January 30, 2013

Maryland Auto Safety News: Toyota Recalls More Than 750,000 Vehicles for Potentially Dangerous Airbag Problem

by Lebowitz & Mzhen

Once again, owners of Toyota vehicles have reason to worry about their safety now that more than 750,000 Corolla and Matrix models (2003-2004) have been recalled due to a problem with those vehicles’ airbag control systems, which could result in sudden and unexpected airbag deployment or seatbelt pretensioner operation. It doesn’t take an engineer to understand the implications of a front airbag going off in a driver’s face while operating a car at highway speeds, so for most people this recall is easy to understand: If you own one of the affected models, contact Toyota immediately and get the problem fixed.

As Maryland personal injury attorneys, our firm’s aim is to help people who have been injured or severely hurt as a result of a car, truck or motorcycle accident. Vehicle safety recalls usually occur after a problem has been reported to the manufacturer or to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by one or more vehicle owners. With problems like the one announced by Toyota today, there is a high likelihood that someone could be hurt or killed by this apparently serious defect.

Individuals affected by this type of product-related problem may have grounds for a products liability lawsuit, depending on the circumstances and the injuries or property damage resulting from the defect. In general, products liability law starts from the premise that manufacturers of products sold to the public are usually in a much better position than most to prevent faulty products from coming onto the market. Because of their unique position, businesses that allow a dangerous product to enter the marketplace have a responsibility to those injured or otherwise hurt by that item.

Continue reading "Maryland Auto Safety News: Toyota Recalls More Than 750,000 Vehicles for Potentially Dangerous Airbag Problem" »

January 26, 2013

Baltimore Auto Accident Update: Avoid the Deadly Mix of Alcohol and Driving

by Lebowitz & Mzhen

Too frequently these days do we hear of roadway accidents resulting from drunken driving. There is an all too common scenario that crops up numerous times every week here in Maryland, where a motorist or members of a family are injured or killed by an individual who decided to get behind the wheel in an intoxicated condition. As Baltimore personal injury trial attorneys, the lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, understand the anguish that such an event brings to friends and relatives of the victims, as well as the pain and suffering endured by those who are actually hurt in a crash.

Those who are only injured are fortunately spared the ultimate fate of being killed by a drunk driver, but often one or more of the victims can experience a long, hard road to recovery, which may never be quite complete. Amputated limbs, partial paralysis, and even quadriplegia can result from severe traffic wrecks; these are not simple injuries and can complicate a person's life forever.

Whether the cause is a drunken motorist in a passenger vehicle or a drug-impaired commercial truck driver working over his or her legally restricted hours, the tragedy of a DWI- or DUI-related traffic accident is that it probably could have been prevented. But once done, it cannot be undone. The survivors are the ones who must pick up the pieces and try to press on with their lives, now scarred by a disaster they never caused, but with which they must deal, probably for the rest of their lives.

Continue reading "Baltimore Auto Accident Update: Avoid the Deadly Mix of Alcohol and Driving" »

January 24, 2013

Prince George’s Patrolman Killed in Fatal Car Crash Was Not His Wearing Safety Belt

by Lebowitz & Mzhen

As personal injury trial lawyers located in the Baltimore area, we see numerous victims of automobile, commercial truck and motorcycle accidents every year. And, as drivers ourselves, we know the value of wearing a safety belt whenever one ventures out on the road these days. With the volume and density of roadway traffic in towns and cities all around Maryland and the District of Columbia, there is no excuse for those drivers who throw caution to the wind and operate their motor vehicle while not “belted in.”

Of course, there are instances when seatbelts have been known to exacerbate accident victims’ injuries, although those cases are relatively few when compared to all of the lives saved by these albeit simple life-saving devices. In fact, since traffic collisions are the single-most common cause of death for people aged five to 34 years of age, it would seem prudent for anyone -- drivers and passengers alike -- to make it a habit of buckling up whenever getting into a motor vehicle these days.

The statistics speak for themselves: With upward of 40,000 individuals killed each year in highway wrecks, the use of seatbelts is not only a good idea, it has become law throughout much of the nation. Safety experts tend to agree that seatbelts have the ability to cut in half the number of deaths resulting from traffic collisions. Many of these deaths likely come under the heading of wrongful death, since they were caused by another person's negligence.

Continue reading "Prince George’s Patrolman Killed in Fatal Car Crash Was Not His Wearing Safety Belt" »

January 22, 2013

Maryland Driver Killed in Head-on Montgomery County Car Crash; Weather Apparently to Blame

by Lebowitz & Mzhen

Hurricane Sandy took many lives and left many more homeowners and families in desperate circumstances up and down the East Coast. But weather emergencies can also cause problems for drivers and can even threaten the lives of men, women and children attempting to get out of the way of such deadly storms. As Baltimore personal injury lawyers, my firm knows the pain and heartache that a fatal traffic accident can cause a family who has lost a loved one. The tragedy is that many single- and multi-vehicle roadway accidents could perhaps be prevented, though sadly not all.

Whether a roadway collision occurs in the Rockville, Gaithersburg, Bowie or Washington, D.C., area, the results can be very similar, though the circumstances are usually unique to that particular crash. In traffic accidents caused, at least in part, by inclement weather conditions, the normally safe and practical flow of traffic can become chaotic and confused. Even the best drivers can be caught unprepared for what follows.

Regardless of whether one is driving a small economy car, a mid-size sedan, large SUV or semi tractor-trailer rig, nature can throw some deadly conditions in one’s way. No matter if you live or work, ignoring the weather at times like these is to invite disaster. As the old saying goes, “Knowledge is power,” so take advantage of our modern information society and stay connected when the going gets tough. It could end up saving your life, or the lives of those in your vehicle.

Continue reading "Maryland Driver Killed in Head-on Montgomery County Car Crash; Weather Apparently to Blame" »

January 20, 2013

Two Serious Injury Accidents in Anne Arundel County Send Two Maryland Residents to the Hospital

by Lebowitz & Mzhen

Automobile wrecks, not to mention pedestrian-car collisions and motorcycle accidents, can inflict serious bodily injuries to the driver and occupants of a motor vehicle. Of the many and various injuries that victims of traffic accident experience -- such as bruised tissue, mild to serious cuts and abrasions, and broken bones – it is safe to say that head injuries can be some of the most severe. As personal injury attorneys in the Baltimore area, I and my staff of legal professionals know how easily even the most basic of car or truck crashes can leave one or more of the victims fighting for their lives.

As we have said before, head injuries that involve brain trauma can put a person on a path to long-term disability and a life filled with pain and financial difficulty for the victim’s family members. When we talk about traumatic brain injuries, we are referring to those events that impart a blow to the head sufficient enough to actually disrupt the various functions of the brain itself.

Based on information provided by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), more than one an a half million individuals currently suffer from some form of traumatic brain injury the symptoms of which can be particularly glaring, such as short-term memory loss, difficulty forming words or coherent sentences, as well as the inability to follow basic instructions.

Continue reading "Two Serious Injury Accidents in Anne Arundel County Send Two Maryland Residents to the Hospital" »

January 17, 2013

Deadly Rear-end Traffic Accident Leaves One Driver Dead, Others Injured in Millersville, MD

by Lebowitz & Mzhen

Passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, and light trucks are all smaller and less massive than larger commercial vehicles, yet any kind of traffic accident that involves a modicum of speed can result in some serious injuries -- sometimes even fatal ones. As Baltimore personal injury accident lawyers, I and my colleagues know full well that crashes involving passenger cars and light trucks make up the bulk of the roadway collisions in this country.

While motorcycle accidents can lead to serious closed-head injuries, broken bones and internal injuries, the carnage wrought by a speeding two-ton motor vehicle can impart such a large amount of energy, especially to a stationary passenger car, that the occupants can also suffer extreme and life-threatening injuries. For those who have survived a bad roadway wreck, few would ever want to relive such an event.

Although head-on passenger car and commercial trucking collisions can yield rather tragic results, side-impact wrecks and rear-end crashes have been known to result in critical and life-threatening injuries. Many rear-end crashes result in whiplash, neck sprains and other neck injuries. These can be combined with a variety of back-related injuries affecting the bones, muscles and tissues that comprise that area of the human body.

Continue reading "Deadly Rear-end Traffic Accident Leaves One Driver Dead, Others Injured in Millersville, MD" »

January 15, 2013

Maryland Auto and Truck Injury Accident Update: There’s Extreme Danger Involved in Any Roadside Stop

by Lebowitz & Mzhen

It is safe to say that most people understand the gravity of being involved in a car-pedestrian traffic collision, yet many people appear to expose themselves unnecessarily to the dangers associated with walking to close to the shoulder of an active roadway or crossing at busy intersection without carefully assessing the traffic situation. Compounding these everyday dangers is the fact that many pedestrians are also involved in using highly distracting smartphones and other electronic devices when walking on-foot near heavy vehicular traffic.

As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my colleagues understand the potential for serious injuries that can come with being caught up in a car, truck or motorcycle accident; that of bodily injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruises to critical, life-threatening injuries such as closed-head trauma, spinal cord damage, injury to internal organs and severe cardiopulmonary events. Any one of the latter problems would be cause for life-saving efforts by an emergency room medical team, all of which could have be avoided with a little extra caution on everyone’s part.

These kinds of fatal and near-fatal accidents should never be invited due to a simple loss of focus on a pedestrian’s part; however, nobody can control the actions of another person, such a car or commercial truck driver who crashes into another vehicle or bystander. Seeing that just standing too close to a busy city intersection is dangerous, consider the folly of stopping on the shoulder of a high-speed interstate with car and trucks passing just feet away at speeds upward of 55 to 65mph, maybe more.

Continue reading "Maryland Auto and Truck Injury Accident Update: There’s Extreme Danger Involved in Any Roadside Stop" »

January 10, 2013

Maryland Auto Safety News: ’10 Ford Fusion Floor Mat Problem Investigated by Feds

by Lebowitz & Mzhen

It seems not much time passes these days before we see yet another automotive recall in the news. Some of these involve obviously serious defects that can easily be identified as potentially life-threatening problems. Other issues, such as the one mentioned here, appear on their face to be merely minor, almost cosmetic in nature, but which could actually lead to a serious roadway accident.

As Maryland injury attorneys, I and my colleagues have the skills and training to represent victims of auto, truck and motorcycle wrecks caused by another negligent driver or by another party, such as an automotive parts distributor or original equipment (OE) manufacturer like Ford, General Motors or Toyota. Whatever the source of the problem or product defect, the potential for injury or death can often be real and immediate; certainly these recalls are nothing to be taken lightly by owners of the affected car or truck models.

Automobile safety recalls usually involve a part of a car or a vehicle system that has failed on one or more vehicles, and which the manufacturer or the government regulators feel could be a danger to owners of the particular vehicle model. Quite often the result of a manufacturing defect, incorrect material selection or poor engineering design, a recalled part or component, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant, can cause injuries or deaths.

Continue reading "Maryland Auto Safety News: ’10 Ford Fusion Floor Mat Problem Investigated by Feds" »

January 9, 2013

Baltimore Injury Update: Consider the Dangers that Pedestrians Face Every Day from Errant Motor Vehicles

by Lebowitz & Mzhen

Few traffic-related accidents are as potentially life-threatening as those involving a pedestrian and a motor vehicle. Whether the scenario puts a Baltimore youngster riding a bicycle directly in the path of a passenger car or mail delivery vehicle, or if it takes the shape of a business man crossing a busy Washington, D.C., intersection and being clipped by a taxi cab or courier van, the results can be devastating.

For lack of a better description, car-versus-pedestrian collisions can impart serious injuries to a human body, some of which may be fatal. It’s doesn’t take a physics major to know that a 150-pound flesh-and-blood person is no match for two-tons of rolling steel. Even those “slow-motion” collisions between cars and people in local parking lots can be extremely deadly. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, our office is prepared to help those individuals who have been hurt or seriously injured as a pedestrian in a car accident or commercial vehicle crash.

Here in Maryland, 102 of the nearly 500 traffic-related fatalities in 2011 involved a person on foot, and this figure does not even count the hundreds of other victims who survived, but may have suffered, or continue to suffer, severe medical complications as a result.

Continue reading "Baltimore Injury Update: Consider the Dangers that Pedestrians Face Every Day from Errant Motor Vehicles" »

January 7, 2013

Traffic Safety Update: Rubbernecking, Like Distracted Driving, Can Cause Maryland Roadway Collisions

by Lebowitz & Mzhen

Anyone who has read this column at any length knows that roadway collisions are one of the leading causes of death among adults and children here in the United States. For children, especially, car crashes amount to what is truly known as the primary killer of small children and infants. Whatever the cause, the loss of any life is a sad and regrettable event; but the loss of a young life is a tragedy beyond words.

As Baltimore automobile and trucking accident lawyers, I and my colleagues are committed to helping those families who have lost a loved one in car truck and motorcycle-related traffic collision. When it comes to car accidents, one of the most common reasons that police and traffic safety experts point to is driver error. And much of what occurs in the way of driver error can be chalked up to distracted driving.

More than anything, we as drivers have an obligation to ourselves, our families, passenger riding with us, as well as other drivers with whom we share the road to be as alert and on-task as we possibly can be, regardless of the situation. We would even go as far as saying that anyone who cannot apply themselves 100 percent to the job of operating a motor vehicle should probably not get behind the wheel of a car, SUV or minivan any time soon.

Continue reading "Traffic Safety Update: Rubbernecking, Like Distracted Driving, Can Cause Maryland Roadway Collisions" »

January 5, 2013

Toyota’s Delay in Issuing Auto Safety Recall Results in Multi-Million Dollar Fine to U.S. Government

by Lebowitz & Mzhen

For those who have ever been involved in products liability lawsuit due to a manufacturing defect or a product that was intentionally marketed in a faulty manner, it may already be clear that it is possible to claim damages for injuries suffered as a result of the defect or improper marketing. As Baltimore personal injury lawyers, we come across instances of faulty product design, incorrect manufacturing processes, and incorrect labeling here in Maryland and across the U.S. Some of these instances can result in severe physical injury and occasionally wrongful death.

Here in Maryland, our state’s liability statutes clearly state that businesses which manufacturer and/or provide products to the public are usually better suited than anyone to make certain that any faulty or mislabeled products not enter into the consumer market. Because of this, the law holds that any company that does allow a faulty or poorly produced product to go into the marketplace, and which harms an individual or group of individuals, should be held responsible.

It’s important to mention here that over the years, the law covering products liability has evolved to the point that it has become a very complex matter to mount a claim, but not impossible. This is why, for those victims or their families, it is important to consult a personal injury attorney to better understand your rights as they apply to the particular case.

Continue reading "Toyota’s Delay in Issuing Auto Safety Recall Results in Multi-Million Dollar Fine to U.S. Government" »

January 3, 2013

History of Fatal Traffic Accidents on Maryland Rte 32 Prompts Discussion on Adding Lanes in Clarksville

by Lebowitz & Mzhen

With one of the most deadly holidays -- traffic-wise -- behind us, it's perhaps a good idea to review the dangers facing motorists these days. Car, truck and motorcycle collisions happen all of the time, but for some of us we find it hard to accept that people are dying in traffic wrecks all across the country on a daily basis; and maybe while you are reading this very sentence.

As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my colleagues understand that nobody can eliminate traffic deaths completely, save removing every car, bike and commercial delivery truck from the roadways. But as we have alluded, that is not a practical solution to the problem of highway fatalities in Maryland and across this great country.

Over in Clarksville, the stretch of Rte 32 between Interstate 70 and Rte 108 has long been the scene of many a fatal traffic wreck. Yet people are still arguing over what should, could and might be done to make that section of roadway safer for individuals and families living in the area or just passing through.

Continue reading "History of Fatal Traffic Accidents on Maryland Rte 32 Prompts Discussion on Adding Lanes in Clarksville" »