Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

A new child car seat law, Maryland Senate Bill 789, passed at the end of the Maryland legislative session last night at 9:10 p.m. Children in Maryland will now be required to remain in car seats until their 8th birthday unless they are over 65 lbs or over 4 feet, 9 inches tall.

This is a good development for child safety in Maryland. We are now a long way from bouncing up and down in the back of our parents station wagon.

There was an interesting article today in the Maryland Lawyer section of the Maryland Daily Record about a $1.2 million verdict rendered last week in a Baltimore truck accident case.

The Plaintiff suffered a fractured vertebra, a fractured elbow, and hurt his ankle in the accident. The vertebra was eventually removed and from now on the Plaintiff, who was a foreman at Severn Cable, can only perform light-duty work. Incredibly, before trial, the Defendant offered $475,000.00, and the Plaintiff demanded $500,000.00. Rarely do cases of this size cannot resolve when only $25,000.00 separates the parties. But in this case, the parties and their counsel, Bill Ober of the Law Offices of Matt M. Paavola and Milton P. Warren for the Plaintiff and Mary Malloy Dimaio from the Law Office of Maher and Associates (in house counsel for AIG and all the American International Companies), dug their feet in over the $25,000.00.

In a case like this, authority is often in a pretty round number. It is possible that someone—either the lawyer or the adjuster below the decision-maker—had the full $500,000.00 in authority and chose not to offer it. If this was the case in this truck accident claim, that lawyer or adjuster has a lot of explaining to do.

A federal jury in Waco, Texas has awarded six million dollars in a truck accident case to a man critically injured when his motorcycle collided with a tractor-trailer in March 2006. The plaintiff lost four fingers on his left hand and can no longer walk without assistance because of injuries to his left leg.

The case most likely went to trial because there appears to be a meaningful defense on the question of liability. Plaintiff claimed he was changing lanes when the tractor-trailer struck him and knocked him off his motorcycle. Defendants argued that Plaintiff entered an entrance ramp and drove into the big rig.

Nine times out of ten, these he said/she said truck accident cases come down to who the jury believes. I’d be willing to bet that the trucking company’s insurance company would have offered a great deal more to settle the case if it had been a car instead of a motorcycle because jurors are so skeptical of motorcycle riders. But in this case, the insurance company and their truck accident lawyers bet wrong to the tune of $6 million.