Have You Been Injured In A Truck Collision?
- I saw it coming. There was nothing I could do.
I thought I was going to die.
It felt like a cannon going off again and again as I was pushed into the other cars.
I can’t get the nightmares of that day out of my mind.
What was he thinking? He sure looked tired.
Did he have a record?
He must have been on his phone—he was looking down the whole time.
That vehicle looked like a wreck—how could it have been safe to be on the road.
Will I ever be the same?
What’s going to happen next?
Commerce requires that most of our products be shipped by tractor trailers on our interstate highway system. Most commercially licensed drivers are highly qualified people who are hard-working, law abiding and conscientious drivers. They respect the awesome responsibility of driving the multi-ton vehicles, and pay close attention to inspecting their vehicle for safety; and being a good driver on the highway. Unfortunately, increased competition has caused some companies to not hire the best people; or use the best equipment. We have seen many of these collisions caused because of distracted driving; fatigue; speeding; failure to properly inspect brakes and the proper loading of the cargo; and just stupid recklessness.
Maryland law holds these companies to a high level of care to prevent these collisions. In the course of our investigation, we can find out the repair history of the vehicle; obtain the driver’s logs, driving record, and cell phone records; find out if they complied with all of the standards ion the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act; and we can bring out of State drivers and corporate representative to Maryland to answer for their negligence.
PRE-IMPACT FRIGHT AND CONTINUED PTSD/ANXIETY
One of the common themes we hear from our clients involved in these collisions, is that they “saw it coming” and that they continue to experience nightmares and anxiety about the incident. Maryland is one of a select number of states that allow a driver to receive compensation for the fright experienced in the moments in time after they realized they would be hit but before the collision actually occurs. This is called “pre-impact fright.” In fact, Maryland’s highest Court has directed Judges to tell a jury the following about these types of injuries:
Compensation for Pre-Impact Fright
In this case, you shall consider what, if any, damages should be awarded to the plaintiff for the emotional distress and mental anguish that the plaintiff suffered between the time the plaintiff realized that there would be an accident and the accident.
Benyon v. Montgomery Cablevision Ltd. P’ship, 351 Md. 460, 718 A.2d 1161 (1998)
(upholding award of $1,000,000.00 in pre-impact fright for wrongful death victim who realized commercial truck was going to run him over”)
“In this case, in my view, there is no question but that there had to have been absolute overwhelming mental anguish on the part of [the tort victim] between the moment that he saw the danger and the time that there actually was a crash.”
Montgomery Cablevision Ltd. Partnership v. Beynon, 116 Md.App. 363, 403-404, 696 A.2d 491, 510 – 511 (Md.App.,1997)
(Judge Murphy Dissent)
One of our jobs is to make sure you are getting the best possible medical care by trained professionals who document your case carefully. If you are continuing to experience nightmares, anxiety, depression as a result of the incident, we will discuss whether you need to see a mental health specialist. Many times, a trained therapist can diagnose and provide talk therapy and medications which could lessen the permanent effects of reliving these troubling thoughts.
“Minimal Impact” Auto Collision Cases
We Don’t Play Their Game
In the past fifteen years, this office has seen more auto insurers routinely deny accident injury claims. They often argue that “if a car isn’t damaged, how could drivers or passengers, protected by seat belts and airbags, claim any harm?” In fact, GEICO will often send you what we call a “Kiss-Off” letter refusing to pay for any injuries where the property damage is less than $1,000.00. MAIF, Allstate and State Farm are no better. Each of those insurers have dozens of lawyers in their local Baltimore offices who do nothing but take these cases to trial. We know their tactics, and also understand the seriousness of injuries caused to the human body in these cases. Many times, we do not even bother with negotiating and we proceed to suit as soon as you are released from care.
The insurers like to play a game where even though they deny your case or make ridiculous offers, they still want to lead inexperienced lawyers or “dabblers” into giving them a recorded statement from the client; signing medical authorizations for their lifetime medical records; and information about other claims – all before suit is even filed. The game is to delay and build up their defense.
We don’t play that game. If the insurance company wants to raise a defense – we make them do it in Court. We file suit; get a trial date; and get ready for Court.
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