A truck accident can be devastating. Fortunately, with the help of a Washington, D.C. auto accident lawyer from Simeone & Miller, LLP, you can confidently pursue a personal injury claim, allowing your case to progress while you focus on rest and recuperation. We are committed to getting the facts, listening to your concerns, strategizing carefully, and obtaining a significant recovery for you.

How Big of a Problem Are Trucking Accidents in D.C.?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the number of commercial truck accidents that cause injuries and fatalities is on the rise, with a 1% increase across the country from 2017 to 2018. In 2018 alone, 5,096 large trucks and similar commercial vehicles were involved in fatal car collisions.

In 2015, traffic crash statistics from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) showed that there were 2,411 trucking accidents in Washington, D.C.. Three of those crashes caused fatalities and another 545 resulted in serious injuries. As a capital city that only covers about 68 square miles, this number is very concerning.

According to research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in 2019, no truck drivers lost their lives in truck accidents that occurred in Washington, D.C.. It paints a clear picture that when a trucking collision occurs, the real danger is to pedestrians and other motorists in cars, on motorcycles, and in any other vehicle. If you’ve experienced a rear-end accident, our auto accident lawyers can help! You can contact us online to schedule your free consultation online.

The Most Common Causes of Truck Crashes

Since trucking accidents are an obvious hazard on the roads of Washington, D.C., it becomes all the more important to take steps to prevent them. Prevention begins with knowledge of what causes these types of accidents.

Some of the leading causes of truck accidents include:

  • Trucker exhaustion: The average truck driver is scheduled to stay on the road for 11 hours in a single shift, with three more hours set aside for rest periods. Eleven hours behind the wheel is a long time for anyone, so it is not surprising to find that truckers experience significant fatigue, especially at the end of a route.
  • Speeding: Trucking companies will usually pay truck drivers by the number of miles they travel, not by minutes on the clock. Unfortunately, this system encourages truckers to speed and drive recklessly, since they will get paid the same amount for a day’s work, regardless of how long it actually takes to complete a shift.
  • Misloaded cargo: The large size and multi-ton weight of commercial trucks make balancing their mass a challenge. Misloaded cargo can cause the tractor-trailer to tip, jackknife, fishtail uncontrollably, or fail to stop within a safe distance. The same dangers can occur when a truck is overloaded with heavy cargo.
  • Defective truck parts: A big rig that is poorly maintained can cause a devastating crash due to a broken part, such as a brake failure that prevents the truck from coming to a complete stop. Truckers and trucking companies have a responsibility to maintain their vehicles regularly in order to avoid preventable collisions.

Damages You Can Seek After a Big Rig Accident

The average trucking accident causes severe damages and catastrophic injuries due to the size and weight of a tractor-trailer. It is not uncommon for someone in a smaller passenger car who is hit by a big rig to suffer broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, severe burns, or even permanent disfigurement.

The at-fault party should be the one to pay for these damages, even if that means a Washington, D.C. truck accident lawyer from Simeone & Miller, LLP needs to pursue compensation through a lawsuit on your behalf.

Damages to consider for your truck accident claim include:

  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Hospitalization
  • Physical therapy, chiropractic care, and other rehabilitation
  • Lost or missing wages
  • Car repair or replacement
  • Emotional trauma and lessened enjoyment of life

If you lost a loved one in a truck crash, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim in pursuit of damages, justice, and a sense of closure. With the assistance of our lawyers, you can seek specialized compensation in a wrongful death case, including funeral and burial costs, as well as non-economic damages. We have the sincerity and compassion you expect and deserve from an injury law firm handling such a sensitive case.

Who Is Liable for Your Trucking Accident?

Determining liability for a trucking accident can be much more complicated than in a typical car accident case. While the truck driver might be an obvious source of negligence, there may be other parties who second-handedly contributed to the collision. It is our goal to identify all possible liable parties and hold them accountable.

Parties that could be partially liable for your crash include:

  • The truck driver who negligently operated the vehicle
  • The parent trucking company that scheduled a trucker for too many hours, thereby causing driver fatigue
  • The maintenance crew who failed to repair or prevent damaged components
  • The truck part manufacturer that created and sold defective parts

At Simeone & Miller, LLP, we know that responding insurance companies will resist offering any sort of payout, no matter who they are representing. With our extensive legal experience and in-depth knowledge of liability law and trucking regulations, we are confident we can take on any opposition and steer your claim to success.

Trucking Regulations & Laws in Washington, D.C.

The District Department of Transportation has created a series of municipality regulations (D.C.MR) that mandate how commercial trucks are to be operated within the District of Columbia. The regulations are meant to help prevent truck accidents, stop traffic jams caused by misplaced tractor-trailers, and generally improve safety. The DDOT has even created an interactive map that shows approved routes and unloading points for trucks in Washington, D.C..

Important D.C.MRs for commercial vehicles include:

  • D.C.MR 18-2501.1: Limits the width of commercial trucks to 8 feet 6 inches
  • D.C.MR 18-2501.5: Limits the height of commercial trucks to 13 feet 6 inches
  • D.C.MR 18-2502.2: Limits the length of commercial trucks to 55 feet
  • D.C.MR 18-2505.1: Limits the total weight on one truck axle to 21,000 pounds

Despite the number of D.C.MRs and other laws that should regulate commercial trucks and promote safety, trucking accidents remain a serious problem on Washington, D.C.’s highways. Unfortunately, truck driver and trucking company negligence is an underlying, and prevalent, factor that cannot be directly addressed with regulations alone.

Contact Our Washington, D.C. Truck Accident Lawyers to Get Started

The sooner you begin working on your claim with a Washington, D.C. truck accident lawyer, the better. The first step is often the most difficult, but we try to make it as stress-free as possible by offering a free consultation. You can explore your options in a comfortable setting, and we will be happy to let you know how we can help. Contact us today.

Simeone & Miller, LLP, based in Washington, D.C., provides personal injury and medical malpractice legal services across Maryland and Virginia. In Maryland, our services extend to Baltimore City, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, and Frederick. In Virginia, we serve clients in Arlington County, Alexandria, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park.