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.  

Monday, June 27, 2016

Your Privacy Rights After an Accident

So After an Accident- I No Longer Have Privacy Rights?

When you make a personal injury claim, many people are frequently angry and upset by the invasions of privacy that insurance companies commit while investigating your claim.
They do have the right to examine your medical records and bills.

Surprisingly, if you have depression or anxiety you may also have to turn over mental health records! If you’ve had prior injuries, the insurance company may refuse to settle your claim without seeing your prior medical records.

While this may seem upsetting, insurance companies are entitled to inspect relevant records. They are not entitled to medical information that cannot possibility relate to your claim. In the context of a lawsuit, a set of rules called discovery rules become applicable, entitling the insurance company to ask you to formally produce a few direct items.

At attorney can be useful in getting the best offer your case, while limiting disclosure of your personal information. 
Contact Portner & Shure, P.A. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Case Result- June

Recently, Portner & Shure settled a case in Harford County, Maryland for $42,500. Our client was hit by a dump truck that swerved into oncoming traffic and collided with her head-on. As a result, she was rushed to shock trauma and sustained numerous injuries, including a severe strains, contusions, airbag burns, lacerations, and whole body aches. Our client required physical therapy, MRIs, and orthopedic visits.

After lengthy settlement negotiations with the insurance adjuster, Mr. Portner and our paralegal, Pamela Brown, managed to settle the case for $42,500.  Our client was extremely pleased with the result in her case.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Litigation News

In our March newsletter we mentioned a recent policy change by Geico.
This shift was towards opening settlement negotiations with a low offer and then refusing to increase it unless the Plaintiff’s attorney can justify more compensation. Amazingly, even after the need for an increase he been explained, Geico’s offer goes up only a fraction of what is fair.
For us, this manner of negotiating is unacceptable. This month our attorneys were successful in a few major accident trials against Geico. Firstly, in a rear end collision where liability was clear, but they failed to make an offer! The end result of this trial was a $5,231.00 verdict for our client. We will continue to litigate in all cases where Geico refuses to offer our clients proper compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and inconvenience

June Employee Spotlight

We are thrilled to introduce our new legal intern Alissa. June was her very first month at the firm!
She recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Franklin & Marshall College with a bachelor’s degree in Government. 
She was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society, Pi Sigma Alpha Government Honors Society, and the John Marshall Pre-Law Honors Society.
She spent the spring of her senior year interning in the Juvenile Court Unit at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. She will be helping our litigation department this summer and managing our social media.

Ali is headed off to University of Maryland Law School in fall, but until then we are excited to have her on our team! 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Live Fast, Die Young

                Tuesday (08/07/2016) three teenage boys were killed in a fatal car accident around 11:30 pm in Montgomery County. Just twelve hours before the schools graduation, the boys were headed south on Burnt Hill Road when control of the vehicle was lost due to speed. When the 1989 Ford left the road it made contact with a tree killing two of the boys instantly, the third boy was taken to Suburban Hospital where he later subdued to his injuries. It was reported that no drugs or alcohol were involved, the accident was purely caused by inexperience and negligence.  It was a tragic loss for the families involved and to the community of Clarksburg High School. The boys were charismatic and very well liked.

Events like this are hard to bear. Speeding is one of the top causes of vehicular death. Parents, stress the dangers of driving over the speed limit to your children. However, even if the boys were not speeding, when a car hits a tree or another stationary object head on at about 35 MPH there is a high likelihood the accident will be fatal. The posted speed limit is set to help maintain the safety of yourself and others for the physical conditions of that road. The road the boys were driving on is fairly windy and high speeds caused them to lose control of the truck while rounding a bend. Always remember to drive responsibly and to adjust your speed accordingly.

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