Friday, July 29, 2011
We've seen that the elements of "defective" and "unreasonably dangerous" can be proven by showing a flawed design, or by showing a defect in the manufacturing of the product itself. The concept of faulty design is explored in another chapter. A Baltimore personal injury lawyer trying a strict liability products case premised on defective manufacturing argues that the jury should first consider the specifications of the product being manufactured. If that product does not, and the other elements of the claim have been proven, the jury is allowed to decide whether to award damages, and how much. Seasoned Baltimore personal injury lawyers have successfully argued that a manufacturer of a product has a heightened duty to make a protect consumers from unreasonable injury in the event of an accident. [MCPJI 26:15]
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
We've seen that a Baltimore personal injury lawyer trying a strict liability products case must prove that the product was defective and "unreasonably dangerous" when it left the seller's control to prevail. Maryland law provides that a product is "unreasonably dangerous" when there is a defect that is so dangerous that a reasonable person knowing the risks would not place it on the market. Seasoned Baltimore personal injury lawyers know that the knowledge of the extreme danger must exist at the time of sale, and cannot me judged through the magnification and benefit of hindsight.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF MY BALTIMORE PERSONAL INJURY CASE? What is involved in a strict liability claim?
A Baltimore personal injury lawyer trying a strict liability products case must prove that the product was defective "unreasonably dangerous" when it left the seller's control; that the defective condition did in fact cause the injury, and that the product was not altered. Courts have described three ways to prove a defect: failure to warn; an imperfection that make the product more dangerous than anticipated; defective design. Simpson v. Standard Container, 527 A.2d 1337 . Seasoned Baltimore personal injury lawyers know that contributory negligence is not a defense in these actions.
Friday, July 22, 2011
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF MY BALTIMORE PERSONAL INJURY CASE? My toaster exploded! Do I have to prove negligence?
Often, people incorrectly assume if they are injured, they recovery money. Typically, fault, or negligence of the person or entity causing the harm must be shown- or there is no recovery. General negligence concepts familiar to most Baltimore personal injury lawyers are explored in other chapters. Res Ipsa Loquitor ["the thing speaks for itself"] which permits an inference that the defendant was the cause of the harm without direct proof is discussed under a separate heading. The concept of "strict liability" also provides for financial responsibility for harm in the absence of proof of fault. We've seen that Baltimore personal injury lawyers have used this concept to achieve financial recovery from the owners of dogs possesses of a "propensity, inclination or tendency" to bite. Strict liability may also apply in the realm of products liability litigation. Baltimore personal injury lawyers handling these types of cases know that someone injured by a faulty product is entitled to recovery from the manufacturer or seller who markets a defective and unreasonably dangerous product- regardless of fault. The defective and unreasonably dangerous components can be demonstrated by showing a flawed design, or by showing a defect in the manufacturing of the product itself.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyers know that this duty to protect others may be extended to a landlord whose tenants own animals that could be dangerous. "[W]here a landlord retained control over the matter of animals in the tenant's apartment [by virtue of a 'no pets' clause in the lease], coupled with the knowledge of past vicious behavior by the animal, the extremely dangerous nature of pit bull dogs, and the foreseeability of harm to persons and property in the apartment complex," it is appropriate to impose liability on that landlord where the animal attacks others. Matthews v. Amberwood, 351 Md. 544, 570 (1998)
Monday, July 18, 2011
Baltimore personal injury lawyers know that the owner of an animal is charged with a duty or using ordinary care in controlling the animal. Some seasoned Baltimore personal injury lawyers have litigated cases in which a dog has bitten someone, and where the owner in fact acted responsibly [e.g. a fence, sign, leash etc]. If that owner knew, or should have known, the animal had a "propensity, inclination or tendency" to bite – for example, by having done it before- then ordinary care doesn't matter. In that instance, the owner is strictly responsible for the damage caused by the animal.
Friday, July 15, 2011
For most of us, including most Baltimore personal injury lawyers, it has been a long time since Driver's Ed. Of course, if a sign, or traffic light controls an intersection, those traffic control devices determine who has the right of way. But what if there is no traffic control device? Experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyers know that the age old rule that a vehicle at an intersection a vehicle has the right of way over vehicles approaching from the left, and must yield to those approaching from the right. Now, these are not absolute privileges, and, in any event would apply to vehicles arriving at that intersection at essentially the same time in any event. [Another old rule provides that the first car in an intersection has the right of way over all cars that arrive later.] And of course, all drivers must use reasonable care at all times.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Baltimore personalinjury lawyers know that it is illegal, and negligent, to take away the right of way from another vehicle that lawfully possesses that right of way. Experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyers have likely litigated cases where a driver makes a right turn, and "cuts off" another driver. The Md. Transportation code requires that a right turn be made as nearly as possible to the right hand edge of the road. If there is a through lane and a parking/travel lane with no cars, a driver is almost certainly going to be required to turn from the far right a parking/travel lane.
Monday, July 11, 2011
HOW MUCH IS MY BALTIMORE PERSONAL INJURY CASE WORTH? Is the owner of the car that hit me responsible?
Baltimore personal injury lawyers have successfully argued that a non-driving owner is responsible for the conduct of a non-owner driver is where that owner is present in the car. Maryland law provides that if the owner asks another to drive, while still in the car, the owner has the obligation and duty to make sure the vehicle is operated safely. If the person driving is negligent, it is assumed the owner agreed to the conduct, and is responsible for it. Powers v. State, 11 A.2d 909 . But what about a non-owner passenger under those same circumstances? Do they have to stop the driver from driving negligently? Are they contributorily negligent if they do not? Experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyers know that a non-owner passenger is not necessarily negligent for riding with an intoxicated driver, or failing to complain of excessive speed, but they might be. It depends on the unique facts and circumstances of each case.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Almost any Baltimorepersonal injury lawyer will tell you that PIP benefits are 'no-fault', 'first-party' insurance benefits. 'No-fault' means that you get if injured in an automobile accident, them no matter what the blame for the accident is. [Now, you can't collect if you intentionally caused the accident, or if you were committing a felony that led to the accident.] 'First-party' means that it is your insurance. The minimum coverage is $2500 and your insurer has to offer it to you, and you must decline it in writing if that is your choice. You can buy more coverage. The coverage pays your reasonable and necessary medical expenses and/or 85% of your lost wages. Experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyers know that most insurers tend not to challenge the wage loss benefits, but frequently refuse to pay, or reduce, the medical charges of some medical providers.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF MY BALTIMORE PERSONAL INJURY CASE? My insurance company cancelled me because I had an accident.
Maryland law limits an auto insurers ability to cancel or deny coverage. Experienced Baltimorepersonal injury lawyers know that an insurance company cannot cancel, refuse to renew, of terminate coverage because of an claim, traffic violation, or accident that occurred three years or more before. However, so long as approved by the insurance commissioner, and proper notice is given, knowledgeableBaltimore personal injury lawyers will tell you that those same restrictions do not apply to premium increases.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF MY BALTIMORE PERSONAL INJURY CASE? Can an insurance company do anything they want?
Unfortunately, many Baltimore personal injury lawyers may answer that question in the affirmative. Most insurance companies are huge entities with massive resources that dwarf those of the individuals with whom they have a dispute. Experienced Baltimorepersonal injury lawyers are aware that there is a code of conduct for insurers regarding the claims practices. Maryland law provides that it is an "unfair claim settlement practice" to: refuse to pay a claim for an arbitrary or capricious reason; misrepresent pertinent facts or policy provisions; or to fail to provide a basis for denials. Unfortunately for the injury victim, the remedy for a violation of these rules is typically the imposition of an administrative fine against the insurer.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Baltimorepersonal injury lawyers sometimes argue cases involving the unfortunate meeting of car and pedestrian. As you might imagine, cars are undefeated in these contests. Some rules establish who is at fault. Most people would surmise that a driver must yield his or her right of way to a visually impaired individual using a guide dog or walking with the assistance of a predominantly white cane. An experienced Baltimore personalinjury lawyer also knows that a car loses the right of way to a person in a wheelchair, using crutches, or using a cane.