Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Prior Accidents - How Will They Affect My Maryland Car Accident Case?

  • If you've been in prior accidents, it may have an effect on your case, but not always as much, or in the way that you would imagine.
    • For example, if you're involved in a case where the other driver claims you are at fault - the fact that you may have caused an accident in the past has absolutely no bearing on fault in your current case.  
  • However, if you have sustained injuries in prior accidents, this is likely to be relevant to your current personal injury case.
    • If you've ever made a personal injury claim before, most likely, the insurance company for the other driver involved in your accident will be aware of this.
    • A prior injury doesn't have to be an insurmountable challenge in your case if its handled the right way.  
      • The most important thing for you to do is to be up front with your doctors about any prior injuries, even if you made a full recovery before getting injured again.
      • If your doctors are aware of your medical history, their opinions about causation of your current injury will be strengthened.  
      • If your doctor does not know about a prior injury, the insurance company may deny the claim, basing it on the fact that your doctor was not aware of your history.
  • If you've had a prior injury and you recovered and completed treatment before your current case, it shouldn't present too much of a problem for you.
  • It's somewhat more complicated when you are still suffering from an injury, and then you get in another accident.
    • While these cases are a little more difficult, you can still make a claim for the exacerbation of your injury and the additional medical treatment you had to get which you would not have needed otherwise.
    • Again, being forthcoming with your doctor is key.  
    • If you are currently treating with a doctor and sustain a new injury, you should tell that doctor right away so it can be accurately reflected in the medical reports.
    • This will be the best way to protect your case.
               If you or a family member have been injured or killed in a Maryland car accident due to the negligence of another person and would like to consult an experienced personal injury attorney for free, contact our office at (301) 854-9000 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Rockville or throughout Maryland or visit us online athttp://www.portnerandshure.com/Auto-Accidents/

Friday, April 29, 2016

Maryland Accident Lawyer: Why You Should Carry Collision Coverage on Your Car

   ·         If you don’t carry your own collision coverage, and you’re involved in an accident where the other driver won’t admit fault, you could be stuck without a vehicle for months.
o   You may think that you’re a careful driver, who would never cause an accident, so you shouldn’t need this coverage.
o   And you may really be an extremely good driver – but that doesn’t mean that the at fault driver will always accept responsibility for an accident without a fight.
   ·         Consider these common scenarios.
o   You’re stopped at a red light.  Then all of a sudden you feel an impact.  You get out of the car and see that you’re the front car in a pileup.
§  Clearly, this accident is anybody’s fault except for yours.  But if the drivers of the vehicles behind you can’t agree on whether it’s the last car that started the whole thing, or whether two of the vehicles actually contributed, you won’t see anyone taking full responsibility and you won’t be seeing a check for your property damage until those two drivers fight it out in court.
o   You slow down for traffic and get struck in the rear.  There’s only one other vehicle that appears to be involved in the accident.  But then the driver who rear ended you claims that a phantom vehicle actually caused the accident and pushed him into you.
§  Again, not having collision coverage will put you in a situation where you’re counting on people to do the right thing.  In this scenario you’ll have to wait until your court date before you’ll have your property damage fixed.
o   Not to mention a serious liability dispute, for example a lane change or red light dispute.  These cases often come down to word vs. word and if you don’t have your own coverage, you could be out of a car for good.
o   Keep in mind that you may have to pay for your own estimate, or pay for the repairs on your own, before you can ask for reimbursement from the liability carrier.  The costs you pay to obtain the estimate will not be reimbursed.
   ·         If you choose to carry collision coverage you can save yourself a big headache by making your claim through your own insurance carrier if the other driver won’t accept responsibility.
o   If you’ve been in an accident, the last thing you want to worry about is getting your car repaired or replaced.
o   If you have collision coverage, your carrier will estimate the damage and get the vehicle repaired.

o   Then they will attempt to recover that amount from the at fault driver – including any deductible you paid.

If you or a family member have been injured or killed in a Maryland car accident and would like to consult an experienced personal injury attorney for free, contact our office at (301) 854-9000 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Columbia or throughout Maryland or visit us online at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Personal-Injury/

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Maryland Car Accident Lawyer: How Much Money Should I File for in my Lawsuit?

·         When you file a lawsuit for personal injuries, you have to make a decision about how much money you are going to request in your lawsuit.
o   There are two different trial courts in Maryland – the district court and the circuit court.
o   The amount of money that you sue for will determine which court to put the case in, and what types of evidentiary and procedural requirements will apply to your case.
·         The quantity of your medical bills and the severity or permanent nature of your injury are obviously the foremost considerations when deciding how much to file for in your lawsuit.
o   If you have a very serious injury, for example, a tear in a tendon in your shoulder or knee, or a herniation in your spine that required surgery, the decision is easy – it’s a circuit court case.
o   But if you had an injury which you were able to recover from and your bills are not astronomical, filing suit in the district court may make more sense for you.
·         Circuit Court
o   When you file suit in the circuit court you’re suing for $75,000 and above
o   While circuit court cases allow you to request the highest compensation for your case, circuit court cases are also more expensive to litigate and much more time consuming.
§  (1) The filing fees are higher – difference is 100’s of dollars
§  (2) In the Circuit Court, you must ask your doctors to testify on your behalf at trial, and you must pay them for their time.  This can range from $2,500 to $5,000 or more.
§  (3) The opposing attorney will be entitled to take your deposition and ask you questions about your prior medical condition or other accidents.  There are also fees associated with depositions.
§  (4) All circuit court cases are heard before a jury, not a judge.
§  (5) You must attend pretrial conferences, and court ordered mediations.
§  (6) The entire process can take 18 months to two years.
·         District Court
o   In the district court you are limited to asking for a maximum of $30,000.
o   Filing suit in the district court has a number of advantages, despite the cap on recovery.
§  You will save time, money, and aggravation.
§  (1) In the district court, you can simply submit your medical records and bills to the judge.  You don’t have to ask your doctors to testify or pay the costs associated with their testimony.  This will save you $1,000s of dollars.
§  (2) The trial will be streamlined in front of a judge.  You won’t have to go through a jury trial. 
§  (3) You won’t have to attend a deposition or any pretrial conferences.

§  (4) You can expect the entire process to wrap up much more quickly and with a lot less of your personal involvement.

If you or a family member have been injured or killed in a Maryland car accident and would like to consult an experienced personal injury attorney for free, contact our office at (301) 854-9000 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Frederick or throughout Maryland or visit us online at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Personal-Injury/

Friday, April 15, 2016

Maryland Auto Accident Attorney: Employee Spotlight April 2016

Join us in welcoming Meaghan, our newest workers’ compensation paralegal.  She was born and raised in Maryland, and currently lives in Baltimore with her boyfriend, 2 cats, and a dog.  Meaghan has a degree in criminal justice with a minor in psychology.  She is the founder of a nonprofit in Harford County, which serves the children in the community.  She is also an avid North Carolina Tar Heels fan, and enjoyed cheering them on in the NCAA tournament.  The Orioles and Ravens are also at the top of her list of favorite sports teams too.

Maryland Accident Lawyer: What Clients Are Saying April 2016

“I am very pleased to of had Portner & Shure to take care of my case. I was truly blessed to have Heather as my paralegal, she was indeed very knowledgeable and went above and beyond to answer all of my questions and concerns. I cannot thank her enough for all of her hard work and dedication. Thank you, Portner & Shure for having exceptional individuals in your firm.”


This case was handled by our Paralegal, Heather Jung, who works out of our Columbia, MD Office.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Maryland Car Accident Lawyer: New 70 mph Speed Limit Takes Effect in Parts of the State

            Yesterday, new 70 mph speed limits took effect along 76 miles of I-70 in Frederick County to Washington County, Maryland.  In addition, a 31-mile stretch between US 29 in Howard County to MD 144 in Frederick County and a 45-mile stretch from MD 180 to the Pennsylvania line saw speed limits increase from 65 mph to 70 mph.  These stretches of highway run through rural areas and do not include areas within the city of Frederick due to safety concerns.
            
           With increased speed limits, it is even more important for drivers to pay attention to the road and avoid distractions, such as cell phones, while operating their vehicle.  Faster cars also mean an increased risk of more severe car accidents.  Before implementing these speed limit changes, numerous studies were conducted to make sure that safety would not be compromised with a faster speed.  In making this change the State Highway Administration says that they expect “to see more consistent travel speeds for vehicles, keeping I-70 conditions safe for thousands who travel the route each day.”


If you or a family member have been injured or killed in a Maryland car accident and would like to consult an experienced personal injury attorney for free, contact our office at (301) 854-9000 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Frederick or throughout Maryland or visit us online at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Personal-Injury/

Friday, April 1, 2016

Maryland Car Accident Lawyer: Route 175 Gets Approval to Widen Lanes to Improve Traffic and Safety Concerns

            Governor Hogan just announced that he has approved funding for a new transportation project.  The section of highway Route 175 near Fort Meade has always been a high-traffic area and frequently has significant bottlenecking problems.  The section of 175 between Route 295 and Mapes Road will increase from two lanes to six lanes. 

The Governor acknowledged that this section of highway has been plaguing Anne Arundel County for a long time.  As Fort Meade continues to grow, the thousands of employees who rely on 175 to get to work every day deserve better infrastructure.  With so many additional lanes, safety on 175 will greatly improve for drivers, and likely result in fewer accidents.  However, during the time of construction, it will be a tricky travel environment for drivers with construction zones.  Work on this project is not scheduled to begin until Fall 2018.

Other sections of 175 are also expected to see expansion in the coming years to improve the traffic flow and continue to make it safer for drivers.

Always remember, when driving in construction zones to remain vigilant.  Although construction workers on the side of highways appear safe standing behind concrete barriers, sometimes it is only cones that stand between the worker and speeding vehicles.  Numerous road work signs alert drivers to be cautious and slow down when driving through construction zones.  Oftentimes, speed cameras are set up in work zones to catch drivers disobeying the speed limit, however, some drivers disregard the warnings and continue to drive fast and recklessly through these work zones.  Construction workers on the side of the highways should be able to feel safe while they do their job, and should never have to worry about watching out for cars crashing into them.  But unfortunately these types of tragic accidents happen every day. 

Construction zones and work zones on highways usually bring new traffic patterns, including numerous lane shifts and closures.  Drivers must be even more cautious and aware of where they are going in order to avoid accidents involving other vehicles or construction workers. 
   ·         Stay alert and look out for construction workers
   ·         Drive slow and obey the speed limit
   ·         Pay attention to road signs and message boards
   ·         Avoid distractions (i.e. cell phones)


If you or a family member have been injured or killed in a Maryland car accident and would like to consult an experienced personal injury attorney for free, contact our office at (301) 854-9000 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Columbia or throughout Maryland or visit us online at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Personal-Injury/