Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

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 this would reduce drunk driving deaths by at least 33%? In 2007, approximately 12,998 people died in alcohol-impaired traffic crashes involving a driver with a BAC of .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 accidents by a third, we would save over 4,000 lives.

The Maryland Daily Record reports that the Maryland Court of Appeals will hear a challenge to Maryland’s statutory cap on non-economic damages involving a lead paint case in Baltimore City.

I think it is interesting the Maryland high court granted cert in this case. I’m not optimistic. But boy would the landscape flip here if the Maryland Court of Appeals agrees these caps are unjust under Maryland’s Constitution.

On John Bratt’s Baltimore Injury Lawyer Blog, he publishes a comment written by an opposing lawyer -State Farm in-house counsel – about a case they tried that John blogged about last month.

I think this post underscores the problem: State Farm lawyers believe they are beating us in lawsuits when we are getting jury verdicts far in excess of the offers in this case. Maybe they are. But if we get a verdict that is 8 times the State Farm offer and State Farm’s lawyers think they won, what exactly does that say about the fairness of their offer?

The Maryland Daily Record reports that Baltimore County may ban portable ads on its roads and parking lots.

It does not sound like an awful idea, although I wonder if there are 1st Amendment issues. I think a bigger distraction is radio commercials scare me half to death beeping horns in their ads. I have to think that these horns have to panic some drivers into car accidents.

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.

The legislation is pending in West Virginia that would prohibit lawyers from seeking damages in personal injury and wrongful death cases in plaintiffs’ complaint. This bill is receiving universal support from everyone in West Virginia. It passed unanimously in both the West Virginia House and Senate. West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin received the bill last week, and it has received the support from both plaintiffs’ lawyers and defense lawyers alike. West Virginia already has a similar law in medical malpractice cases.

In the Maryland Daily Record last week, I read an article about police brutality or false arrest case (I can’t remember which) in Baltimore. The plaintiffs sued the state of Maryland for $115 million. So, of course, the $115 million was in the article’s title. This is the exact problem that would be eliminated.

The battle continues to wage between Allstate and the state of Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation. The problem arose when the Regulation Office began investigating Allstate’s property insurance practices in Florida. Allstate had requested a double-digit increase in the rates for its homeowner’s insurance, and Florida was investigating collusion between Allstate and risk-modeling firms, rating agencies, and re-insurers to set prices at artificially high levels. When Allstate failed to submit all the documents Florida had demanded as part of its investigation, the Florida Insurance Commissioner, Kevin McCarty, suspended the rights of 10 of Allstate’s companies to do business in Florida. A Florida appeals court has lifted the ban. But I don’t think the state of Florida is done with Allstate.

When insurance companies flash this kind of arrogance to personal injury lawyers, the general public, judges, and state regulatory agencies, not surprisingly, often yawn. But when you flout the authority of an entire state, folks will take notice. In response to Florida’s subpoena, Allstate has filed 122 objections. Word to the wise: state agencies are not used to being treated with such disdain.

Florida is not the only place where Allstate is under scrutiny. When a Missouri judge ordered Allstate to turn over similar documents to those sought in Florida, Allstate once again ignored the state and has evaded the Missouri court’s contempt order for four months. Allstate scoffs at the $25,000.00 a day fine imposed by the judge and continues to withhold the requested documents.

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 involved 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, according 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.

Our law firm has successfully handled scores of serious foot and ankle injury accident cases. If you want someone who knows this injury and will fight for you, call 800-553-8082 or get a free Internet consultation.

Foot and ankle injury cases command quality verdicts because foot injuries are difficult to diagnose and even harder to treat. The foot is composed of 26 “major” bones that are important to mobility and hard to repair. When you add the fact that there are 56 ligaments and 38 muscles in each foot and there are four distinct ranges of motion in the foot, there is a lot that can and does go wrong for people who suffer a foot injury from trauma.

We handle accident and medical malpractice cases not only in Maryland but throughout the United States, achieving victories by settlement and at trial.

If you have suffered a serious foot injury as the result of the negligence of someone else, call 800-553-8082 or click here for a free consultation.

According to a St. Louis Dispatch article yesterday, an Illinois State Trooper, whose vehicle crossed a median last month killing two teenagers, had a history of causing serious auto accidents. In 2003, a personal injury victim received $1.7 million in damages after the officer rear-ended his vehicle. Mitchell was also involved in a single-car accident in 2002.

Despite my liberal leanings, I’m about as pro-police as they come. My sister is a police captain and I have three small children so I’m all about safety on the roads and in our homes. But every time a police officer passes me at 80 mph and then I see that same officer sitting in the median strip a few minutes later obviously in no hurry, I wonder about who is policing the police on driving safely in non-emergency situations.

I believe this problem will eventually be resolved by technology with the monitoring of police car speeds and requiring an explanation or a report for extreme speeds. Reports of accidents like this will expedite the pace of reform.

A new Jury Verdict Research study based on data from the past ten years offers information on plaintiffs’ recovery in phantom auto accident cases. Phantom cases are generally uninsured motorist cases where there is no contact between the negligent driver’s car the injury victim. In most phantom cases, the defendant’s vehicle is unidentified (thus the nickname “phantom”). In these auto accidents, the plaintiff almost invariably must make an evasive move because of the defendant’s negligent driving and is either forced off the road or into another vehicle or object as a result.

The recent study shows not only that 51 percent of these plaintiffs receive an award, but it also breaks down where on the spectrum the values of the awards fall. Nearly one-half of the damages awarded in these cases fall somewhere between $10,000 to $100,000, with one-quarter of the cases winning awards between $10,000 and $25,000. Although most cases fall somewhere in the middle, there is a substantial number that falls into one of the two extremes. While 11 percent of all no contact cases were awarded less than $2,500, 8 percent received damages exceeding a quarter of a million dollars. The study goes farther than offering just the award median ($21,441) and provides a more useful breakdown of the plaintiffs’ recovery in these types of cases.

Phantom auto accident cases are tough and easy for the plaintiffs’ lawyer at the same time. The best part is there is rarely a witness to refute the plaintiff. The tough part is there are a lot of single-car accidents and every single car accident without a witness can potentially be fabricated into a phantom accident case. In the end, the entire trial becomes about the plaintiff’s credibility.