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Silver Spring Maryland Personal Injury Law Blog

Distracted driving can cause fatal motorcycle accidents

Fall is a beautiful time to take a motorcycle ride to enjoy the fall foliage in Maryland and get in one more ride before the snow falls and the bikes are put away for the season. Two people enjoying such a ride were involved in what turned out to be a horrific crash. The crash involved a dump truck, a car and two motorcycles. As is so often the case with motorcycle accidents, this one proved to be fatal.

The accident happened at an intersection as the car was stopped and waiting to make a left-hand turn when a dump truck came up from behind and apparently rear-ended the stopped vehicle. The impact from the collision appears to have caused both the truck and the car to cross into the oncoming lane. Two motorcycles were coming from the opposite direction in that lane, and according to preliminary police reports, both of the vehicles collided with the oncoming motorcycles.

Motor vehicle accidents can happen in an instant

Maryland roadways seem to always be congested with heavy traffic, no matter what the time of day. Therefore, the need to remain alert is critically important as unexpected traffic incidents can occur at any time. If a person is distracted, serious motor vehicle accidents can result.

Very early on a recent Monday morning, a car that was possibly disabled was stopped in the left lane of the northbound Baltimore-Washington Parkway. The car was reportedly rear-ended by an approaching vehicle. The force of the impact caused the car that had been stopped to flip.

Alcohol can contribute to cause of motorcycle accidents

Deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents are tragic. Motorcycle accidents caused by drunk drivers are seen as among the most tragic as they are considered to be avoidable. A recent motorcycle accident in Maryland that took the life of the cyclist is believed to have been caused by a drunk driver. The young woman facing charges in the crash is believed to have been under the influence of alcohol.

A 21-year-old woman was driving a GMC truck about 8:30 p.m. on a recent Friday. She pulled her truck out of a parking lot into traffic and directly in front of a north-bound motorcycle. The motorcyclist suffered catastrophic injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Can you prove negligence on the part of the driver who hurt you?

It's easy to underestimate the potential costs associated with a terrible motor vehicle collision until you experience one firsthand. For those who wind up hurt in car crashes, civil lawsuits often become necessary to recoup their losses. Insurance policies may not offer adequate coverage to offset all of the medical costs and property damage you incur, to say nothing of your lost wages while you recover from your injuries.

However, to bring a personal injury claim against another person, you must first establish some degree of negligence on the part of that individual or prove that you were hurt because of their wrongful acts. Wrongful acts involve the deliberate breaking of the law, while negligence may involve unintentional lawbreaking or bad decision-making.

Damages survivors of a victim of wrongful death can collect

For example, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim if your loved one was killed in a motor vehicle accident. By doing so, you can attempt to collect many types of damages, such as:

  • Lost wages: Since the person is no longer able to provide for their family, you may be able to seek damages for lost wages. But even if the person didn't have a job at the time of their death, compensation may still be available. A common example of this is a wrongful death claim of a stay-at-home parent who contributed by raising their family. These contributions are defined as pecuniary losses in a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Pain and suffering: You can seek damages for the pain and suffering your loved one endured before passing on. This is particularly important to consider in the event of a serious accident, such as one that resulted in severe burns or a traumatic brain injury.  
  • Loss of companionship: When a person passes away, you no longer have them as a companion. To claim loss of companionship, also known as loss of consortium, the court will consider factors such as the person's life expectancy, their age at the time of death, the stability of the relationship and the living arrangements of the individuals.

As challenging as it may be to seek damages after the wrongful death of a loved one, it's critical to take immediate action to protect the legal rights of you and the decedent.

Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to settle with the negligent party and their insurance company out of court. If that doesn't work, you have the ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation.

There are damages you can receive as the survivor of a victim of a wrongful death. Knowing what they are and how to get what you deserve will put you on the right track. 

Medical misdiagnoses can result in personal injury suits

People in Maryland and elsewhere occasionally get ill. If the symptoms are other than those of the common cold and persist for a time, a visit to a doctor is probably warranted. People rely on a doctor's expertise to be able to properly diagnose the problem; however, a study by John's Hopkins in Baltimore reveals that misdiagnoses are not uncommon and occur on a daily basis. Failure to diagnose a serious ailment can result in a personal injury case.

The likelihood of making a misdiagnosis varied by specialty. The lowest number was among pediatricians as they reported an 11% rate of daily misdiagnoses. The highest number was among emergency medicine doctors at 26%, and they are the doctors treating acute cases that present in the emergency room. In addition to looking at doctors, the study also looked into misdiagnoses among the non-physician medical staff. This included nurses and physician's assistants who estimated that diagnostic errors were made at the rate of about 17%.

Who is liable for damages in an Uber collision?

There is no question that Uber and Lyft ride-share arrangements have made it much easier for people to get where they need to go in the D.C. metro area. But these companies have also muddied the waters of liability when passengers and others get injured while using ride-share vehicles.

Uber policy states that when its drivers (who are classified as independent contractors for employment purposes) are on the clock, the company's insurance is activated for all covered accidents.

Personal injury may result from vaping

In recent months, a significant health concern has arisen regarding the health of today's youth in Maryland and around the nation. It involves the rapidly growing number of illnesses that appear to be stemming from vaping that could potentially result in personal injury cases. Vaping involves inhaling nicotine through a device known as a vape or an e-cigarette. The liquids are frequently flavored, which people believe may be in an effort to attract young users. Candy and fruit flavors are among the ones available.

Over the summer, many people showed up in hospital emergency rooms, exhibiting symptoms of severe lung illness. Some were treated in the ICU and required help to breathe. The common denominator appears to be that they had reported vaping within the last 30 days. While most who fell ill have been successfully treated, at least five people have died.

Motorcycle accidents claim too many lives

Another summer is almost over. Sadly, motor vehicle fatalities seem to increase during the summer months in Maryland as people head to vacations, family outings and other summer activities that create an increase in traffic, which increases the likelihood of being involved in an accident. Defensive driving is one means to reduce the risk but it is all too often neglected. Such may have been the case in a recent fatal accident collision between a car and a motorcycle. Motorcycle accidents can be particularly deadly and motorcycles can be hard to spot, making it necessary to be extra vigilant.

A young man was riding his motorcycle early one morning near Millersville. He was proceeding south and a car was approaching from the north. The car turned left into a gas station and collided with the southbound motorcycle.

New technology tested on Maryland roads prevents drunk driving

You have many safety choices when you get in your vehicle. From simple technology like a seatbelt to advanced technologies like lane-assist or brake-assist, these choices help you be a safer driver. But when you drive, you can’t control the choices of other drivers. And if other drivers choose to drive drunk, they put you at risk of injury or death in a car crash. Maryland has agreed to test a new technology that could make you safer from drunk drivers.

The technology limits the ability of drivers to start a car while impaired by alcohol. The pilot program will test this technology on Maryland roads. The hope is to create a safety technology installed into new vehicles that will reduce drunk driving.

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