Friday, August 19, 2016

Litigation News August 2016

This month, our attorneys were successful against Geico yet again in an auto accident case where liability was denied and no settlement offer was made.  In this accident case, our client had a green light and was proceeding straight when the defendant made a left turn directly in front of our client, cutting her off and resulting in the crash.  Our client suffered numerous injuries, including to her back, foot, shoulder, and eye.  Medical expenses totaled more than $7,000, yet Geico refused to accept liability or make our client an offer to settle the case and avoid litigation.  Our attorneys were forced to file suit because of Geico’s refusal to negotiate a settlement.  Our client received a verdict of $8,448 plus court costs.  

Employee Spotlight August 2016

This month we want to recognize some accomplishments of our law clerk, Alex Adler.  He graduated from law school at the University of Baltimore School of Law this past May.  Just a few weeks ago, Alex took the Maryland Bar Exam and is awaiting results, which will be released in a couple of months. Alex just returned back to work after enjoying a European vacation to London, Barcelona, and Ibiza.  Finally, we are closing in on Alex’s 2 year anniversary with Portner & Shure, and we look forward to having him in our family for many more years to come. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Punitive Damages are Possible in a Building Explosion Case

            The Silver Spring community is still recovering from the devastating apartment building explosion from last week.  The cause is still under investigation, but many suspect a gas leak to be a contributing factor. Just weeks before this horrendous explosion, residents reported smelling gas. A personal injury case resulting from an accident like this can yield not only the standard compensatory damages for pain and suffering, but also punitive damages. If it can be proven that the property management for the apartment complex were aware of a gas leak and elected to do nothing in order to save some money, punitive damages, or damages meant to punish the defendant for their inaction, may be appropriate. 

             Punitive damages are meant to punish a party for their inaction or for not taking the appropriate action.  In cases where a party had notice of a dangerous situation where it was foreseeable great harm could result, punitive damages are likely to result.  The cause in the Silver Spring apartment explosion has yet to be determined.  It will certainly be interesting to see when that determination is made.

             If you or a family member have been injured or killed in a Maryland building explosion caused by 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 throughout Maryland or visit us online athttp://www.portnerandshure.com/Personal-Injury/

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Premises Liability for Apartment Owners in Maryland

          With the recent devastating apartment building explosion in Silver Spring, we thought it was important to address the law surrounding this issue of premises liability. A blast of this magnitude usually would not happen absent some form of negligence.
           
          A property owner owes a duty of care to maintain safe premises for its tenants and any visitors.  The property owner is responsible for common areas within the property, including lobbies, stairwells, and hallways.  A property owner cannot be held responsible for unforeseeable dangers because they had no way to expect that this type of danger would occur.  However, if the property owner knew or should have known of a danger and a tenant is injured because of that, the property owner can be held liable for the harm caused under the theory of negligence.


          One example of where a property owner could be held liable for damages caused would be if a tenant reported to the property management that they smelled gas. The property management noted the report, but nothing was ever done after that to investigate the problem further. At a later time, an explosion occurs that is determined to be caused by gas.  In this example, the property owner had notice of the potential hazard before any harm was suffered, yet no action was taken to correct the problem.  As a result, the problem worsened and led to an explosion, which killed and injured several people.

         While we wait to see what the exact cause of the explosion was, it is important to remember that property owners can be held liable for negligent acts or even lack of action that results in serious injury to another.

         If you or a family member have been injured or killed in an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, call us today for a free consultation at (301) 854-9000 or visit us online to learn more at www.portnerandshure.com. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

July Case Result

                        Case Result

In May of 2015, our client N.K case number 212174, was made an offer of 25,000.
Farmers insurance company refused to increase this offer, and merely claimed our client had a significant amount of preexisting problems. 
We filed suit and set times for the surgeons to be deposed as a means to convince the insurance company that this surgery was related. 
We obtained the policy limits a month before trial and reached a $100,000 settlement. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice Is: 
-          When a medical professional, for example a doctor, a nurse, dentist, technician, hospital, or other health care provider, causes harm or death to a patient by FAILING to provide SUITABLE care.
-          Generally, the medical “standard of care” is the type and amount of skill and attention that a similarly-trained health care professional, in the same community as the defendant, would have provided the patient
-          Examples include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, nursing home abuse, birth injuries, and prescription errors. Additionally, sub-standard care and failure to perform a necessary function in order to prevent harm to a patient are also examples of medical malpractice.
-          A consent form does NOT release a physician from liability who was NEGLIGENT in performing a medical procedure.
If your doctor deviated from the applicable standard of care in performing a procedure and you were injured as a result, signing a consent does not waive your right to bring a medical malpractice claim..
It is critical to note that an error MAY occur and medical Malpractice is not simply “an error in judgement.”
 For example, the procedure may be complex from a medical standpoint, and can come with known risks, and the “error” was simply an offshoot of these risks.
Complications are often not considered as medical malpractice and most of these are contained on the consent form the patient signed before the procedure.
If there were no tangible “damages” from this negligence, there is no ability to file a medical malpractice claim. A quantifiable harm to the patient is required.

There must be a CAUSAL link between the mistake and the MEASURABLE harm inflicted to the patient. This means that if not for the error, the patient would not have experienced a worsening of his or her health. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Why You Shouldn't Accept Any Settlement for Your Auto Accident Case Without Consulting with an Attorney

When you've been involved in a motor vehicle accident, it's not at all uncommon for the other driver's insurance company to make you an offer very soon after the accident, and before you retain an attorney.  Frequently, the insurance company will offer an amount to pay medical bills you incur within a month of the accident plus a modest amount for your pain and suffering.  The offers generally range from $500 to $2,000.  In the first few days after the accident, the figure being offered may seem like a great deal, but accepting a settlement without consulting with an attorney first is simply a huge mistake for several reasons.

If you accept a settlement before you know the full extent of your injuries and expenses, you will seriously short change yourself and may end up having to pay medical expenses out of your own pocket.  The insurance companies make these offers solely in hopes that they can get out of the case for much less than their actual exposure. 

An attorney can help you coordinate your treatment with medical providers that won't insist on payment up front.  This way you can afford to wait to settle until you know the true value of the case.  An attorney can also help you assess the value of your case to ensure that you are getting a fair settlement.  In almost every case, an attorney can get you a much bigger settlement than what you can get on your own, enough to cover any attorneys' fees and still put a good sum in your pocket.


If the insurance company is making you an early offer or seems overly eager to close your case and send you a check – just say no.  In all instances, this is a huge red flag and you should have an attorney review your case immediately.