Friday, May 19, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend Car Accidents on the Eastern Shore--Why a Local Law Firm is Important

As we approach the Memorial Day holiday weekend, drivers that are headed to the beaches on the Eastern Shore of Maryland should remember to pay extra attention on the roads as traffic congestion is sure to be a problem. Distractions in the car, such as cell phones, should never be used, especially when driving in heavy holiday weekend traffic.

Those traveling to the Eastern Shore for the holiday weekend are more likely to be driving than taking any other mode of transportation. For that reason, traffic congestion will be a problem, as it is every year. As many of us know, the drive to the beaches includes long stretches of single lane roads in rural areas. Some of the worst accidents have occurred on these roads, especially head-on collisions. When an accident occurs and the occupants are injured, you may not know what to do because you may feel like you are in the middle nowhere. You should always call the police after an accident, especially when there are injuries. The next step will involve emergency medical treatment, as well as contacting a law firm.

There are numerous law firms to choose from for an accident case in Maryland, but there are many advantages to choosing a local firm that is in the area on the Eastern Shore where the accident happened. The local knowledge of the lawyers, including information about judges, opposing counsel, and the roads can give you a big advantage when it comes to negotiating a settlement or trying your case in court. A firm that says that they can represent someone on the Eastern Shore, but yet does not have an office or any connections to that area is doing a disservice to their client. In order to maximize compensation, your attorney will need every advantage they can get.

If you suffer injuries in an Eastern Shore accident this Memorial Day Weekend, call the local Eastern Shore attorneys at Portner & Shure today for a free consultation: (301) 854-9000, (410) 995-1515.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Peak Season at the Beach is Here, Pedestrians and Drivers Beware

With Memorial Day quickly approaching, drivers and pedestrians should be reminded to take extra precautions as the holiday weekend approaches. Traffic will substantially increase at the beach beginning Memorial Day weekend as summer unofficially kicks off.

Pedestrian-involved accidents along Coastal Highway in Ocean City have long been a problem. Police have done a lot over the years to make it safer for pedestrians to cross the busy highway. If you are trying to cross the road, you should always remember to wait to cross until you have the signal, always stay in the designated crosswalk, and look both ways because you can never assume a driver is paying attention and sees you crossing the road. Drivers along Coastal Highway can be reckless sometimes, especially at night when drunk drivers hit the roads.

Stay safe this Memorial Day weekend and all summer long down at the beach. If you or a loved one is injured in a pedestrian accident, call the experienced local attorneys at Portner & Shure today for a free consultation: (301) 854-9000, (410) 995-1515.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

What Clients Are Saying May 2017

“I was referred to Portner & Shure by a close friend of mine. From my very first phone call, I was always treated with sincere care and concern for my well-being. The burden of dealing with hospital bills, alternate transportation, and insurance company red tape was addressed 100% by Christine. Her responsiveness was off the charts as far as customer service and should serve as a model for any other professional in her line of work. I highly recommend Portner & Shure (Columbia), specifically Christine for anyone who is looking for an end result that exceeds their expectation.”

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

Friday, May 5, 2017

Litigation News May 2017

This month in litigation news at Portner & Shure, we have an accident case where our client was rear-ended at a red light and the defendant driver’s insurance carrier denied liability, forcing us to file suit in order to obtain the compensation our client was entitled. In this accident, our client suffered injuries to his back, hips, and shoulders. He required chiropractic treatment for his injuries. After incurring $4,000.00 in medical expenses and with liability denied by the insurance company, our litigation team filed suit and this case was headed to trial. The trial Judge found the defendant liable and awarded our client $8,600.00 plus court costs. Our client was extremely satisfied with this result, especially considering that the insurance company initially denied liability and was not offering anything to settle. This case is yet another example of an accident where property damage is minimal, and for that reason only, the insurance company will deny liability without considering actual injuries suffered by the victim. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Choosing a Law Firm with Litigation Experience is Very Important

When you are injured in an accident in Towson, it is important to hire a law firm to represent you and fight for the compensation you deserve. When searching for a law firm that handles accident cases, it is important to hire a firm with litigation experience. You may think that a car accident case is very straightforward and will easily settle, but that is not always the case. Yes, it is true that a majority of accident cases do settle without every having to go to court. However, there are still many cases that cannot settle and it is necessary to go to court. What happens if the law firm you hire does not go to court or has no experience in the courtroom?

Make sure you hire a law firm with an extensive litigation department and immense resources to be able to battle the insurance company all the way to court in order to get the compensation you deserve.

Portner & Shure attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in the courtroom litigating accident cases. If your case does not settle, we never hesitate to file suit in court. It is important that you hire a firm with the ability to handle your case no matter what happens--settle or litigate in court.

If you've been injured in an accident in the Towson area, choose your law firm wisely. Portner & Shure attorneys are available now for a free consultation. Call us today: (301) 854-9000, (410) 995-1515.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Driving too Fast for the Road Conditions can get you into Trouble

On days like today where it's wet and damp, drivers need to be extra cautious on the road. While posted speed limits on highways may say 65mph, that does not mean that drivers are expected to drive that fast when road conditions are dangerous. Far too many accidents occur on roads and highways when it is raining. The leading causing of many of these accidents: speed. Countless drivers fail to adapt their driving behavior to the conditions outside, and as a result, accidents happen.

When it is raining, roads are wet and that means it is more difficult for drivers to be able to stop suddenly. When road conditions are wet, drivers should not drive the maximum speed limit, should increase the distance between their vehicle and the one in front of them, and should be extra cautious around curves and sharp bends in the road. Drivers should also never forget to turn on their car lights when it is raining, not just because it is the law, but it reduces the risk of an accident because your vehicle can be visible to other drivers on the road.

Avoid becoming an accident victim and drive carefully, especially when road conditions are poor. if you have been injured in an accident due the negligence of another driver, call the attorneys at Portner & Shure today for a free consultation: (301) 854-9000, (410) 995-1515.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Loss of Consortium--Often a Forgotten Injury in an Auto Accident Case

Car accidents are often the worst moments in everyone's life. When you suffer serious injuries in an auto accident, you are limited and even unable to perform certain activities that you did not have trouble performing before the accident. You would expect all personal injury attorneys to calculate your damages based on your physical injuries by using the medical bills and treatment reports. However, sometimes there are additional damages that are not always so obvious and your attorney might miss them. 

When a person suffers significant injuries in an auto accident case, not only are they unable to work or do things around the house, but if they have a spouse, they usually are not able to fully participate in the marriage. When this happens, a loss of consortium claim should be raised. Thus, when an attorney is drafting a settlement demand letter to the insurance adjuster or filing a law suit in court, a loss of consortium claim should always be considered. When a person cannot fully participate in the marriage because of injuries suffered in an accident caused by another party, there are significant damages that the accident victim has suffered. It is easy to forget about loss of consortium claims when there are significant physical damages.

If you've been seriously injured in an accident in Maryland, call the experienced attorneys at Portner & Shure today for a free consultation: (301) 854-9000, (410) 995-1515.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

What Clients Are Saying April 2017

I have never written a review for a person or business before today; however, this review is 100% warranted and so here we go. I have had the pleasure and honor bestowed upon me to have met and work with Ms. Rebecca Dean. To simply say that Ms. Rebecca Dean is AMAZING would be an understatement and a disservice to her. Ms. Rebecca Dean is the epitome of what a true professional is. Ms. Rebecca Dean's patience and time she takes to explain every step along the way and to respond to any questions is ADMIRABLE and her work ethic and perseverance to always perform to the highest standard and do what is in the best interest of the client is INSPIRATIONAL. Ms. Rebecca Dean is a true asset to not only Portner & Shure but to their clientele as well. If you are fortunate enough to be assigned to Ms. Rebecca Dean, just know one thing: you ARE in good hands!!

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

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Litigation News April 2017

On March 6, 2015, our client was involved in a rear-end accident when she was stopped at a red light in Montgomery County, Maryland. She suffered injuries to her neck, back, and legs. An offer of $4,300.00 was made to settle the case, but this was less than half the total of our client’s medical bills. Our client rejected this offer and we filed suit to handle this matter in court. The District Court Judge awarded our client $14,758.40 plus all court costs. Here, the insurance company refused to make a good-faith offer of settlement, and as a result, they lost in Court and were required to compensate our client more than $10,000.00 more than their highest offer. Our client was very happy with this result in her case.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Distracted Driving Causing Numerous Accidents; Frederick Police Step up Patrols

New data on distracted driving in Maryland has been released for 2015, the most recent year for information being released. The numbers reveal significant numbers for distracted drivers causing accidents where others are injured or killed. Maryland has had a goal of Zero Deaths on its roadways, and officials continue to take steps towards achieving that goal in the future.

The new data on distracted driving reveals that it continues to be a major problem and far too many drivers are using their cell phones and other devices while operating a vehicle.

Frederick County police officials announced that in addition to statewide patrols of distracted driving, Frederick police will also increase patrols. In 2015, in Frederick, 923 people were injured and 7 killed in crashes caused by distracted drivers. There are various forms of distractions in a car that cause an accident. At the top of the list are cell phones. Drivers are talking and texting on their phones while operating vehicles far too often. Police officers say that it is very easy to spot drivers that are using their mobile device while behind the wheel, and all month long, officers will be out in large numbers looking for distracted drivers. Last year, for the entire month of April, over 1,100 distracted driving citations were handed out.

If you've been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver in Frederick or throughout Maryland, call the attorneys at Portner & Shure today for a free consultation: (301) 854-9000, (410) 995-1515.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Fatal Pedestrian Accidents are Rising Dangerously

A new study has been released, which shows that the number of fatal pedestrian accidents has risen dramatically over the last two years. The numbers released in the study are very surprising considering all the advances made in vehicle safety. Since 2014, the number of fatal pedestrian accidents has risen 22%. In 2015, pedestrian fatalities numbered 5,376 and in 2016, it was projected that there were 5,997 pedestrian fatalities occurred.

What's behind this recent spike in pedestrian-involved fatal accidents? Distracted drivers are a major cause of the dramatic increase in fatal pedestrian accidents. Cars may have become safer with more and more features installed to prevent accidents, but they cannot provide much help if the driver is not even paying attention to the road ahead. Distracted driving is a major cause of countless accidents on the road. Drivers using their cell phone to text, talk to someone, get directions, or even take pictures are all resulting in accidents, especially pedestrians. These accidents are not just occurring in big cities, but also happening more in rural areas. Pedestrians cannot just assume that because they have the walking signal that a driver will automatically give them the right of way because that driver may not even be paying attention.

Next time you cross the street, look both ways and beware of distracted drivers. You may see them, but drivers may not see you because their head is buried looking down at their cell phone. Stay safe as you cross the street, and always remember to cross with the signal and stay inside the crosswalk.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, call the attorneys at Portner & Shure today for a free consultation: (301) 854-9000, (410) 995-1515.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Did the Insurance Company Rush You Into a Settlement? You May Be Able to Void it!

Did you or a loved one agree to settle a personal injury case without the advice of an attorney only to realize that the insurance company gave you a bad deal? Or did you discover that your injuries are more severe than you had originally thought and the settlement isn't enough to cover your medical bills?

Unfortunately, car accident victims are faced with these dilemmas nearly everyday. Insurance companies love to try and settle out a claim as quickly as possible and will do so by paying as little as possible to the injured accident victim. Anyone faced with these problems would most likely believe that they are out of luck and have no turning back after accepting a settlement soon after an accident. Most law firms will likely reject your case because you have already signed a release form.

In Maryland, there is a law in place that does offer protection to injured accident victims if they are rushed into settling with an insurance company and quickly asked to sign a release. In most cases, a signed settlement with release is enforceable and cannot be voided. However, there are situations where you may be able to void a signed settlement. If you were offered a settlement and signed a release within 30 days of an accident without ever contacting an attorney, Maryland law gives you 60 days to rescind your agreement and void the settlement. This would allow you to hire representation  in order to obtain compensation that truly covers your medical bills and pain and suffering.

If you were injured in an accident in Maryland and an insurance company rushed you into a settlement that you do not believe is fair, call Portner & Shure today for a free consultation: (301) 854-9000, (410) 995-1515.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Injured by an Emergency Vehicle in Maryland?

Here's something you probably have never thought of: what happens if you're injured in an accident caused by a speeding emergency vehicle?

We see police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances speeding by us everyday on the roadways. In Maryland, operators of emergency vehicles have certain privileges when it comes to traffic laws, but that does not mean that they are completely immune from liability if they negligently cause an accident.

Accidents involving emergency vehicles do happen, and in some circumstances, the emergency vehicle can be held liable. Maryland traffic laws allow emergency vehicles to run red lights and pass stop signs as long as they first slowed down to ensure they could pass safely. These vehicles are also allowed to exceed the speed limit as long as it is possible to do safely.

Ordinary negligence of emergency vehicles operated by a government entity can only result in, at most, $30,000 in insurance coverage. However, if you can prove gross negligence on the part of the emergency vehicle, Maryland law caps damages at $400,000.

If you've been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of an emergency vehicle, call the attorneys at Portner & Shure for a free consultation today: (301) 854-9000, (410) 995-1515.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Should I Get an Attorney After a Car Accident?

If you've been injured in an auto accident due to someone else's negligence, you may think that it is not a big deal and you can resolve any issues on your own. That is not always the case, however. You may think it is a straightforward process, but it can be quite complex. Dealing with insurance companies after an accident can be frustrating, and oftentimes, insurance companies will not make fair settlement offers when they know someone is not represented by an attorney. In fact, insurance adjusters will try to pay you as little as little as they can to make your case go away.

If you've been injured in a car accident, you absolutely need to get an attorney. Once you hire an attorney, the attorney will deal with the insurance company and work to get a top offer. Insurance companies tend to make higher offers when attorneys are involved than when people are unrepresented. When you have an attorney, they will work with you to strategically handle your medical expenses to maximize the amount you will actually get in your pocket after settlement. And most importantly, if the insurance company denies fault, our attorneys can file suit for you to have your case heard in court.

As you can see, there is quite a difference in handling an accident case without representation than handling a case with an attorney. If you've been injured in an accident, call the attorneys at Portner & Shure today for a free consultation to discuss your case: (301) 854-9000, (410) 995-1515.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Litigation News March 2017

On March 6, 2015, our client was involved in an accident that occurred in an I-95 Rest stop parking lot. On the night of the accident, the highway was becoming snow covered, so our client decided to pull into the Rest Stop to wait out the weather. While his vehicle was parked in the lot, the Defendant collided with the rear of our client’s vehicle, which resulted in damage and injuries. The liability insurance adjuster refused to make any good faith offers, with their highest offer coming in at $7,400.00. We filed suit in order to obtain a better result for our client. The Court awarded our client $28,000.00, which was significantly higher than any offer made by the liability adjuster. Our client was happy with the result in his case.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What Clients Are Saying March 2017

After being in a four car collision and getting the run around from the insurance company I decided to contact Portner & Shure. My case was assigned to Ms. Christine Airey. Things improved immediately when Christine requested for another insurance adjuster to be assigned to my claim. She also saved me from paying a five hundred dollar deductible. I received a rental car at no cost and my car was completely repaired. I worked really hard to repair my credit and my medical bills were almost three thousand dollars. Christine made sure these medical bills were paid by following up several times with three different medical billing departments. I am a very active person, because of this accident I was not able to play racquetball, lift weights or go to the golf range. Christine worked really hard to make sure I received the compensation that I deserved. If you're ever in the need of a really Professional Law Firm, contact Portner & Shure. They will take care of you like they did for me!

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Injured in an Auto Accident? Don't Miss Your Chance to File a Claim

Every state has a time limit or statute of limitations that prevents someone from being able to file a claim after a certain period of time has passed. In Maryland, there is a 3 year statute of limitations for auto accident claims, and the clock starts ticking from the date of the accident. There is also a 1 year time limit for being able to file a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim. PIP claims are important because that money can be used to pay for some, if not all, of your medical bills. That means that, when a settlement is reached or a verdict in court is awarded, that money can be given to you (after attorneys' fees are distributed). In other words, your settlement money will not have to be used to pay back medical bills because PIP already paid them.

Sometimes we have people who will call our office and tell us they were injured in an auto accident, they have been treating their injuries, and now they are ready to file a claim to collect compensation. Then, they will tell us that their accident happened 5 years ago. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done because they are well past the 3 year statute of limitations period in Maryland to be able to file a claim.

We always recommend to anyone calling our office for car accident injury consultations that it is very important to hire an attorney soon after an accident has occurred. We always want our clients to have plenty of time to file the necessary claims that can help maximize their compensation.

If you've been injured in an auto accident in Maryland, seek medical attention for your injuries and hire an attorney to represent you. Don't miss out on your chance to be compensated for injures suffered in a car accident. Call us today for a free consultation: (301) 854-9000, (410) 995-1515.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How Does a Contingency Fee Work?

Common practice in all personal injury cases is for an attorney to do work based on a contingency fee. Many people are usually confused as to what a contingency fee means. They immediately hear the word fee and worry that they are required to pay something, even if their case is lost. That is NOT the case at all. A contingency fee means that there is NO attorney's fee UNLESS you win your case. In other words, if we do NOT win your case, there is NO attorney's fee. There is absolutely no risk in hiring an attorney to represent you in a personal injury case, but much to gain.

The standard contingency fee rate is 33.3%. That means that your attorney's fee will be 33.3% of any recovery you get in your case, whether it be a settlement or trial verdict.

If you've been injured in an auto accident, call Portner & Shure for a free consultation and let us get you the compensation you deserve: (301) 854-9000, (410) 995-1515.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Litigation News February 2017

On January 20, 2016, our client was involved in an accident that occurred in the snow on the Capital Beltway in Prince George’s County, Maryland.  Liability was denied in this case because the defendant alleged that our client slid on the snowy road and slid into him. However, Portner & Shure attorney, Christina Ruhl, successfully argued that the property damage to our client’s vehicle did not support the defendant’s version of the accident. Our client’s version of the accident was that the defendant attempted to pass him and in the process, he clipped the side of his vehicle, causing the collision.  The Court awarded our client $15,000.00, based on more than $7,000.00 in property damage and more than $7,000.00 in medical expenses. Our client was extremely happy with the result in his case.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What Happens if the Liability Insurance Company Refuses to Make a Settlement Offer?

Not all car accidents are created equal. Some accidents result in minimal property damage to your car. The important thing to remember is that injuries suffered by drivers or occupants of a vehicle do not always correspond to the vehicle damage. Some accident victims suffer serious injuries in accidents where there is very little property damage. And sometimes accident victims suffer minimal injuries when there is significant property damage.

Over the years, many insurance companies have implemented policies where they will deny liability or refuse to make an offer of settlement in cases where there is minimal property damage. In other words, insurance companies seem to believe that in accidents with very little property damage, it it impossible for someone to suffer significant injuries. This can be very frustrating to work with because property damage does not always correlate to injuries. Unfortunately, in these types of cases, it does take a bit longer to resolve the case because, ultimately, suit must be filed in order to get an offer of settlement from the insurance company. We are never afraid to file suit and battle the insurance carrier in court. If you choose us as your attorneys, it will not matter that there was minimal property damage because as long as you have documented injuries related to the accident, it is very difficult for the insurance company to make a counterargument.

If you've been injured in an accident with low property damage, contact us today for a free consultation and rest assured that we will fight for the compensation you deserve. (301) 854-9000, (410) 995-1515.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Insurance Companies Cannot Raise your Rates for Filing a Claim for an Accident that Was NOT Your Fault

When you are involved in an accident, one of your first worries is how much your insurance rates will increase. Many accident victims are also afraid to file a claim against the other driver because they think that their insurance rates will go up.

If you are involved in an accident and you are NOT at fault, Maryland law prohibits any insurance company from increasing your rates if you decide to file a personal injury claim. If you are injured in an accident, you should not let fears of higher insurance premiums deter you from filing a claim to get compensation you deserve for your injuries. Therefore, you have nothing to lose by filing an accident claim when your are the victim in a car accident and not at fault in any way for the crash.

When you are injured in an auto accident in Maryland due to another driver's negligence, you are entitled to compensation for the injuries you suffered and the resulting treatment for those injuries. You should hire an experienced car accident attorney in Maryland to handle your case and fight for the compensation you deserve. Car accident cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, so in other words, you only have to pay your attorney a fee if they win your case.

So if you have been injured in a car accident in Maryland and the other driver is at fault for that accident, call Portner & Shure today for a free consultation: (301) 854-9000, (410) 995-1515.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Recent Case Result January 2017

Earlier this month, our litigation team earned a big win against Allstate for an accident case in Montgomery County, Maryland. Our client was driving straight in the right lane and the defendant was driving in the left lane. The defendant quickly decided to speed up and make a right turn in front of our client’s vehicle, causing a collision. Our client suffered significant injuries and missed several weeks of work as a result of the accident. Allstate made a single offer of $10,000.00 in the case, but refused to negotiate. We filed suit and the court awarded our client nearly $30,000.00. Our client was extremely happy with this result.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What Can I Expect if My Accident Case Does Not Settle and We Go to Court?

Although about 95% of all auto accident cases settle before litigation arises, sometimes court is necessary in order to obtain the compensation the client is entitled. There are many different reasons why a car accident case does not settle, including a liability dispute, minimal property damage, and factual disputes. When an insurance company refuses to make a settlement offer or makes a low settlement offer, a lawsuit is necessary in order to get compensation for the client. In many cases where suit is filed, a settlement is still achieved because insurance adjusters will then make a settlement offer in order to avoid litigation. These last minute offers of settlement can be made as late as the morning of trial. Sometimes, however, an insurance adjuster will hold firm and a trial is unavoidable.

If your case is one of those that does not settle and does go to trial, you have nothing to worry about. The process is not as scary as it sounds because our experienced team of attorneys will adequately prepare you well in advance of trial. Your attorney will go over how the process will work depending on which court your case will be heard. Your attorney will also run through the facts of the case with you and will discuss with you weaknesses in your case (if any). When your trial date arrives, you will feel completely prepared and will know exactly what to expect when you step into the courtroom.

If you've been injured in an auto accident in Maryland, make sure you call a law firm with experienced attorneys who are never afraid to go to court to fight for the compensation you deserve. Not all cases settle and you should hire a firm that can handle your case in settlement or in trial. Call Portner & Shure today for a free consultation: (301) 854-9000; (410) 995-1515.