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Big rig driver charged following car accident investigation

The driver of a tractor-trailer has been charged in a Maryland accident, that this blog reported on, that sent a 22-year-old woman and her car over the bridge's barrier wall and down 27 feet into the water below. The young woman was fortunate enough to escape from her car and swim to rocks underneath one of the support columns of the bridge before she was rescued.

The truck driver was charged with driving at a speed greater than reasonable, negligent driving, failure to control a vehicle and making an unsafe lane change. The charges come after a report from the Maryland Transportation Authority that concluded that the accident was caused by the truck driver's distracted driving. The report relies on data downloaded from the truck that indicated the driver was traveling between 47 and 51 mph shortly before the crash, while the young woman was moving only 4 mph when she was struck by the truck. The report also concluded that no mechanical defects were found in any of the vehicles involved.

The truck driver was on his first trip in the United States for Bulk Carriers PEI Limited of Prince Edward Island, Canada and was driving without a more experienced operator. At the time of the crash, he had just made a delivery in Orange, Virginia and was en route to pick up another load in Maryland.

Plaintiffs of such car accidents are able to recover damages from the driver and potentially from the driver's employer if they can prove negligence. The plaintiff will have a much easier time proving negligence after an official report shows that the driver was at fault for the accident or when criminal charges are given to a driver. It is more challenging to prove that an employer of a driver was negligent in their actions. Victims should seek legal guidance to determine the best avenue for obtaining the proper compensation following a car accident.

Source: NBC Washington, "Tractor-trailer driver charged in Bay Bridge crash that forced car into water," Aug. 29, 2013

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