Building a Roadside Emergency Kit

Unfortunately, many people hit the road in their vehicles without making provisions for an emergency. And chances are the emergency, when it comes, happens late at night on a lonely stretch of highway.

More and more Americans commute, sometimes long distances on a regular basis, and having a roadside emergency kit can do a lot to get you back on the road and headed for home. Regardless of how much or how little you drive, every vehicle should carry an emergency kit, but unfortunately most don’t. To build your own emergency roadside kit, some of the basic items you should include are:

  • 12-foot jumper cables
  • Four roadside flares
  • Motor oil
  • Antifreeze
  • First aid kit
  • Blanket
  • Extra fuses
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Tire inflator
  • Rags or paper towels
  • Duct tape
  • Spray bottle of windshield fluid
  • Pocketknife
  • Ice scraper
  • Pen and paper
  • Help sign
  • Energy bars or MREs
  • Bottled water

Some companies offer a premade emergency roadside kit and, while they contain some basics in a nice carrier, you should consider adding to this with at least some of the items listed above if they are not already included.

Since you are putting the kit together to use in the event of an emergency, it is a good idea to test items and learn how to use them properly beforehand.

After an accident, contact an experienced Maryland car accident attorney

Roadside emergency kits can be especially helpful if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident. However, it is wise to also consult an experienced Maryland car accident attorney after an accident. Contact Jonathan Scott Smith online or call 410-740-0101 to discuss your car accident.

Recovering Compensation for Victims of Assault & Battery

If you or a loved one is a victim of an assault, you can file a civil lawsuit against your attacker and/or other responsible parties. Civil cases brought by assault victims are not based upon determining the guilt or innocence of the defendant, but rather are an attempt to determine if an offender or other parties are liable for the injuries that resulted from a crime.

As a victim of crime, you have the right to sue the offender for damages in civil court regardless of the verdict in the criminal proceedings. A personal injury attorney represents victims of crimes in civil cases against offenders and third parties. For instance, if you were assaulted in an office building, the owners and property managers of that building may be liable for your injuries because building security was inadequate.

If the defendants are found liable for your injuries, the court may order the payment of monetary damages to you. Although money cannot fully compensate anyone who has endured the trauma of an assault, it can help crime victims get the medical and psychological treatment they need to rebuild their lives. Civil liability cases can also encourage property owners and business owners to implement more effective security measures to prevent future incidents of assault on their premises.

An assault victim may also request restitution from the criminal court. Restitution is a judgment against a convicted offender, which he or she must pay to the victim. If restitution is ordered, it becomes part of the offender’s sentence in the criminal case.

Talk to a professional

If you have been a victim of assault, contact Jonathan Scott Smith online or call 410-740-0101 to discuss your case.

Bedsores & Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing homes are meant to be safe environments for seniors, places where they can be cared for and protected. Unfortunately, many nursing homes neglect the very people they are meant to champion and, through that neglect, threaten the well-being of their residents.

An explanation of bedsores (decubitus ulcers)

Bedsores develop when continuous pressure restricts circulation to areas of the body. Areas of the buttocks, hips and heels are the most common sites where bedsores develop. Restricted or inadequate blood flow to the affected tissue can eventually cause that tissue to die. Nursing home residents who are bedridden or wheelchair bound and cannot change their body position may develop serious bedsores, which can cause infections and become life threatening without treatment.

There are four stages of bedsores:

• Stage 1 bedsores are minor and manifest as a redness of the skin.
• Stage 2 bedsores manifest as blisters or abrasions on the skin.
• Stage 3 bedsores cause damage to the full thickness of the skin.
• Stage 4 bedsores extend into the muscle, tendons and bone.

Through regular preventive care, most bedsores can be avoided by:

• Keeping the patient’s skin clean and dry
• Changing the patient’s position every two hours
• Providing exercise and rehabilitation time for patients
• Keeping patients well nourished and hydrated
• Using pillows and other devices to relieve pressure

Understaffed nursing homes or facilities with improperly trained caregivers and/or neglectful staff often have a higher incidence of patients with nursing home injuries and can be held legally liable.

Get legal assistance

If your loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help. Contact Jonathan Scott Smith online or call 410-740-0101 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) & Personal Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a forceful blow or jolt to the head and/or a penetrating head injury hinders normal brain function. Nearly 2 million Americans sustain serious head injuries annually, and these injuries break down as the following statistics show:

  • 1.5 million people suffer nonfatal injuries without hospitalization
  • 300,000 people suffer injuries requiring hospitalization
  • 99,000 people sustain injuries resulting in long-term disability
  • 56,000 people die of their injuries

The most frequently cited causes of TBI are:

  • Sports injuries
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls
  • Occupational accidents
  • Assaults

Serious brain injuries can manifest symptoms as soon as a few hours after the accident and as long as days following the accident and may include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or numbness in extremities
  • Loss of coordination
  • Persistent headaches
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures

Personal injury lawsuit for TBI

Often TBI victims can obtain compensation for a brain injury through a personal injury lawsuit. Many factors determine the success of a brain injury lawsuit, including the cause and responsible parties. If your brain injuries resulted from product defects, you may have a case against the product manufacturer and/or designer. If your injury resulted from a motor vehicle accident or medical malpractice, you may have cause to file a claim with the offender’s insurance companies. An experienced personal injury attorney can review the facts of your case and help you determine if you have cause to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your losses, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Equipment and home modification costs
  • Pain, suffering and emotional distress
  • Disability and disfigurement

If you or a loved one has sustained a serious brain injury, contact Jonathan Scott Smith online or call us at 410-740-0101 today to schedule a consultation.

Nursing Home Malpractice Seminar


Mr. Smith developed and moderated a seminar for Maryland attorneys handling medical malpractice or medical negligence claims against nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care institutions. The program, “Hot Topics in Long-term Care Litigation,” was presented by the Nursing Home Section of the Maryland Trial Lawyers’ Association in Columbia Maryland. Speakers included medical experts and attorneys. Mr. Smith was also a speaker at the seminar, lecturing on the topic, “Using Administrative Regulations, Professional Codes, and Health Care Provider Policies and Procedures to Prove Violations of the Standards of Care.” Mr. Smith serves as Chair of the Nursing Home Section, Maryland Association for Justice (formerly the Maryland Trial Lawyers’ Association) for the 2008-09 year. He also served as Chair of the Nursing Home Section for the 2007-08 year, and as Vice-Chair of that Section for the 2006-07 year.

Mr. Smith Speaks at Seminar for Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyers


Mr. Smith was a speaker at the annual medical malpractice seminar, “The Maryland Med Mal Case: Learn from the Experts,” presented by the Medical Negligence Section of the Maryland Trial Lawyers’ Association in Baltimore, Maryland. This seminar included presentations on “cutting edge” topics to lawyers who regularly handle medical malpractice or medical negligence cases. Mr. Smith’s topic was “Surviving the Court of Appeals: Certificates of Merit and Reports Post Walzer and Carroll.”

Under Maryland’s medical malpractice law, a legal claim against a healthcare provider, including hospitals, doctors, nurses, and nursing homes, cannot be maintained unless the claimant files a “Certificate of Qualified Expert” and Report from a medical expert. The Certificate and Report must verify that the healthcare provider departed from the applicable standard of care, and that the departure was the cause of an injury or death. Recent rulings by Maryland appeals courts radically changed the custom and practice that had been followed previously in medical malpractice litigation. Mr. Smith reviewed the evolving law and offered practical advice to medical malpractice attorneys on how to comply with current legal requirements.

Mr. Smith Publishes Article on Breaking News in Medical Malpractice Cases

Maryland’s medical malpractice law has strict requirements that must be followed in order to maintain a medical malpractice or medical negligence claim against a healthcare provider, such a hospital, doctor, nurse, and nursing home. Maryland’s highest court issued an unexpected decision changing the accepted interpretation of the law’s requirements regarding medical expert reports in medical malpractice litigation. The court’s opinion in the case of Walzer v. Osborne jeopardized many pending medical malpractice cases. Mr. Smith published an article analyzing the recent court ruling and providing advice to medical malpractice lawyers on how to comply with the court’s ruling. The article, “Expert Report Requirement and Maryland’s Medical Malpractice Statute (Complying with Walzer v. Osborne),” was published in the Maryland Trial Lawyers’ Association Trial Reporter (Summer, 2007).

Appointed Chair of Nursing Home Section


Mr. Smith was appointed Chair of the Nursing Home Section, Maryland Association for Justice (formerly the Maryland Trial Lawyers’ Association) for the 2009-10 year, the third consecutive year he has been appointed to the position. This professional group is comprised of attorneys handling medical malpractice or medical negligence cases against nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care institutions. The Nursing Home Section offers continuing education seminars, speakers, literature, and roundtable discussions for attorneys. Mr. Smith previously served as Chair of the Nursing Home Section for the 2008-09 and 2007-08 years, and as Vice-Chair of the Nursing Home Section for the 2006-07 year.


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

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101