. There are also restrictions on Hours of Service (HOS), and violations could serve as strong evidence for your claim.

A Baltimore County Truck Accident Attorney Can Explain the Details

It is helpful to review the key laws that impact a Maryland truck crash case, but you can count on a knowledgeable lawyer to guide you through the legal process. For more information, please contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Freedman in Owings Mills, MD. You can schedule a free consultation by calling 410.363.6848 or visiting our website.

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