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Silver Spring Maryland Personal Injury Legal Blog

Can you still seek compensation if you did not wear a seat belt?

It can be much harder in Maryland to recover compensation for the injuries you suffer in a car accident. This is because Maryland uses contributory negligence law, meaning if you are even slightly responsible for causing the accident, you might not be able to collect any compensation.

In comparison, many other states let injured parties collect compensation as long as their responsibility for the accident was under 50 percent. They receive reduced damages by the amount of fault. For example, in a $100,000 compensation case where the injured party is 30 percent responsible, the person would collect $70,000. In Maryland, that person could get nothing.

Distracted driving can cause motor vehicle accidents

Car crashes touch the lives of everyone involved. Today, one family is mourning the loss of their loved one after another car veered into him along a two-lane road in Maryland. These types of motor vehicle accidents can happen easily when one driver is distracted.

The man who was killed was said to be standing alongside his silver sedan when he was hit. Authorities say the accident occurred shortly after 2:00 in the morning. Officials say that another sedan was driving north when it veered across traffic and struck the man and his car. He was rushed to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he later died because of his serious injuries.

Dog and animal bites and the threat of rabies

Most people think it takes a bite from a rabid animal to come down with rabies. What many people do not know is that dog and animal bites are not the only way to contract the disease. Scratches, abrasions or even saliva from an infected animal can transmit the virus. Since 2008 in Maryland and all other states, there have been only 23 confirmed cases of human rabies.

A spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America says after an animal bite, symptoms may take several days, weeks or even months to surface. Some people experience flu-like symptoms, while others may only have discomfort around the bite area. Once infected, humans can experience excessive salivation, anxiety, hallucinations and confusion. Rabies invades the central nervous system and brain and can be fatal if not treated immediately

Medical malpractice suit leads to massive settlement

At 17, a girl's main concerns should be proms, parties and hanging out with friends. Unfortunately, one young lady is serving a life sentence in a hospital bed with round-the-clock medical care because of a doctor's negligence. In Maryland and elsewhere, families have filed medical malpractice lawsuits hoping to secure enough money to provide a lifetime of care for their loved ones.

The girl was 10 years old when she sustained crippling injuries to her back. During her initial surgery, metal rods and screws were inserted to straighten her spine. The rods compressed the girl's spinal cord, causing numbness to her legs and arms. She is now sentenced to life in a wheelchair with no bladder or bowel control because of the procedure.

Family settles medical malpractice lawsuit with hospital

Preparing for the birth of a child is a celebratory time in a family's life, but when things go wrong, they can cause emotional, physical and psychological trauma to everyone involved. One family in Maryland recently received a settlement for medical malpractice because their child was born with cerebral palsy. A jury determined that the hospital deprived their son of oxygen by delaying the mother's C-section.

The birth was scheduled at home with a midwife, but the mother could not safely deliver the baby. She was rushed to the hospital, where she waited two long hours for blood tests before the C-section was performed. Her son developed cerebral palsy that has left him unable to sit up, speak or walk because of the delayed surgery.

Can your swimming pool be a safety liability?

You recently returned from vacation to find your back gate open and the deck furniture around your swimming pool disturbed. A review of your security camera confirmed your suspicions: While you were out of town, some neighborhood children let themselves in and enjoyed your pool. You shrug it off as just something kids do until a friend warns you that if a child drowned or sustained an injury on your property, the parents would likely hold you liable. For this reason, you and other Maryland residents need to know about attractive nuisances.

An attractive nuisance, explains FindLaw, is a potentially hazardous feature on private property that can lure curious children to investigate or play with. Swimming pools are the most common attractive nuisances, but you might have others, such as a deep irrigation ditch, a riding lawnmower or an uncovered well. If you are aware that something on your property might entice children to come over and get hurt, it is your responsibility to take reasonable measures to discourage their access to your yard. These might include the following:

  • Locking your gate and installing an alarm system
  • Putting a fence around your swimming pool
  • Parking your riding mower in a locked shed
  • Securing your well with a locked cover

Motor vehicle accidents: Driver charged in child's death

A family has been left broken and devastated over the death of their three-month-old child. Authorities say a box truck caused a string of motor vehicle accidents that caused the child's death along a Maryland road. Police have determined that alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Maryland State Police arrived at the scene and determined that a pickup truck stopped at a red light and an SUV was slowing coming to a stop behind it. A large box truck struck the SUV from behind, forcing it into the pickup truck. The crash was so severe that the MSP Crash Team and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division were called in to assist.

The deadliest months of the year for motor vehicle accidents

Studies show that deadliest days of the year for teenage drivers are the 100 days from Memorial Day to Labor Day. More motor vehicle accidents happen when young, inexperienced drivers are behind the wheel during this time. As schools prepare to close for the summer, authorities in Maryland stress the importance of educating teen drivers about the most treacherous driving times of the year.

The American Automobile Association revealed that in 2016, 1,050 people died in car crashes between May and September that involved a teenage driver. According to AAA, that equates to an average of 10 people each day, and it represents a 14 percent increase over the rest of the year. Research shows that teen drivers have higher crash rates than drivers with more experience. The Safety Director for AAA believes that through parental involvement, training and education, young drivers will become better drivers.

Jury awards $1.3 million in medical malpractice lawsuit

A trip to the doctor for treatment of a fever is typically a routine experience. For one mother it turned into a nightmare of pain, swelling and permanent disfigurement of her child's hand. They were awarded $1.3 million after filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical center. Those of Maryland who believe they have been victims of medical negligence may have options for legal recourse. 

According to court documents, the child was admitted to the hospital for a fever. He had no other symptoms and had no prior medical history. In the hospital, the boy suffered from IV infiltration -- a condition where the medicine seeps under the skin and into the muscle instead of going into the bloodstream.  This was apparently due to a large patch of dead skin that covered the back of the child's hand.

Motor vehicle accidents at dangerous intersection cause concern

Residents are concerned about a dangerous intersection in their neighborhood. In the past four years, there have been many motor vehicle accidents, one of them fatal. Citizens who live in the Maryland community say speeding is a factor, and they have turned their concerns for safety over to the local and state authorities.

A local minister placed a notice in his church bulletin encouraging members to reach out to Prince George's and Charles County Senate President about the intersection. From 2013 to 2017, there were 14 accidents reported on the thoroughfare, and many innocent people have been injured or killed. The Maryland State Highway Administration has restricted left turns onto Route 4 since the fatal accident occurred. A Calvert County delegate says the lack of visibility makes the intersection one of many dangerous ones in the county.

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