Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Promptly report the hurricane damage claim. In the immediate aftermath of a hurricane, you may not be able to get through on the phone. Send a letter or an email to your agent. If an insurance company asks you to describe the full extent of the hurricane damage- use this phrase: "AS FAR AS I KNOW AT THIS TIME, THE DAMAGE IS .... HOWEVER I AM NOT A CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONAL. I HAVE NO WAY TO KNOW THE FULL EXTENT OF POSSBLE DAMAGES. Do not underestimate, or lock yourself in. Do not guess. Early on, you truly have no idea what kind of subsequent problems even a small amount of water intrusion could cause. Structural defects may not be immediately apparent. Wait until you have all the facts. Some individuals choose to consult with a Maryland Hurricane Damage Attorney prior to meeting with adjusters or appraisers.
Review and understand the various coverages under your policy, and which ones apply to hurricane damage. Many insurance policies are intentionally written in Byzantine fashion, with the first few pages containing broad grants of hurricane coverage, and then 15 pages of "exclusions", "limitations" and lists of events not covered by the policy. In all seriousness- people undergo hours of training on how to decipher these things. Do not hesitate to ask for the help of a Maryland Hurricane Damage Attorney in assessing what coverage you have. For example- some policies will contain coverage for "ALE"- additional living expense. For example- if you had to move out temporarily due to damage, your policy may well cover your hotel and food expenses. Does your policy have this coverage?
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Does your pet have a personal injury case? While not directly relevant to the question of the value of a Maryland personal injury claim, knowledgeable Baltimore personal injury lawyers are aware that the owner of a pet can recover damages from a person who, on their own, on through another animal, injures or kills that pet. The seasoned Baltimore personal injury lawyer will advise his or her client that compensatory damages –vet bills and or market value of the pet in case of a "total loss" under this section are limited to $7500.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Certainly, the owners of commercial establishments own their patrons a duty of reasonable care to keep their premises, including a public restroom, safe. Knowledgeable Baltimore personal injury lawyers are aware that an owner, or their employee, is not responsible, however, if they let a person use a toilet facility that is not public or open to the public, and that person is injured in that facility. This immunity does not apply if gross negligence is involved, and, as seasoned Baltimore personal injury lawyers know, an employee bathroom is never considered a public bathroom.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Some Baltimore personal injury lawyers handle cases involving illness caused by a drug or vaccine. Those claims against the maker of a listed vaccine are handled pursuant to a special federal system of compensation [National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Here is what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says VICP is: "On October 1, 1988, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-660) created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP was established to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines, stabilize vaccine costs, and establish and maintain an accessible and efficient forum for individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines. The VICP is a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system for resolving vaccine injury claims that provides compensation to people found to be injured by certain vaccines. The U. S. Court of Federal Claims decides who will be paid." Knowledgeable Baltimorepersonal injury lawyers are aware pf what vaccines are covered by the program:http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/covered_vaccines.html
Friday, August 12, 2011
Some Baltimore personal injury lawyers handle cases involving illness caused by a drug or vaccine. Those claims against the maker of a listed vaccine are handled pursuant to a special federal system of compensation [National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)] explored in another chapter. Baltimore personal injury lawyers often bring claims against drug and unlisted vaccine manufacturers in state court. Knowledgeable Baltimore personal injury lawyers are aware that a person lawfully and appropriately administering an FDA approved drug or vaccine is immune from negligence claims, but not from gross negligence claims. The manufacturer is not exempted from negligence claims.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Many Baltimore personal injury lawyers routinely handle cases where it is alleges that a health care provide deviated from the applicable standard of conduct, and that deviation caused injury to the patient. Experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyers know, however that most professional health care providers are immune from civil liability for the negligent provision of medical care if 1] they were not grossly negligent 2] the medical care was free 3] the care was provided at the scene of an emergency or in route to the hospital. Knowledgeable Baltimore personal injury lawyers also know that a layperson is also immune from civil liability for the negligent provision of assistance if they acted quickly, were not compensated, and relinquished care of the injured person promptly to a health care professional.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Typically, if one sign a "release" [a document that typically relinquishes any claim that one person my a have against another-and their insurance company] then the existence of that document would operate as a complete defense to any lawsuit filed between those people. Experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyers know, however, that if that release is signed within 30 days of the accident, without the advice of an attorney, then the injured person has an additional 60 days from signing the release to void it. The revocation must be in writing and include the return of any monies paid. Knowledgeable Baltimore personal injury lawyers also know that any release signed, within 15 days of the injury or act of malpractice, by a person confined to a hospital releasing that hospital from negligence, is of no effect.
Friday, August 5, 2011
Of course, if a child [an unemancipated minor under 18] is hurt in an accident, they have a claim of their own against the at fault party for damages-which are discussed under a separate heading. Experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyers know that the parent of the child also has a claim against the at-fault party for the loss of that child's "services", as well as for the cost of medical care for the child incurred by the parent. Unlike a consortium claim, the derivative claim of a parent under these circumstances does not include loss of companionship. One court has noted, ominously, with respect to services "if they can be proven". Hudson v. Hudson, 174 A.2d 339. Seasoned Baltimore personal injury lawyers are aware that at common law, a parent was entitled to any earnings their minor child received. Greenwood v. Greenwood 28 Md. 384. What the reasonable value of "services" provided by a minor to his or her parents is defined by the creativity of the advocate.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
As discussed elsewhere, insurance carriers that have paid medical bills related to an accident, or the providers themselves, will assert a claim, or a "lien" on any amount you are awarded. One of the most important roles your Baltimore personal injury lawyer should fill is as a negotiator of these liens. An experienced Baltimore personal injury lawyer often will be successful in getting the amounts claimed by medical providers, and in some instances, insurers who have paid medical bills, reduced- meaning more money in your pocket. For example, Section 11-112 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article provides that a health insurer with a certificate of authority in Maryland must reduce their lien proportionally to the attorney's fees, to a maximum of 33%. The question of whether this limitation is preempted by federal law [ERISA] is beyond the scope of this chapter.
Tuesday, August 2, 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 manufacturing is explored in another chapter. A Baltimore personal injury lawyer trying a strict liability products case premised on defective design argues that the jury consider several factors in determining if the product was reasonably safe: is it likely that the product, as designed, would cause injury, and the severity of that injury; is the product useful and desirable?; are there substitutes?; could the dangerous nature of the product have been changed by the manufacturer? Seasoned Baltimore personal personal injury lawyers also know that the jury must consider the level of awareness of the user to potential dangers, as well as the effect of warnings and instructional material. [MCPJI 26:13]