Articles Posted in Car Accidents

State police in Maryland are investigating two fatal crashes that occurred on a recent weekend in Cecil County, Maryland, according to one news source. In the first fatal crash, according to a preliminary investigation, shortly before 10 pm on a Saturday night, a driver was driving a car southbound on MD 272 in North East, Maryland when she struck a pedestrian who was crossing the road. The pedestrian, a 39-year-old woman from Elkton, Maryland, died at the scene of the crash. Law enforcement was deciding whether any charges would be filed in the case. The second fatal crash occurred in the same area just a few hours later. According to a preliminary investigation, the crash occurred around 2 am when a Jeep Cherokee drove southbound in the northbound lanes on MD 272. The Jeep crashed into a Ford F-250 head-on which had been traveling northbound. The driver of the Jeep died as a result. He was 60 years old and was from Delaware.

Filing a Claim After a Fatal Crash

In the tragic event of the death of a loved one, the family members of the victim may be able to file a wrongful death claim against any parties responsible for the loss of the victim. Under Maryland’s Wrongful Death Act, certain surviving family members can file a lawsuit after their loved one’s death to seek to hold responsible parties liable and to seek compensation. A wrongful death claim may provide surviving family members with compensation for the losses suffered due to their loved one’s death, including loss of companionship, loss of financial support, and more.

In a wrongful death claim after a fatal crash, similar to other negligence lawsuits, the plaintiff has to prove: that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care; that the defendant failed to meet the standard of care by acting or failing to act in some way; that the defendant’s breach of the standard of care caused the victim’s injuries; and that the plaintiff suffered damages. A plaintiff has the burden to prove that it was more likely than not that the victim’s injuries were caused by the defendant’s conduct.

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While individuals are more likely to get into a car or truck accident while they are driving, there is the possibility of getting injured by a car in other situations. Whether they are hurt in a vehicle or in their home, after someone is hurt in an accident, they can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. In doing so, the plaintiff hopes to receive damages—to help them both financially and emotionally recover. But damages greatly widely depending on the facts of the case and where the case is filed.

A 68-year-old Maryland man was recently killed in his home when a pick-up truck crashed into his house. The man was sleeping in a chair in his living room when the truck crashed through the house and pushed him through the wall. Before crashing into the house, the pick-up truck veered off the road and struck a utility pole. The police are investigating the accident.

In cases like the one above, either an injured person or his family—if he is killed—can pursue monetary damages by bringing a lawsuit against the person who caused the accident. Every state differs in the total amount of damages a victim can receive, along with the types of damages a jury can award the plaintiff.

Every year, new models of cars boast shiny safety features and additional software mechanisms designed to keep us safer as we navigate the road. Sometimes, however, these safety features are not enough to prevent accidents from taking place. If a safety feature on someone’s vehicle is purposely turned off and that individual negligently causes a Maryland car accident, the individual who negligently causes the accident is still the one who must be held accountable.

According to a recent news report, a major car accident left two people dead and three seriously injured. Local authorities reported that a fully airborne Tesla plowed through a stop sign and into a home. Video footage of the scene of the accident shows the car crashing through the house, where it left a gaping hole in its wake. Officials also noted that the Tesla did not have its autopilot function operating at the time of the crash, which is designed to prevent accidents like this from taking place. The details surrounding the accident remain under investigation.

Following a car accident in Maryland, you may be considering bringing a personal injury lawsuit to recover monetary compensation for any physical injuries or property damage. To do so, it is crucial that you first understand two significant Maryland car accident laws that could affect the success of your claim.

When people think of a typical, run of the mill car accident, they may assume that most accidents take place between two parties. Sometimes, however, accidents can take place between multiple parties, which can both increase the severity and consequences following the collision, but also make things complicated when it comes to establishing who is truly at fault. To best advocate for yourself following a multiple vehicle accident, it is crucial that Maryland drivers understand how fault is determined and how state laws can have an impact on these delineations.

According to a recent local news report, three individuals were pronounced dead after a fatal multi-vehicle car accident. Maryland police reported that the driver of a Camaro was traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour eastbound in a westbound lane when it crashed head-on with a Corolla. Investigators believe that the debris from this initial accident disabled the third vehicle involved, a Mitsubishi Eclipse. The Camaro’s driver, an additional passenger in the Camaro, and the driver of the Corolla were both pronounced dead on the scene by emergency responders. The driver of the Eclipse and his passenger did not require medical treatment. The investigation is ongoing and being conducted by the Maryland State Police Crash Team.

In Maryland, before figuring out how to establish and apportion fault, it is crucial to understand the basics of the state’s auto accident laws. Maryland employs at-fault car insurance coverage requirements, which means that drivers who cause an accident are responsible for paying for resulting damage and medical bills.

As the world opens back up again, many are considering taking road trips or traveling as the weather improves and things appear safer. With more people on the road, however, this can also mean an increased risk of a Maryland car accident. Sometimes, no matter how much caution we exercise while driving, accidents still happen because of external factors out of our control such as other drivers, weather conditions, or visibility.

According to a recent news report, a tragic Maryland crash left three individuals dead. Local authorities reported that a Ford van with seven people, including the driver, was driving back home to Maryland from Orlando where they had just wrapped up vacationing with family and friends. While traveling northbound, the driver of the van veered into the shoulder of the road, over-corrected, and then flipped the vehicle several times. The roof of the van tore open and ejected multiple passengers, including a three-year-old. She was airlifted to a local hospital and survived the crash but has broken arms and a fractured neck. Following the accident, two young children who were sisters and a family friend in the vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene. According to officials investigating the crash, the stretch of road that the van was driving on is particularly dark because there are no lights that illuminate the road at night—so visibility was likely low when the crash took place.

Following a major car accident, you may feel at a loss as to what to do next. If you wish to recover from your injuries, however, time is of the essence and filing your claim as soon as possible is in your best interest.

Tragedy struck earlier this month in Bowie when two people were tragically killed in a Maryland car accident. According to a local news story covering the incident, the two-car crash occurred around 10:30 PM one night on U.S. Route 301. According to officials, a 2014 Honda CR-V, driven by a 70-year-old woman, was heading south on the route when it collided with a 2006 Toyota Scion, driven by a 68-year-old man, near Harbour Way. Tragically, the driver of the Toyota died on the scene. The driver of the Honda was transported to the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center, where she passed soon after. The accident is still under investigation, as its cause is currently unknown.

The victims’ communities are heartbroken at their passing. The 70-year-old woman, from Washington, D.C., was the president of the Washington Teachers’ Union, deeply committed to social justice and ensuring a quality education for all students. The 68-year-old man was a renowned local musician who also taught music classes and was beloved by his students. Both deaths had a huge impact on the communities, which are still grieving.

One of the things that makes this tragedy worse is the lack of answers—and closure—for the victims’ family and friends. Fatal Maryland car accidents are always upsetting, but they can be particularly difficult when the victim’s loved ones do not know what happened and what caused the accident. Was someone at fault? Was it caused by a negligent driving mistake or some other condition? A deer or debris in the road? A third vehicle that then drove away? The lack of clarity in the aftermath can make the normal grieving process all the more difficult, and Maryland families sometimes may have no clue how to proceed or move on with their lives.

If an individual is acting within the scope of their employment when they are injured in a Maryland car accident, they may receive workers’ compensation benefits for their injuries. Generally, if a worker receives workers’ compensation benefits by way of Maryland’s Workers’ Compensation Act, they cannot seek damages through a civil lawsuit from their employer. That rule, known as the exclusivity rule, was put in place so that workers would receive benefits solely through workers’ compensation, allowing them to receive benefits quickly while limiting employers’ liability. However, injured accident victims can file a Maryland injury claim against a third party under Maryland law based on their negligent conduct.

Under Maryland law, a co-employee is generally considered a third party. In the event that an injured worker or an employer receives compensation through a third-party injury claim, the employer may be able to receive reimbursement for the workers’ compensation paid to the injured worker.

In a recent decision before one state’s supreme court, the court considered whether a passenger in a vehicle driven by a coworker and owned by another coworker could recover benefits under the owner’s insurance policy after a car accident. In that case, the plaintiff and two co-workers were returning from a work trip when the co-worker driving the car fell asleep at the wheel, causing the car to crash and causing the plaintiff significant injuries. The plaintiff recovered workers’ compensation benefits for his injuries as well as uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) benefits through his own auto insurance policy. He also sought benefits from the owner’s insurer, seeking, among other things, UM/UIM benefits.

Individuals injured in Maryland accidents have the ability to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party who negligently caused the accident. In some cases, they can also bring suit against the defendant’s employer, who may be more able to financially compensate the victim. But typically, to recover under this theory of vicarious liability against the employer, an individual must prove that the employee’s negligent actions occurred in the course and the scope of their employment. This can be a confusing doctrinal point for many potential plaintiffs, but it basically means that employers cannot be sued for things their employees did outside of their work—if an employee who gets weekends off gets drunk one Saturday night and goes on a drive to a bar, for example, their employer typically cannot be held liable if they cause a car accident because that accident had nothing to do with their employment. This is an important nuance to understand in the doctrine for plaintiffs considering filing suit against a negligent defendant and their employer.

One recent state appellate case illustrates this doctrine and how it may come up. According to the court’s written opinion, the defendant in the case was an employee at a deli, and sometimes made deliveries with his own car. One morning, his manager called him early to make a delivery later that day, and he agreed. He left for work a little earlier than usual that morning so he could do some prep before taking the delivery. On his way to work, he lost control of his car and struck another vehicle, killing the two men inside. A blood test after the accident showed that he had marijuana in his system at the time of the accident. The deceased driver’s wife filed suit against the employee and his employer, arguing that they were vicariously liable for the accident. The employer filed for summary judgment, arguing that the employee was not acting in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident.

On appeal, the appellate court found that the employer was entitled to this grant of summary judgment, because going to and from work in one’s own vehicle generally falls outside the scope of employment. The employee was driving his own car, had not yet clocked in, and would not be paid for the time spent in his commute—and thus, it was not sufficiently related to his employment such that vicarious liability was proper. This case highlights the importance of understanding how and when various forms of liability are proper when filing a personal injury lawsuit, to maximize your chances of success.

The tragic thing about Maryland personal injury accidents is that they can happen instantaneously, in the blink of an eye, without any forewarning. While sometimes they may occur in more expected places—such as car accidents occurring while driving on the highway—there are sometimes where Maryland residents are injured, through no fault of their own, out of nowhere. These accidents can be incredibly frustrating for the victim and their families, as they are suddenly injured, have to pay medical bills, might miss work, and may deal with long-lasting physical ailments as well as mental and psychological pain.

For example, take a recent shocking Maryland accident reported by the Baltimore Sun. According to the news article, a car crashed through a front window area of the Parkville Crabs restaurant in Baltimore County one afternoon. It is believed that the driver accidentally hit the gas pedal in the parking lot, causing them to drive through the front of the restaurant unexpectedly. A 35-year-old woman inside was killed after being hit by debris from the crash. Investigators are still looking into the accident and working on an accident reconstruction to figure out exactly what happened, but believe that it was not intentional. Instead, it is thought to be just a tragic and unfortunate mistake.

This fatal accident is just one example of something that can happen unexpectedly and change a life in an instant. While nothing can undo the damage that these accidents cause, and there is no way to fully prevent each and every one from happening in the first place, Maryland state law does at least allow victims one course to recovery. Those injured can file what is called a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent individual or company who caused the accident.

There are instances where a Maryland injury victim has a condition that may increase the severity of damages after an accident. The law frequently refers to these individuals as “eggshell plaintiffs.” The colloquial term “eggshell plaintiff” derives from comparing a person with a typical skull to one with a fragile skull. The theory being that if a defendant causes injuries to a plaintiff with an “eggshell” skull, the defendant would still be liable, even though the plaintiff’s skull was especially vulnerable, compared to that of the average population. In essence, these individuals possess an underlying or complicating health condition that makes a recovery from an accident more difficult.

In many cases, these plaintiffs suffer more significant injuries and damages. However, under Maryland law, a defendant must take the plaintiff or injury victim as they find them. The at-fault party is liable for whatever harm they cause, regardless of what the plaintiff suffered from before the act. Although the law requires defendants to “take plaintiffs as they are,” insurance companies continue to deny claims, often arguing that the accident victim’s injuries are related to a pre-existing condition and not the triggering event. Despite insurance companies’ reluctance to adopt this idea, this principle applies to victims with pre-existing conditions, as well.

For example, a recent national news report described an incident where a teen died after COVID-19 complicated his car accident recovery. According to reports, the 17-year-old suffered multiple fractures and other injuries in a car accident. However, medical reports indicate that the teenager also tested positive for COVID-19, the coronavirus. The virus left the teenager with weakness in his lungs, which prevented him from fully recovering from the car accident. Although details of the crash are still under investigation, doctors indicated that the teenager succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the car accident.

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