Articles Posted in Aggessive Driving

Earlier this month, an appellate court in Nebraska issued a written opinion in a premises liability case brought by a man who was hit by a car while standing in the parking lot of the bar he had visited. In the case, Pittman v. Rivera, the plaintiff filed a premises liability case against the bar that had kicked out the patron who eventually got into his car and struck the plaintiff. However, since the court held that the bar could not have reasonably foreseen that such an injury could have resulted from its conduct in kicking out the other patron, the case was dismissed.

Diner at NightThe Facts of the Case

Pittman was inside the defendant bar with some friends. Earlier in the night, Rivera was kicked out of the same bar for getting into an argument with his girlfriend, an employee of the bar. Initially, Rivera left with a designated driver. However, a few hours later, he returned in his own vehicle. Rivera attempted to get back into the bar, but the bouncer refused him access. Angry and likely still intoxicated, Rivera left the bar and made several U-turns in an aggressive manner, revving his engine loudly outside the bar. At some point, Rivera lost control of his vehicle and struck Pittman, who was now outside the bar talking with some friends.

Pittman filed a lawsuit against several parties, including, most notably for this opinion, the bar owner. The bar owner argued that he had no duty of care to protect Pittman because he was standing outside the bar, and even if there was a duty to protect him, that duty was not violated by disallowing Rivera to enter the bar.

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Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of West Virginia issued an opinion in a case that arose after an incident of road rage resulted in a commercial truck driver crashing and suffering injuries. The court held that the defendant’s act of failing to disclose the fact that he had several prior traffic offenses in the pre-trial discovery process resulted in the plaintiff not being able to properly rebut his testimony, and ultimately resulted in an unfair verdict.

speed-1505441Phillips v. Stear: The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff, a commercial truck driver, crashed after a maroon vehicle cut him off and “gave him the finger.” The driver of the maroon vehicle fled the scene, but a witness followed him and called 911, providing the license plate number to police. Police ultimately tracked the owner down and he was sued by the truck driver.

At trial, the defendant introduced evidence of his “good character,” testifying that he is not a fast or aggressive driver, and that he normally drives below the speed limit in order to conserve fuel. When asked about any prior traffic offenses, the defendant responded that, as best he could remember, the last time he was issued a speeding ticket was 2006. In response, the plaintiff asked if he had been issued a ticket in 2011, to which the defendant replied he “did not recall the incident.” While the plaintiff had proof of the 2011 citation, an evidentiary ruling kept it out of evidence.

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Earlier this month in Aberdeen, one man was killed and another injured when their vehicle was run off the road by an SUV that swerved to avoid another passing vehicle. According to one local news source, the accident occurred around 11:30 in the evening on Route 40 near the intersection with Route 715, the access road to Aberdeen Proving Ground.

speed-2-844622-mEvidently, there was a Honda Civic traveling west on Route 40 in the right lane. There was a white SUV also traveling west in the adjacent lane. A black passenger car approached the SUV from the rear and attempted to pass it on the left median. As that driver began to pass the SUV, the driver of the SUV swerved to the right, into the lane occupied by the Civic. The driver of the Civic attempted to avoid a collision with the encroaching SUV and swerved off the road.

As the Civic moved out of the way and onto the shoulder, it struck a pole, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. The car flipped several times before ultimately coming to a rest on its roof. The driver of the car sustained only minor injuries. However, the passenger was pronounced dead a few hours later at University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace.

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Earlier this month in Jacksonville, an accident between a passenger car and an Amtrak train left three people injured. However, miraculously no one was fatally injured in the accident that resulted in the vehicle being cut in half by the train. According to one local news source, the accident was caused by the driver of the car attempting to cross the railroad tracks while the gate arms were in the down position.

railway-sign-1334757-mEvidently, the vehicle had three people in it at the time of the accident. Video surveillance that was retrieved from the scene shows the driver of the vehicle trying to navigate around the crossing arms, which had been down for several seconds. The video also shows the car getting sheared in half by the massive train.

Miraculously, no one was seriously injured in the accident. In fact, the video shows the driver and one of his passengers outside the car walking around before emergency responders arrived on the scene. The back-seat passenger did sustain injuries and was taken to UF Health Jacksonville. Police issued a citation to the driver of the car for negligently crossing the tracks while the gate arms were down.

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Earlier this month in Howard County, a young man was killed in an accident involving a snow plow. According to one local news report, the vehicle the young man was driving lost control around a corner and slammed into the front of a truck with a snow-plow attachment on the front.

sweet-apple-tree-lane-749587-mThe accident took place around nine in the morning on Route 97, near the Howard-Montgomery County line. Evidently, the young man was driving an Acura RSX and drifted out of his lane a bit while making a fairly sharp curve. As his vehicle exited his lane of travel and entered the shoulder, he encountered a patch of slush. The slush caused the driver to lose control of his vehicle, which then crossed into oncoming traffic where he collided with the snow plow.

The driver of the Acura was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency workers. The snow plow had three passengers in it, all of whom were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police are still in the middle of conducting their investigation into the cause of the accident. However, preliminary investigations suggest that the driver of the Acura was traveling too fast when he entered the curve, causing him to leave his lane and end up on the shoulder.

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Earlier this month in Smithsburg, a two-vehicle head-on collision took the life of one man when his car crossed the center median and collided with a dump truck. According to one local news report, the accident occurred on Mapleville Road, where the driver of a Ford SUV was heading southbound. The driver of the dump truck was heading northbound.

sunny-road-1-679374-mEvidently, around 4:30 in the afternoon the SUV crossed over into the lane of oncoming traffic, colliding head on with the dump truck. The collision caused the Ford to overturn. The driver of the SUV was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the dump truck was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

An investigation was still underway at the time of the article’s publication, but it does not seem that the driver of the dump truck will face any criminal charges. It is unclear what caused the SUV to drift over into oncoming traffic.

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Earlier this month in Greenbelt, one man was killed after a carjacking resulted in a multi-vehicle accident on the Capital Beltway. According to one local news report, the accident occurred after a man carjacked an ambulance on the 6200 block of Greenbelt Road.

ambulance-ecnalubma-677683-mEvidently, the man was involved in a separate and unrelated car accident that required an ambulance. When the ambulance arrived, the man hopped in and drove off, but not before assaulting the crew. After driving off, the driver navigated the ambulance off the Beltway, crashing into three occupied vehicles along the way. After getting off the Beltway, the stolen ambulance crashed into a total of nine other vehicles before rolling over in a restaurant parking lot.

Sadly, the driver of a Mercedes that was hit by the carjacked ambulance was killed as a result of the accident. His passenger was taken to the hospital with serious injuries but is expected to recover. The driver of the stolen ambulance was taken to the hospital with serious injuries as well. He has been arrested and charged with various crimes, including armed carjacking. It is unclear what additional charges he may face for the death of the man.

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Earlier this week in Glen Burnie, one man was killed and several other people injured in a serious multi-vehicle wreck. According to a report by one local news source, the accident occurred near the intersection of Quarterfield Road and Jonathan Avenue, at around four in the afternoon.

speedometer-1390189-mEvidently, the driver of a Ford Mustang was heading northbound on Quarterfield Road when he suddenly lost control of the car, crossed the center median, and ended up in the southbound lanes of traffic, where he collided head-on with an Oldsmobile. Another vehicle behind the Oldsmobile, a Saturn, then collided with both vehicles.

The driver of the Oldsmobile was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders. The driver of the Ford Mustang sustained life-threatening injures and was immediately taken to Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore. The driver of the Saturn suffered only minor injuries.

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Earlier this week, an accident near the Landover Metro Station left an Acura split in half and both of its occupants dead. According to a report by WTOP, the driver of the Acura was heading in the opposite direction as a taxi when the driver of the Acura lost control and crossed into oncoming traffic. Apparently, the Acura collided with the taxi and then continued into a telephone pole that split the car in two.

crashed-car-1148745-m.jpg

Both the driver of the Acura and his passenger were pronounced dead at the scene. The taxi driver was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to recover. Police believe that speed played a part in the accident, as well as the slippery condition of the road.

Speed Is a Leading Cause of Fatal Maryland Car Accidents

It probably does not come as a surprise to anyone, but speeding is a leading cause of traffic accidents and traffic deaths in Maryland. According to some studies, speed is a factor in about one-third of all fatal accidents. While speeding is never a good or safe idea, it is even more dangerous when the road conditions are slick, icy, or snow-covered, as they have been for much of the past few months.

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There are times in this life that make a person step back for a minute and catch one’s breath. Instances of extreme human drama, life and death situations, and other remarkable or stunning events are some that fit into this category. Then there are the moments, when simply as an observer it is incredible to watch something transpire that, if it wasn’t actually happening before your eyes, would certainly be unbelievable to some, or at least judged highly unlikely.

While this is likely the case for the average person, or for those who are not constantly reminded through their profession of the supposed oddities in life; such are the extraordinary circumstances that we, as Baltimore personal injury lawyers, come across on a fairly regular basis. But even I and my colleagues, as automobile, truck and motorcycle accident attorneys, still find that some events occurring on Maryland roadways can be termed stranger than fiction.

Of course, any car or trucking-related traffic collision can be serious for the victims, regardless of the root cause, and we understand this as much as anyone. A great deal of our work involves accidents caused by human error, poor judgment and simple mistakes. But there are instances when an injury received in a traffic collision cannot so easily be described as “accidental.”

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