Almost every driver on Maryland roads has heard the phrase, “Speed Kills,” but fewer among us know of someone who has actually died as a result of a speeding-related traffic accident. Over the years, as Maryland personal injury lawyers representing individuals hurt as a result of car, truck and motorcycle crashes, I and my legal staff have read of numerous roadway collisions where excessive speed was a contributing factor.
Whether you commute in the Baltimore area, or Howie, Gaithersburg or the District, no doubt many readers have seen the aftereffects of car and trucking-related wrecks in which one or more people have been injured or killed. Depending on the speed of such an accident — not to mention the mass of the vehicles involved — the injuries received by the victims can range from minor cuts and bruises to more serious compound fractures and back injuries. Some of the most serious and life-threatening injuries sustained by victims of highway wrecks include spinal cord damage and closed-head trauma.
The latter of these injuries can mean weeks or months, sometimes years, of recovery following the initial hospital stay. Some victims of high-speed interstate and rural route car accidents can become permanently disabled and unable to perform even the most basic daily functions. In such cases, an individual’s quality of life can be greatly impacted following the aftermath of a truck or passenger car crash that may have been caused simply by another driver’s inattention or perhaps outright negligent actions.
A while back, two Maryland teenagers were killed and another three teens were injured when the vehicle in which they were traveling apparently went out of control and crashed on a Friday evening. According to police reports, Johnny Deckman and his best friend, Jeffrey Giles, were riding in the vehicle, both seated on the right-hand side of the car — Deckman, 18, in the back seat area and Giles, 19, up front in the passenger seat. The two reportedly died instantly in the crash; both teens were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the incident, according to police records.
Based on reports, the 18-year-old driver, Dale Audet, and two others teens were hurt but survived the crash. Audet was transported to Shock Trauma where he was initially listed in critical condition. Sadly the accident, which according to police was caused at least partially due to excessive speed, may have been avoided. And while it’s hard to say whether things may have turned out differently for the two deceased victims, the lack of seatbelt use should be a lesson to many youngsters.
There was no mention in the news article whether or not any other factors may have played a part in the deadly car accident; however, as is sometimes the case, mechanical defects in critical automotive safety systems — such as the braking system, steering parts and components, as well as possibly poor or degraded condition of a vehicle’s tires — can result in a driver’s loss of control.
This potential loss of control can result in minor injuries and some property damage, for example if a suspension component fails in a parking lot; or the driver’s inability to control the vehicle can have devastating effects if the failure occurs at highway speeds. In any case, should a critical automotive component fail prematurely, there is a possibility that a product liability suit may be one avenue for the victims to pursue recompense from a second or third party. A qualified personal injury attorney with experience in this area of the law can be very helpful.
Car crash kills 2 teens, injures 3 others; ABC2News.com, November 26, 2011