If you’ve fully recovered from only minor injuries and only missed several days of work after the car struck you, you might be able to negotiate a fair insurance settlement without a lawyer. The more evidence you have, the better your chances will be for a fair insurance settlement.

But, what about someone who have suffered severe injuries? The answer is simple: severe injuries require an attorney.

If you’ve been severely injured or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you’ll need the care, the knowledge, the dedication, and the skills of a personal injury attorney to get you fair compensation. Get a free consultation with Fintus Injury Firm today! Call us at 1-888-542-4743 or contact us through our website.

Severe injury claims include permanent scarring, spinal cord injuries, multiple fractures, and traumatic brain injuries.

You shouldn’t trust the insurance company to look out for you or your family. After all, they don’t have any incentive to treat look out for you or family. Their claims adjusters, even if they are nice and likeable, are taught to avoid large payouts to people like you. There’s too much at risk to face a large insurance company on your own, and it costs you nothing to find out what a personal injury attorney can do for you.

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Maryland’s Horrendous Law Capping Damages

In a recent blog post, I wrote about the ridiculous law in Virginia that limits the amount of money medical malpractice victims may receive for their injuries. (This law caps “damages.”) But I’ll tell you a secret about the damages caps in Virginia: in some ways, they are much fairer than they are in Maryland.

To be clear, they are not fairer in medical malpractice cases. However, in other kinds of personal injury cases–car crash cases, premises liability cases, truck collision cases, elder abuse cases, and so on–the damages caps in Virginia are significantly fairer. In fact, in some ways, the damages caps in Maryland are some of the least fair in the nation.   

Could this really be true?

Could it, considering the Maryland legislature is overwhelmingly Democratic? (There are two Democrats for every one Republican in both the Senate and the House of Delegates.)

It is true.

Individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries might find it unfortunate that they were injured if they were injured because of someone else’s negligence; they may find it especially unfortunate if they were injured in Maryland.

I’ll tell you why.

Maryland caps the amount injured plaintiffs can recover for non-economic damages. Non-economic damages cover losses like the loss of the enjoyment of life, physical pain and suffering, and mental anguish.

Maryland law caps recovery for non-economic damages to only $845,000. (The cap increases by $15,000 every year.)

Imagine: you’re driving a hatchback, you’re stopped in traffic, and suddenly you get hit from behind–obliterated–by a big SUV. You get medical treatment, of course. But after all the treatment you receive, a doctor tells you that you’ll have severe pain for the rest of your life and she recommends you use a wheelchair.

Activities you used to love, like running every morning and playing a round of golf with your friends on weekends, are now off limits to you. You feel like you’re a burden on your family. You’ll likely live another 40 years.

Now, consider someone gives you a check for $845,000 in exchange for the severe pain, the mental anguish, and the loss of your enjoyment of life. That check would, spread over 40 years, equal about $20,000 a year.

Who in their right mind would consider that amount to be fair?

Make no mistake about it: none of Maryland’s neighboring states limit non-economic damages in all personal injury cases–not DC, not Delaware, not Virginia, not New Jersey, not New York, not Pennsylvania. In fact, only 10 other states in the nation have such a cap on non-economic damages: Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee.

Maryland is an outlier.

The Democratic legislature ought to end the caps on non-economic damages, bringing Maryland in line with the vast majority of states and all of its neighbors.

Baltimore Pedestrian Accidents–Still Too Many Deaths

Pedestrian traffic deaths have been on the rise. In the US, 6,283 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes  in 2018. Of course, the United States is a huge country, so you might rightfully wonder how Baltimore has fared. A recent study by Smart Growth America, titled “Dangerous by Design 2019,” provides statistics to support the position that there are far too many deaths and injuries from pedestrian accidents in the Baltimore metro area.

In the ten-year period captured in the study, between 2008 and 2017, there were 496 deaths from pedestrian accidents in the Baltimore metro area. That amounts to a little less than a death a week, to say nothing of the serious injuries pedestrians suffer that don’t result in death.

Between 2008 and 2017, the number of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people in the Baltimore metro area exceeded the national average. While the Baltimore metro area is not at the bottom of the list of the 100 largest US metro areas when measuring the “Pedestrian Danger Index,” the Baltimore metro area is in the bottom half. The Baltimore metro area ranks 55th out of 100 metro areas–making it more dangerous than the Washington DC, Philadelphia, and New York City metro areas.

Who are the victims of these tragic crashes?

While the study reveals that people of all ages, races, ethnicities, and income levels die in pedestrian accidents, certain people and communities carry a larger share of the burden: the study found that “[o]lder adults, people of color, and people walking in low-income communities are disproportionately represented in fatal crashes involving people walking.”

What can be done to prevent pedestrian deaths?

There are things that local and state governments can do to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths, but here I’ll focus on what we pedestrians can do.

As pedestrians, we can:

  • Forget about our phones. Being preoccupied with our phones can be very dangerous.
  • Keep music at reasonable volumes. Listening to music at such a volume that reduces our awareness of what is going on around us can be dangerous.
  • Make sure we’re visible. During the day, this means wearing vibrant colors. When it’s dark outside, this means wearing reflective clothing. However, for many of us, the suggestion to wear reflective clothing will not be practical; we should try to avoid walking when it’s dark.
  • Follow the traffic signals. Don’t cross a street unless the walk sign directs us to do so.
  • Check for reckless drivers, even when it’s our turn to walk. If we have a walk sign, we should still check to ensure that no driver is recklessly driving.
  • Only cross the street at safe areas. Jaywalking can be dangerous–and also very detrimental to a pedestrian’s legal case against the offending driver.

Get Legal Help

If you find yourself involved in a pedestrian accident where another party’s negligence has caused you a serious injury, seek the advice of an attorney. If you have not yet started a lawsuit, call me. I can answer your legal questions and would love to talk with you. You can reach me at 410-513-9978 or by email at stefan.akorli@fintusinjuryfirm.com.

How Much Does Collision Speed Matter in Pedestrian Accidents?

Extensive research has been done to understand the factors that increase the likelihood of injury or death when a vehicle hits a pedestrian. In this post, we’ll look at the role a vehicle’s speed plays in the harm pedestrians suffer.

Researchers have extensively studied the factors that increase the likelihood of injury or death when a vehicle hits a pedestrian. In this post, we’ll look at the role a vehicle’s speed plays in the damage a pedestrian suffers.

While it seems obvious that collision speed matters, the role it plays in the extent of damage that a pedestrian suffers may be surprising. It may be surprising that, as the results of a 2011 study show, even at low collision speeds pedestrians frequently suffer serious injuries or die.

Risk of Severe Injury

The results of the 2011 study show that the average risk of severe injury for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle reaches 10% at an impact speed of only 16 mph, 25% at 23 mph, and 50% at 31 mph.

At higher collision speeds, the risk of severe injury expectedly increases: the average risk of serious injury is 75% at 39 mph, and 90% at 46 mph.

Meanwhile, older pedestrians have a significantly greater risk of severe injury than their younger peers. The average risk of severe injury for a 70‐year‐old pedestrian hit at any given speed is approximately equal to the average risk for a 30‐year‐old hit by a vehicle travelling 9.3 mph faster.

Risk of Death

Pedestrians who receive severe injuries may, in some sense, count themselves among the lucky. After all, it’s not uncommon for a pedestrian to die as a result of a collision with a vehicle, even when there is a low impact speed. The average risk of death reaches 10% at the impact speed of 23 mph, and 25% at 32 mph.

At higher collision speeds, the average risk of death increases: 50% at 42 mph, 75% at 50 mph, and 90% at 58 mph. Again, the risks vary significantly by age. The average risk of death for a 70‐year‐old pedestrian struck at any given speed is approximately equal to the average risk for a 30‐year‐old pedestrian struck by a vehicle travelling 10.4 mph faster.  

In a world of distracted drivers and pedestrians, these statistics should be startling. These statistics should also be a serious cause of concern for city and state lawmakers.

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in Maryland, I recognize that you may have questions about legal options. I encourage you to contact me today. I can answer your legal questions and would love to talk with you. You can reach me at 410-513-9978 or by email at stefan.akorli@fintusinjuryfirm.com.

Number of Pedestrians Killed Highest in Nearly 30 Years–Cyclist Deaths Rise

The number of pedestrians killed rose to its highest level in nearly three decades, the U.S. auto safety agency said this week. More pedestrians and cyclists were killed in 2018 than in any year since 1990.

In 2018, deaths of pedestrians rose, compared to the prior year, 3.4% to 6,283. In the last decade, deaths of pedestrians have jumped by 42%.

Meanwhile, the number of people killed on roads while using bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles also rose in 2018, climbing 6.3% to 857.

Three-quarters of all pedestrian deaths take place at night, the U.S. auto safety agency said, while 38% of pedestrians killed had alcohol in their systems and 74% were not at intersections when hit.

Auto safety experts say the growing number of drivers distracted by mobile devices is at least partly to blame for the increase in deaths. Relatedly, the Governors Highway Safety Association said the increasing shift in U.S. vehicle sales, away from passenger cars and toward light trucks, is also a factor in the rising number of deaths.

What Damages Are In Maryland?

In personal injury cases that start when a victim is injured by a wrongdoer who does not intend to cause injury, the victim has to establish certain things in order to get a financial recovery for his or her injuries. Let’s imagine you’re the victim here. One thing that you must establish is that the wrongdoer acted[1] in a negligent manner. Another thing you must establish is that the wrongdoer’s negligence caused your injuries. Finally, you must prove that you sustained “damages.” In past posts, we looked at how to show negligence and how to show causation. Here, let’s focus in on damages.

Damages in personal injury cases can range from a couple hundred dollars for an emergency room visit to many millions of dollars for catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities. Calculating damages can be a very complicated process, so you should seek the assistance of an attorney.

You must show that you suffered actual losses due to the accident and your injuries. Common losses include the following:

  • Past medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Loss of income or benefits
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering.

If you have suffered injury and believe another party has acted negligently, you should not delay in consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney in Maryland. Damages can be complicated and a qualified attorney will know how to sufficiently gather and present evidence of negligence in court so that you can receive the compensation you deserve.

I realize you may have questions or concerns about your matter, which occurred here in Maryland. If you have not yet started a lawsuit and are contemplating bringing one, but still have questions, call me. I can answer your legal questions and would love to talk with you. You can reach me at 410-513-9978 or by email at stefan.akorli@fintusinjuryfirm.com.


[1] Sometimes the negligent behavior is a failure to act, an omission, like a doctor failing to diagnose a condition that he or she should have diagnosed.

What Causation Is in Maryland

In personal injury cases that start when someone is injured by a wrongdoer who does not intend to cause injury, you have to establish certain things in order to get a financial recovery for your injuries. One thing that you must establish is that the wrongdoer acted in a negligent manner–and we looked at what negligence is in a past blog post. However, establishing negligence is not enough, to surprise of many people. In addition to establishing the wrongdoer was negligent, you must establish “causation” and “damages.” Here, we’ll look at causation in Maryland.

A big issue in all personal injury litigation, including the malpractice area, is the issue of causation. The heart of many personal injury cases is not what the injury is, not the amount of damage or harm, but whether the wrongdoer caused the injury or damage.

In Maryland, you must prove that the individual’s “breach of duty” was a “proximate cause” of your injury. At a minimum, as part of the proximate cause issue, you must show “causation in fact.” This means, you must show, at a minimum, that the wrongdoer’s conduct actually produced your injury.

For example, in a medical malpractice case, this might be established by asking a medical expert, among other questions, whether–under the facts of the case–the expert has an opinion if the damages or harm you suffered were caused by the acts of the wrongdoer.

The other subset of proximate cause in Maryland, sitting beside causation in fact, is “legal cause.” When it comes to legal cause, the court asks whether the wrongdoer, in light of considerations of fairness and “social policy,” should be held liable for your injury, even when you have established that the wrongdoer’s conduct produced your injury.

If you have suffered injury and believe your injury is another party’s fault, you should not delay talking with a good personal injury attorney. Negligence and related personal injury legal concepts can be complicated, and a qualified attorney will know how to sufficiently gather and present evidence of negligence so you can receive the compensation you deserve.

I realize you likely have questions or concerns about your matter that happened here in Maryland. Well, if you have not yet started a lawsuit and are contemplating bringing one, but still have questions. What I encourage you to do is pick up the phone and call me. I can answer your legal questions. This is something I do every single day, and I would love to chat with you. You can reach me at 410-513-9978 or by email at stefan.akorli@fintusinjuryfirm.com.

What Negligence Is in Maryland

Many personal injury cases start when someone is injured by a person who does not intend to cause injury. In these cases, you have to establish certain things in order to get a financial recovery for your injuries. One thing that you must establish is that the wrongdoer acted in a negligent manner. While you may have a basic understanding of the word “negligence,” perhaps you don’t realize the exact definition, in the legal context, of negligence.

It is not enough to simply state that you believe the wrongdoer acted negligently. Instead, there are specific things you must show. The first step in proving negligence is to show that the wrongdoer had a certain “duty of care.”

Duty of Care

The law imposes various duties of care on different people in different situations. Some of these duties of care are set out in past court cases while others are set forth by laws made by lawmakers in Annapolis. The following are examples of duties of care:

  • Drivers have the duty to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner to avoid injury to others.
  • Doctors and other professionals must act as a similar reasonable professional would in a  particular situation.
  • Mass transit providers, like train, taxis, buses, subways and other common carriers, owe their passengers the highest degree of care to provide safe means and methods of transportation for them.

Breach of Duty

Once you establish a duty of care, you then have to establish that the wrongdoer breached that duty. Examples of breach of duty include:

  • Impaired driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Fatigued driving
  • Failing to obey traffic laws and signals
  • Medical malpractice
  • Allowing hazardous conditions on a property
  • Providing inadequate security at a business
  • Selling a defective or dangerous product without warning
  • Inadequate supervision at daycare centers or schools.

You have to present evidence that the wrongdoer breached or failed to live up to their duty of care.

Once you establish a duty of care and the breach of that duty, you have established that the wrongdoer was negligent. However, this is not enough to entitle you to a financial recovery from the wrongdoer. In addition to establishing the wrongdoer was negligent, you must establish “causation” and “damages.” In many cases, but not always, once you have established causation and damages, you will be entitled to a financial recovery for the injuries you have suffered.

Of course, negligence, in the legal context, can be difficult concept to understand. If you have been injured in Maryland and believe it may have been due to someone’s negligence, you may have questions. Give me a call today, and let’s discuss your case.

Not Knowing What a Brain Injury Looks Like May Make You Vulnerable

If you don’t know what a brain injury looks like and you have suffered one, then you may be vulnerable. Sometimes the cause of a brain injury is another person’s or a corporation’s negligence. If you have suffered a brain injury, caused by the negligence of another, and do not recognize having suffered this injury, then–due to the statute of limitations in Maryland–you may vulnerable to never receiving the monetary compensation that you deserve.

For this reason, I have listed a number of the signs that suggest a mild traumatic brain injury has occurred and signs that suggest a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury has occurred. Have a look!

Signs that a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Has Occurred

Signs that a mild traumatic brain injury has occurred include:

Physical symptoms

  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
  • A state of being dazed, confused, or disoriented
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue or drowsiness 
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Dizziness or loss of balance

Sensory symptoms

  • Sensory problems (such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a bad taste in the mouth, or changes in the ability to smell)
  • Sensitivity to light or sound

Cognitive or mental symptoms

  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Mood changes or mood swings
  • Feeling depressed 
  • Feeling anxious.

Signs that a Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Has Occurred 

Signs that a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury has occurred include all of the symptoms above.

Additionally, signs that a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury has occurred include the following symptoms:

Physical symptoms

  • Loss of consciousness for several minutes to hours
  • Persistent headache or headache that worsens
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
  • Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
  • Inability to awaken from sleep
  • Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
  • Loss of coordination

Cognitive or mental symptoms

  • Profound confusion
  • Agitation, combativeness, or other unusual behavior
  • Slurred speech
  • Coma and other disorders of consciousness. 

Causes of Car Accidents in Maryland

A crash can occur out of nowhere, and that very same crash can completely change your life. You may be able to hold the responsible parties liable for your injuries and losses.

To hold someone legally and financially responsible for your losses, you must prove that they were negligent and that their negligence caused the crash.

Hearing this, you may think about the actions or circumstances of the other driver, the person who crashed into you. While it may make sense to begin by thinking about that person, they are hardly the only party that deserves responsibility in certain cases.

Here, we’ll look at who might deserve blame for your accident.

Here, we’ll look at the obvious wrongdoer, the other driver, but we won’t stop there. We’ll also look at the role auto manufacturers, local governments, and other companies might play in your accident: we’ll look at the other driver, manufacturers, governments, and other corporations.

Other Drivers

Drivers engage in many negligent behaviors that cause collisions. These can include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Fatigued driving and falling asleep at the wheel
  • Speeding and violating other traffic laws
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Tailgating
  • Aggressive driving or intimidating acts
  • Improper passing.

Auto Manufacturers

Sometimes, drivers’ cars may crash because part of the vehicle unexpectedly malfunctions. Auto manufacturers must sell reliable and safe auto parts—and when they fail to do so, those companies may face liabilities for resulting injuries or damages.

Some auto parts that may be defective and lead to injuries include:

  • Brakes
  • Wheels and axles
  • Tires
  • Steering systems
  • Exhaust systems
  • Airbags
  • Ignition switches.

Government Entities

Local or state governments often have the duty to ensure that roadways are safe and free from hazards. If the duty-bound government fails to properly inspect, maintain, or repair roads, hazards, including the following may lead to crashes:

  • Potholes
  • Large cracks in the pavement
  • Gravel on the roads
  • Inadequate shoulders
  • Dangerously designed roads
  • Improper speed limits or warning signs.

Other Companies

Manufacturing companies are not the only corporations that may liable in auto accident cases. If an employee of a company causes a crash while on the job, the employer may also face liability. This is especially common in cases involving large commercial trucks or buses.

How Do You Determine Everyone Responsible for Your Accident

Determining the cause of your accident and all of the parties who may be held responsible is a necessary step in assessing your rights. This often requires investigations, gathering evidence, and expert analysis.

To seek the compensation you deserve from all parties, call Fintus Injury Firm today. We’ll support you.

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