Articles Posted in Auto Accidents/Personal Injury

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car-1449764Recently, a pedestrian was in critical condition after a hit and run, in which the pedestrian was thrown across an intersection. The driver of the car didn’t stop, and the pedestrian had to go to a trauma center to be treated for life-threatening injuries. The police searched the area and found the vehicle involved parked in a complex with the pedestrian’s belongings still embedded in the grill. The driver was located nearby and brought in for questioning. Police believed that the initial reason for the crash was the pedestrian’s failure to yield the right of way to the car, but the investigation is ongoing.

It is illegal for a driver to flee the scene of a car collision. Whenever somebody is involved in a motor vehicle accident in Maryland, they are legally obliged to stop and exchange insurance information with the other party. If there are injuries, you are required to call the police and file a formal accident report. A hit and run driver who leaves the scene of an accident involving injuries may face criminal charges. Those convicted may face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Many hit and run drivers are not insured, and this is why they flee. It’s estimated that about 12% of Maryland drivers are uninsured.

In many cases, the driver is never located, and as a result, victims of these hit and runs are unable to sue the driver for damages resulting from their injuries. In Maryland, a victim of a hit and run for which the driver is never located or is uninsured may be able to make a claim against the uninsured motorist coverage of his own automobile insurance policy.

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garbage-truck-924177-mLocal government employees in Maryland are restricted in their ability to sue for injuries caused by an employer or coworker. In Blue v. Arrington, a Baltimore City employee (Arrington) hurt another employee (Blue) while they were working at their jobs for the City. The injured plaintiff was working as a Seasonal Maintenance Aide on a garbage truck. He was side mounted on the outside of a truck driven by Arrington. Arrington was on the cell phone, tried to turn, and crushed Blue between a fence and brick wall.

The injured employee received workers’ compensation for permanent disability, medical expenses, and lost wages, but he also sued Arrington for negligence for the same injuries. The plaintiff alleged the coworker owed a duty to operate the vehicle properly and breached the duty of care by failing to properly turn the vehicle while keeping a lookout for Blue.

The city filed a motion to dismiss on its employee’s behalf, relying on the Local Government Tort Claims Act, which prevents local government employees from suing coworkers for tortious acts or omissions that are committed in the scope of employment if Maryland workers’ compensation covers the injury. It argued that the plaintiff’s exclusive remedy was worker’s compensation. Continue reading →

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railway-sign-1334757-mRecently, a train hit a car in Westminster, Maryland at the intersection of Route 27 and Winters Street at night, and a woman was injured and taken to the shock trauma department of a hospital. The conductor sounded its horn, and the train signal was activated. The train hit the passenger side and dragged it for a while before stopping near Main Street.

Train accidents tend to have more devastating consequences than car accidents due to the weight and high speed of trains. According to the Federal Highway Administration, train accidents happen every two hours in this country. Accidents often happen because of two trains colliding, derailment, collision with a smaller vehicle such as a car or motorcycle or bus, a mechanical failure, dated tracks, or conductor negligence. Derailment sometimes results in derailment accidents, which can result in many injuries. One of the most common types of accidents is an accident at a railroad crossing. Over 80% of crossings in America do not have adequate warnings for cars and pedestrians.

Sometimes collisions happen because signals on the track are not working. If this is the result of railroad negligence, the railroad will be held responsible for any resulting injuries. On the other hand, if the signal is defective, it may be possible to hold the manufacturer of the signal responsible. Continue reading →

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crash-739118-mRecently, a serious six-vehicle crash closed down U.S. Route 29 in Howard County, Maryland. The crash started in the northbound lanes when a driver was speeding and driving in an erratic fashion. Eventually, he hit a Honda CRV and a Honda Crosstour and slammed into the center median guardrail. His car flew into the air, landing on a Dodge Ram in the southbound lanes of the highway before striking a trailer, which was being towed by a Ford truck.

Eight people were injured in the crash. Multiple people were ejected from the truck, and others were trapped in a vehicle. The driver was taken to Baltimore’s Shock Trauma, as were two passengers in his car. One of the victims of this accident was listed in critical condition. Others were not hurt.

This situation appears to be one where one driver was responsible for multiple injuries and property damage to multiple vehicles. In Maryland, all drivers are required to have minimum liability limits of $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident for bodily injuries, and $15,000 per accident for property damage. In multi-vehicle accidents where one person is at fault, multiple injured people will be competing for the policy limits. If only some of these claims are settled, the available policy limits may be exhausted. Continue reading →

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blocks-of-flats-962068-m-2In the 2012 case WMATA v. Williams, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (“WMATA”) appealed after the Circuit Court affirmed the workers’ compensation ruling that a worker’s leg injury was causally related to an earlier work injury.

The claimant worked in a physically demanding job as a mechanic for WMATA. His back and left knee were injured at work, and he had to undergo physical therapy for his knee. Before the claimant got his strength back, the physical therapist recommended work hardening, an intensive type of physical therapy.

The work hardening program was at a different location. On the second to last day of the program, the claimant went back to his truck to eat his lunch. After he finished lunch, he was walking back to a session of the work hardening program when a driver in the parking lot backed into him. This resulted in an injury to his right knee. The claimant claimed workers’ compensation benefits for the right knee. Continue reading →

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industrial-warehouse-2-1169213-mSome Maryland cases involving workplace injury can be complex because they require more analysis than a simple workers’ compensation claim. If a worker is injured while using a defective machine, there may be a product liability component to the claim. This means that the manufacturer of the machine can be held responsible for a worker’s injuries in civil court under a theory of defective manufacturing, defective design, and breach of warranty. There may also be claims against various entities in the distribution chain, including the company that sold the machine.

In the 2010 case of Miller Metal Fabrication v. Wall, an appellate court considered a products liability case. The defendant manufactured machinery. The machine that caused an injury was a brine-filling machine used by food processors. It was commissioned by Country Fresh and fabricated according to the design for a machine manufactured by a company that no longer existed.

Country Fresh custom-manufactured machinery. It commissioned the machine for use in a mushroom processing plant assembly line. It was installed at a facility in Maryland, where it filled buckets of mushrooms with brine. Continue reading →

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If you are injured in a motorcycle accident in Maryland, injuries are more likely to be severe than if you were operating an automobile. You can sue the driver who is at fault for the crash to recover compensation.

Most often, motorcycle accidents like the one described above happen due to driver negligence. They happen because drivers speed, fail to pay attention, make a turn when they do not have the right of way, follow too closely, or drink and drive. Many drivers do not expect to see motorcycles while driving because they are smaller and nimbler than passenger cars. A motorcycle driver or his or her family bringing a lawsuit based on another driver’s negligence must show  the duty of the driver alleged to be at fault, a breach of duty, causation, and damages. A plaintiff’s failure to establish any one of these elements will result in him or her not recovering any damages.

In many cases, the other driver or its insurance company will raise contributory negligence as a defense. Maryland’s “contributory negligence” defense is the harsh rule that a plaintiff who is partially responsible for his or her injuries in a vehicle accident cannot recover anything. This means that even if a Maryland jury finds you only 1% at fault for an accident, you aren’t permitted to recover anything. Continue reading →

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nurseii-4-1158337-m-3Statute of limitations issues can play a big part in your lawsuit. In medical malpractice lawsuits especially, it is important to consult an attorney as soon as you are aware you might have a claim. Your attorney will likely need time to retain an appropriate expert and review your medical records before you file your complaint, which narrows the window to bring your lawsuit even further.

In a recent case, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals considered whether a medical malpractice case dismissed because the plaintiff failed to attach an expert’s report could be re-filed. Under Subsection 5-119(b) of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, also known as the “savings provision”, a plaintiff whose medical malpractice lawsuit has been dismissed once without prejudice for failure to file a report may re-file the action of claim within 60 days of the date of dismissal, even after the statute of limitations has run. This provision doesn’t apply if you are a plaintiff who voluntarily dismissed your own case.

In this case, the plaintiff was referred to a general surgeon after an abnormal mammogram. The surgeon performed a biopsy, which confirmed she had breast cancer. She chose to have a lumpectomy performed by the surgeon. In two post-operative visits, she complained about redness, swelling and discomfort in her breast where the surgery was performed. The doctor didn’t prescribe any treatment for these problems, which persisted. Continue reading →

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stop-sign-1403571-m-2In a recent case, a Maryland driver and passenger sued Dorothea Maynor, the driver of another car, for negligence. Maynor sued the mayor and City Council of Baltimore. The case arose when Maynor was driving in Baltimore City and entered an intersection without stopping because the stop sign was on the ground and not in the proper standing position. She hit a car driven by Agnes Stokes, who was driving with passenger Bertha Stokes.

The police who responded to the accident noted that the stop sign was on the ground. Maynor’s insurance company notified the City Solicitor of her potential claim under the Local Government Tort Claims Act (LGTCA), which requires a claimant to file notice within 180 days of a tort that could result in a claim against a city. The LGTCA provides a remedy for members of the public who are injured by tortious acts of employees of local governments.

Maynor claimed that the stop sign was on the ground because of a previous car accident the City knew about. She claimed the City knew the stop sign was on the ground but didn’t bother to repair it. Meanwhile, Bertha Stokes filed a complaint against Agnes Stokes, Maynor, and the City. Continue reading →

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red-sport-car-1103578-mThe intersection of workers’ compensation laws and automobile insurance can lead to difficult situations in which a plaintiff may not know who is responsible for the bills in his or her accident. An experienced Maryland attorney familiar both with personal injury law and workers’ compensation law can help ensure that the right party is held responsible.

In a recent case, a Maryland appellate court considered a motor vehicle accident in which the defendant, who was driving for his employer, rear-ended the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s car was insured by Progressive; the policy included uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. The defendant’s car was insured by State Farm and the State Farm policy included third-party liability coverage.

Because of the accident, the plaintiff suffered injuries to his knee and lower back. These injuries were covered by his employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. The plaintiff filed not only a workers’ compensation claim, but also a third-party claim against the defendant and his insurer Progressive for denying him underinsured motorist benefits. Continue reading →