COVID-19 Notice: We are providing FREE consultations via phone or video conferencing for your safety and convenience. Learn More »

Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

The Maryland House of Delegates voted to allow speed monitoring cameras in Maryland near schools and highway work zones. The Maryland Senate already approved this bill, and Governor O’Malley’s signature is a formality. A few years ago, the Maryland legislature passed similar legislation designed to prevent pedestrian auto accidents but then-Governor Ehrlich vetoed the bill.

What does it mean? Maryland drivers pictured going over 11 miles an hour over the speed limit would get a $40 ticket. That’s it.

The opposition to this bill is Big Brother. Here’s my question: what is more of an imposition, getting pulled over, or having someone take your picture? It seems to me speed cameras are just the opposite of an invasion of privacy.

The Maryland Association for Justice’s Auto Negligence Section has its next dinner meeting on January 7, 2009. The speaker will be Miller & Zois’ own Rod Gaston on the topic of defense medical examinations.

The dinner is at:

That’s Amore Restaurant

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 of 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 occurred to me that others might want to have the same option, be it another personal injury lawyer or even an insurance company.

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.

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’s 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).

I was on vacation last week, which accounts for the lack of posts to the Maryland Lawyer Blog. I planned on blogging while on vacation, a plan that died about five minutes after arriving at the beach. Expect the Maryland Lawyer Blog to be back and posting this week.

In the meantime, if you are looking for some local Maryland blog material, check out the new Baltimore Injury Lawyer Blog, written by another Miller & Zois lawyer, John Bratt. This blog offers a similar yet different perspective on personal injury cases in Maryland with a focus on Baltimore. The blog is not directed to accident and malpractice victims but instead, offers advice and information to lawyers handling personal injury cases in Baltimore and throughout the country.

The Associated Press reports Liberty Mutual will purchase Safeco for $6.12 billion.

Liberty Mutual is fast becoming an insurance company powerhouse. Their marketing paradigm, for whatever reason, is regional, so car accident lawyers with Liberty Mutual often see the names of its regional companies: America First Insurance, Colorado Casualty, Golden Eagle Insurance, Hawkeye-Security Insurance, Indiana Insurance, Liberty Northwest, Montgomery Insurance, Ohio Casualty, Peerless Insurance, and Wausau Insurance Companies.

With this merger, Liberty Mutual will become the country’s fifth-biggest property insurer. Our lawyers in Maryland deal mostly with Liberty Mutual, Ohio Casualty, and Montgomery Insurance. I believe the Maryland cases will be put under the Ohio Casualty umbrella, according to an Ohio Casualty adjuster I spoke with yesterday who had our case – which was a Montgomery Insurance case – transferred to him.