Articles Posted in Rollover Accidents

There are likely few more dreaded scenarios in the life of a woman than to be caught up in a serious car crash while pregnant with an unborn baby. Mother’s all around the country face dangers every day that could cause premature birth or other life-threatening complications to the mother and baby. Unnecessary and senseless car and trucking-related roadway accidents should not be something that places a woman or her unborn child in harm’s way.

As Baltimore personal injury attorneys, I and my colleagues spend our professional lives following the potentially life-threatening events that occur each year, many that affect parents and their children in ways that could have long-term effects on their health, livelihood and happiness. With bodily injuries resulting from car, truck and motorcycle wrecks happening daily all across the state of Maryland, it’s not surprising that a percentage of those collisions, which result in hospital visits, involve parents and children, not the least of which being pregnant mothers.

Having a child become hurt as a result of a traffic accident is one of the last things any parent wants to contemplate, but being on the verge of parenthood and being caught in a bad roadway collision is likely the worst case that a new mother could imagine. Nothing rocks a family to its core than a car or truck accident that takes the life of a young baby, much less an unborn baby. The shock and emotional pain felt by the survivors and other family members can take years, if not a lifetime, to recover from.

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Anytime someone’s child is hurt or killed, there is an unbelievable shockwave that goes through a family, their friends and relatives, even neighbors and the local community. While any serious injury or death is an unthinkable event, for an automobile or trucking-related injury accident to affect a young life is all the more tragic. Every week numerous Maryland families are touched in some way by car or truck crashes in which a family member or close relative is injured or killed in a senseless accident.

As Baltimore personal injury attorneys, we understand how members of a family hit by a tragedy as senseless as a roadway collision can feel numb for days, weeks or even months after the event. This kind of shocking event can also result in a relative paralyzing of the parents’ and siblings’ ability to function or perform even simple daily tasks. In cases of negligence in regard to a fatal or injury-related car, truck or motorcycle wreck, seeking the advice and counsel of a qualified legal professional can be helpful and many times necessary in order to pursue the responsible party(s) in a court of law.

Not long ago a teenager from out-of-state, who was seriously hurt weeks before, was finally able to return to her family’s arms. According to news reports, 17-year-old Malory Weller was discharged from the Rehabilitation Center at Kernan Hospital here in the Baltimore area and transported home to Pennsylvania. Based on news items, the young lady was apparently in good spirits as she left Maryland, no doubt happy to be going back home.

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Not matter where in Maryland one drives, whether it’s in Montgomery, Anne Arundel, or Prince George’s County, even in Washington, D.C., motorists are bound to come across some kind of a traffic-related accident on one of our roadways. Causing injuries as varied as simple cuts and bruises, to fractures, internal injuries and severe head trauma, these mostly preventable collisions kill and maim thousands every year, both here in Maryland as well as across the nation.

Working in the Baltimore area as personal injury lawyers, I and my colleagues are taken aback at the number of car, truck and motorcycle accidents that occur every month, sending men, women and children who have been injured to the hospital with sometimes serious and life-threatening bodily injuries. As Maryland automobile and commercial truck accident attorneys, we understand all too well how a simple and seemingly insignificant act on one driver’s part can change the course of another individual’s life in an instant.

Taking a constant human toll, these urban and rural traffic crashes can happen in various areas through the state, as well as on highways and expressways, surface streets and country roads. Making proper choices on our densely packed roads can be the difference between someone making it home safely and triggering a tragic car, truck or pedestrian accident. As drivers, we all have a responsibility to ourselves, our families and society as a whole to conduct our lives in a manner that does not jeopardize another person’s health or well-being. For those who forget this simple rule, or chose behavior that essentially ignores one’s civic responsibilities, the law and our court system has ways of helping victims seek compensation for damages and injuries received as a result.

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Listen to almost anyone who has been in a serious traffic accident, if they are even up to discussing it, and you may realize that victims of high-speed roadway collisions are subjected to a great deal of physical abuse in just a matter of moments. The kind of violent energy transfer from a moving vehicle to the human body in just a few microseconds can change a person’s life in the blink of an eye. As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my legal staff can appreciate the extent of physical and psychological trauma that an automobile or commercial trucking accident can have on the victims.

Automobile accidents, whether they occur in Gaithersburg, Columbia, Rockville or The District, can result in a range of injuries. From simple bumps and bruises to broken bones, internal injuries and closed-head trauma, there is nothing routine about a serious car, truck or motorcycle wreck. Even those who do everything to avoid and prepare for such an eventuality never quite expect the randomness with which a highway or urban auto collision can occur.

Being personal injury lawyers, trained in and experienced with representing victims of car and truck collisions, we understand how many families can be placed in a difficult financial position following a bad traffic wreck. Aside from the physical and emotional impact of a sudden and violent collision, individuals and entire families may be hit again with costs for extensive surgeries and other medical procedures, not to mention possible long-term rehabilitation, or worse, a lifetime of reduced mobility or other disability.

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Drinking and driving is a quick way to put oneself into the hospital, or worse. There is no end to the good arguments for curbing drunk driving, while there is no legitimate rationale to defend the practice. Every year, tens of thousands of people are hurt or killed by drunken drivers, including the offenders themselves. Even when there are no other factors that might contribute to a crash, just being impaired can be a cause in and of itself for a serious or fatal traffic accident.

As Maryland personal injury lawyers, I and my staff understand how circumstances can conspire to create the opportunity for a tragic car, truck or motorcycle accident. How a driver reacts when such conditions occur can make the difference between a simple fender-bender, a serious roadway collision, or a fatal car or commercial truck wreck. A driver who actively drinks and drives only increases the chances of his or her being less able to respond quickly to an accident situation.

One type of automobile crash can be caused by a failure of a car or truck’s safety or critical operating systems, such as steering or braking component failure or malfunction. When a defective component that is critical to controlling a vehicle fails, the driver may not be able to avoid an accident. Being drunk at the time of a catastrophic mechanical failure only makes it more difficult to react to the event.

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For those who think that winning a defective vehicle suit following an injury-related traffic accident or fatal roadway crash involving a car, truck or motorcycle, you may want to reconsider. As much as it is heartening to believe you have an open and shut case of product liability, the fact is these kinds of law suits are typically heard by juries that may or may not understand the technical details involved.

Furthermore, as Baltimore auto accident lawyers and Maryland personal injury attorneys, we know that bringing in a professional or expert witness for the plaintiff’s side is more than a good idea; it’s often necessary if the court is to allow a case to continue. In the interest of justice, having all the necessary tools at one’s disposal can make the difference between winning a case on its merits, or losing due to partial measures.

A recently-decided appellate case (D. Show and M. Federici v. Ford Motor Company) demonstrates what can happen if the plaintiff either chooses not to hire an expert witness or believes his or her case can stand on the general facts alone. In this particular instance, the plaintiffs’ 1993 Ford Explorer was involved in a traffic collision, during which the SUV rolled over, injuring the occupants, David Show and Maria Federici.

According to court records, the plaintiffs’ vehicle was moving through a roadway intersection at about 30mph when it was hit by another car in the vicinity of its left-rear wheel. As a result of the impact, the Explorer rolled over. In such cases, it’s not uncommon for the driver and passengers inside the vehicle to receive injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to broken bones and closed-head trauma. Under some circumstances, fatalities can result from a car crash such as this.

In bringing their suit against Ford, Show and Federici contended that the Explorer was defective because its design rendered it unstable. However, the basis for this claim was apparently insufficient and the suit was removed under the diversity jurisdiction and the parties consented to a final decision by a magistrate judge.

Unfortunately for the plaintiffs, they failed to designate an expert to testify regarding the vehicle’s design as it applied to stability and operational control of the vehicle. Because of this, the magistrate judge ruled that the lawsuit could not go forward without the necessary expert testimony, granting summary judgment to Ford Motor Company.

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Few would argue that most any car, truck or motorcycle accident has the potential for serious personal injury or even death. Certainly, even the most minor of automobile wrecks has the capability of causing a fair amount of bodily injury, if the circumstances are right. In fact, there should be no surprise to know that seatbelt usage and well-designed airbag systems can be life savers in low to medium speed accidents.

Striking one’s head on a hard automotive interior surface during a medium- to high-speed road accident can result in not only deep cuts and blood loss, but may also cause traumatic brain injury that can potentially lead to temporary or permanent disability. Emergency responders arriving at the scene of a mild to severe auto, bike or commercial trucking crash will usually recommend that victims be treated by a doctor to rule out any serious complications from a bump to the head.

Traumatic brain injury, also referred to as closed-head trauma, can result in a number of problems, some immediate and others that may develop over time. Along with head and neck injuries, damage to a person’s spinal cord can also have deleterious effects on one’s current and future health, not to mention the ability to hold a job and make a living for one’s family.

Of course, when considering any possible traffic wreck, preventing injury would be the first line of defense, which includes avoiding accidents altogether, or at the very least lessening the effects of a crash.

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Some things that occur in this life are just not right, and everybody knows it. When an individual is seriously hurt or killed in a traffic accident, there are no words that one can say to the family of that victim, yet as friends, relatives and neighbors we try to offer some measure of comfort and condolence. Large organizations, while comprised of living, thinking and feeling persons, are less adept at providing a sympathetic ear or shoulder on which to cry.

As Maryland personal injury lawyers who serve the residents of Baltimore, Frederick, Hagerstown and the District, we see on a regular basis the pain and suffering that families and individual experience following horrendous trucking accidents, automobile collisions and motorcycle wrecks. The fact is, there are no words that can adequately ease the grief of a mother or father that has lost a son or daughter to a tragic roadway accident.

A while back, in May of this year, a young woman died in a fatal single-vehicle car crash along a stretch of Rte 32 in Columbia, MD. At the time, 21-year-old Sarah Stebbins was planning to enter Howard Community College in the fall. A 2008 graduate of Howard High School, Stebbins was a racing enthusiast and, according to news account, an award-winning equestrian rider; on the day of her death, Stebbins was coming home from her job at the Gray Pony Saddle and Tack Shop in Highland, Maryland.

According to news reports, the woman died when her vehicle crashed into a guardrail on Rte 32 after she apparently lost control of the vehicle. No mention was made in this latest news item whether or not the accident was a result of driver error or defective vehicle equipment. However, that is not the crux of the story.

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How often have we all read the words, “Accident victims were evacuated to local hospitals by Medevac helicopter,” yet it’s not often that people give much thought to the life-saving advantages of a medical chopper flight to a not-so-local hospital. While many readers might consider medevac services truly useful only when an individual is injured in car accident that occurs in a remote part of the countryside, such as a state park or other more rural setting, it’s not uncommon to have emergency responders call for a medical evacuation chopper in instances where the best medical care more than a 30-minute ambulance ride from the scene of a severe car or pedestrian traffic accident.

The fact is, medevac helicopters can get a person injured in an auto accident to the right medical facility for treatment of specific or life-threatening injuries. It can be said that in a percentage of accidents, just taking an injured driver or passenger to the closest hospital may not be in that person’s best interest. This is especially clear in cases of traumatic brain injury — also known as closed-head injury — where the nearest local medical facility is poorly equipped for such specific and critical care.

As Baltimore auto accident lawyers and Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my staff understand the importance of getting a car, truck or motorcycle accident victim stabilized as quickly as possible to avoid future complications. So many factors come into play following a highway collision that only the medical personnel at the scene can assess each victim and determine the most immediate and effective care.

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Although it’s difficult to imagine, at least for those who haven’t been in a car crash, a single-vehicle accident can be quite serious for those involved. And while the circumstances of a single-car or single-truck wreck are unique, the results are typically similar depending on the severity of the crash and the type of vehicle involved.

As personal injury attorneys serving residents of Baltimore, Frederick, Hagerstown and Washington, D.C., we have experience in helping victims of car, truck and motorcycle accidents. It’s probably true that a single-vehicle auto accident can cause as much damage and bodily harm as a multi-vehicle collision, naturally when more than one vehicle is involved the number of occupants caught up in a crash can up the ante from an injury standpoint.

In single-vehicle accidents, again depending on the circumstances, police and auto accident lawyers look at all the possible causes. While driver error is certainly at the top of the list, other factors such as weather, road conditions and even the vehicle’s mechanical condition are considered as potential contributing factors. In the case of mechanical problems, there is always a chance that a faulty component or other critical part may have caused the accident, or at least exacerbated the outcome for the victims.

Faulty safety equipment, such as airbags, seatbelts and car seats, can result in more serious injuries than typical for a car in perfect operating condition. Poorly maintained vehicle equipment, such as tires and brakes, may have contributed to the accident by not allowing the driver to avoid a collision or cause the vehicle to go out of control and result in a secondary crash.

Whatever the cause, the police investigators typically look for the causes of an accident and other factors that may have contributed to the severity of the wreck. Insurance companies will always have their own people looking into the cause of a car, bike or commercial trucking accident. The evidence that turns up will likely drive the course of the investigation, insurance claims and subsequent law suits, if any.

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