According to a recent WBALTV news report, a Baltimore city police officer was injured earlier this month when a semi-truck driver lost control of his vehicle on Greene Street near the University of Maryland Medical Center campus in downtown Baltimore and struck several parked vehicles, one of which contained the officer. Officials indicated that the officer and truck driver taken to nearby hospitals with unknown injuries. Authorities have not yet determined the cause of the accident.
As demonstrated by this incident, because of the immense weight and considerable size of semi-trucks, proper operation of these vehicles is of particular importance. Negligence behind the wheel of such a vehicle can easily result in catastrophe and severe injuries or death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), 8.2 percent of all traffic fatalities occurring in 2011 involved large trucks. In Maryland, there were 692 motor vehicle accident fatalities, 38 of which were caused by crashes involving large trucks. The USDOT study concluded that the new HOS regulations would avoid approximately 1,400 crashes, 560 injuries, and 19 accident deaths will be avoided each year.
This incident is yet another in a recent spate of traffic accidents involving injuries to Maryland public employees. In February, a highway employee was struck and killed while working construction on Interstate 695 near Liberty Road in Baltimore County when a pickup truck lost control and ran off the road. In November, a 50-year-old Maryland State Highway Administration employee was killed while repairing a road sign, and, in June, another was struck and killed by a vehicle while placing road cones on Route 216 in Howard County.
Workers’ Compensation and Wrongful Death
Although victims of roadway accidents occurring in the course of their employment generally have a right to financial compensation through workers’ compensation benefits, they may also be able to obtain recovery for their injuries from the negligent driver. When the negligence of a driver results in the death of another, under Maryland law, the decedent’s family may be entitled to bring a wrongful death action.
A wrongful death claim can be brought against anyone who, through recklessness, carelessness, negligence, or lack of skill, causes the fatality of another. Damages in a wrongful death action are measured in terms of the injury to loved ones caused by the death of the victim, and can include loss of future earnings, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering. Sadly, wrongful death actions can arise from a host of unfortunate circumstances, including traffic accidents, medical malpractice (such as through surgical error or misdiagnosis of an illness), defective products, premises liability, or improper supervision.
Contact an Attorney Today
The qualified attorneys of Brassel, Alexander & Rice, LLC have extensive experience representing individuals who have been injured or killed by the negligent acts of another. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed as a result of the negligence of another person, contact the attorneys of Brassel, Alexander & Rice, LLC today.