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"I had a great experience working with Duboff & Associates through my legal case. I was involved in a car accident by a tuck tractor at no fault of mine. Mr. Duboff was such pleasant person that he guided me through the process and through by medical care." -Mohamed A..
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The population of the country has grown exponentially as people are moving to city, suburban and rural locations. This population growth has also caused an increased need for more products and shipments in all industries.
Trucks are moving raw materials to manufacturers, fruits and meat products to grocery stores, and end products to retailers. This growth in demand requires warehouses and distribution centers to invest in larger fleet vehicles. These larger trailer trucks are jockeying for space on rural roads and interstate highways. They are moving at great speeds around passenger cars, buses and other vehicles, increasing the chances of a dangerous accident on the road.
The Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) reported that in 2016, large trucks accounted for 4,213 fatal accidents and 55,633 injury crashes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In addition, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that fatality crashes resulted in 3,986 deaths.
Tractor trailers were involved in the deadliest accidents when compared to single unit trucks, as there were 2,920 deaths in 2016, stated IIHS. While single-trailer trucks dominated in traffic crashes at 62 percent, double trailers also became a troubling concern with 3 percent involved in crashes while triple-trailer trucks accounted for less than 0.1 percent.
When towing trailers, drivers can experience problems trying to control the fast-moving vehicle during pre-crash events. The trailers are normally stacked with pallets and shipping crates, causing the vehicle to be heavier during travel that can cause the trailer to sway at certain speeds and road conditions.
When it came to pre-crash statistics, these larger trucks encountered another vehicle, animal, pedestrian or object in the road lane at roughly 73 percent of the time, detailed the FMSCA Crash File. Loss of control and the trucks’ own movement accounted to 23 percent of crashes. Another important statistic from the FMSCA revealed that drivers coded accidents as “vehicle-related factors,” “tires” and “other motor vehicles” as the most common causes of fatal crashes.
Currently, only 23 states allow for combination triple-trailer trucks in 2018, according to Consumer Reports. As more passenger vehicles and big rigs share the road, fleet managers are looking at technology to offer more safety protections. Anti-lock brakes, electronic stability controls and onboard electronic logging devices are standard technologies in the industry today.
Many companies are upgrading their larger trucks with FCW/crash mitigation systems. The Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) think tank expects that about 40 percent of large truck fleets will have these systems installed by 2020, as stated by Consumer Reports. However, there are no government mandates regarding these crash mitigation systems. Trucking associations have lobbied for less government involvement when it came to mandating all trucks to be outfitted with advanced safety systems.
For owner operators of large rigs, many drivers cite costs as a factor when it involves obtaining new safety systems. With prices ranging in the hundreds of thousands for a new vehicle purchase, these new trucks don’t fit into their budgets. Retrofitting older vehicles with these systems could drastically cut down on safety system prices. However, other truck drivers simply don’t believe that these systems are necessary. Instead, they cite their own driving records with few crashes as reasons why they are safe on the road. Other drivers are placing the blame on distracted passenger vehicle drivers as the reason for big truck accidents.
Companies across the country are also looking to improve truck safety with additional training measures for their drivers. With newer vehicle enhancements, technologies, and traffic patterns, drivers can gain immense benefits from continuous training practices. This training will provide large truck drivers with increased experience and driving versatility if they find themselves moving from hauling single-trailer trucks up to double-trailer and triple-trailer trucks.
Knowing how each vehicle handles differently with different loads can lower the chances of driver mistakes. Companies can also make the decision to invest in better fleet management initiatives by hiring more drivers to operate smaller trucks that are not overloaded.
In addition, they can revamp their delivery schedules to ensure their drivers are taking all safety precautions and are not being overworked to fulfill difficult delivery timelines. When drivers are set to short delivery windows, this issue may cause many of them to speed or make unnecessary driving decisions that result in fatal crashes.
Lower speeds, correctly loaded trucks, investing in safety technologies, and limiting the number of trailers that a single truck pulls can end of saving lives. These measures can ensure that both passenger vehicle drivers and truck drivers reach home safely.
Duboff & Associates has handled and continues to handle Big Rig cases in MD, D.C., CA, and MA. These are not just large auto wrecks. Don’t let anyone fool you. If you are the victim or relative of someone injured from trucking negligence, call us now for a free consultation.
If you drive regularly in the Montgomery County area, it is probably not surprising that local roads can be hazardous. There’s even evidence that Maryland roads and drivers can be more dangerous than average.
Data from D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles indicates that Maryland’s drivers rack up more traffic and parking citations than both D.C. and Virginia drivers and also owe more in fines than D.C. and VA drivers combined. A study released by WalletHub in January rated Maryland as the third-worst state to drive in based on several different measurements.
Rather than looking at a long list of statewide figures, zeroing in on a single year in a single county presents a more focused local picture. We examined location data for motor vehicle accidents in Montgomery County in 2015 and found that there were 58 pedestrian incidents. Of those 58 incidents, two resulted in fatalities; one on Frederick Road in Germantown and one on River Road in Kenwood. After mapping the location, it then became apparent that the most active area for pedestrian-involved motor vehicle accidents was the Bethesda-Silver Spring area, with a total of 24 incidents (including the River Road fatality).
Over the course of 2015, 58 accidents convert to a pedestrian-involved accident occurring in Montgomery County 6.2 days, or slightly more than one accident a week. Furthermore, 3.44% of those pedestrian-involved incidents resulted in fatalities.
More extensive data, including data that dates back to January 2012, and a map displaying pedestrian-related traffic incidents, paints an even more disturbing picture. When additional years of data are plotted on a map of Montgomery County, the 2015 clusters get larger, additional clusters appear, and more roads where accidents occurred are visible.
As a result of expanding the data, dozens of additional pedestrian-related traffic incidents are shown in the Bethesda and Silver Spring areas. Also, additional clusters appear in Gaithersburg and Montgomery Village, Germantown, North Potomac, Rockville, Glenmont, and Wheaton. Some of these clusters even connect along heavily-traveled roads like Viers Mill, Georgia Avenue, Rockville Pike, Colesville Road, and Frederick Road, meaning that the roads themselves (not just specific locations or intersections) are danger zones for pedestrians.
In late 2017, the Baltimore Sun reported that according to a survey of Maryland State Police data, Georgia Avenue in Montgomery County was one of the most dangerous roads for pedestrians in the entire state. The study found these four major clusters of pedestrian accidents in a single eight-mile section of the road: Aspen Hill (near the Connecticut Avenue intersection), Wheaton, south of Wheaton (near August Drive) and in downtown Silver Spring. The data from 2015-2017 conclude that those four locales accounted for 117 incidents, with 61 people seriously injured and two deaths.
Keep in mind that these traffic incidents did not always involve a call to the ambulance. In many cases, a pedestrian was simply present and involved. The 4700 block of Bradley Boulevard in Bethesda is a good example.
In recent years, one specific location that requires the driver to yield for pedestrians waiting to use the crosswalk was the site of almost 200 citations. That said, if any pedestrian had attempted to cross Bradley Boulevard while not paying attention, an accident resulting in injury certainly could have happened.
Maryland does have a system in place for identifying and addressing locally-identified road construction projects. This includes pedestrian-related projects like sidewalk installation, placement of roadside fencing or railings, and restriping crosswalks and bicycle lanes. Counties are invited to send an annual list of priority road projects in writing to the Maryland Department of Transportation. The Governor and state legislature then approve or deny funding on an item-by-item basis.
Interestingly enough, many counties, including Montgomery County, put road congestion-related projects at or near the top of their lists but placed pedestrian-related projects at or near the bottom of their lists. Also, while Montgomery County did include improving Georgia Avenue pedestrian safety on its most recent list submitted to MDOT, they placed the notion near the bottom of the list.
While the vast majority of pedestrian-related incidents happen on major roads and thoroughfares, these incidents do occur on private property on residential streets. Some citizens groups have sought to lower the speed limits in residential areas on suburban county roads, only to find that (with few exceptions) Maryland state law prevents counties or municipalities from reducing speed limits below 25 MPH. In 2017, the Montgomery County delegation sponsored legislation in the Maryland House of Delegates to reduce that limit to 20 MPH. The legislation had passed in the House but didn’t pass out of any Senate committees for a full vote before the session ended.
In short, despite the potential danger to pedestrians in some areas of Montgomery County, it doesn’t seem likely that any solution is coming any time soon. That means that your best protection from traffic as a pedestrian is your own alertness, attention, and caution.
If you’ve been the victim of a pedestrian accident you have means for compensation. Contact the attorneys at DuBoff & Associated, Charteded to discuss how we can help you receive compensation for injuries, medical bills, and lost wages.
There was a time when you called a taxi if you needed a ride to get somewhere. Times are changing though, and taxis are no longer the only option. Riders now have a choice, and many are opting for app based ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. These companies are not only changing transportation, they are changing insurance as well.
As ridesharing has gained popularity over the past few years, lawmakers have had to step up and create laws that cover the unique circumstances that these services present. This can leave passengers somewhat confused, wondering who is responsible in an Uber or Lyft accident. They want to be compensated for their injuries and property loss, but they aren’t sure where to start. This is why it is so important to get a personal injury lawyer to handle a ridesharing case.
Insurance is a major concern for rideshare drivers as well as passengers and the rideshare industry has brought about some important changes in how the vehicles and their passengers are covered. Under Maryland law all drivers are required to carry the minimum level of coverage and are responsible for purchasing their own insurance in order to be able to drive. The minimum insurance coverage that is required for every driver in the state is 30/60/15, or $30,000 bodily injury per person, $60,000 per accident for two or more people, and $15,000 property damage.
Commercial drivers are typically covered by the insurance policy their employer carries. However, Uber and Lyft drivers have a unique work situation. They drive their vehicles for personal use but also drive the for work. This means that different insurance policies cover their vehicle depending on whether they are on duty or off duty.
If they are off duty, their personal insurance will apply in the event of an accident. On the other hand, if they are on duty and get into an accident, the company’s insurance coverage will apply. Both Uber and Lyft have Maryland insurance coverage and it applied the moment the car goes on duty until they go off duty. This means that the moment a passenger accepts a ride, the company insurance kicks in until drop off. So, if there is an accident during that time, the company’s insurance will handle any claims.
Accidents happen, even to Uber and Lyft drivers. In fact, statistically speaking, drivers for rideshare companies are more likely to get in an accident simply because they are spending more time behind the wheel than regular drivers. Distracted driving is also an increased likelihood because of this, not because they are texting, but because they are looking at their GPS or smartphone for directions or getting information from the rider on where they are going. At pick up points they may be searching for the rider instead of paying attention to other vehicles that are nearby.
Driving in areas that are unfamiliar can also pose an accident risk for rideshare drivers. They may not be aware of blind intersections, unique traffic patterns, confusing intersections and traffic patterns, or one-way streets. This can lead to accidents.
If you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft and the drivers gets into an accident, both the drivers and the company may be held liable. You may have physical injuries that incur expenses like medical bills, lost wages, and future medical costs. Pain and suffering may also be involved. You would file a claim with the rideshare company’s insurance as soon as possible.
Rideshare situations are unique and very complex from a legal standpoint. While the company insurance for Uber or Lyft does provide coverage while the car is on duty, the drivers are still independent contractors. They are not actual company employees. This means that the insurance coverage can have certain limitations that can cause the claim to be denied. For instance, if the driver was acting reckless and caused an accident intentionally (i.e. road rage), or if they were driving under the influence (DUI), it could cause the claim to be denied.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident and a rideshare vehicle was involved, you need the personal injury attorney in your corner. You could be entitled to compensation for your loss and injuries and a good lawyer can help you recover it. At DuBoff and Associates, we have the experience and knowledge to handle these complex rideshare cases. Call us today for a free consultation. We’ll walk through your case with you, give you honest, direct feedback, and make our recommendations on how to proceed. We care, and we want to see you on the road to recovery. Let us handle the insurance company; you concentrate on healing.
Parts of Maryland and surrounding areas, including Washington, DC, are very walkable. It is easy for pedestrians and cyclists to get around the city, even commute to work, by walking, running, or riding their bikes. The walkability of these areas also makes it very appealing for people who enjoy outdoor fitness activities. This means that there is a lot of foot traffic on the City streets. Cyclists are abundant in the area as well and it isn’t unusual to see accidents involving cars and pedestrians or cyclists.
Accidents like this can be traumatic and the injuries can be quite dramatic and catastrophic. Filing an insurance claim can compound the difficulty and stress when the victim seeks compensation for damages or injury. Most states recognize these difficulties and maintain a “comparative fault” policy when a crash occurs. However, a handful of states, Maryland and DC included, have long maintained a “contributory negligence” policy. This has changed in DC for certain persons but not all. Maryland meanwhile has tried but not passed anything as of this legislative term through the Annapolis legislature.
In most states, comparative negligence is used when judging personal injury cases. lt looks at both the defendant and claimant, weighs the negligence of each, and bases the damages awarded on the percentage of the fault of each side. For instance, if the claimant was found to be 25 percent responsible for an accident, they would recover 75 percent of the damages they sought instead of 100 percent. In some states, if the court finds the claimant to be at least 50 percent at fault, they are not entitled to any damages.
In personal injury claims, contributory negligence refers to behavior or action of the plaintiff that contributed to the accident, thus causing the injury. The plaintiff could be partly responsible or wholly responsible for their injuries or damage. For instance, if a person was crossing against the light at an intersection and they were hit by a car, they would be at least partially responsible because they were crossing against the light. If the pedestrian was in a crosswalk their claim may survive if the defendant driver then ignored the danger or gunned his engine.
In the 2018 Maryland General Assembly session, Senate Bill 465 was presented, establishing comparative negligence in the state. This would have been a huge sea change from Maryland’s long standing strict contributory negligence policy and it has been met with outright resistance from insurance companies as well as local governments and defense attorneys. The logic presented in the bill is that contributory negligence policies inhibit recovery of the plaintiff whereas comparative fault allows the plaintiff to recover at least part of the damages if they are partially at fault. This allows them the opportunity to recover from the accident.
This would definitely help pedestrians and cyclists who are on Maryland streets like what is allowed in Washington DC now! That would allow recovery now barred from recovery by the prohibitive confines of contributory negligence policies. Victims would be able to move forward and get the medical treatment and lost income recovery they need; lt seems the tide is turning, and the bill was gaining traction. The legislative session is over until next year but we will be back next year to encourage a fairer treatment for victims of negligence. Only time will time.
For decades Washington, DC was among the few states that had pure contributory negligence policies, but in November 2016 that changed. With the passage of the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of comparative negligence policies were put in place. Specifically, the Act allows a plaintiff to recover damages if they are less than 50 percent at fault in an accident with a vehicle. This was welcome news for all pedestrians and cyclists in one of the most walkable cities in the country. The Act covers all non-motorized users which not only includes bicycles, but also skateboards and Segway’s. This law was passed by the City council signed by the Mayor and approved by the United States Congress.
The few states that still subscribe to the harsh contributory negligence policy are receiving a lot of pressure from cyclist groups and others to come in line with the 46 state majority (92%) and offer more protection to cyclists and pedestrians. Whether or not they will follow suit is something we will just have to wait and see.
If you have been injured in a bicycle or pedestrian accident, you need legal representation right now. The laws surrounding these types of accidents are very complex and you shouldn’t try to go it alone. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries and an experience, knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you get it. Contact DuBoff & Associates today and get the representation that you deserve.
Your initial consultation is free, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum that you deserve. Don’t wait to see if things will work themselves out, let us take your case so you can get back to living your life and healing. We are handling these new D.C. comparative negligence cases right now.
When driving down the street, you are taking all the necessary safety precautions. You are yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks, giving the right of way to other vehicles, and obeying all traffic laws. Yet accidents still have a way of happening even to the best drivers. Fortunately, you try to minimize the severity of your injuries by always having your seat belt on and by having a vehicle that is equipped with airbags.
Yet, what if an accident occurs where you are actually injured by the airbag? These supplemental safety devices are put in place to inflate during the event of a crash. The airbag fills with a harmless gas, such as argon or nitrogen, that inflates to prevent your body from striking the steering wheel, dashboard and side doors to prevent fatal injuries. However, injuries have occurred such as bruises, burns, concussions, eye injuries, bone fractures, internal bleeding, hearing damage and many others due to the airbag inflation.
Many injuries that occur are minor as the speed of the vehicle or the force of impact was so severe that it caused the person to slam into the airbag. In these instances, where the lack of the airbag would have caused even greater injury or even death, many people will forego any lawsuits. However, there are times when you should definitely seek out legal advice and representation regarding injuries that are caused by airbags.
A person may have a case if it is determined that the airbag did not inflate fully, and this lack of full inflation caused you to sustain an injury when your body stuck other parts of the vehicle. This issue may have been caused by the manufacturer or installer of the air bag. Malfunctions and defects could fall under legitimate reasons to file a lawsuit. What you would have to prove is that the airbag was either designed, manufactured or installed in such a manner that it became unreasonably dangerous to have in the vehicle.
One of the largest vehicle recalls in United States’ history is currently in effect due to faulty air inflators being installed into airbags. In 2017, it was discovered that Takata airbags posed a serious health risk as 21 people worldwide have been killed and over 180 people have been injured due to the airbags exploding. Currently, 14 automobile manufacturers are recalling vehicles as tens of millions of cars and trucks may have this type of airbag installed. This recall will be in effect up to the end of 2019.
You may be able to sue if you were involved in an accident and sustained injuries due to a faulty airbag. Even if your vehicle is not currently on the recall list, it still may have this type of system as new recall information is being released by vehicle manufacturers. Speaking with an experienced attorney will allow you to decide on your legal options as well as who the liable party would be in this circumstance.
An airbag may have been manufactured and installed correctly, but was tampered with due by other parties that caused it to malfunction. This tampering may have been unintentional or intentional, as it could occur if you are getting your car worked on at a garage by a mechanic or when you allow someone to borrow your vehicle.
When it comes to suing over injuries caused by an airbag, you will need to prove that you did not cause the airbag to malfunction. You will also have to establish that the accident and collision was not the cause for your injuries. In addition, you also have to prove that you did not cause or contribute to your injuries.
By proving that there was no personal negligence that caused the injury, you may be able to successfully sue the liable party for compensation if you are injured during the accident. Talking with a professional attorney who handles accident cases will allow you to determine your rights, as they can review the circumstances of the accident and provide you with the advice you need in regards to pursuing a personal injury case. Here at DuBoff and Associates, Chtd., we help people in the Silver Spring area of Maryland who need legal representation when they have been injured in an accident. If you or a loved one sustained injuries from an airbag and want to be compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, contact our office today. We can help protect your rights during your legal matter.