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Baltimore Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Airbag recall has prompted congressional questions

Airbags have been a great help in reducing vehicles fatalities. Thousands of lives have been saved since airbags became standard on most vehicles. The airbag is triggered when a sensor detects extreme deceleration. This causes an explosive charge to fill the airbag in milliseconds, and it inflates and surrounds the vehicle's occupants and prevents them from violently jerking forward.

The good news is they work in the vast majority of instances, as they should. But during the last 10 years, some airbags from the manufacturer Takata have exploded and injured or killed motorists in the vehicles during car accidents.

This has now led to an enormous recall by auto manufacturers, which now stretches to encompass 7.8 million vehicles. 

Oh deer, its fall driving season

As the end of October and Halloween approaches and the leaves fall from the trees, you should remember to exercise additional caution as you drive about Maryland. The coming of winter means the number of hours of daylight will continue to shrink and more of your driving will involve the use of headlights.

Also of concern is the fact that sunrise and sunset now coincide with many commuters' drives to work and back home. Glare caused by the sun on the horizon can blind drivers and lead to sudden slowdowns on every type of road. 

October brings stricter texting law to Maryland

Texting and driving is one of the issues that is sufficiently new that while we suspect that there is a problem, and we have some anecdotal evidence of the dangers, we do not have the vast numerical conformation that would allow us to recognize just how bad things really are.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that at any given moment during daylight hours there are 100,000 drivers texting. They also estimate that 600,000 drivers are using a cellphone during that same period. Yet according to the hard numbers, there were only 3,328 highway fatalities linked to distracted driving.

The future sense of automatic v. manual

Here's the problem. Humans are not always very good in emergencies. We can be overwhelmed and often fail to react fast enough or in the right way. We drive down the highway, we hit a spot slick with ice. Most drivers have been told that you always need to steer into the skid to allow the wheels to regain directional stability and your ability to steer.

But how many drivers panic and forget, especially here in Maryland, where they may not encounter an icy road but once or twice every couple of years? 

I-70 closed for a time after 5-car crash

Driving really is a full time job. As comfortable as vehicles have become, with plush, heated and cooled leather seats, sound systems that rival the best home stereos and electronics that at times can be overwhelming, it is easy to forget as you are whisked along an interstate highway in Maryland that you are in a vehicle moving at nearly 100 feet per second.

But you are, and at 100 fps, you are covering the distance of a football field every three seconds. If you are daydreaming, lulled into a state of highway hypnosis, are chatting with a passenger or worst, texting on a cellphone, how long will it take for your mind to recover its focus on the situation in front of your vehicle should something go wrong?

If I'm a passenger, can I sue my driver after an accident?

In most car accidents, a driver is responsible for their negligence in the accident. They may have been drunk, speeding or texting, and ran an intersection, lost control and crossed the centerline or hit a car stopped at a stoplight.

And you were hit by them, you would expect to be able to collect some compensation for your damages, whether they are minor physical damage to your vehicle, or the compensation necessary to replace your totaled vehicle and cover your medical expensed from various personal injuries.

But what happens in less straightforward situations? What happens if you are in a car as a passenger and the driver is texting or driving too fast for conditions? If they crash in a single-car accident and you are injured, can you sue the driver?

Why All the Fuss About Unnecessary Stents? A Basic Primer of Stenting Risks

Ordinarily, the benefit of receiving a cardiac stent far outweighs the risks of stent surgery and the necessary postoperative treatment. There are however sizeable risks to consider if you are fortunate enough to have the time and accurate information about your condition to do so. Recently, more than 500 patients at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Towson, Maryland were advised they may have received cardiac stents unnecessarily and to consult with their private physicians. These patients didn't have the time to realize they didn't need the stents to begin with and are now faced with questions about their medical future.

Doctors Reconsider Value of Cardiac Stents in the Wake of Claims Against Mark Midei, M.D.

In today's Baltimore Sun, reporter Tricia Bishoplooks at the use of stents and the risks they bring. According to the article, until recently, use of cardiac stents to open blocked arteries has been all the rage and was seen as a relatively safe procedure when compared to open heart coronary bypass surgery. Since the 1990s, stents have been increasingly used and have generated more than $1 billion of revenue for Maryland's hospitals.

Florida Court Gets Rid of Limits on Money Damages in Certain Types of Medical Malpractice Cases

Florida beach.jpgAdd Florida to the list of states that have rejected limiting damages in certain types of medical malpractice lawsuits. The Sunshine State's top court has ruled that limitations on non-economic damages "imposes unfair and illogical burdens on injured parties" when medical malpractice has occurred and there is more than one claimant.

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