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AAA study examines whether Indian Head Highway’s reputation is deserved

Published on Jan 17, 2017 at 8:40 pm in General Blogs.

If you were to ask any resident of Prince George’s County to identify which major thoroughfares had the best overall traffic levels or best served as a shortcut from Point A to Point B, chances are good that you’d receive a host of different answers from area residents eager to demonstrate their knowledge of local roadways.

If you were to ask which major thoroughfares in the county were the most dangerous, however, chances are also good that you would receive a near universal response: Maryland 210.

Indeed, this roadway — known as Indian Head Highway — has earned a less than favorable reputation over the years, owing in large part to an infamous and utterly horrific accident back in 2008 when eight people lost their lives in a drag racing accident.

Medical malpractice lawsuit crisis? No, just a medical malpractice crisis.

Published on Jan 6, 2017 at 8:48 pm in General Blogs.

REPUBLICANS HINTING AGAIN AT TORT REFORM

With control of Congress and the White House, there are murmurings that Republicans will resurrect tort reform such as caps on medical malpractice compensation. The argument goes that rampant medical malpractice litigation is driving up the costs of health care and runaway juries are driving good doctors out of business.

But the facts do not support the hysteria. Medical malpractice lawsuits are actually down. Malpractice insurance premiums are also way down. It’s as tough as ever to win a malpractice verdict. So why the push? Malpractice “reform” represents a financial windfall to physicians, health care corporations and insurance companies.

Who is culpable for distracted driving accidents?

Published on Jan 5, 2017 at 8:52 pm in General Blogs.

Apple, SnapChat and other tech companies sued over traffic deaths

When an intoxicated driver causes a fatal accident, the family can sue the bar that helped that person get sloppy drunk. When a texting driver causes an accident, should victims be able to sue the companies that make it so easy and appealing to use smartphones while driving?

This debate is playing out in courts and legislatures around the country. A Wisconsin man whose daughter was killed by a driver distracted by a live-streaming app recently sued Apple Inc. for wrongful death. The lawsuit may not succeed, but more and more people are suggesting that smartphones and apps should be disabled while a car is in motion.

What do you think? Texting while driving is already illegal, but the problem is not going away.

Health care is a high-risk job for injuries

Published on Nov 23, 2016 at 8:24 pm in General Blogs.

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.

Will D.C. adopt one of the most stringent distracted driving laws in the nation?

Published on Oct 19, 2016 at 6:09 pm in General Blogs.

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. 

Fatal teenager crashes are increasing

Published on Oct 17, 2016 at 6:10 pm in General Blogs.

Maryland is doing a lot of things right to limit teen crashes

After dropping to an all-time low in 2014, Maryland traffic fatalities rose in 2015 and so far the upward trend continues in 2016. Fatal accidents involving teen drivers in particular are up sharply after so much progress in recent years.

Elevators vs. Escalators: Which is more dangerous?

Published on Oct 10, 2016 at 6:13 pm in General Blogs.

Many people have a fear of elevators – claustrophobia mixed with a fear of heights. A healthy fear of escalators might be more logical. More people are injured on escalators and moving walkways than elevators, despite the fact that elevators far outnumber them.

Children and the elderly are the most prone to escalator accidents, mostly from falls or from getting their hands and feet caught. What can be done to reduce the risk? Can anyone be held legally responsible for escalator injuries?

Are EMTs and other emergency responders immune from patient lawsuits?

Published on Aug 30, 2016 at 5:56 pm in General Blogs.

Though they train for crisis situations, it is not fair to expect miracles or perfection from those who respond to 911 emergencies. They aren’t doctors or rolling hospitals. They must make quick decisions under chaotic or even hostile circumstances.

Maryland law shields first responders, EMTs, paramedics and ambulance drivers from liability for bad outcomes of good faith efforts to help those in distress. But emergency personnel and their employers may be legally accountable for injury or death when they are reckless with protocols or derelict in their duty.

Limited immunity for EMS personnel

The Maryland Good Samaritan Act provides volunteer fire departments, rescue squads and ambulance crews with immunity for ordinary negligence. The Maryland Fire and Rescue Act provides similar immunity to police officers, firefighters and medics employed by governmental entities. Although these laws do not extend to commercial ambulance companies, private ambulance drivers,  EMTs (emergency medical technicians) and paramedics are somewhat immune under the same good faith doctrine.

Can I sue for injuries involving a public bus, subway or commuter train?

Published on Aug 25, 2016 at 5:58 pm in General Blogs.

Hundreds of people — passengers, pedestrians and motorists — are injured each year in mass transit accidents in the Baltimore area. Some people forfeit their right to compensation by waiting too long to bring a claim. Other victims never pursue legal action, believing that government entities are immune.

A public transit agency can be held liable — the same as an individual or corporate entity — but there are special rules and restrictions. Your best recourse is to work with a lawyer who has actually filed and won such claims.

Do I have to be a public transit passenger to sue the transit agency?
No. Pedestrians who were struck by a bus or train, while crossing the street or waiting at the station or bus stop, may have claims. Occupants of other vehicles that collided with a bus or train may have grounds to sue. And of course, passengers who suffered lasting injury while riding, boarding or unboarding may have claims. According to Metrobus, the most common “customer injuries” (passengers) are collision-related, followed by slips, trips and falls.

1 dead, 2 injured in 3-car accident

Published on Jul 13, 2016 at 5:53 pm in General Blogs.

A man was killed in a multi-car accident that took place in Baltimore July 6. Maryland Transportation Authority police said that the fatal crash involved three cars and occurred on Interstate 95 North. Two other people who were injured but survived the accident were treated at Shock Trauma.

The accident happened just north of the Fort McHenry toll plaza and was reported at 12:15 p.m. Police confirmed that the deceased victim of the accident died at John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. There were no immediate reports about what might have caused the three-car accident or whether any of the drivers involved are facing criminal charges. After car accidents like this, the drivers involved are often tested for drugs and alcohol so that investigators can determine whether intoxication was a factor.

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