April 30, 2010

Spotting a Holdout Juror

I found this link from the Daily Record's blog to a rare Daily Double about spotting a prospective hold out juror; it was both funny and educational. Of course, it would have been a lot more educational if Maryland had a voir dire process that allowed you to actually learn something about the jurors besides their name, rank and serial number.

November 20, 2008

Maryland Mediators and Arbitrators in Personal Injury Cases

We added on the Miller & Zois website the internal list that our lawyers keep of arbitrators and mediators in Maryland who we believe mediate or arbitrate personal injury cases.

As we make clear, this is not a list our our recommended mediators or arbitrators, just a collection of those that are doing the work. We refer to the list if arbitrating or mediating a case so it occured to me that others might want to have the same option, be it another personal injury lawyer or even an insurance company.

October 20, 2008

Fatal Car Accidents in Anne Arundel County

There have been 32 fatal car accidents in Anne Arundel County as of around 3:00 p.m on Saturday. Of these fatal accidents, 16 involved alcohol. I cannot remember the exact number but there have been over 1,100 drunk driving arrests in 2008 in Anne Arundel County.

How do I know this? It is posted outside of the police station in Millersville that I drove by on Saturday while taking one of my sons to a pumpkin patch. Seeing those numbers got me to thinking: if the numbers for everyone's hometown was the screensaver on the work computers of every American, we would save at least 4,000 lives in this country a year.

Of course, I'm completely making that number up. But don't you think that this would reduce drunk driving deaths by at least 33%? In 2007, an approximately 12,998 people died in alcohol-impaired traffic crashes involving a driver with a BAC .08 or higher. These deaths constituted 31.7 percent of the 41,059 total motor vehicle accident fatalities in the United States in 2007. According, if we could reduce drunk driving fatal accident by a third, we would save over 4,000 lives.

August 20, 2008

Local Maryland Legal News Links

Local legal stories I have read over the last few days that I thought you might find of interest:

The Washington Post has a good article on former white collar prosecutor Dale P. Kelberman transformation into the go to defense lawyer for the accused politician.

A Baltimore defense attorney who took the stand to defend himself against allegations of witness tampering has filed assault and witness retaliation charges against a former client, according to the Baltimore Sun (patting myself on the back for staying away from criminal law in our practice).

The Baltimore Injury Lawyer Blog writes about how the Baltimore Sun breaks a major legal story by having a reporter sitting in her doctor's office.

The Washington Post reports on the teenage who caused the recent truck accident on the Bay Bridge. I know everyone does it, but do we need to provide the name of the nineteen year old girl that allegedly caused the accident? I vote no.

The Baltimore Sun has an editorial about how we need to make our bridges safer for travel. I'm all for safe travel but it would be nice if the article just provided a modicum of evidence to suggest that bridges are more dangerous other than just "gee, we are lucky this did not happen sooner." Sounds like a classic overreaction to the "story of the month" to me. Lower the BAC to .07 and you will save scores more lives than making a bridge 100% safe.

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has told the United States Army that Maryland plans to sue the Army to force it to finish cleaning up groundwater and soil contamination at Fort Meade. Like him, hate him, you choose. But let's state the obvious: the dude is fearless.

The Maryland Daily Record has a story on a Glenelg pharmacist facing criminal charges for mislabeling prescription drugs. I don't find the story of particular interest. But I went to Glenelg High School. Boy, that area has changed. I don't think Glenelg had a drug store in the 80s.

April 8, 2008

New Child Seat Law in Maryland

A new child car seat law, Maryland Senate Bill 789, passed at the end of the Maryland legislative session last night at 9:10 p.m. Children in Maryland will now be required to remain in car seats until their 8th birthday unless they are over 65 lbs or over 4 feet, 9 inches tall.

This is a good development for child safety in Maryland. We are now a long way from bouncing up and down in the back of our parents station wagon.

March 17, 2008

$1.2 Million Verdict in Baltimore Truck Accident Case

There was an interesting article today in the Maryland Lawyer section of the Maryland Daily Record about a $1.2 million verdict rendered last week in a Baltimore truck accident case.

The Plaintiff suffered a fractured vertebra, a fractured elbow, and hurt his ankle in the accident. The vertebra was eventually removed and from now on the Plaintiff, who was a foreman at Severn Cable, can only perform light duty work. Incredibly, before trial the Defendant offered $475,000.00 and the Plaintiff demanded $500,000.00. Rarely do cases of this size fail to resolve when only $25,000.00 separates the parties. But in this case the parties and their counsel, Bill Ober of the Law Offices of Matt M. Paavola and Milton P. Warren for the Plaintiff and Mary Malloy Dimaio from the Law Office of Maher and Associates (in house counsel for AIG and all the American International Companies), dug their feet in over the $25,000.00.

In a case like this, authority is often in a pretty round number. It is possible that someone – either the lawyer or the adjuster below the decision maker – had the full $500,000.00 in authority and chose not to offer it. If this was the case in this truck accident claim, that lawyer or adjuster has a lot of explaining to do.

Congratulations to the Plaintiff and his lawyers on their courageous effort and ultimate victory.

January 2, 2008

The Value of Foot Injury Cases: Median National Jury Verdicts

According to a recent Jury Verdict Research analysis, based on plaintiffs’ verdicts nationally over the last ten years, the overall median award for foot injuries is $98,583. Multiple fractures to the same foot increase the median to $144,000. In foot injury cases where both feet are fractured, the median rises to $296,940. In another Jury Verdict Research study back in October, it found that 39% of the foot injuries cases that go to verdict were suffered in auto, truck or motorcycle accidents. In fact, a full 11% of these injuries were in motorcycle accident cases. This is incredibly high given the number of driver miles on a motorcycle versus the number logged in cars and trucks. Then again, your risk of dying in a motor vehicle accident 28 times more likely if you are riding a sports bike than if you are enjoying the comforts of a car or truck. (The lesson, as always: don’t ride a motorcycle.)

Overall, accordingly to a 2010 study, the average (as opposed to the median) foot injury award was $703,703. Thirteen percent of foot injury awards were in excess of $1 million.

Continue reading "The Value of Foot Injury Cases: Median National Jury Verdicts" »

September 28, 2007

$6 Million Truck Accident Award in Texas

A federal jury in Waco, Texas has awarded six million dollars in a truck accident case to a man critically injured when his motorcycle collided with a tractor-trailer in March, 2006. The plaintiff lost four fingers on his left hand and can no longer walk without assistance because of injuries to his left leg.

The case most likely went to trial because there appears to be a meaningful defense on the question of liability. Plaintiff claimed he was changing lanes when the tractor trailer struck him and knocked him off his motorcycle. Defendants argued that Plaintiff entered an entrance ramp and simply drove into the big rig.

Nine times out of ten, these he said/she said truck accident cases come down to who the jury believes. I'd be willing to bet that the trucking company's insurance company would have offered a great deal more to settle the case if it had been a car instead of a motorcycle because jurors are so skeptical of motorcycle riders. But in this case,the insurance company and their truck accident lawyers bet wrong to the tune of $6 million.