Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyer v. Car Accident Lawyer
In general terms, a Baltimore truck accident lawyer can be different from a Baltimore car accident lawyer. While both types of lawyers may have knowledge and experience with motor vehicle accidents, there can be important differences between the two. Perhaps a more appropriate way to frame the conversation is that Baltimore injury lawyers who handle truck accidents possess a different experience and skill set from those who, say, handle car accident cases or motorcycle accident cases only. From that perspective, the differences move into the realm of specifics. Truck accidents often occur at speed, on highways, or can tend to be more complex than car accidents. This may occur because commercial trucks are larger, heavier, and often carry hazardous materials. In addition, there may be multiple parties involved in a truck accident, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, and others. A Baltimore truck accident lawyer will likely have specific knowledge and experience in handling cases involving commercial trucks. They will understand the laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry. See, e.g. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/, and they will have experience investigating and litigating truck accidents. Sorting out the responsible parties and the rules and regulations that govern their conduct is often an arduous task, but one of the most vital over the course of an accident claim.
It’s not necessarily a matter of one type of lawyer being “better” than the other. Indeed, our practice routinely handles accident cases involving large commercial vehicles as well as passenger cars. Rather, it depends on the specific circumstances of your case. If you have been involved in a truck accident, it is generally advisable to work with a lawyer who has experience with truck accidents. Truck accidents can tend to be more complex than car accidents due to the size and weight of commercial trucks, as well as the numerous parties that may be involved. A lawyer with truck accident experience may well have specific knowledge and experience in handling cases involving commercial trucks, including understanding the laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry. In this regard, USDOT/ Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has promulgated an extensive body of regulations, one of which, by way of illustration, governs time and hours on the road. “The Hours Of Service regulations are found in part 395 of title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). These regulations are developed and enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is part of the United States Department of Transportation” In turn, these regulations apply “unless an exception is provided”:
- “if you drive a CMV, which is a truck, or truck-tractor with a trailer, that is used on the highways in interstate commerce to transport property and:
- weighs (including any load) 10,001 pounds (4,536 kg) or more, or
- has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds (4,536 kg) or more, or
- is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards.”
Ultimately, my standard advice is to work with a lawyer who has experience handling cases similar to yours.
What Makes a Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyer Different from a Baltimore Car Accident Lawyer?
There are differences. Before delving in, it makes sense to note there are some similarities between the two case types. The fees charged by Baltimore car accident lawyers and Baltimore truck accident lawyers are generally similar and are based on a contingency fee arrangement. A contingency fee is a fee arrangement where the lawyer only gets paid if they are successful in recovering compensation for the client. The fee is typically a percentage of the total amount of compensation obtained. The percentage charged by a lawyer can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the complexity of the case, the likelihood of success, and the amount of compensation being sought. However, the percentage charged is generally the same for both car accident and truck accident cases. This is the case in my practice. I also extend a reduced attorney fee program to Maryland residents where those percentages are limited. It’s important to note that while the fees charged by a lawyer may be similar, the costs associated with investigating and litigating a truck accident case may be higher due to the complexity of these cases. Costs and fees are not the same. For example, expert witnesses may be needed to testify about the cause of the accident or the extent of the damages. The costs of these experts are typically borne by the client and are in addition to the lawyer’s fees. The good news is, injury lawyers typically -although not always- will advance the costs of the expert. At the end of the day., though, A Baltimore truck accident lawyer is a legal professional who has a portion of their practice is devoted to representing individuals who have been injured or have suffered property damage as a result of a commercial truck accident. Here are some of the things that a Baltimore truck accident lawyer may do:
- Investigate the accident: A truck accident lawyer will thoroughly investigate the accident to determine its cause and who may be liable for the damages. This may involve reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses, and examining physical evidence. There may be federal and state investigation that may generate additional reports.
- Identify all parties who may be liable: Commercial truck accidents can involve many parties, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the owner, the lessor, the trailer owner, the trailer manufacturer, the truck manufacturer, and others. A truck accident lawyer will work to identify all parties who may be liable for the accident and pursue compensation from each of them.
- Communicate with insurance companies: Truck accident lawyers can communicate with insurance companies on behalf of their clients to ensure that their rights are protected and that they receive the compensation they deserve.
- Negotiate a settlement: Many truck accident cases are settled outside of court through negotiations with the responsible parties and their insurance companies. A truck accident lawyer can negotiate a fair, just and reasonable settlement on behalf of their client.
- Represent their client in court: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, a truck accident lawyer will file suit and an represent their client in court. They will prepare and present evidence to a judge or jury and argue on behalf of their client to secure the compensation they deserve.
- Provide legal advice and guidance: Throughout the legal process, the best Baltimore truck accident lawyers will provide their client with legal advice and guidance. They will explain their legal rights and options, answer any questions they may have, and ensure that their client understands the legal process and what to expect.
In summary, a Baltimore truck accident lawyer can provide a range of legal services to individuals who have been injured or even have suffered property damage as a result of a commercial truck accident. They will investigate the accident, identify liable parties, communicate with insurance companies, negotiate a settlement, and if settlement is not feasible, represent their client in court, and of course, provide legal advice and guidance throughout the process.