Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

Annapolis

A Glen Burnie motorist received a reduced 60-day jail sentence for his part in a near-fatal automobile collision in early 2008. The 24-year-old defendant, Jeffrey David Johnson Jr., pleaded guilty recently for his responsibility for inflicting a life-threatening injury while under the influence of alcohol — a blood test taken after the accident recorded the man’s blood-alcohol content at 0.25 percent, three times the legal limit in Maryland. Being auto injury attorneys in the Baltimore area, our office has represented many clients injured by drunk drivers even after a criminal trial has been concluded.

According to reports, the accident took place in the early morning of March 15 last year as Johnson was heading southbound on Crain Highway. The defendant’s car reportedly hit another vehicle attempting to make a left-hand turn from the northbound lane onto Old State Road. A passenger in the other vehicle was critically injured in the crash. The judge suspended all but 60 days of the two-year sentence due to the other driver not yielding right of way to southbound traffic.

Millersville

A 66-year-old driver was injured recently during a late-morning crash on Cecil Avenue, which caused one occupant to be trapped in the wreckage and left two other passengers with minor injuries. According to Anne Arundel county fire officials, emergency personnel received a call just before 11 a.m. in the area of Waugh Chapel. The woman’s injuries were listed as serious, but not life-threatening.

Odenton
For reasons as yet unknown, a pickup truck crashed into a local 7-Eleven convenience store during a mid-August afternoon. One person received minor injuries after the truck drove into the building. Firefighters were called to the scene where they transported the victim to Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie for treatment of minor injuries
Arnold

A bicycle rider from Cape St. Claire received serious and life-threatening injuries when she was struck in the face by the sideview mirror of an E-350 full-size van driven by an Annapolis resident. The accident occurred on College Parkway at Bellerive Drive shortly before noon on August 11. Emergency crews responded to the accident where they treated Shamika Baker, 22, for a severe head injury and then transported her to a local hospital. According to reports, police suspect alcohol may have been a factor, though the 42-year-old driver of the van, Shane Killeen, had not yet been charged.

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There are still three months left in Maryland’s boating season, and yet we have already exceeded last year’s total maritime deaths. As Maryland auto accident and personal injury lawyers, we at Lebowitz-Mzhen, LLC see this as a potentially alarming trend. Just like with automobile accidents, boating injuries and fatalities are typically a result of one or all of the following:

1) Driver inexperience or error
2) Drunken driving, or boating while intoxicated
3) Unfavorable water and/or weather conditions
4) Equipment failure

Injuries or fatalities that result because of the first three of these usually point to negligence on the part of the captain and/or the owner of the boat. The last one, equipment failure, could be attributable to the captain/owner, a repair or maintenance facility, or the manufacturer of the boat or specific piece of equipment. Whatever the reason for such as failure, if you or a loved one has been injured as a result of defective watercraft equipment, you should retain an attorney experienced in this type of personal injury law.

According to news reports, 10 people have died on Maryland’s waterways, 11-percent more than last year, and despite safety campaigns and concentrated enforcement by Natural Resources Police. In the majority of the accidents — including one last month involving an 11-year-old girl — the victims were reportedly not wearing life jackets.

It is a general rule of law that the captain and/or the boat owner must exercise the utmost level of caution to prevent injuries from occurring to swimmers, passengers in the boat, or anyone else who may be in the surrounding area. This responsibility can extend to requiring passengers to wear floatation devices as required by law.

The current death toll in Maryland apparently also concerns NRP officers because of its geographical sweep, from Deep Creek Lake to Eastern Shore rivers. As is unfortunately too common, the most recent fatality in Baltimore County involved alcohol, according to police. Drinking and piloting a boat can be a deadly combination, as the current statistics indicate.

Since the 2004 and 2005 boating seasons, when the state recorded a total of 27 fatalities, NRP officers have lowered this total using increased patrols, especially on weekends and holidays. The combined total in 2007 and 2008 dropped to 19, which reportedly put Maryland in line with trends elsewhere. Part of the increase in fatalities this season may be lower gas prices, which encourage more boaters to go out on the water.

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