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Auto Accident Blog

When the Lights Go Out – STOP

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

At some point or another while driving, we've all encountered a non-functioning traffic signal. This situation can be extremely dangerous if drivers don't know the proper procedure for entering the intersection.

If you approach a traffic signal that is non-functioning, you must:

STOP!

Where should you stop? Maryland law states that you must stop at a marked stop line. If no stop line is visible, then stop at the marked crosswalk. If there is no marked crosswalk, then you must stop prior to entering the intersection.

In addition to stopping, you must yield to pedestrians or vehicles that are already in the intersection and remain at a complete stop until it is safe to enter the intersection.

Have you been injured as a result of a motor vehicle collision? 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
301-740-3313
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

Third Party Claims – When Work Accidents are Caused by the Negligence of Others

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

If you have suffered an injury while working, you may also have a third party claim against the negligent person or entity that caused your injury, depending on the circumstances.

For example, an ambulance driver is responding to an emergency in an ambulance, and is struck by another vehicle. The ambulance driver has a workers’ compensation claim, and also has a third party claim against the at-fault driver.

What can be tricky with third party claims is the recovery aspect. When the workers' compensation carrier pays for the claimant’s medical treatment, lost time from work, and permanency award, the carrier keeps track of every dollar it expends. Then, if the claimant recovers in a negligence action against the at-fault party, the claimant must pay back the workers’ compensation carrier for all of the money it paid.

This can be quite a balancing act for Plaintiff's attorneys, especially if the claimant missed a substantial amount of time from work, suffered severe injuries, etc. Furthermore, depending on the amount of liability coverage available, the potential recovery can begin to shrink rather quickly if the claimant has substantial medical bills and lost wages.

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

Mind The Gap

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A few years ago, I had a client who fell down some steps at his apartment complex and injured his back. The cleaning company had just mopped the floor, but had not gotten around to putting up the wet floor signs yet. He began treating for his back, but then found himself in jail. The client received medical care for his back while in jail, and was released after approximately 2 months. I don't do criminal work, and I don't recall the details of his incarceration, except that it was for something minor. The client completed his care after his release and I was posed with a difficult question. When sending my demand to the cleaning company's insurance company, should I submit the medical records from the jail, or should I allow them to believe there was a gap in treatment?

Insurance adjustors aren't original, we know what defenses they will raise and what they are going to say. If you're injured in a car accident, the insurance adjustor will tell you that you treated too long, that your medical bills are too high, that the injuries you did not have 5 minutes before your car crash are somehow not related to the crash, and if there is a gap in treatment, you clearly were 100% better. In the world of insurance adjusting, there is nothing worse for a plaintiff than a gap in treatment.

So the question is, what constitutes a gap? Generally, it is span of time during active physical therapy or chiropractic care, where you miss appointments or don't seek treatment. It doesn't matter to the insurance company if you had to go out of town for work, if you had a death in the family, if there was snow, or if the provider was booked. If you miss appointments, they will tell you that the only possible conclusion is that you didn't need any more care, and that you are all better. Some benevolent adjustors will consider the circumstances of a gap if it is documented in the medical records, but they are few and far between.

For my client that fell down the wet stairs, it was better that the adjustor heard that my client was in jail than for her to think there was a gap. I was able to negotiate a fair settlement for the client.

The Ins and Outs of Roundabouts

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Roundabouts are circular intersections that typically don't use traffic signals to control the traffic. Instead, yield signs are placed at each entrance to the roundabout to alert drivers to approach the intersection with caution.

When you're moving towards a roundabout with a single lane surrounding the roundabout, reduce your speed. You're not required to come to a complete stop before entering the roundabout lane, however, you are required to use caution, keep to the right of the island, and only enter the roundabout when safe to do so. In other words, yield to the vehicles that are already in the roundabout. Additionally, look out for pedestrian crosswalks that may appear in the roundabout. If pedestrians are crossing in the roundabout, you must yield to them as you would in any crosswalk.

If you're approaching a multilane roundabout, you must stay in your travel lane. It is not safe to change lanes while traveling in the roundabout. Therefore, when you exit, you should be in the rightmost travel lane of the roundabout. To safely exit the roundabout, turn on your turn signal immediately after you pass the exit that is before your desired exit, and exit accordingly.

What Does a White Line On The Road Mean?

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

If you search Maryland statutes for the term “white line,” you might be surprised to find that white lane designation lines are only mentioned in reference to tunnels. So the question is, what is your obligation when faced with single or double white lines, and how are you supposed to know?

The Maryland Drive’s Manual taught us that solid white lines are used to mark the edge of the roadway and “the separation of lanes where travel is in the same direction, but where lane changing is discouraged.” But legally speaking, does that mean you can cross it, and what is the significance of lane changing being “discouraged?” The Maryland Driver’s Manual also addresses double solid white lines and tells us that double, or side by side, white lines are used for “separation of lanes where travel is in the same direction and lane changing is prohibited.” But again, if there is no law on the books, how can it be illegal to cross a double white line?

It turns out, the laws relating to single and double white lines are adopted by reference in the Maryland Transportation Code. Essentially, the State has adopted the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), published by the Federal Highway Administration. Instead of listing the laws in our code, Maryland law basically says it will follow the MUTCD. The language in the Maryland Driver’s Manual was then written to reflect the MUTCD, and that is then taught to all new drivers.

So, it turns out, you probably shouldn’t cross a single white line and definitely shouldn’t cross a double white line. You should remember, however, that crossing a single white line may not be a violation, but the result of crossing the might be. For example, if cross a single while line, you will not get a citation for that specifically, but you may fail to drive right of center, make an unsafe lane change, fail to drive on the travel portion of the roadway, or other similar violations that require you to first cross the line.

In Maryland, car accident injuries are the most common type of negligence claim. If you are injured in an automobile accident, the earlier you obtain an attorney, the greater benefits the attorney can provide. Contact us today at 301-670-7030 for a free consultation.

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