Wrongful Death and Criminal Acts in Maryland

Can You Recover Damages When a Crime Causes a Loved One’s Death?

Wrongful Death and Criminal Acts in MarylandWhen someone’s negligence causes the death of a family member, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. But what if someone commits a criminal act that results in death? Are criminal penalties the only remedy in such a situation? Can you seek damages when someone else’s criminal conduct causes the death of your loved one?

In Maryland, the answer is yes. Under Maryland law, a death is considered “wrongful” if it is caused by “an act, neglect or default, including a felonious act.” Maryland law permits a wrongful death claim if the deceased would have had a personal injury claim had he or she survived.

A wrongful death claim is a civil action, wholly distinct from a criminal prosecution. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the remedy or sanction is purely financial. Wrongful death damages can include compensation for lost support, companionship, and consortium, as well as other damages resulting from the loss of life. While a criminal prosecution may lead to fines, those are not paid to survivors but instead go to the state. A single act can, and often does, result in a criminal prosecution and a wrongful death civil claim.

Proven Maryland Wrongful Death Attorney

Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland SuperLawyer, has fought for the rights of survivors in wrongful death claims for more than 40 years. Highly regarded by fellow attorneys in the Maryland bar, Attorney Smith has long held an AV rating under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. He has also earned high praise from his clients, including the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a trial attorney. He has also been honored as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Experienced Baltimore Accidental Death Lawyer

If you’ve lost a loved one because of the wrongful act of another person, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Slip-and-Falls on Commercial Property in Maryland

Must a Property Owner Give Notice of a Dangerous Condition?

Slip-and-Falls on Commercial Property in MarylandIn Maryland, as in other states, the owner of commercial property has certain duties with respect to anyone legally visiting the property. A business owner must either correct any dangerous situation or provide adequate warning to legal visitors. However, to recover compensation for a slip-and-fall, an injured person must demonstrate that the business owner either knew or should have known of the dangerous condition.

Did the Owner Have Actual Knowledge of the Hazard?

You can bring a claim against an owner if you can prove they were actually informed of the hazardous condition by a customer, employee, or someone else with personal knowledge of the condition. An owner also is deemed to have had actual notice if the danger was caused or created by an employee, even if the employee was unaware that they created the situation.

Was There Constructive Notice?

In some situations, the circumstances indicate that the owner should have known of the dangerous condition. It may have existed for a sufficient length of time that it would be unreasonable to expect that the owner wouldn’t know; it may have been obvious to anyone spending time on the property; or it may have been a condition that had occurred before.

Results-Oriented Maryland Premises Liability Lawyer

Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland SuperLawyer, brings more than 30 years’ experience to victims of personal injury in Baltimore and throughout the state of Maryland. Well-respected by attorneys throughout the state, Attorney Smith has consistently received an AV-rating under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. He also has earned accolades from his clients, earning the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a trial attorney. Attorney Smith has been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Effective Montgomery County Slip-and-Fall Attorney

If you suffer needless injury in a slip-and-fall on commercial property, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Delivery Room Errors in Maryland

Medical Negligence Claims Involving Birth Injuries

Delivery Room Errors in MarylandThe birth of a child should be a moment of great joy. Unfortunately, when medical professionals fail to follow reasonable standards, mistakes occur that can turn your joy into grief and hardship. Doctors and nurses breach the standard of care in a variety of ways:

  • Carelessly using delivery equipment, such as forceps and vacuum extractors;
  • Failing to monitor the mother or fetus for warning signs;
  • Failing to take timely steps to perform a C-section when medical circumstances dictate it should be done; and
  • Administering the wrong medication or wrong dosage of medication.

These actions can have devastating consequences, causing:

  • Hypoxia injuries—trauma caused by the deprivation of oxygen to the child, including cerebral palsy or brain injury;
  • Erb’s palsy, shoulder dystocia, or other injuries caused by surgical equipment or extreme force/pulling on the fetus; or
  • Brain bleeds, infections, and seizure disorders.

Proven Maryland Birth Injury Attorney

Maryland SuperLawyer Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than 30 years’ experience to parents whose children suffer needless injury during the birth process. He represents clients in the greater Baltimore area and across the state of Maryland. Well-known and respected by his fellow attorneys, Mr. Smith has long been AV-rated under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. He has also earned accolades from his clients, with a prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, (an average client review of 5 stars, the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a trial attorney. Attorney Smith also has been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Effective Prince George’s County Delivery Room Injury Attorney

When your infant is needlessly hurt during the delivery process because of medical carelessness or negligence, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Surgical Errors in Maryland

The Different Types of Claims You Can File

Surgical Errors in MarylandWhen you have an injury or illness that requires a surgical procedure, you know the likelihood of success can be uncertain. However, you don’t expect your condition to worsen because a doctor, nurse, or other medical caregiver fails to proper care. Unfortunately, it happens often, as nearly 100,000 people seek compensation each year in lawsuits alleging medical malpractice or negligence. Among the most common are errors during surgical procedures:

  • Performing a procedure on the wrong body part, e.g., operating on the left leg instead of the right
  • Performing the wrong surgery, i.e., confusing one patient with another or conducting the wrong procedure on a patient
  • Carelessness when operating, leading to unnecessary damage to organs, limbs, nerves, or other body parts
  • Leaving a medical device, such as a scalpel or sponge, in a body cavity

Results-Oriented Maryland Surgical Malpractice Lawyer

Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland SuperLawyer, brings decades of experience to victims of surgical and other medical malpractice in Baltimore and across the state of Maryland. Well-known and respected by his colleagues in the legal profession, Attorney Smith has consistently received an AV-rating under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. He has also proven himself with clients, earning the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible) and a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a trial attorney. He has also been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Effective Baltimore County Surgical Injury Attorney

If you suffer needless injury because of carelessness in a surgical procedure, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Medical Malpractice in Maryland

Common Medical Malpractice Claims

Medical Malpractice in MarylandWhen you are ill or suffer an injury, your first course of action is typically to seek medical attention. You don’t expect, though, that your condition will deteriorate because of the care you receive. Unfortunately, that happens far too often. More and more hospitals, urgent care facilities, and medical practices have shifted their emphasis, moving from placing a premium on the quality of care to maximizing their profits. That often leads to medical malpractice.

The Different Ways Medical Providers Can Be Negligent

As a practical matter, to recover for medical malpractice, you must show that a doctor, nurse, or other caregiver acted carelessly or negligently when treating you. That can take many different forms:

  • Surgical errors—A doctor or nurse can make a careless mistake during a surgical procedure, operating on the wrong body part, performing the wrong surgery, nicking an internal organ through haste or inattention, or leaving a surgical tool or implement behind.
  • Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis—Medical professionals may misread diagnostic tests or negligently fail to order them.
  • Birth injuries—Doctors may fail to take reasonable measures before or during a delivery, leading to forceps or suction injuries, hypoxia (deprivation of oxygen to the brain), or shoulder dystocia.
  • Medication or anesthesia errors—A doctor may fail to do a proper workup before subjecting you to anesthesia, or may prescribe the wrong medication or an incorrect dose.
  • Failure to treat—A doctor may make a correct diagnosis but fail to use commonly accepted medical practices to ensure that you get proper treatment.

Experienced Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Jonathan Scott Smith, a longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, has aggressively fought for the rights of people in Baltimore and across the state of Maryland who have been victims of medical malpractice. Over the past 30 years, he has earned the highest respect from his colleagues in the legal profession, who have consistently given him an AV-rating under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System, the highest accolade possible. Mr. Smith has also earned the admiration and respect of his clients, receiving the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible). He has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a trial attorney and has been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Experienced Frederick County Medical Negligence Attorney

If you’re hurt because of the wrongful acts of a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Medical Malpractice in Maryland

The Different Types of Damages Available

Medical Malpractice in MarylandIn Maryland, as in other states, when you file a personal injury lawsuit, including a claim for medical malpractice, there are three types of damages you can seek: economic, non-economic, and punitive:

  • Economic damages are losses that are easily calculated—tangible costs such lost wages and income, unreimbursed medical expenses, and any costs to retrofit your home, car, or other property to accommodate your injury. These losses are typically determined from pay stubs, medical bills, and actual costs of home/car modifications. In a medical malpractice lawsuit in Maryland, there is no cap or limit on the amount of economic damages you can recover.
  • Non-economic damages are less tangible and more difficult to calculate and include such things as:

    • Pain and suffering—compensation for chronic or continual pain or discomfort related to injuries suffered
    • Loss of enjoyment of life—the inability to engage in activities that previously brought you joy, satisfaction, meaning, or pleasure
    • Loss of companionship or consortium—the ability to be physically intimate with or close to those you love

    Maryland places a cap on non-economic damages in a medical malpractice claim. For non-fatal medical malpractice claims, the most you can recover for non-economic damages in 2021 is $845,000. If the medical negligence causes death, you can recover upto $1,056,250.

  • Punitive damages are rarely available in personal injury claims in Maryland, as they require proof that the defendant acted with “actual malice,” a difficult standard to meet.

Proven Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Jonathan Scott Smith, a longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, has aggressively protected the rights of medical malpractice and other personal injury victims in Baltimore and across the state of Maryland for more than three decades. He has earned the highest respect from his colleagues in the legal profession, who consistently give him an AV-rating under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. Mr. Smith has also proven himself with his clients, receiving the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible). He has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a trial attorney and has been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Experienced Baltimore County Medical Negligence Attorney

If you have suffered needless injury because of the negligence or carelessness of a medical professional, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Slip-and-Fall Accidents in Maryland Winter Weather

Reducing the Risk of Injury in Icy or Snowy Conditions

Slip-and-Fall Accidents in Maryland Winter WeatherIn Maryland winters, temperatures can regularly fluctuate above and below freezing, creating the risk of injury on icy or snowy sidewalks, steps, parking lots, and other pedestrian thoroughfares. There are, however, some steps you can take to reduce the risk of slipping and falling.

  • Pay attention to your footwear—When it’s cold outside, it’s best to have insulated boots with a good rubber sole. If your footwear isn’t insulated, the warmth from your feet may cause snow or ice to melt and either soak through your shoes or refreeze, both conditions that can lead to serious injury. Additionally, rubber gives you more traction than leather or plastic, but make certain it’s not worn and hasn’t hardened with time.
  • Use salt or sand to keep areas free of ice and snow—Apply liberally to places where ice and snow tends to accumulate.
  • Take it slowly—It’s better to get there a little late. Shortening your stride gives you more traction and better balance. Take steps one at a time, putting both feet on one step before ascending or descending to the next.

Experienced Maryland Slip-and-Fall Injury Lawyer

Maryland SuperLawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has aggressively protected the rights of personal injury victims in Baltimore and across the state of Maryland for more than 30 years. Well-respected by other lawyers, Smith is AV-rated (the highest rating possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. His proven skills and dedication to his clients have earned him the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a trial attorney. He has also been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Results-Oriented Premises Liability Attorney in the Greater Baltimore Area

If you’re hurt in a slip-and-fall in Maryland, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Car Accidents in Maryland Winters

Is There a Greater Duty of Care for Motorists in the Winter?

Car Accidents in Maryland WintersSnow and ice are a normal part of winter in Maryland, but it often seems that many drivers here forget how much impact wintery conditions can have on operating a motor vehicle. Do drivers have a higher standard of care when traveling on snow-covered or icy roads than they do the rest of the year? In a way…yes.

The Standard of Care for Motorists in Maryland

Under the legal principle of negligence, all persons in Maryland, including motorists, have a duty to act as a reasonable person would given the circumstances. The law doesn’t specifically define what qualifies as “reasonable” but equates it with what an “average person of ordinary prudence” would do. When considering whether a party’s actions are reasonable, the court will look at all the surrounding circumstances, including the weather and the prevailing road conditions. If there’s snow or ice on the roads, the court must ask what a reasonable person would do while driving on roads under the same conditions. That might require traveling at lower speed, traveling further behind the car in front of you, and making certain that brakes, lights, and other equipment are functioning properly. Accordingly, while the “reasonable person” standard applied by the court is still the same when an accident occurs in winter, the conclusion may be different than an accident occurring in summer because the road and weather circumstances differ.

Experienced Baltimore Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney

Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland SuperLawyer, has consistently obtained positive results for personal injury victims in Baltimore and across the state of Maryland for more than 30 years. Attorney Smith is well-respected by other lawyers, carrying an AV-rating under MartindaleHubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. His hard work and dedication to his clients has earned him the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a trial attorney. He has also been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Proven Car Crash Lawyer in Maryland

If you’re hurt in a Maryland automobile wreck, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an email or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Slip-and-Falls on Property in Maryland

The Legal Duties Owed to Different Visitors

slip-and-falls-on-property-in-marylandIn Maryland, as in other states, property owners owe certain duties to individuals legally on their property. The duty is different, however, based on the “status” of the visitor:

  • Business invitees—An invitee is a person who has actually or constructively been “invited” to come on commercial property, including store customers who enter the premises for purposes related to the business. Property owners owe the highest duty to invitees. They are required to reasonably monitor and inspect property for potential dangers and either fix the dangers or warn visitors.
  • Licensee by invitation—This category includes social guests who enter the property with the permission of the owner. A party guest qualifies as a licensee by invitation. The property owner has no duty to monitor or inspect property but must take reasonable steps to either remedy any danger or warn visitors of the potential risk.
  • Bare licensee—This type of visitor has the owner’s permission to be on the property but is there solely for his own reason or benefit. The classic example is the door-to-door salesperson. The property owner may not intentionally hurt the bare licensee and must not bring about conditions that pose a risk of injury without warning the visitor.

There is another type of visitor—the trespasser. A property owner, however, has no duty to a person who enters the property without permission, other than to refrain from inflicting intentional injury.

Experienced Baltimore Slip-and-Fall Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith, a longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, has advocated for the rights of personal injury victims in Baltimore and across the state of Maryland for more than three decades. Named a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by The American Lawyer magazine, he is AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has earned the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible). AVVO also has given him a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a trial attorney.

Proven Premises Liability Lawyer in Maryland

If you’re hurt in a slip-and-fall on residential or commercial property, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Truck Accidents in Maryland

Getting Evidence from the Truck’s Black Box

Truck Accidents in MarylandIn any personal injury lawsuit, the accumulation and preservation of evidence is essential. In a truck accident case, many factors might have contributed to the crash, so the more you can find out about how the truck was being operated at the time, the better chance you’ll have to clearly determine the cause of the accident.

It may come as a surprise to learn that many commercial trucks are now equipped with a device known as an “event data recorder” (EDR), similar to the black boxes found on commercial airplanes. The EDR typically records information about:

  • the rate of speed of the truck, before and at the time of impact;
  • whether the truck driver employed the brakes before or at the time of the crash, which can be an indication of whether the truck driver was distracted at the time of the accident;
  • how much time was spent on the road before the crash, which can indicate whether driver fatigue was a potential cause of the accident; and
  • whether a seatbelt was used or an airbag deployed.

Experienced Baltimore Truck-Accident Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith, consistently named a Maryland SuperLawyer, has aggressively fought for the rights of personal injury victims in Baltimore and across the state of Maryland for more than 30 years. He is highly respected by his colleagues in the legal profession, carrying an AV-rating under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. Mr. Smith has earned the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), and he has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a trial attorney. He also has been honored as a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by The American Lawyer magazine.

Results-Oriented 18-Wheeler-Accident Lawyer in Maryland

If you’re hurt in a Maryland tractor-trailer or big-rig crash, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s Countyand Montgomery County in Maryland.

ADDRESS :

  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101