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Baltimore Personal Injury Blog

Should school buses have seat belts? NTSB says the time has come.

The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending seat belts on school buses. This may be the push needed for Maryland and other states to protect students who take the bus.

Seat belts on buses do save lives and limit injuries. However, the debate always comes down to the substantial cost of adding safety belts and who will pay for it. School districts look to state legislatures. States look to the federal government.

Experts point to SUVs for increase in fatal pedestrian accidents

Sports utility vehicles are popular choices for many families in Maryland, and it is easy to see why. These vehicles typically offer adequate seating, ample storage space and competitive gas mileage, all of which is perfect for a busy family on the go. However, there may be a darker side to SUVs -- an increase in pedestrian accidents.

In 2009, the number of pedestrian fatalities -- having been on a downward trend since 1975 -- hit a record low. But that did not last long, and from 2009 to 2016, fatal accidents involving a single motor vehicle and pedestrians shot back up over 80 percent. So what is to blame for this frightening increase in deadly pedestrian accidents? Experts from the Governors Highway Safety Associate believe that SUVs are responsible for the sharp uptake in deaths.

Car crashes caused by texting happen in a matter of seconds

People go through life thinking that if they had been a few seconds earlier or a few seconds later, such-and-such would not have happened.

So it is with car crashes and texting. Maryland law prohibits drivers from using hand-held devices while operating a vehicle, yet texting while driving continues to cause roadway disasters. Looking away from the road for a few seconds can literally be life or death.

Police say driver in truck accident was drunk at the time

Drunk driving remains a threat to innocent motorists, their passengers and others using Maryland's roadways. A crash involving a drunk driver and a passenger vehicle has enough potential to be serious or deadly, but when a truck is also involved, the force of the impact only increases. Under these circumstances, a truck accident tends to increase the possibility of fatalities exponentially.

On a recent Monday, a Penske truck driven by a 49-year-old man careened into the rear of a passenger vehicle carrying a family of three. The impact critically injured the 3-month-old boy in the backseat of the vehicle. Troopers with the Maryland State Police report that the baby's parents "did everything right" in that the baby was properly strapped into a car seat. It just wasn't enough, and the infant died on the Thursday following the crash. 

Did nursing home negligence lead to resident's death?

Transferring patients can be an arduous task. If those doing the transfer are not careful, patients could suffer injuries. Some medical and nursing home facilities here in Maryland and elsewhere use lifts to help facilitate those transfers, which are supposed to be safer. However, if not used properly, it too, can lead to serious injuries or the death of a patient. Such an error may be construed as nursing home negligence by a court.

A family in a neighboring state believes that negligence led to the death of their family member. During a transfer using a lift on April 15, 2016, the woman fell. Reportedly, this was not the first time she fell or suffered injuries during a transfer. Her family says it happened no less than six other times prior to this fall, which they say led to her death eight days later.

Many motorcycle riders are older -- and wiser and safer

Motorcycle sales have risen steadily since the early 1990s. That surge was fueled by Baby Boomers who were rediscovering motorcycles or finally indulging their wild side in their empty nest and golden years. At the same time, safety has become increasingly important, especially because there are many more senior riders on the road today.

Fortunately, new safety features continue to pop up. If you love riding your motorcycle, here are five safety innovations for you to consider.

Workers' compensation often covers occupational diseases, too

When Maryland employees work in certain occupations such as auto repair, nursing or construction, among others, they often work with chemicals, toxic substances and other on-the-job hazards that could lead to illnesses. Employers are required to make sure that you have what you need to safely work with these substances, including training, protective equipment and other safety measures. Even following the appropriate safety rules and regulations, accidents still happen, and some of them lead to occupational diseases.

If you work with solvents or other chemical compounds or substances, you could contract any number of conditions or illnesses. Some of those conditions or illnesses could include skin irritations, respiratory ailments and, in some cases, cancers. For instance, some people still work around asbestos and risk suffering from asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma.

What caused a recent fatal motor vehicle accident

In many car crashes, drivers, passengers and other witnesses are available to help Maryland law enforcement officials determine what happened. This task becomes exponentially more difficult when witnesses are unavailable and the occupants of the vehicle or vehicles involved died as result of the motor vehicle accident. In these cases, the families of the victims may not know the circumstances behind the death of a loved one for some time.

Two families here in Maryland may be awaiting answers to how their family members died. The single car accident occurred sometime in the early morning hours of a recent Sunday. Police officers were not called to the scene, but rather discovered it at around 2:35 a.m.

Head injuries are more common in car crashes than in sports

In the past few years, concussions and other brain injuries suffered by football players have been much in the news. However, football and other contact sports are in the minority in terms of causing serious brain damage.

Vehicle accidents are at fault for many more cases of traumatic brain injury across the country.

Deadly motor vehicle accident involved off-duty police officer

Police officers here in Maryland and its surrounding areas risk their lives daily in the performance of their duties. Each of them understands the hazards and dangers they could face when they put on their uniforms, but that does not stop them from doing so. For this reason, it often seems more tragic when a police officer loses his or her life in a motor vehicle accident while off duty.

Recently, an off-duty police officer who works in the nation's capital suffered such a fate. As he rode his motorcycle on a Maryland road, another vehicle suddenly moved into his lane. The abrupt movement caused the officer's motorcycle to topple, and he went down with it. That might have been the end of it, except that the officer fell into the oncoming lane of travel where another vehicle struck him.

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