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Auto Accident Blog

Crosswalk Conundrums

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

I have represented many clients who have been injured in motor vehicle collisions involving crosswalks. The most common motor vehicle collision involving a crosswalk is when Driver #1 stops at a crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to cross the road, then Driver #2 (driving behind Driver #1) fails to stop in time, and strikes the rear of Driver #1's vehicle, causing bodily injuries and property damage.

In the above scenario, Driver #1 is oftentimes injured, and sometimes the pedestrian can also be injured if the force of the collision pushes either vehicle into the pedestrian.

It is important to remain vigilant while driving, especially while approaching and waiting at crosswalks. If a pedestrian has not completed his or her cross and the crosswalk signal has changed from "walk" to "don’t walk," the pedestrian must proceed "without delay" to the nearest sidewalk or safety island. This means that drivers must be aware of pedestrians in a crosswalk, prior to proceeding through it. If you fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk, you could potentially be liable for their injuries.

Have you been injured as a result of someone else's negligence? Contact personal injury attorney Jaclyne Kartley today for a free consultation at 301-740-3313.

Attorney Jaclyne Kartley

Call or email me with your questions:
Jaclyne Kartley
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

Respecting Funeral Processions & the Law

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Seeing a funeral procession may not be an everyday occurrence, however, there are special laws for this sort of automobile motorcade to ensure safety on the road for the procession, as well as other drivers. Here are some quick facts about funeral procession privileges to keep in mind when you encounter this situation on the road:

All vehicles in the procession must have its headlights turned on and its emergency flashers activated.

The procession can proceed through a red signal, so long as the first vehicle in the procession entered the intersection prior to the signal changing from green to red.

Vehicles that are not in the procession cannot enter an intersection, even if the driver faces a green signal, unless the driver can cross the intersection without cutting through the procession.

Have you been injured in an automobile accident? Contact personal injury attorney Jaclyne Kartley today for a free consultation at 301-740-3313.

Attorney Jaclyne Kartley

Call or email me with your questions:
Jaclyne Kartley
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

Uber Accident = Uber Complicated

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

In today's day and age, it is not uncommon for individuals to hail rides from complete strangers using apps such as Uber, Lyft, etc. What's even stranger are the insurance issues that arise when an Uber vehicle, for example, is involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Under Maryland law, an insurance company may refuse to provide “any and all coverage” for a loss or injury if the incident occurred while the driver was “providing transportation network services.”

For example, Mr. Rideshare uses his personal vehicle for Uber services and his automobile is insured by Big Bucks Insurance Company. Mr. Rideshare does not update his Big Bucks Insurance policy to reflect that he is using his vehicle for ridesharing purposes. If Mr. Rideshare is involved in a motor vehicle collision, whether he is at fault or not, Big Bucks Insurance Company can refuse to cover any aspect of the loss.

If you have been injured in an automobile collision involving a ridesharing app vehicle, you need an experienced attorney who can protect your right to recovery. Call personal injury attorney Jaclyne Kartley today for a free consultation at 301-740-3313.

Attorney Jaclyne Kartley

Call or email me with your questions:
Jaclyne Kartley
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

Exchanging Information Post Motor Vehicle Collision

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

After a motor vehicle accident, the majority of drivers exchange insurance information without issue. However, on occasion, some drivers will refuse to provide their automobile insurance details to the other driver.

Under Maryland law, after an accident, drivers are required to provide their insurance information to the other driver. This information includes the name and address of the insurance carrier, as well as the policy number.

If you are injured in a motor vehicle collision and the other driver refuses to provide you with their insurance information, you should call the police immediately. It is against Maryland law for drivers to refuse this information.

Have you been injured in an automobile collision? Did the other driver refuse to provide you with his or her insurance information? Call Jaclyne Kartley today for a free consultation at 301-740-3313.

Attorney Jaclyne Kartley

Call or email me with your questions:
Jaclyne Kartley
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

Local Government Tort Claims: What You Need to Know to Preserve Your Right to Recovery

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of negligence in which the local government may be liable for your injuries, there are several requirements for placing the at fault entity on notice to properly preserve your claim.

First, if you were injured while on local government property, e.g. at a local city park or playground, you must notify the appropriate official within one year after the date of your injury. If you fail to place the appropriate entity and/or individual on notice of your claim, you may lose your right to pursue your claim. Second, the notice to the government official must include the time, place, and cause of your injury.

Local Government Tort Claims are complex and require a skilled attorney to preserve your right of recovery. If you have been injured, call Jaclyne Kartley today for a free consultation at 301-740-3313.

Attorney Jaclyne Kartley

Call or email me with your questions:
Jaclyne Kartley
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

What to expect when you're expecting a judgement

Thursday, August 01, 2019

If your case does not settle or liability is denied, usually a lawsuit is the next step in your case. Understanding the litigation process can answer many of your questions and help you have a better grasp of what is to come in your case.

If your case is filed in a District Court in Maryland, here’s what you can expect from the inception of the lawsuit to the conclusion of the case:

  1. The lawsuit is filed;
  2. The Court will issue a trial date, as well as a summons for the Defendant(s);
  3. The Defendant(s) must be served with all pleadings and papers;
  4. The Defendant(s) are given the opportunity to file an Answer and/or other pleadings;
  5. Limited discovery is performed; and
  6. Trial is held.

You will note that each case is unique, and the above steps are merely a basic outline of the process of a District Court case. For example, after a lawsuit is filed, sometimes the Defendant’s insurance company will make an offer to settle the case and trial is no longer necessary. Additionally, a District Court case will typically conclude faster than a case that is filed in the Circuit Court.

If your case is filed in a Circuit Court in Maryland, here’s what you can expect from the beginning of the lawsuit to its conclusion:

  1. The lawsuit is filed;
  2. The Court will issue a summons for the Defendant(s);
  3. The Defendant(s) must be served with all pleadings and papers;
  4. The Court will issue a Scheduling Order, outlining due dates and deadlines. Depending on the county in which the lawsuit was filed, a trial date may or may not be reserved at this time;
  5. Discovery is performed;
  6. Depositions are taken;
  7. The parties attend mediation;
  8. A pre-trial/settlement conference is attended;
  9. Trial is held.

Again, each case is different and not all of the above bullet points will occur in that sequence, if at all. Circuit Court cases, generally speaking, are more in depth than District Court cases. The discovery that is requested in Circuit Court cases will require the Plaintiff to answer numerous questions and produce several documents to the Defendant.

Understanding the litigation process can help alleviate any stress that you may have regarding your case.

Have you been injured in an automobile accident? Call Jaclyne Kartley today for a FREE consultation at 301-740-3313.

Attorney Jaclyne Kartley

Call or email me with your questions:
Jaclyne Kartley
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

But it wasn't my fault! Why you should be using your health insurance

Thursday, July 25, 2019

A common misconception (and rightfully so) that most clients have is that they should not use their health insurance for medical treatment after they are involved in a motor vehicle accident. The reason they feel this way is because the accident was not their fault, so why should they use their health insurance? Shouldn’t the Defendant be paying?

This first order of business is to determine if you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage on your automobile insurance policy. If you need a refresher on PIP coverage, please read my previous blog, “First Party.” Briefly, using your PIP coverage cannot impact your rate, and it can pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your case.

If you have PIP and it exhausts OR you do not have PIP insurance, the next link in the chain is YOUR health insurance. It’s important that all of your medical treatment is processed through your health insurance to ensure that your providers are paid for their services and also so you do not have large balances at the conclusion of your case.

Keep in mind that your health insurance will keep track of what it pays related to your case, and your insurer is required by law to be paid back from any settlement or judgment you receive.

Have you been injured in an automobile accident? Call Jaclyne Kartley today for a FREE consultation at 301-740-3313.

Attorney Jaclyne Kartley

Call or email me with your questions:
Jaclyne Kartley
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

Sudden Incapacity - Part 2

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

In my case, the claim was that the driver had been ill and passed out due to dehydration. I filed a lawsuit for my client and began the discovery process. I retained a medical expert to review the driver's medical records, which were inconsistent with someone who passed out due to dehydration. When I took the deposition of the driver, she admitted that she was not feeling well when she decided to drive, and that she rolled her window down to help her to stay alert. She was tired, and knew she was at risk for falling asleep.

After her deposition, we were able to rebut the defendant's claim that she passed out due to dehydration; her claim was more consistent with her falling asleep, and her medical records did not support a claim of dehydration. More importantly, after her deposition, it was clear that her incapacity was foreseeable; she knew she was at risk of losing consciousness, but instead of pulling over, she rolled the windows down to help her stay alert.

In the end, the defendant's defense of sudden incapacity failed, and we were able to get a very positive result for our client.

Sudden Incapacity - Part 1

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

I recently handled a case where my client was traveling down the road, minding his own business, when suddenly, and without warning, a car traveling in the opposite direction crossed the center line and hit him head-on. The impact was big, and my client suffered significant and permanent injuries. When the police arrived, it was clear what happened, the vehicles were in my client’s lane; you would think this would be an easy case on the issue of liability. It was not.

I opened a claim for my client with the other driver’s insurance company, and to my surprise, I received a written denial. According to the insurance adjustor, their driver had suffered from dehydration, which caused her to pass out at the wheel. They were raising the defense of sudden incapacity, sometimes referred to as sudden medical emergency.

Sudden incapacity is a complete defense, meaning, if a defendant can prove that they suddenly became incapacitated and that the incapacity was not foreseeable, they are not responsible for whatever injury they cause. For example, if a person has a heart attack or stroke while driving, they cannot be found negligent nor held responsible if they cause a motor vehicle collision. The exception is that if they knew or should have known it was unsafe for them to drive, then they cannot raise the defense. That means if someone with a seizure disorder knows they might have a seizure, but decides to drive anyway, and then has a seizure causing a collision, the driver can be held liable.

Child Safety Seats

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Car seats for children have been around since at least the 1930s, but they weren't necessarily designed for safety, they were more for child storage. Over times the seats evolved and relics such as travel cribs for your car fell out of use.

In the 1970s, when I was a child, it was not unusual for people to not wear seatbelts. In fact, when I was young, I would often sit on the floor in the back of the car or lie across the entire back seat. We didn't have child safety seats. When the 1980s came, my family switched to always using seatbelts. It’s almost funny, looking at the current seatbelt law and remembering my childhood, because I specifically recall being strapped into the middle seat in the back of a car, two kids to a single seatbelt. But I can barely remember seeing car seats.

As time has passed, we've learned a lot about safety, and the importance of car seats. Child safety seats are mandatory in Maryland. This means that if you are transporting a child under the age of 8, in a vehicle, that child must be in a child safety seat, unless the child is 57 inches or taller. Children under 16 years of age must be transported in a car seat (that law really says that), or they must wear a seat belt.

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