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Baltimore Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Female passenger killed in collision

A 59-year-old female passenger was killed by a car accident that occurred in Maryland on Feb. 26. The crash happened at approximately 8 p.m. in Middletown, nearby Ridge Road. According to police, a 25-year-old man driving a 2012 Dodge Ram was traveling west on Route 40A before he crossed over onto the eastbound side of Ridge Road. He collided head-on with a 67-year-old Middletown man driving a 2008 Toyota Corolla.

The driver in the Corolla was transported to the hospital to receive medical treatment for injuries that were not life-threatening. The woman riding in the Corolla was also taken to the hospital, but ultimately succumbed to her injuries. Investigators believe that alcohol was a contributing factor in causing the collision. According to local reports, charges against the driver who caused the crash are currently pending. Maryland State Police were still investigating the incident as of later that evening. In order to investigate the crash and clear the scene, authorities closed Route 40A for more than three hours.

The cost of impaired driving in Maryland

According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, someone is killed in an accident involving an impaired driver every 51 minutes on average. These accidents have an economic impact of $59 billion per year in the United States. Overall, 31 percent of all traffic-related fatalities occurred in accidents involving impaired drivers in 2012. Of the 1,168 traffic deaths involving children under the age of 14 in 2012, 20 percent of those deaths were caused by drunk drivers.

More than half of the children who were killed in an accident involving a drunk driver during that year were in the car with the driver who was impaired. Among drivers who were killed in a car accident, 18 percent of them were found to have drugs such as marijuana and cocaine in their systems. In some cases, these drugs are used in combination with alcohol.

Sobering statistics about motorcycle accidents

Maryland residents are likely aware that riding a motorcycle can be dangerous, but they may be surprised to learn just how hazardous traveling on two wheels can be. While motorcycles make up only tiny fraction of the vehicles traveling on the nation's roads, riders are approximately 26 times more likely to be killed in an accident per mile traveled than passenger vehicle occupants.

While the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents involving motorcycles in 2013 was 6.4 percent lower than the 2012 death toll, this type of collision still claimed 4,688 lives. Approximately 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents i that same year.

Car accidents and shoulder fractures

Many people in Maryland are seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents each year. Some of these incidents may result in significant fractures to the bones that comprise the shoulders.

The shoulder is made up of three bones connected by muscles, tendons and ligaments. In the front of the chest lies the clavicle, and along the back lies the scapula. These two bones are connected to the joint bone which provides the socket for the arm. In a high-speed accident, chest injuries can result in breaks of all three, as well as torn muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Joan Rivers' daughter files medical malpractice lawsuit

Maryland residents might be interested in a medical malpractice claim that was filed by Melissa Rivers, daughter of the late comedian Joan Rivers. On Jan. 26, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the doctors and clinic that treated her mother shortly before she passed away on Sept. 4. According to the claim, doctors at an endoscopy clinic in New York failed to recognize that Rivers had stopped breathing during what should have been a routine procedure.

The lack of oxygen caused Rivers to suffer brain damage, which ultimately resulted in her death. The claimant also alleges that negligent operating room staff snapped photos of Rivers while she was unconscious and failed to obtain informed consent for all of the procedures that they performed on her. Further, Rivers' weight was not recorded before she was sedated, and a doctor left the operating room in an apparent effort to avoid being linked to the incident.

Rear-end collisions and whiplash

Minor car crashes are common for Maryland residents. Most minor accidents result in very little damage to either the car or the occupants. However, injuries can occur in even minor accidents.

Suddenly being thrown forward and backwards during a rear-end collision is a major cause of whiplash. The American Chiropractic Association describes whiplash as a sprain of the neck. In the violent whip-like motion caused by the car being jolted, the neck is forced through a movement that can tear ligaments and muscles. Symptoms of whiplash are localized pain and difficulty in moving the neck. Many individuals also experience headache and dizziness.

Parents sue hospital for $36 million over water birth

New parents living in Maryland may not know that on Jan. 14, an Oregon couple filed a $36 million medical malpractice lawsuit against a Portland hospital system, claiming a botched water birth caused their son's cerebral palsy. The boy was born in December 2011.

The lawsuit alleges that Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, which is part of the Legacy Health System, incorrectly told the plaintiffs that water births were less risky than traditional births. The suit also claims the boy's mother was wrongly told that she was a good candidate for a water birth when her son should have been delivered via C-section. The complaint also accuses the hospital of not having a supervising obstetrician overseeing midwives and nurses during delivery.

Can PTSD occur as the result of a car accident?

Maryland residents may wonder if it is possible to develop post-traumatic stress after a car accident. The fact is that it can be common for an individual to develop symptoms of this medical condition whenever a traumatic event takes place. The emotional experiences of post-traumatic stress can often exaggerate the normal feelings that occur after a car accident, including shock that the event happened, difficulty accepting that it really did take place, anger about the situation or fear that it may happen again. Replaying the memories over and over again may also be an indicator that PTSD has developed.

In order to determine whether an individual is experiencing typical emotions related to a traumatic event or has developed PTSD, it is important to evaluate whether the symptoms are ongoing or not. Emotions tend to go away with enough time but in the case of PTSD, they may linger for an excessive period.

Statistics show large-truck accidents are on the rise

Residents of Baltimore and the surrounding areas routinely share the roads with semis and other large vehicles. Therefore, Maryland drivers may be concerned about recent research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that shows that fatalities associated with tractor trailer accidents have been on the rise. In 2011, there were a total of 3,781 people killed in accidents caused by large trucks, and that number increased to 3,921 in 2012.

Another consideration of accidents with trucks is the number of injuries. The same research found that the number of people injured in trucking accidents rose from 88,000 in 2011 to 104,000 in 2012.

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