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Montgomery County Personal Injury Law Blog

Family seeks $1 million after waterborne disease kills daughter

When people in Maryland visit a water park to have some fun, they likely lack awareness of the risk of infection by a microorganism. A wrongful death lawsuit brought forward by the family of a young woman who died after becoming infected with a brain-eating amoeba at an outdoor recreational park includes the accusation that visitors were not made fully aware of the risks.

The 18-year-old victim allegedly contracted meningoencephalitis after falling out of a whitewater raft at the park. The amoeba Naegleria fowleri causes the disease, and it harms people when it enters the body through the nose. She died in June 2016 a little over a week after returning from her vacation, which included a trip to the water park.

Ankle injuries caused by slip and fall accidents

Maryland residents who slip and fall on another party's property are at risk for suffering an injury to the ankle. Ankle injuries can range from minor to severe, which could include serious pain and mobility problems.

There are several different types of ankle injuries. Sprains or strains occur when the ankle ligaments become stretched or otherwise injuries; however, the ankle bones are not affected. This type of injury can still result in severe pain and reduce the person's mobility for several months. Fractures, or broken bones, often involve the heel bone or one of the other bones that form the ankle joint. Ankle fractures can take months to heal and cause limitations to the ankle's mobility. In some cases, an ankle fracture can result in permanent damage. Torn ligaments or tendons can cause the ankle area to become very weak. These injuries can also require months of recovery and are often accompanied by severe pain.

Amusement parks pose risk of injuries

Amusement parks in Maryland and across the United States pose a unique challenge for insurance companies. Because these premises hold a whole set of dangers and attract often youthful and reckless participants, special insurance policies are necessary for most amusement park owners and ride manufacturers.

In the summer season, amusement parks and temporary carnivals are at their peak of activity. On many occasions, national news is made when a significant accident or injury takes place at a theme park. Some incidents include the throwing of a 10-year-old boy from a water slide at a brand new park in California. The boy was only mildly injured, but large sections of the park were out of commission for the grand opening. In 2016 in Kansas, another 10-year-old boy was killed by a malfunctioning water ride at Schlitterbahn WaterPark.

2-car collision in Maryland kills elderly woman

On June 7, a woman died from injuries she suffered in a head-on crash. The fatal wreck took place shortly after 6 p.m. on MD 140 and Dede Road in Finksburg.

According to the report, the collision occurred when a 69-year-old man from Westminster heading eastbound on MD 140 drove into the opposite lane, colliding head on into a westbound vehicle driven by an 82-year-old woman who was also from Westminster. When emergency crews arrived at the scene, they found that the elderly female driver had passed away from her injuries. The other driver suffered serious injuries and was taken to Shock Trauma for treatment. According to the report, he was listed in stable condition.

Is legal support needed for an OAH hearing?

There are a number of reasons for a hearing at the Motor Vehicle Administration's Office of Administrative Hearings, or OAH. For example, you may have received a notice about a hearing date relative to your DUI charge, but it might be four to six weeks down the road. Meanwhile, you need transportation to get to work, so you are driving on a suspended license. This is not a good idea.

The courts could take your driving privileges away for at least six months for the violation of a driver's license restriction, and up to a year if you also refused to submit to an alcohol test when law enforcement pulled you over for driving under the influence. Your best course of action is to contact a criminal defense attorney whose first order of business will be to prepare you for the OAH hearing.

Settlement enables victim of building collapse to live at home

The botched demolition of a building that struck a Salvation Army thrift store full of shoppers shocked people in Maryland and across the country when it happened in 2013. One 55-year-old woman remained trapped under rubble for 13 hours and then lost in her legs and part of her torso after multiple operations. Out of a settlement fund of $227 million, the arbitrator awarded her $95.6 million because of her need for constant lifelong medical care. Her lawyer said that the settlement will allow her to live with her family instead of in a nursing home.

Her injuries included damage to her lungs and kidney after she inhaled toxic dust from the building collapse. Her breathing tube also damaged her throat and took from her the ability to speak. The disaster killed seven people and injured 11 others.

The information you should collect following a car accident

If you should have a vehicle accident, you hope it will only be a fender-bender, but you may become involved in a more serious car crash. If you know that the other party was responsible, you will want to file a claim for any injuries you received and the damage to your car or truck.

After a traffic accident, you need to first check yourself and others for injuries and call 911. Next, call the police. While you wait for the authorities to arrive, you can exchange insurance information with the other driver and begin to compile accident details.

Drunk drivers may enter the ignition interlock program

Maryland has the ninth-highest ignition interlock usage rate in the country. The program, monitored by the Motor Vehicle Administration, has been in force since 1989, and it works. Depending on the charge, the consequences require some drivers to enter the program. Others may elect to participate instead of requesting a hearing for their drunk driving charge and to regain their suspended or revoked driver's license.

The goal of installing an ignition interlock device on a vehicle is to prevent someone charged with drunk driving from repeating the offense and to ensure that he or she will be taking to the road as a sober driver.

Risk factors for bicycle-related injuries

The Maryland State Highway Administration estimates that about 750 cyclists suffer injuries each year on Maryland roads. The SHA has a bicycle safety education program called "A Cyclist Might Be Someone You Know," which is a campaign asking motorists and cyclists to pay attention to the road and remember that cyclists have a family and friends who want the rider to return home safely. As a cyclist, it is important to follow the rules of the road and to have the proper equipment.

Cyclists should always wear a helmet when riding, as this is one of the biggest risk factors for bicycle-related injuries. The American Academy of Family Physicians reports these other risk factors:

  • Male cyclists suffer injuries more frequently than female cyclists
  • Cyclists who are 9 to 14 years old have higher rates of injuries than cyclists in other age groups
  • Cycling in the late afternoon and early evening tends to be more dangerous
  • An intoxicated cyclist is more likely to be injured
  • Cyclists who do not wear a helmet is more likely to suffer serious injury

Car crashes are not the only sources of auto-related injuries

When you think of auto accidents, you likely think of crashes involving cars, motorcycles and semi-trucks. While these are the most common types, they are not the only ones. Other incidents can also be sources of auto-related injuries.

If you do not drive much in Maryland, you may wonder how you would get into an accident with a vehicle. However, you may receive a personal injury from an auto accident as a pedestrian, bicyclist or passenger of public transportation. In fact, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, fatalities from these incidents have increased the last few years, following a previous decline.

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