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Truck Accidents

Our Law Firm Tackles Tough Cases

Tractor-trailers and semi-trucks are an essential part of our economy and transportation system, carrying raw materials and finished goods across the country. We encounter large commercial trucks daily on our streets and highways. Unfortunately, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers and semi-trucks sometimes cause serious motor vehicle accidents. Keep in mind that due to their size and weight, trucks are much harder to control and maintain, and drivers have to be trained and specially licensed to operate them.

Commercial truck accidents often result in serious injuries. Tractor-trailers, delivery trucks, construction vehicles and other large trucks weigh significantly more than cars and other motor vehicles. As a result, when these large, commercial trucks collide with smaller vehicles, the consequences can be devastating.

We know how serious truck accidents can be for everyone involved. That's because our law firm has worked with numerous truck accident victims for decades in Rockville, Maryland and other nearby communities in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia.

At the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC, we're committed to holding truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for their actions. We believe accident victims should not have to pay for someone else's negligent or reckless behavior. And because we have decades of experience, we know exactly what it takes to win such complicated legal cases. We know how to make them pay.

How did your accident happen?

Why did your accident happen?

What Makes Truck Accidents Different?

Truck accidents aren't like other motor vehicle accidents. That's because many truck drivers work for large trucking companies located in another state or across the country. These corporations have a responsibility to make sure their fleet of trucks is safe and that the people operating them are responsible, skilled drivers. They are also under pressure to get their cargo to its location in a specific period of time which creates an environment to rush or cut corners.

When a truck accident occurs, it's important for investigators to verify that all the regulations governing the industry were followed by everyone involved, including the trucking company, the truck driver, the actual owner of the cargo, and their insurance providers. That might sound simple. But the list of state and federal laws governing the trucking industry is staggering.

Rockville truck accident lawyer Stuart L. Plotnick thoroughly understands the laws governing trucking accidents. That's why he has such a strong track record of success. A former insurance company lawyer, Attorney Plotnick knows what evidence to look for and how to build a strong legal case. He knows what it takes to win.

Understanding Your Truck Accident

There are many different legal issues that need to be taken into consideration after an accident involving a commercial truck. You can find more information about many of these topics on the pages listed below.

But even if you find the information you're looking for about your accident, it's important to remember that every truck accident is unique. That's why it's critical that you contact our law firm as soon as possible and schedule an appointment with us.

Why Choose Us

Many law firms talk about what they can do for accident victims. We believe results speak louder than words. In case after case, we have consistently obtained sizable settlements and verdicts for people injured in accidents caused by reckless or negligent truck drivers.

What's the secret to our success? Attorney Plotnick and his dedicated legal team work tirelessly on every single case. This starts with our very first meeting with you. Your attorney has to know where to look for the evidence that will piece together the cause of the accident. We take the time to find out exactly what happened to you. That way, we can work with you and develop a unique strategy for addressing your specific legal needs, which includes the use of  experts where needed.

The Black Box and GPS Data

Usually equipped with global positioning systems (GPS), truck black boxes are the main source of information about the truck and its journey, and show where the truck was before the crash. In recent years, there has been growing pressure to use black boxes to improve safety in the commercial trucking industry. These monitoring systems - also known as electronic log systems, electronic data recorders and electronic control modules systems - are implemented in commercial trucks throughout the country.

It's important for attorneys to download a truck's black box data as soon as possible following a serious truck accident. This information can help prove your case - and discredit the defense.

Black boxes are used to track vehicle maintenance issues, even as deep as tire pressure. They can also track truck driver performance, such as sudden brake applications, speed control, following distance and exceeding regulated hours.

Black boxes contain e-mail exchanges between the truck driver and the trucking company, which in many of our cases, have led to astounding discoveries of mechanical problems, driver fatigue and admissions by the truck driver immediately after the accident.

The data that can be obtained from a black box varies from model to model, but in most instances, the computer records incidents involving hard braking, engine RPMs and whether the clutch was engaged.

Obtaining black box data

In any serious injury or death case involving a commercial truck, a truck accident lawyer should send a preservation of evidence letter (also commonly referred to as a spoliation letter) via certified mail to the motor carrier, notifying the motor carrier that black box data is required for litigation, and that the truck must not be moved or repaired. This action should be done immediately before evidence is allowed to degrade or be destroyed.

This may be your only opportunity for justice. Make sure you make the most of it. Schedule a free consultation with our law firm. Best of all, you only have to pay us if we win your case. That's because we work on a contingency fee basis.  We work this way because we believe accident victims should only pay for results.

The Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC – we do not rest until justice is served.

How did your accident happen?

Truck Rear-Ended Car

Large trucks cannot stop as quickly as cars or other smaller vehicles. As a result, truck drivers often cause accidents involving other vehicles by driving straight into the back of them because they don't give themselves adequate time to stop or slow down. And when they don't, they often cause severe injuries to everyone in the vehicles in front to which they impact.

Rear-end truck accidents often occur due to distracted driving. Other times, truck drivers fall asleep at the wheel and don't even realize they're about to crash into a car. And when such accidents occur on highways and interstates, the injuries can be very severe since many truck drivers are going quite fast.

Whatever the cause of your rear-end truck accident, it's important to have an experienced truck accident attorney on your side, advocating for your best interests. Otherwise, the trucking company or its insurance provider will likely do everything they can to deny your accident claim.

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Jackknife

18-wheelers and large tractor-trailers sometimes cause jackknife accidents. This type of accident involves the truck's cab and trailer folding back into each other like a knife blade folding back into a pocket knife, creating the vehicles and body to twist in a “L” shape.

When these accidents occur, they can be particularly severe since passenger cars sometimes get caught between the truck's cab and trailer or they run under trailer where there is not enough room. As a result, cars are crushed and the occupants are seriously injured or killed.

Jackknife accidents often occur when tractor-trailers skid out of control or stop suddenly, especially on tight turns or icy roads or wet pavement. Whatever the cause of your jackknife accident, Attorney Plotnick will pursue all legal options on your behalf. That's our promise.

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Underride

Underride accidents involve cars going under a larger truck. Often, such accidents involve a car driving under the back end of a tractor-trailer or other large commercial truck. These accidents can be very severe and often result in serious injuries or fatalities. Today many trucks have a bar below the rear to prevent underride, but many low to ground or smaller cars on the road fit below these bars and these accidents are still very common.

Underride accidents can occur for many different reasons. Sometimes, it's because the truck driver stopped quickly without warning. Drivers also sometimes drive into the back of a large truck if the truck's brake lights are not working and there's nothing to warn the victim  that the truck is slowing down.

Whatever the cause of your jackknife accident, Attorney Stuart L. Plotnick knows how to investigate such accidents and uncover the truth. This comes from years of experience working on complicated cases. Find out what we can do for you. Contact our law firm and schedule an appointment today.

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Wide Turn

Due to the large size of tractor-trailers and many commercial trucks, they often need to take much wider turns than cars or other smaller vehicles. As a result, many truck drivers veer slightly into other lanes of traffic when making a wide turn without adequate warning. And sometimes, these drivers crash into oncoming cars or other vehicles.

We realize truck drivers have a tough job. But there's no reason why such accidents should occur. But they are professionals and there's no reason why such accidents should occur. When they do, truck drivers and the trucking company must be held accountable for their actions. That's where we come in. Attorney Stuart L. Plotnick has decades of experience defending the rights of people injured in accidents caused by truck drivers taking wide turns.

Often, such accidents occur because the truck driver does not have the experience necessary to properly judge how to safely turn. Other times, experienced truck drivers are going too fast and turn wider than planned. Whatever the reason, we're prepared to do the work to find out why your crash happened, then work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.

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Truck Rollover

Rollover accidents involving large commercial trucks happen for many different reasons. Sometimes, it's because the vehicles are overloaded or not loaded properly, or because the driver is negotiating a turn or some condition at a rate of speed that is too high. As a result, the contents of the truck shift during transit and cause the truck to become unstable.

Other times, trucks roll over because the driver is going too fast, especially when turning or trying to stop quickly. Or perhaps the truck driver is going too fast for the weather conditions and loses control of the truck, which rolls over and causes a serious accident.

Whatever the cause of your rollover truck accident is, Attorney Stuart L. Plotnick wants to help you hold the truck driver accountable for his or her actions. We know how to investigate these crashes and know what evidence to look for to build a strong legal case.

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Lost Load

While rare, lost load truck accidents can be severe. These accidents typically involve a tractor-trailer losing its cargo and even the trailer, which can come loose for a variety of reasons, including not being connected properly by the company loading the trailer.

Other times, the contents of dump trucks, logging trucks or delivery vehicles might not be secured properly or the driver forgets to close the back door of the truck, resulting in the contents of the truck falling onto the road and potentially onto other vehicles or at least creating dangers in their paths.

When these accidents happen, it's important to take strong legal action as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could miss out on your opportunity to receive the compensation you rightfully deserve for your truck accident.

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Why did your accident happen?

Texting Trucker

Texting while driving is against the law nationwide for almost all drivers, including commercial truck drivers. Even so, some truck drivers ignore this law and text while driving, one of the most dangerous activities drivers can do, according to numerous studies. That's why so many states have laws banning texting while driving for all motorists, not just truckers.

Many commercial truck drivers deny texting while driving. That's why you need a lawyer on your side who will demand a copy of the truck driver's cell phone records, which can be used as proof that the driver was texting at the time of your accident.

Gathering evidence in such cases can be very complicated. Some law firms avoid such tough cases. Attorney Stuart L. Plotnick thrives on them. That's because he believes strongly in holding reckless truck drivers accountable for their actions.

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Intoxicated Truck Driver and Drivers Using Stimulants to Stay Awake

Drinking and driving often results in serious motor vehicle accidents. When commercial truck drivers drink and drive, these accidents are often much more severe since their trucks are much larger than most vehicles on the road.

Truck drivers under the influence of drugs can also cause serious accidents. These drivers often take drugs or other stimulants in order to stay awake and alert longer, especially if they're long-haul truckers driving across the country. Remember, part of trucking is all about getting the load there on time.

Whatever the circumstances of your accident, we want to work with you and help you hold the impaired truck driver responsible for his or her actions. We take these cases very seriously because we know how dangerous impaired driving truck accidents can be for everyone involved.

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Truck Was Speeding

Speeding truck accidents often occur due to overworked truckers trying to make the most of their time on the road and making a delivery deadline. We realize truck drivers have a tough job, especially tractor-trailer and delivery truck drivers trying to meet tight deadlines. But that's no excuse for driving excessively fast on the road.

There are often many telltale signs of speeding truck accidents, including:

  • Severity of damage to vehicles
  • Length of skid marks on the road
  • Electronic black-box-type record in truck of actual speed

As your attorney, we will work tirelessly to gather all this evidence and uncover the truth. You didn't do anything wrong. You shouldn't have to pay for another driver's reckless behavior. Contact our law firm and find out how we can help you.

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Driver Was Asleep at the Wheel

Commercial truck drivers often fall asleep at the wheel and cause serious accidents. That's because some truck drivers try to drive for very long periods of time in order to meet unrealistic delivery deadlines.

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created rules designed to limit the number of hours truck drivers work. The FMCSA's Hours of Service regulations contain maximum limits for driving during a 24-hour period and on a weekly basis.

These regulations were created partly to prevent "asleep at the wheel" truck accidents. Even so, some truck drivers ignore these rules and drive longer hours. Sometimes, they do so voluntarily. Other times, trucking companies push them to break the law and work longer hours. Either way, we will not rest until we uncover why your "asleep at the wheel" truck accident happened.

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Tire Blowout

Truck accidents often occur due to one or more tires blowing out on a truck on the road. 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers and other large, multi-wheel trucks can sometimes continue driving with a blown-out tire. But other trucks can lose control almost immediately due to a tire blowout. In many instances tire blowout or failure occurs due to the fact that truck tires are expensive to replace and drivers and companies do not want to invest in new tires even after existing ones are worn. In other cases, they do replace tires, but choose retreads or cheaply made options which cannot stand up to the task.

Accidents also often occur due to the debris from a blown-out tire on the road. If you or another motorist drive over a blown-out tire, you can easily lose control of your vehicle or crash into another car swerving to avoid such debris.

Tire blowout accidents should never occur. If truck drivers and trucking companies regularly check their tires, they should notice when tires become worn and replace them before they blow out. Unfortunately, not all trucking companies or truck drivers take such precautions, and in many instances they may purchase retread or reconditioned tires, instead of new. As your attorney, we can investigate why your accident happened and stand up for your rights.

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Improper Loading

How the contents of a truck are loaded can make a big difference in the truck's stability. If the truck's contents are not secured and balanced equally on both sides or on each end, the truck can become very dangerous to drive since the contents may shift on the road.

Often, improperly loaded trucks tip over and cause rollover accidents, especially if the truck driver takes a turn too fast. Such accidents are especially common in tractor-trailers, which can be loaded down with thousands of pounds of materials that need to be precisely loaded and secured.

Proving that a truck was not loaded correctly and caused a serious accident can be very difficult. That's why it's important that you contact our law firm as soon as possible. We can search for the evidence you need to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.

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