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Montgomery County Personal Injury Law Blog

Premises liability in ice and snow

As winter approaches, Maryland businesses and residents need to be aware of some of the potential hazards cold weather can bring so that they can minimize the risk of slip-and-fall accidents. There are several steps that businesses should take to protect their employees, customers and other visitors who will be on the premises.

Before snow and ice arrive, it is a good idea for business owners to check for areas that are leaking and to fix the leaks. This can help prevent freezing water from leaks from building up and causing accidents. It is smart to recheck outdoor areas for leaks after it freezes since ice expands and can form new cracks.

Hypoxia treatment can prevent permanent disabilities

Many babies that are born in Maryland suffer from hypoxia at birth. Hypoxia is caused by inadequate oxygen to the brain before, during or after childbirth. When mild hypoxia is treated swiftly and correctly, it usually does not lead to permanent disabilities. However, a lifelong disorder can result from moderate or severe hypoxia and hypoxia that is not properly treated.

It is very important for doctors to identify hypoxia as soon as possible so that it can be treated. Permanent injuries from hypoxia can happen quickly, though they are preventable. Today, doctors are better at identifying hypoxia than they have ever been before, and failure to treat hypoxia is often considered medical negligence. Though it can be treated, there is no cure for the permanent brain injuries that can be caused by untreated hypoxia.

Bobbi Kristina Brown estate wins $36 million in civil suit

Maryland residents who are following the Bobbi Kristina Brown wrongful death case may have heard that her partner, Nick Gordon, was ordered to pay her estate $36 million. The decision was announced by Brown's estate on Nov. 17.

Brown, the child of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, was discovered unconscious in her tub back in January 2015. According to the suit, Gordon put the woman face down in a tub full of cold water after he had given her a toxic cocktail that rendered her unconscious. She passed away six months following the incident.

States to avoid when driving

As the winter holiday season approaches, many Maryland families will be hitting the road to visit relatives or see the sights in other states. Some may have heard that. although there had been a decline in nationwide traffic fatalities for several years, 2015 saw an increase of more than 7 percent from the previous year, the highest jump in nearly 50 years.

CarInsuranceComparison.com has released its annual study that ranks motorists in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia with regard to certain driving habits. It bases its analysis on crash data compiled by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, and looks at a variety of categories, including drunk driving, speeding, the failure to heed traffic signals and traffic deaths per 100 million miles traveled. For 2015, Maryland ranked among the top 20 states. However, its neighbor Delaware was one of the worst.

What every driver should understand about distracted driving

Whether you believe yourself to be at risk for distracted driving regularly, the fact is that most motorists do participate in at least a few activities that increase their risk on the roadway. While many might argue that these distractions are impossible to totally avoid due to the necessities of life, understanding how driver distraction works and what you can do to minimize distraction as you drive is important, because it gives you the toolkit you need to manage your own safety.

Can school buses be liable in a wrongful death case?

Earlier this month, a Baltimore school bus collided with both a passenger vehicle and a city bus.  Even though the school bus was not carrying any students, the collision resulted in six deaths and 11 injuries.

This deadly accident may make you question what laws govern bus negligence and how liability is determined in a wrongful death case. While we can't determine liability in this particular accident, we can review the elements of a school bus wrongful death case.

Technological solutions for worker safety

Technology is changing safety in workplaces in Maryland and throughout the country. Some of these innovations make equipment use safer. For example, products can come with QR codes or URLs that employees can enter to learn more about using the product safely. However, technology can also boost safety by helping to prevent violence in the workplace.

For example, metal detectors are now so sensitive that they can detect even small amounts of metal. Beyond metal detectors, employees, such as bank tellers, can sit behind bulletproof glass. Laser safety curtains are another way to add an additional layer of safety to these devices.

OSHA standards for excavation and trenching

There are certain operations in the construction industry that are considered very hazardous. Construction workers in Maryland and the rest of the country should be aware of the safety guidelines provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding excavation and trenching.

Excavation is defined by OSHA as any form of a man-made depression, trench or cut into the earth that is created by the removal of earth. A trench is an underground excavation that is deeper than it is wide and no more than 15 feet wide.

Improving worker environments can improve worker safety

For workers in Maryland and throughout the country, the focus of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has shifted from tracking job-related injuries and illnesses to looking at the effects of a workplace environment on safety. Studies have shown that certain workplace conditions can increase the likelihood of illnesses. For example, split or graveyard shift workers may be more likely to suffer from sleep disorders or to become injured. Working too many hours may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

NIOSH has provided funding to several centers that study these safer environments and that assist organizations in improving their safety. The Center for Work, Health and Wellbeing at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health assisted Brigham and Women's Hospital in increasing health care workers' usage of mobilization devices in moving patients. This involved a hospital-wide initiative coordinating various areas ranging from management to laundry to make sure that the devices were available when needed, and as a result, injuries dropped.

Understanding the differences between a passenger car and a big rig

Being safe on the road means understanding the ways that different vehicles perceive their place in traffic so that you know when you need to look out for other drivers. Even the most careful and conscientious operator has a hard time overcoming large blind spots or mechanical restrictions on their ability to start and stop quickly. That is why it is important to understand the differences between big rigs and passenger cars on the road - so that you can be conscientious about steering clear of dangerous situations.

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