Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Close to 10,000 Stopped Over Memorial Day Weekend by Police in Maryland

           Police officers across Maryland were cracking down on impaired, distracted, speeding, and seatbeltless drivers over Memorial Day Weekend.  Over, 9,500 vehicles were stopped, with 6,843 traffic citations doled out, 4,764 warnings, and 99 arrested for impaired driving.  Police along the busy routes to the beaches issued close to 700 speeding citations, 91 citations for other offenses, such as seatbelt usage and cell phone use.  Surprisingly, only two people were arrested for impaired driving, which is welcome news in Maryland, especially because there has been a major increase in drunk drivers on Maryland’s roadways.

            In terms of accidents across the state over the holiday weekend, there were about 100 crashes, and fortunately, only one fatality.  One traffic-related death is still one too many, but is definitely good news to see such a small number for a holiday weekend with a record number of travelers.  Maryland police and the Maryland State Highway Administration have had a campaign and plan in place to make sure there are zero deaths on Maryland’s roadways.  Police will continue to increase patrols along highways and major roadways to combat traffic accidents as much as possible.  The more impaired and distracted drivers that police can stop before they hurt someone else, the safer Maryland’s roads will be.

            Remember that during the summer, the number of drivers who make the irresponsible decision to drink and drive increases significantly.  Police specifically increase their DUI patrols during the summer months to try and combat the problem.  But it is impossible for police to catch everyone.  Always be cautious when you are driving and aware of your surroundings. 

            If you or a family member has been injured or killed in an accident caused by the fault or negligence of another person and would like to consult an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney for free, contact us at (301) 854-9000 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Annapolis or throughout Maryland or visit us online at


Friday, May 22, 2015

Fatal Maryland Car Accident Near Eastern Shore

          A deadly car accident in Calvert County, Maryland last week is now believed to have been caused by another driver blacking out or falling asleep behind the wheel.  A 46 year old woman died after another driver crossed over the center line from the southbound lane into the northbound lane.  As a result, the likely drowsy driver crashed head-on into the 46 year old, who also had two young children in the car with her.  The woman was flown to the hospital and later died, but fortunately the two children only suffered minor injuries.  Now that the investigation of the accident has almost been completed, police have determined that driver fatigue or a sudden medical emergency caused the accident.

            With record high numbers of over 33 million people driving across the country to their destination for Memorial Day Weekend and over 800,000 people travelling just from Maryland, many car accidents are bound to occur.  Let’s all avoid a deadly accident this weekend by wearing your seatbelt, only drive when sober, avoid distractions while driving, and obey the speed limit.  While distractions are the number one cause of deadly car accidents, drowsy driving is another problem that causes many accidents.  When people are driving long distances, as many do during long holiday weekends, there is always a risk of falling asleep behind the wheel.  If you are one of the millions driving to get away for the weekend, be cautious of other drivers and only drive if you feel well rested.

            If you or a family member has been injured or killed in an accident caused by the fault or negligence of another person and would like to consult an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney for free, contact us at (301) 854-9000 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Ocean City or throughout Maryland or visit us online at

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Update: Uber Available in Ocean City Starting Friday May 22nd

           Starting tomorrow, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Annapolis will no longer be the only major cities in the Maryland region to have Uber’s ride pick-up service.  Visitors and residents in Ocean City can now use their phone to request an Uber driver to pick them up.  This was all made possible by the Maryland General Assembly, which passed legislation allowing companies like Uber and Lyft to legally operate in Maryland.  While taxis in the beach town are not too pleased about Uber operating in Ocean City this summer, vacationers are excited to have an easier way of getting up and down Coastal Highway without having to hail a cab or take the public bus.

            The most important advantage of having such a widely-known easy-to-use driving service is that a majority of teenagers and young adults know how to use the app.  With Uber having a presence in Ocean City now, it should likely cut down on the number of drunk driving related offenses and accidents.  One of the reasons why so many people choose to drink and drive is because it is just easier to get in your own car and drive home then to call a cab or wait for a bus.  Uber eliminates the difficulty that cabs and buses present.  With an easy and convenient way to get a safe ride home, the number of DUIs and drunk driving related accidents should decrease this summer in Ocean City.

            Remember if you will be drinking this weekend while down in Ocean City, or anywhere else in Maryland, make sure to plan ahead for arranging a sober ride home.  It is not worth it to risk your life or the life of an innocent person by driving your car under the influence of alcohol.  Only drive if you are sober.  If not, call an Uber driver, a cab, or take a public bus in order to get to your destination safely.

            If you are arrested for DUI this weekend in Ocean City, it is important that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney because of the severity of a DUI offense.  Portner & Shure attorneys have represented numerous clients arrested for drunk driving offenses and our attorneys will try to limit or reduce the consequences of your DUI offense.

             If you or a family member has been charged with DUI or DWI in Maryland and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on DUI or DWI please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 and schedule an appointment at our office in Ocean City or throughout Maryland, or visit us on the web at

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Busiest Memorial Day Weekend Travel in a Decade in Maryland

          Over 800,000 Maryland residents will be travelling more than 50 miles during the Thursday to Monday period this weekend.  This is the largest number of travelers for Memorial Day Weekend since the summer of 2005, before the financial crisis.  AAA Mid-Atlantic projects that close to 90% of all Maryland travelers will be driving, a 5% increase from last year.  Low gas prices that have been in place for the last several months are a major factor contributing to the increase in people choosing to drive to their destination.  The average price of regular unleaded gas in Maryland is around $2.67, which is about $1 cheaper than this time last year.  While a majority of Marylanders will be driving by car, the number of people flying to their destination is expected to increase by 2.1% with about 58,500 fliers.

            Nationally, the number of Americans expected to travel this holiday weekend is over 37 million, also the highest number in about a decade.

            In Maryland, Memorial Day Weekend is usually the start of the busy season for the beaches, which means increased traffic along the Bay Bridge.  The Maryland Transportation Authority projects over 360,000 vehicles to cross the Bay Bridge this holiday weekend.  Traffic congestion will likely frustrate many drivers as they try to get to their destination.  With increased traffic, comes a higher risk of accidents.  Some of the most common causes of accidents when driving to the beach by way of the Bay Bridge include speeding, distractions, drunk driving, and driving too closely to the car in front of you.  To best avoid the worst of the traffic along the Bay Bridge, officials suggest travelling before 10am on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, before 7am on Saturday, after 10pm on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, or after 5pm on Saturday.

            Remember to abide by the posted speed limits, especially along the Bay Bridge, and wear your seatbelt at all times when driving in the car.  Some of the worst accidents have occurred along the Bridge, so be cautious of other drivers and get to your final destination safely. 

            If you or a family member has been injured or killed in an accident caused by the fault or negligence of another person and would like to consult an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney for free, contact us at (301) 854-9000 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Ocean City or throughout Maryland or visit us online at

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Employee Spotlight May 2015

           Heather Jung, our Bilingual Korean/Japanese Paralegal, has been working with injured Korean and Japanese clients at Portner & Shure for almost one year now.  Heather was born in South Korea and moved to the United States in 1998 not knowing any English.  Before coming to Portner & Shure, Heather graduated from the honors program at the University of Maryland, College Park. 

Heather has worked tirelessly during her time at Portner & Shure to help clients recover favorable settlements for their injuries and property damage.  Recently, Heather settled numerous cases with excellent results.  More importantly, in 2015, she leads the firm in obtaining the most Five Star reviews from happy satisfied clients.  Clients have noted Heather’s attention to detail, professionalism, and prompt communication throughout the difficult and lengthy claims process.  Google awards the firm with Five Star reviews and Heather deserves credit for helping the firm obtain them.

When Heather is not at work, she enjoys reading and translating, drawing, and exercising.

Litigation News May 2015

              Just recently, Portner & Shure won a $19,513 verdict for our client who was injured in a car accident in Prince George’s County because of a red light dispute.  The Defendant claims that he had the green arrow, but our client alleges that the other driver only had a solid green light.  A solid green light compared to a green arrow means that the driver making a turn must yield to oncoming traffic before turning.  After bringing in a traffic light sequence expert, it was determined that based on the timing during the incident in question, our client’s allegation that there was a solid green light was correct.

May 2015 Case Result

              Recently, Portner & Shure settled a workers’ compensation case for $100,000 for its client who was injured in 2010 while working on a deck using a nail gun.  Our client suffered an eye injury when a nail bounced up, struck his safety goggles, and broke a piece of plastic that went into his eye.  Doctor examinations revealed a scratched cornea and eventually he needed surgery because his blurry vision was not improving.  After surgery, he was out of work for three months.  Doctors found our client to have 100% permanent loss of visual function in his left eye as a result of the accident.

What Clients Are Saying May 2015

“After I came to the US, this was my first accident. I was very frustrated because my sons were hurt, and didn't know what to do, but after I spoke to Ms. Heather, everything was taken care of step by step, and my son's treatment was finished up and everything was settled. Thank you for your prompt reply and your explanations for all of my questions. I don't want to get into another accident, but if I or my friends get into an accident, I will definitely find Portner & Shure. Thank you.”

This case was handled by our Korean/Japanese Legal Assistant, Heather Jung.

Fatal Accident on ICC Near Gaithersburg, First Since 2011

          Last week, a Montgomery County dump truck hauling gravel skidded out of control across the eastbound lanes of the Intercounty Connector (ICC Route 200) and overturned along the median.  A second vehicle was also involved in the crash, but the driver only suffered minor injuries.  Unfortunately, the truck driver lost his life in the crash after being pinned underneath the truck.  He had been a county employee with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation for over 15 years.  The horrific accident scene shows gravel spilled all over the westbound lanes of the ICC and the truck completely smashed and crushed into the median guardrail.  The cause of the accident is unknown at this time and police continue to investigate why and how the truck lost control.

            Maryland Transportation Authority officials say this is the first fatal accident on the ICC since November 2011 when the highway first opened.  The lack of deadly accidents can probably be attributed to the fact that it is a toll road and very few vehicles use the road.  Therefore, with very little traffic, the risk of accidents is much lower than on major highways and roadways.

            Trucks are always at a higher risk of having accidents that result in catastrophic damage and injuries because of their power and large size.  Large trucks, including dump trucks like the one involved in this accident, have extreme difficulty stopping suddenly and have large blind spots which make it tough for truck drivers to see other vehicles around them.  One possible cause of this accident is that the second vehicle was driving next to the dump truck in the truck driver’s blind spot, and the truck driver all of sudden sees the car next to him and starts to lose control of the truck as he tries to steer away from the car he thinks he is about to hit.  Another major cause of truck-involved accidents is distracted driving (i.e. texting while driving, talking on a cell phone while driving, playing with the radio while driving, or adjusting the navigation system while driving). 

            Remember, if you are injured in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you should always remain calm and seek medical treatment as soon as possible for your injuries.  In addition, you should never admit liability, even if you are the one who caused the accident.

            If you or a family member has been injured or killed in an accident caused by the fault or negligence of another person and would like to consult an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney for free, contact us at (301) 854-9000 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Rockville or throughout Maryland or visit us online at

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Premature Birth Lawsuit Leads to Baltimore County Jury Awarding $2 Million to Family

Recently, a jury in the Baltimore County Circuit Court awarded a family $2 million based on their OB-GYN’s failure to identify that their daughter would be born premature and that as a result she would have cerebral palsy.  The award includes $1.5 million for future medical expenses and $350,000 in noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. 
The Abid family from Woodlawn in Baltimore County filed suit against Dr. Meera A. Rawtani from St. Joseph Medical Center.  In 2006, Mrs. Abid’s water broke ahead of schedule at 33 weeks pregnant.  However, her doctors believed she was “more than 36 weeks pregnant.”  Medical records presented at trial show that Mrs. Abid’s ultrasound from 12 days prior to her water breaking showed a premature baby.  The lawsuit alleged that Dr. Rawtani failed to let the Abids know there “might have been a ‘miscalculation’ on the gestation,” and that the hospital staff failed to administer steroids to baby Maria while in utero to increase her lung capacity.  When Maria was born, her lungs were underdeveloped and she was experiencing breathing problems.  The neonatologist informed the NICU staff that Maria was “mistakenly delivered prematurely” at 33 weeks. 
The telling piece of evidence presented at trial was the changing of medical records “after the fact” to show Maria was not fully developed when born.  Maria is now 9 years old and with this verdict, her parents can now afford to take better care of her and have been compensated for all the pain they have endured over the years because of the doctor’s mistake.

This type of award by the jury bodes well for future plaintiffs in Baltimore County bringing a medical malpractice suit against a doctor for a birth injury.  Compared to other counties in Maryland, Baltimore is usually on the lower end of monetary damage awards.  Personal injury attorneys in the Baltimore County area are certainly welcoming this deviation in normal jury patterns.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a birth injury or an injury as the result of someone elses negligence in Maryland, please call us at (301) 854-9000 to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation in our Owings Mills office or one of our other offices located throughout Maryland, or visit us online to learn more about medical malpractice at

Friday, May 8, 2015

Maryland Governor Announces Decrease in Tolls on Bay Bridge and ICC Among Others

Early Thursday morning, a meeting took place where it was decided that multiple tolls across the state would be reduced.  This move was in large part done by Governor Hogan to show Marylanders he really meant it when he promised lower fees across the state after seeing them increase under former Governor O’Malley.  The $6 toll to travel on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge will now be $4.  For those with an EZ-Pass, the toll changes from $5.40 to $2.50, a 37.5 percent discount round trip. 
            Other changes that will happen include: eliminating the EZ-Pass Maryland monthly $1.50 account fee, increasing the EZ-Pass Maryland discount from 10% to 25% for the Baltimore Harbor and Fort McHenry Tunnels, the Francis Scott Key Bridge, the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge, and the JFK Memorial Highway (I-95), establishing a 30% discount at the Hatem Bridge for 3- and 4-axle vehicles with a Maryland EZ-Pass (3-axle drops from $16 to $11.20 and 4-axle drops from $24 to $16.80).
            One final major change to take effect involves the ICC and I-95 express lanes.  Two-axle toll rates on the ICC and I-95 Express Toll Lanes for all pricing periods will be reduced by $0.03 per mile.  On the ICC, that translates to a peak period change from $4.40 to $3.86.  On the I-95 Express Lanes, that translates to a peak period change from $1.75 to $1.54.
            All of these changes take effect starting July 1, 2015.  This will certainly be welcome news for all Marylanders who have seen toll rates steadily increase over the last several years.  With lower tolls on many Maryland roads, bridges, and tunnels, more drivers could be tempted to try express lanes to avoid traffic congestion.  If this occurs, traffic-related accidents could decrease and fewer people will be injured in these types of accidents.
            However, if you or a family member has been injured or killed in an accident caused by the fault or negligence of another person and would like to consult an experienced personal injury attorney for free, contact us at (301) 854-9000 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations throughout Maryland or visit us online at

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Two Dead in Devastating Accident in Arnold

         Tuesday night, two vehicles were involved in a crash on northbound Ritchie Highway at College Parkway in Arnold, Maryland.  After investigating the accident scene, police officers determined that one of the vehicles, a Nissan Sentra, was on the southbound portion of Ritchie Highway with a red left turn arrow, but the driver proceeded to turn left towards College Parkway.  While making the illegal left turn, his vehicle was now in the direct path of an oncoming GMC Suburban truck that was driving down Ritchie Highway.  The truck crashed into the passenger side of the Nissan causing the car to overturn, and the truck pushed the car into a “traffic signal support pole.”  The driver of the Nissan was crushed in the crash and did not survive.  The driver in the GMC was ejected from his truck, possibly the result of not wearing a seatbelt, and taken to Maryland’s Shock Trauma Center.  Unfortunately, he did not survive either.

            The cause of the crash was determined to be the driver of the Nissan making an illegal left turn disobeying a red turn signal.  Police also believe alcohol on the part of the Nissan driver contributed to the crash, which would explain why he tried to turn on a red signal.

            Remember, if you are in an accident and are seriously injured follow these three steps protect your claim and maximize your potential recovery:

1)     Do Not Speak: It is important to understand that when the insurance company calls to speak with you, they are working against your claim. This means that the information that you give them is information that can be used against you. As a lay person, you may not realize what kind of information is harmful or helpful to your case. Because of this, it is essential that you find the help of an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney who can advise you. Your personal injury lawyer will speak to the insurance company for you so that you will not make the mistake of revealing too much information.  Not speaking to the insurance company is especially important for those who do not speak English fluently or speak English as a second language. The insurance company may take advantage of the language barrier to obtain information they can use against you.

2)     Focus on Treatment: It is very important that you seek medical treatment for your injuries.  When you are treating for your injuries, you must listen to the advice of your doctor. Do not attempt self-diagnosis or stop treatment before your doctor advises you discontinue treatment. Some clients make the mistake of ending their treatment process early and later discover that they are not fully recovered. By this time, it may be too late for those clients to make a claim for the treatment they subsequently receive. Do not make this mistake and risk your claim.  Instead, listen to the advice of your doctor.

3)     Do Not Rush: The settlement process takes time. Our experienced Maryland personal injury attorneys are skilled in negotiation. Oftentimes, this includes waiting out the insurance company to make them nervous. Because of this, it is important for clients to be patient and allow the attorney to obtain the most for your claim. 

            If you or a family member has been injured or killed in an accident caused by the fault or negligence of another person and would like to consult an experienced personal injury attorney for free, contact us at (301) 854-9000 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Annapolis or throughout Maryland or visit us online at

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Seatbelt Safety: Deadly Teen Accident in Howard County

          With prom and graduation season in full swing, the worst has happened for a Howard County family: losing their 18 year old son.  Garrett Bonin of Howard High School was about to wrap up his senior year with prom one night away and graduation just weeks away.  Sadly, Garrett did not survive from a car crash Friday night as his car overturned on Old Frederick Road while driving home from a friend’s house.  Police say speed was a factor in the accident, as well as the lack of using a seatbelt.  Normally, Police in these types of single-car accidents expect alcohol to be a factor, but that was not the case here.

            There is never a good time to lose a child in an accident, but it is even more devastating when it happens so close to major life events: high school prom and high school graduation.  This tragedy might have been avoided if a seatbelt was being worn.  Drivers are constantly reminded about wearing seatbelts in the car and the life-saving benefits of using them.  Not only is it required by law, but it should be second-nature to get in the car and put your seatbelt on.  Again, we want to remind teenage drivers, as well as all other drivers on the road to use your seatbelt in the car.  There have been several accidents over the last few weeks where drivers or passengers in the car have been killed in a crash because they were not wearing their seatbelt.  Tragedies such as this one can easily be avoided with something as simple as wearing a seatbelt.  No family should have to go through losing a son, daughter, brother, or sister so close to a milestone in life just because a seatbelt was not being worn.

            For Garrett’s family and friends, this is such a devastating loss.  Garrett’s sister, Elise, plans to accept his diploma at graduation in his honor.

            Please, let’s avoid another deadly teen accident where a seatbelt is not used.  Parents, remind your teen drivers to use a seatbelt in the car.  Seatbelts can save lives.  Data from Maryland shows that around 91% of all drivers wear a seatbelt.  Compare that to only 78% in Virginia.  These statistics should be much closer to 100% because seatbelts have been proven to reduce the risk of serious injury in an accident by half.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car, truck, or bus accident or has died as a result of their injury suffered in a Maryland crash due to the negligence or fault of another driver, please call us at (301) 854-9000 to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation in our Columbia office or one of our other offices located throughout Maryland, or visit us online to learn more about car accidents at:  

Friday, May 1, 2015

Howard County School Bus Driver Crashes Under Influence of Drugs

          Tuesday afternoon, Howard County school bus driver, Stacy Jean McKinney, crashed into a mailbox and a water runoff drain with children on board.  Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in the accident that happened on Whiskey Bottom Road in Laurel, Maryland.  When police arrived to the scene, they discovered that the driver was under the influence of drugs.  Consequently, McKinney was charged with drug possession, driving while impaired, and negligent driving.  While police have not released what type of drug specifically was in her system, it was noted that the drug was not marijuana.

            While it is deplorable for anyone to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is absolutely horrifying when that person is a school bus driver with children on board.  For somebody to put the lives of innocent school children in danger is terrifying.  Parents trust that the bus driver will drive their children to and from school safely and not do anything to put their lives in danger.  This bus driver clearly did not consider the lives of the children on board when she made the decision to drive under the influence of drugs.

            While things like this do not happen often, the fact that they happen at all is alarming.  An event like this would certainly make parents second guess the decision to send their child to school on the bus. 

            If you or a family member has been injured or killed in a school bus accident due to the negligence of someone else in Maryland and would like to consult an experience personal injury attorney for free, call us today to schedule an appointment to meet at one of our offices in Laurel or throughout Maryland at (301) 854-9000, or visit us online to learn more about personal injury cases: