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Upper Marlboro Personal Injury Law Blog

What is loss of consortium?

Often, a car accident in Maryland has its root in behavior that was intentional. For example, if you are in a collision with someone who was looking at a cellphone, the harm done could have been prevented, and it may be a case of negligence. The People’s Law Library of Maryland explains that if your spouse is killed in a car crash because of distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving or another illegal behavior, you may be able to hold the driver liable for the costs of medical bills, funeral expenses and lost financial support. In this type of incident, you may also be able to file for loss of consortium.

Consortium refers to the familial benefits you had through your relationship with your spouse, such as protection, emotional support, love and companionship. Although you do not suffer any financial damages due to the loss of consortium, the law recognizes that the wrongful death may cause significant mental anguish, as well as depriving you of many other benefits of your marriage.

Sleep deficits from shift work can be dangerous to workers

Previous research shows that people who work alternative shifts are more likely to be sleep-deprived. A recent federal study identifies specific occupations that are likely to have sleepy workers.

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Chronic sleep deprivation takes a toll on mind and body - alertness and reflexes, energy and stamina, concentration and mood. All of these factors increase the risk that sleepy workers will get injured on the job.

Teens and adults define impaired driving differently

Before they get the car keys for the summer...

Teenagers know drunk driving is against the law. They are aware of the consequences. Yet they don't always make responsible choices. Aside from thinking they are invincible, research shows young people have different understandings of impairment.

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A landmark survey a few years ago by Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and Liberty Mutual Insurance revealed that many teens associate impaired driving with being falling-down drunk. In other words, some youths would get behind the wheel without realizing they are intoxicated, or readily ride with a friend who has been drinking.

"I wasn't drunk. Just buzzed."
"She was okay to drive us. She only had like three beers."  

Philadelphia building collapse killed 7 and injured 12

Arbitrator awards $95 million to woman living with catastrophic injuries 

An arbitrator has determined how the record-setting $227 million settlement will be divided in lawsuits over the 2013 Center City building collapse in Philadelphia. A woman who was trapped in the rubble and required full amputation of both legs will receive $95.6 million.

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The rest of the money will be divided between others who were injured and the families of people who died when a wall collapsed and crushed patrons and employees of a thrift store. Three different individuals and entities were deemed liable under the doctrine of premises liability.  

What happens if a workers' compensation claim is denied?

Understanding the claims and appeals process

The workers' compensation system was created as a "no-fault" solution for work injuries. The employer pays your medical bills and lost wages if you were hurt on the job. In turn, you can't sue your employer for personal injury.

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There are some legitimate reasons for denying workers' comp claims, but very often claims are denied on technicalities or invalid reasons. If there is any problem with your claim, including an unreasonable delay, you should contact an attorney who practices in Maryland workers' compensation.

News you can use about motorcycle accidents

Do you know what time of day has the most cycle crashes?

The Insurance Information Institute has recently updated the statistics on motorcycles and traffic safety. The data confirms many trends and truisms about bikes. Spoiler alert - yeah, they're still dangerous.

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But there are some interesting facts in the Institute's study, and "news you can use" for riders who want to live to take their bike out for a spin another day. You might be surprised about when most motorcycle accidents occur.

Does your physician have a history of malpractice lawsuits?

The Maryland state licensing board lists malpractice payouts and disciplinary actions. 

Many victims of medical malpractice are shocked and angered to learn that their doctor has been sued many times or sanctioned for professional misconduct. They never knew or suspected - until too late.

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The Maryland Board of Physician Quality Assurance (BPQA) provides a searchable database of doctors, surgeons and physician's assistants. It will tell you if a physician has a history of malpractice claims or has had their medical license suspended or revoked.

Is driving at night more dangerous?

For many people, motor vehicle accidents are a major concern. If you regularly drive, you may be worried about drunk drivers, reckless speeders and other types of dangerous behavior. When it comes to road safety, it’s important to be aware of all potential risks, such as the potential dangers associated with driving during nighttime. Unfortunately, you may not be able to avoid hazardous situations. For example, you may have to drive during the night to get to or from work.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration drew attention to the risks that come with driving at night. In fact, then NHTSA reports that those who rode in passenger vehicles at night had a threefold increase in the number of deadly crashes when compared to those who rode in passenger vehicles during daylight. Not only are there more drunk drivers behind the wheel at night, on average, but there are other factors that may result in a fatal car accident. For example, drivers may be tired because they have not had a sufficient amount of sleep, interfering with their ability to operate a vehicle safely. Or, visibility may be reduced at night.

The dangers of texting and driving

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are many different ways that drivers become distracted while behind the wheel. For example, a driver in Upper Marlboro, or another location in Maryland, could divert his or her attention from the road to eat food or use a GPS. However, texting and cell phone use is especially dangerous for those operating any type of vehicle and it is also widespread among teen drivers.

In fact, the CDC reports that during 2013, two out of each five high schoolers sent either an email or a text message while operating a vehicle in the previous 30 days. If a driver is traveling at 55 miles per hour, an average text will take their attention away from the road for enough time to drive across the span of a 100-yard football field.

Teen drivers at risk in summer

As temperatures begin to rise, so do risks for Maryland teens who get behind the wheel. WTOP reports that Memorial Day is the start of a deadly season for teen drivers. The holiday marks the first of 100 days where teens are most likely to be involved in fatal car crashes. In fact, over a five-year period, these 100 days each summer have seen 5,000 deaths across the country.

Parents are encouraged to practice driving with their teens so they have more experience behind the wheel when they face obstacles, such as debris in the road or construction zones. Acting as both a teacher and a role model is important, and teens pick up cues on what is and is not acceptable while driving from their parents. This makes it especially important to model safe and focused driving while encouraging teens to keep their cellphones out of sight for the duration of their drive.

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  • Car accidents are not uncommon. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute reports that there were 30,057 fatal car accidents. Read More
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