Are the Roadways Safer in Maryland During the Pandemic?

Data Shows Fewer Accidents but More Serious and Fatal Crashes

Are the Roadways Safer in Maryland During the Pandemic?Research has long shown a direct correlation between the number of vehicles on the roads, the number of miles people travel, and the rate of accidents. Typically, the numbers of accidents and fatalities change when gas prices go up or down. The more expensive gas becomes, the less people drive and the lower the total number of accidents.

During the COVID-19 crisis, shelter-in-place restrictions leave fewer places to go, so traffic is down dramatically. Does that mean it’s safer to be on the streets and highways in Maryland and across the country? It depends on how you look at it.

Authorities say the total number of accidents has decreased substantially. California and New York both report a 50% drop. At the same time, though, a higher percentage of the accidents that are occurring are serious or fatal. Officials believe that motorists on today’s less-congested motorways are traveling at higher speeds. For example, on one stretch of highway in New York, officials found that the average speed in March 2020 was four times that of March 2019—the average speed during morning drive a year ago was 13 miles per hour and 52 miles per hour this year.

The bottom line is that, if you’re on the road nowadays, you’ll likely have less risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident, but if you are, chances are that it will be more serious.

Results-Oriented Maryland Personal Injury Attorney

Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland SuperLawyer, has protected the rights of motor vehicle accident victims in the Baltimore metro area and throughout the state of Maryland for more than 30 years. He’s l0ng been AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. A proven trial attorney known for getting positive results for clients, he’s received the 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 litigator.

Experienced Carroll County Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer

If you have been involved in an automobile collision in Maryland, we can help. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment.There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

No-Contact Motor Vehicle Accidents in Maryland

Can You Recover for Losses When There’s No Collision?

No-Contact Motor Vehicle Accidents in MarylandAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately one in every six motor vehicle accidents are the result of distracted driving. A distracted motorist may drift into your lane or turn in front of you unexpectedly. In your efforts to avoid an accident, you might lose control of your vehicle or collide with something on the side of the road. Can you still pursue compensation from a motorist who forces you off the road, even when there’s no contact?

As a general rule, a valid claim for damages does not require that your vehicle impacts that of another driver. In such cases, a lawsuit typically is based on the legal premise of negligence. To establish negligence, you must prove three things:

  • The defendant (the person from whom you are seeking compensation) failed to act reasonably—Note that there is no set rule regarding what is considered to be reasonable. The jury makes that determination on a case-by-case basis;
  • Their failure to act reasonably caused an accident; and
  • As a result of the accident, you sustained actual losses—You can’t recover for losses that are covered by insurance.

In a no-contact accident claim, then, the court will first look to the behavior of the defendant. Was he speeding? Was he using a handheld device or otherwise distracted?

Experienced Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer

Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland SuperLawyer, has protected the rights of personal injury victims in the Baltimore metro area and throughout the state of Maryland for more than three decades. He’s consistently been AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System, and he has been named a Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. A proven trial attorney known for getting positive results, he’s received the 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 from AVVO as a litigator.

Proven Frederick County Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney

If you have been hurt in a car accident in Maryland, we can help. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Liability for Rear-End Collisions in Maryland

Is the Person in the Trailing Vehicle Always Responsible?

Liability for Rear-End Collisions in MarylandAccording to statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions account for more than 30% of all motor vehicle accidents nationwide. There’s a common assumption that the person driving the rear vehicle is always legally responsible. While that’s often the case, it’s not always so.

In many accidents, including motor vehicle crashes, liability is based on a legal theory of negligence. To determine whether a party to an accident was negligent, a court customarily starts by identifying what type of behavior would have been reasonable under the circumstances. All persons in society are held to the standard of engaging in reasonable conduct at all times.

In a car accident, the court will conduct just such an analysis. With respect to the trailing driver, the court may look at the following:

  • Whether the speed of the trailing driver was reasonable, given the distance between the two cars and the prevailing rate of speed on that roadway at the time;
  • The extent to which the trailing driver was distracted by a handheld device, passengers in the vehicle, or things along the roadside; and
  • Whether the trailing driver lacked the mental or physical capacity to be behind the wheel, e.g., whether the driver was intoxicated or impaired by illness or injury.

The court also may consider whether the driver in the front car was negligent:

  • Were there warning lights on the rear of the vehicle that were not working?
  • Did the driver in front accidentally put his or her car in reverse?

Experienced Carroll County Personal Injury Attorney

Maryland SuperLawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of personal injury victims in Baltimore and throughout the state of Maryland for more than 30 years. He’s long been AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System, and he’s been named a Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. A proven trial attorney with a longstanding reputation for getting positive results for clients, Smith has received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible). He also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a litigator.

Effective Howard County Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer

If you have been hurt in a rear-end accident in Maryland, we can help. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. 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 Maryland Public Sidewalks

Can You Sue the Government When You Trip on a Sidewalk?

Slip-and-Falls on Maryland Public SidewalksIf you’re like many folks in Maryland, you’re probably starting to get a little cabin fever as a result of the state’s “shelter-in-place” requirement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, one of the outdoor activities permitted is exercise, including taking a walk in your neighborhood, provided you keep a safe distance from others. With more people out walking, though, the risk of slip-and-falls necessarily increases. What happens if you slip and fall on a city-owned sidewalk? Can you bring legal action against a municipality for such an accident?

The good news is that local, county, and state governments may be held responsible for slip-and-fall accidents on public sidewalks. The legal process, though, is different than it is for slip-and-falls on private property. If you are injured on a public sidewalk, you must bring any claim for damages under the Maryland Tort Claims Act, which requires that you file your complaint much sooner than required for private claims. A claim under the MTCA must be submitted within one year of the date of your accident, whereas a private claim typically can be filed up to three years from the date of injury. The initial claim must be filed with the Maryland State Treasurer.

Experienced Baltimore County Personal Injury Attorney

Maryland SuperLawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has protected the rights of personal injury victims in Baltimore and throughout the state for more than 30 years. He’s AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. A proven trial attorney known for obtaining positive results for clients, he’s received the 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) AVVO rating as a litigator.

Effective Howard County Slip-and-Fall Lawyer

If you have been injured on a city sidewalk in Maryland, we can help. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The Damages Available in a Maryland Wrongful Death Claim

What Losses Can Be Recovered After the Death of a Loved One?

The Damages Available in a Maryland Wrongful Death ClaimWhen a family member dies because of the wrongful conduct of another person, there’s nothing that can undo the harm. You are, however, entitled to compensation for many of your losses. As we have previously explained, there are two types of claims that can be filed after an accidental or wrongful death: survival claims and wrongful death claims. The damages available depend on the type of claim you file.

If your claim is a survival action (filed on behalf of the decedent’s estate), the damages are similar to those the deceased would have had a right to recover had he lived. They include the following:

  • Medical expenses incurred as a result of the injury or illness;
  • Compensation for damage to property owned by the deceased;
  • Damages for the deceased’s pain and suffering before death; and
  • Funeral and burial expenses.

If, on the other hand, the lawsuit is a wrongful death claim (brought on behalf of surviving family members), you can seek compensation for:

  • Loss of financial support, and
  • Loss of consortium or companionship.

It’s important to understand that Maryland places a cap on non-economic damages in a personal injury action. “Non-economic” damages are those that typically cannot be determined based on actual expenses or lost income. Examples include pain and suffering and loss of companionship. Currently, the maximum recovery for non-economic damages in a Maryland wrongful death or survival claim is $2 million.

Experienced Frederick County Accidental Death Lawyer

Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland Super Lawyer, has more than three decades of experience successfully handling personal injury claims, including wrongful death and survivor actions. A highly successful trial lawyer known for his ability to get positive results, he’s received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars,as well as a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator. He’s AV-rated by other attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System (the highest rating possible) and has been named a Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Contact an Experienced Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer

Let attorney Jonathan Scott Smith protect your rights in the aftermath of an accidental or wrongful death. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to arrange a meeting. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We take wrongful death claims throughout the state of Maryland, including Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, PrinceGeorge’s County, and Montgomery County.

Third-Party Liability for Motor Vehicle Accidents

Can You Sue Someone Other Than the At-Fault Driver?

Third-Party Liability for Motor Vehicle AccidentsWhen another driver acts carelessly or negligently and causes a motor vehicle accident, you have the right to bring legal action against that person to recover compensation for your losses. But motor vehicle accidents often have multiple causes. In many situations, you can seek damages from third parties, in addition to suing the person who was driving the other car. How does that work?

To recover damages under a legal theory of negligence, you must show that a person failed to act reasonably; that the failure to do so caused an accident; and that you suffered actual losses as a result. Here are a few examples of potential third-party liability for a motor vehicle accident:

  • A bar, restaurant, or private party host serves alcohol to someone who is visibly drunk—Ifthat person causes a car wreck while intoxicated, the person and/or business serving the alcohol may be liable.
  • The owner of a vehicle allows another person to drive their car, knowing that that person is inexperienced or has a history of reckless driving—The vehicle owner may have liability in the event of an accident.
  • An employer requires an employee to drive while on the job—The employer may be liable if that employee causes a car accident.
  • A city fails to properly maintain roads—The city may be liable if poor road conditions contribute to an accident.
  • A car or car-part manufacturer fails to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of a vehicle or part, such as brakes or tires—The manufacturer may have a legal responsibility when a defective product contributes to an accident.

Experienced Prince George’s County Personal Injury Attorney

Maryland SuperLawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has fought aggressively for personal injury victims in Baltimore and throughout the state for more than 30 years. A skilled and experienced trial attorney known for his consistent record of obtaining positive results for clients, Scott Smith received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible) and has a perfect 10.0 “Superb” rating from AVVO as a litigator. He’s AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Effective Ellicott City Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, we can help. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The Time Limits for Filing a Maryland Wrongful Death Claim

What Is the Statute of Limitations for an Accidental Death Claim?

The Time Limits for Filing a Maryland Wrongful Death ClaimWith any personal injury claim, including wrongful death, there’s a time limit for filing a lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses. This time limit is established by a law known as the statute of limitations.

There are good reasons for a statute of limitations. First, it’s in the interests of justice for the lawsuit to proceed when memories are fresh and evidence can still bepreserved. The more time that passes, the greater the risk that witnesses will die or move or that recollections will fade. In addition, it’s generally deemed unfair or inappropriate for a potential defendant to live in perpetual fear of a potential lawsuit.

Every state sets its own statutes of limitations, and the time limits vary based on the type of claim. In Maryland, if you want to bring a lawsuit to recover damages forthe accidental or wrongful death of a loved one, you must file your complaint within three years of the date of death. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, any wrongful death claims filed after the expiration of the statute of limitations will be dismissed by the court.

Proven Maryland Wrongful Death Attorney

Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland Super Lawyer, has more than three decades of experience successfully handling personal injury claims, including wrongful death actions. A proven trial lawyer with a reputation for getting positive results, he’s earned the 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 litigator. Scott Smith is AV-rated by other attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has been named a Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyermagazine.

Contact an Experienced Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer

Let attorney Jonathan Scott Smith protect your rights after the accidental death of a loved one. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to arrange a meeting. Your first consultation is free. We take wrongful death claims throughout the state of Maryland, including Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County.

Damages Available in Maryland Wrongful Death Claims

What Can You Recover After the Accidental Death of a Loved One?

Damages Available in Maryland Wrongful Death ClaimsThe wrongful or accidental death of a loved one can leave an emotional wound that may never heal. But there are financial consequences, as well. If you qualify to file a wrongful death lawsuit, what can you expect to recover?

In Maryland, there are two types of claims that can be filed after an accidental death: (1) a survival action, brought on behalf of the decedent’s estate and (2) a wrongful death claim, brought on behalf of the heirs of the deceased. In a survival action, the estate can seek to recover funeral costs and unpaid medical expenses. The estate also can pursue compensation for any suffering of the deceased caused by the accident. In the wrongful death action, survivors can seek compensation for loss of support, as well as loss of companionship or consortium.

Proven Montgomery County Personal Injury Lawyer

Maryland Super Lawyer Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than 30 years of experience to personal injury victims in the Baltimore metropolitan area and across the state of Maryland. A skilled and experienced trial lawyer known for his ability to get positive results, he’s earned the 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 as a litigator. He’s AV-rated by other attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by American Lawyer magazine.

Effective Ellicott City Wrongful Death Attorney

If you have lost a loved one because of the carelessness or wrongful act of another person, we can help. Contact our office by e-mail or call usat 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. We handle personal injury claims in Howard County, Baltimore County,Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Can You File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Which Parties Qualify to Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Maryland?

Can You File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?When a loved one dies due to the carelessness or negligence of another person, there’s really nothing that can make you whole. Nonetheless, it’s important to hold the wrongdoers accountable for your losses. Maryland law allows eligible individuals to pursue damages (monetary compensation) for certain losses. Who can bring a wrongful death action in Maryland?

Under Maryland’s wrongful death statute, you must be classified as a “beneficiary” to have the legal right to seek compensation for an accidental death. The statute differentiates between primary and secondary beneficiaries:

  • Primary beneficiaries—This category includes the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased. If one or more primary beneficiaries bring a wrongful death claim, all damages for the wrongful death go exclusively to those parties.
  • Secondary beneficiaries—If no primary beneficiary survives the deceased, or if no primary beneficiary chooses to bring a wrongful death claim, a secondary beneficiary may do so. (A claim also may be brought on behalf of both primary and secondary beneficiaries.) Secondary beneficiaries include siblings, nieces and nephews, cousins, and other distant relatives.

Experienced Baltimore Personal Injury Attorney

Maryland Super Lawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has provided effective representation to personal injury victims in Baltimore and across Maryland for more than three decades. A skilled and experienced trial attorney with a history of obtaining positive results, he’s received the 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 as a litigator. He’s AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Effective Montgomery County Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you lose a loved one due to the carelessness or wrongful act of another person, we can help. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Black Box Recorder May Provide Critical Evidence in Your Truck Accident Claim

Many Commercial Trucks Now Equipped with Data-recording Device

Black Box Recorder May Provide Critical Evidence in Your Truck Accident ClaimYou’ve likely heard, in the aftermath of a plane crash, that investigators are seeking the “black box” data recorder in an effort to understand the cause of the accident. You may not know, though, that many newer models of commercial trucks also come equipped with a similar device.

The black box recorder, also referred to as an electronic control module (ECM) or electronic data recorder (EDR), is a small device installed in a semi, big rig, 18-wheeler, or tractor-trailer to collect and store information about the physical properties of the truck. The black box can gather a wide range of data about the truck’s operation, including:

  • The speed the truck was traveling immediately before and at the time of an accident
  • Whether the truck accelerated or decelerated before the crash
  • If and when brakes were used
  • Whether the truck was on cruise control
  • How long the truck had been on the road since its last stop
  • If the driver was wearing a seat belt, and
  • The vehicle’s tire pressure at the time of the accident.

The black box also can provide data that can be compared with the driver’s physical log to determine if state or federal “on the road” time regulations were violated.

ProvenMD Personal Injury Lawyer

Maryland Super Lawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has aggressively fought for personal injury victims in Baltimore and throughout Maryland for more than 30 years. A skilled and experienced attorney with a history of getting positive results at trial, he has received the 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 litigator. He’s also AV-rated by colleagues under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and a 2012 Top Rated Lawyer by American Lawyermagazine.

Effective Baltimore, MD Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been hurt because of the wrongful act of another person, we can help. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

ADDRESS :

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

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101