Articles Posted in Multi-vehicle Accidents

Under Maryland law, a party in a personal injury lawsuit may present testimony from an expert witness only in certain circumstances. That being the case, expert witnesses do not testify in most Maryland car accidents. However, there are cases where the need for an expert witness arises. Typically, this is when a case presents complex medical or scientific issues that are beyond the scope of a typical juror’s understanding. A recent case illustrates a situation in which the court held that the plaintiff’s claim required the testimony of an expert witness.

The Facts of the Case

According to the court’s written opinion, the plaintiff was involved in a chain reaction car accident. Evidently, one motorist collided with another driver, whose vehicle then struck the plaintiff’s car. The plaintiff was transported to the hospital, where he was treated and released later that day. The record does not indicate the treatment that the plaintiff received at the hospital.

The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against two of the other drivers involved in the accident. In his complaint, the plaintiff alleged injuries to his neck, head, back, right foot, right ankle, right hip, both shoulders, and both knees.” The plaintiff presented the testimony of medical experts to establish the extent of his injuries.

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Earlier this month, a Maryland car accident involving three vehicles claimed the life of one woman and injured several others. According to a local news report, the accident occurred in the evening hours on Route 238 and Asbury Road, in Denton.

Evidently, a Jeep Grand Cherokee was traveling eastbound when it inexplicably crossed over the center line and into oncoming traffic. As the Jeep entered oncoming traffic, it struck a Toyota head-on. The Jeep then rolled over and struck a nearby GMC truck, which was also traveling westbound.

Several injuries were reported among the passengers in the Jeep. The driver and one of the passengers in the Toyota were taken to the hospital as well. However, one of the passengers in the Toyota sustained fatal injuries.

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When it comes to determining who is at fault in a car accident, some accidents are fairly straightforward, while others pose more difficulty. It may be that the parties involved were intoxicated and do not remember the events leading up to the accident, or were so severely injured that their recollection of the events is foggy.

Chain-reaction accidents or accidents involving several vehicles may also pose a difficulty in determining who caused the accident because there may be several parties involved, each slightly at fault. For example, if two cars collide on the highway, and then several others approach at a high rate of speed and collide with the wreckage already on the road, it may be difficult for investigators to determine what exactly happened and who should be held responsible.

When personal injury cases involving a chain-reaction accident are filed in court, fault must often be divided up among several parties. This is often determined by the jury that hears the case. Unfortunately for Maryland accident victims, the state applies the doctrine of contributory negligence when it comes to determining who can recover damages for an accident.

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Rear-end accidents are among the most common types of car accidents in Maryland. While most rear-end accidents that occur at a low speed are not likely to result in serious bodily injury, high-speed rear-end collisions often result in serious injury or death. For these reasons, the State Legislature in Maryland has made a concerted effort to deter distracted driving, one of the leading causes of rear-end collisions.

Efforts to Stop Distracted Driving

Distracted driving consists of engaging in any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road and others on it. It is a mistake to assume that distracted driving only includes visual distractions. In fact, most of the common causes of distracted driving are attention-based, rather than visual. These include the common culprits:  talking on the phone or texting, talking to passengers, and eating or drinking.

To help curb distract driving in Maryland, the State Legislature has enacted a tough hand-held device ban. Under the ban, drivers are prohibited from using any hand-held device while they are operating a motor vehicle. This includes talking on the phone and texting. It is only with a hands-free device that a Maryland driver can legally be on the phone while driving.

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Some accidents involve only one or two vehicles, and it is easy for authorities to determine who was at fault and to issue the necessary citations. However, other accidents involve multiple parties, and in these situations authorities may have a difficult time ascertaining what caused the initial accident and who was at fault in subsequent collisions between motorists that may not have been involved in the initial collision at all.

In multi-vehicle car or truck accidents, it may be that the fault for the accident was entirely attributable to one driver because they were drunk or distracted at the time. However, it is also possible that one driver’s negligent conduct started a chain-reaction accident that could have been prevented if other drivers had been diligent. A prime example of this is a multi-vehicle accident that involves a single collision and then several smaller collisions, due to approaching vehicles following too closely.

In these situations, establishing who is liable to whom can be a difficult task to sort out. The bottom line is, however, that an innocent driver should not have to worry about whether or not they will be able to recover compensation for their injuries just because it is difficult to determine who caused the accident leading to their injuries. It is for this reason that a thorough investigation is often necessary in multi-vehicle accidents.

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Earlier this month in Riverside, Maryland, an officer responding to a hit-and-run accident was involved in an accident, injuring himself and three others. According to one local news source, the police officer was responding to an altercation between the victim of a hit-and-run and the other driver. Evidently, the accident occurred on I-95, and the victim had followed the hit-and-run driver to his address, where an altercation between the two was underway.

The police officer was responding, with lights and sirens on, heading south on Route 543. As the officer approached the intersection of Route 543 and Route 7, a Mazda heading eastbound on Route 7 collided with the officer’s car. The driver of the Mazda and the police officer were both flown to Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore. The other two people injured in the accident were taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital, where they were treated for their injuries and released.

Police are currently conducting an investigation to determine who, if anyone, was at fault for the accident. Thus far, no charges have been issued by the police department.

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Earlier this month on Interstate 95, a massive pile-up accident claimed the life of a Staten Island rabbi on his way to a religious event. According to a report by one local news source, the accident occurred near the Baltimore-Howard County line. The accident itself actually took place in Harford County, near the intersection of Route 23 and High Point Road.

Evidently, a band of freezing rain crept in and created extremely slippery conditions on the roadway. At around 7:30 in the morning, a Honda CRV was traveling westbound on Route 23 when it lost control and crossed the median. The CRV collided with an eastbound vehicle.

The man in the back seat of the CRV was pronounced dead shortly after emergency workers responded to the scene. He was a prominent rabbi in the New York City area. The driver and front-seat passenger of the CRV were also taken to the hospital, although with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the other vehicle, as well as the passenger, were both taken to the hospital with injuries.

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Earlier this month in Edgemere, the driver of an SUV lost control after rear-ending another car and ended up crashing into a school cafeteria. According to a report by one local news source, the driver of the SUV slammed into the back of another car while driving north on North Point Road. After crashing into the other vehicle, the SUV then lost control and ended up in the cafeteria of Sparrow’s Point High School.

Evidently, when emergency workers arrived on the scene, the SUV was overturned and the driver trapped inside. They had to extricate the driver before flying him to Shock Trauma in Baltimore. The driver of the vehicle that was rear-ended did not suffer any major injuries.

Fortunately, the accident occurred around 9:30 at night, and there were no students in the cafeteria at the time of the accident. Police are currently conducting an in-depth investigation into the accident and will determine if charges should be pressed against any of the drivers involved.

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Earlier this week in Silver Spring, a four-car accident injured 13 people, sending several to the hospital. According to a report by one local news source, the accident took place near the 16900 block of Norwood Road, near the intersection with Excalibur Lane, around 2:30 in the afternoon.

Evidently, a Toyota Corolla was stopped on Norwood Road, waiting to make a left turn, when a Mitsubishi approached from the rear and slammed into the Toyota. The force of the impact sent the Toyota into oncoming traffic. Once in the lane of oncoming traffic, the Toyota crashed head-on into a Chevy Tahoe. This collision sent the Tahoe into a Dodge minivan and then off the roadway.

Paramedics were on the scene and treated the drivers and passengers in the cars and the SUV. They were able to be treated on the scene, and their minor injuries did not result in hospitalization. However, the driver and passengers of the minivan all sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash. Police explained to reporters that all people involved were properly restrained in either seat belts or car seats and credit the lack of fatalities to this fact.

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Last week in Scaggsville, a major accident shut down portions of the highway for several hours and injured eight people. According to a report by one local news source, the accident occurred around 4:45 in the afternoon on Route 29 south, just north of Johns Hopkins Road.

Evidently, the driver of a Honda SUV was driving erratically and crashed into two other vehicles while driving north on Route 29. After crashing into the other vehicles, the SUV ended up airborne and crossed into the southbound lanes, where it landed on a Dodge truck. The SUV continued its path of destruction, eventually colliding with another truck before ultimately coming to a rest in the southbound lanes.

Thankfully, no one was killed. However, a total of eight people were injured in the accident. Four others were involved but escaped without injury. Of those injured, several were ejected when one of the vehicles rolled over, and several others were trapped inside their vehicles until emergency crews arrived and were able to extricate them.

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