We've all witnessed a lady at a stoplight touching up her lipstick or applying mascara. Maybe some of you have even done it yourself. You think to yourself; it's okay so long as my vehicle isn't moving. Technically, you're just sitting there waiting for the light to turn so it's not a big deal if you use that time to finish getting ready, right? Wrong. Accidents can occur whether you're moving or not.
When you hire a Maryland lawyer to represent you, you expect that he or she will be competent and have your best interests in mind. Unfortunately, not all attorneys live up to their responsibilities. If the evidence supports it, a legal malpractice claim could be filed in order to seek restitution for the damages caused by the attorney.
Mistakes are possible in every area of law. In a bankruptcy, your attorney could fail to include debts that could have otherwise been discharged. In a medical malpractice, personal injury or wrongful death claim, an attorney might put the case aside for too long, and the statute of limitations could expire. Failing to file an appeal could also be considered legal malpractice.
Many Maryland parents may empathize with an out-of-state mother's frustration when her then 8-month-old boy was ill. After numerous medical visits that failed to resolve her son's illness, she went to an emergency room where it was discovered that he had a penny lodged in his throat. Now, the woman claims the doctors who missed it are guilty of medical malpractice.
The boy's first doctor visit was in June, and he was diagnosed as suffering from a viral infection. The mother says she was not convinced and requested additional testing be done -- a request that doctors denied. Her son's rash and fever continued to get worse, and she took him back to the doctor's office no less than five times.
Nurses and care workers get hurt twice as often as construction workers!
You may not think of health care as "back-breaking" labor. In reality, nurses and care workers on the front lines with patients have a higher rate of musculoskeletal injuries - sprains, strains and back injuries - than most blue-collar industries.
Such injuries can be debilitating and even career-ending. The same Baltimore area hospital systems with an international reputation for healing can be callous when it comes to caring for their own injured employees. Workers who are seen as "lingering" on disability are often hassled, shortchanged, pressured back to work or terminated.
Every year, the ECRI Institute, the renowned Pennsylvania-based nonprofit committed to "promoting the highest standards of safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness in healthcare," releases a much-anticipated ranking of the top ten technological hazards in the healthcare sector.
Last year, the top spot on the list went to improper sterilization of reusable medical instruments (i.e., flexible endoscopes) resulting in potential infection. This place atop the list was logical given the number of infection cases reported and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's issuance of a safety warning on this topic in February 2015.
In a previous post, we discussed how even though the possibility of suffering serious work injuries is the last thing on the minds of most employees, they nevertheless occur on a regular -- and somewhat stunning -- basis.
We also discussed how employees should take some comfort from the fact that their employer more than likely has workers' compensation insurance and how state law provides a rather precise definition of who exactly is eligible for work comp benefits. Specifically, if the harm endured by the injured worker was the result of an "accidental personal injury arising out of and in the course of employment," the work-related injury should be covered.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as one out of every 25 patients are affected by a hospital-acquired infection -- or HAI -- on any given day here in the U.S. with nearly half of these infection cases originating in the intensive care unit.
In light of these unnerving numbers and the annual toll taken by HAIs like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the CDC funded a study designed to uncover more about the so-called "triangle of transmission" in hospital settings, meaning how HAIs are spread among patients, nurses and the environment. The results of this study, which were equal parts illuminating and disturbing, were presented at a national conference held just last week.
Federal agency ruling benefits 1.5 million elderly
Arbitration can be a good option for resolving legal disputes. At many nursing homes, it is the only option. The fine print of care contracts prevents patients and their families from bringing lawsuits for fraud, injuries, abuse or wrongful death. Their only recourse is arbitration, which is binding and private. Nursing home owners say this helps them control costs. Critics say it helps providers avoid accountability.
In September, the federal Department of Health and Human Service ruled that nursing homes receiving federal funds cannot mandate forced arbitration. Since more than 70 percent of nursing home residents qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, the ban affects the vast majority of the 1,500 nursing homes across the country. For now, the rule applies only to new admissions, not existing nursing home contracts.
In a previous post, we discussed that while we, as a society, hold attorneys in high regard owing to their education and training, we also expect them to handle our legal issues -- from divorces and DUI charges to trusts and truck accidents -- with the necessary diligence and dedication.
To that end, we also discussed how the Maryland Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct outline a series of duties owed to clients, and how those clients who believe that their attorney has failed to live up to these duties may file a complaint with the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland.
Maryland has adopted a relatively firm stance when it comes to distracted driving. Indeed, state law dictates that no licensed driver may use a "text messaging device" to send, read or write messages behind the wheel (with the exception of contacting 911), classifying this as a primary offense punishable by fines and even license suspension if the driver is under 18.
State law adopts a similarly hard-line stance against using a handheld device to talk behind the wheel, with licensed adult drivers essentially confined to the use of hands-free devices (with the exception of starting or ending a call, turning the phone on and off, or contacting 911). For their part, licensed drivers under 18 are banned from using both handheld devices and hands-free devices (with the exception of calling 911), meaning no talking while driving in any capacity.