A couple of days ago our firm obtained a verdict of $188,467 on behalf of a client who was rear ended in a car accident back in 2006. Our client's vehicle sustained significant property damage, and she had a back injury. The case went to trial before Judge Bernhardt in Howard County, Maryland. The lawyers who presented the case to the jury were Kevin Finnegan and Tad Farrington. The insurance company for the defendant driver made a lowball offer of only $37,000.00 prior to the trial arguing that much of her medical treatment was unrelated to the accident and that her injuries were not permanent. The verdict was over five times the amount of the insurance companies settlement offer. Our Maryland lawyers fight hard for our clients, and do whatever it takes to make sure that insurance companies treat our clients fairly. I believe that there are many law firms out there that do not like to try cases, and they would have tried to convince their client to accept the low offer from the insurance company. Every personal injury lawsuit is different and factors such as the venue/county where the case will be litigated, how the plaintiff will present, and the strength of the evidence have to be taken into consideration. At Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, LLC we are proud of the fact that when insurance companies make a low settlement offer to our clients, we will, when appropriate, hold their feet to the fire and take the case to trial. Howard County, Maryland is known for having a conservative jury pool, and there are not many good plaintiff verdicts from that jurisdiction. Our attorneys have had great success in getting great verdicts in personal injury cases/car accident cases in the tougher venues in Maryland such as Howard County, Montgomery County, and Calvert County. We believe that the insurance companies know that our firm goes to trial--we are trial lawyers--we are litigators--and we are NOT a settlement factory. That fact alone encourages the insurance companies to offer our clients better settlement offers in many of our cases. Kevin Finnegan and Tad Farrington did a great job on this case. This comes as no surprise. Kevin Finnegan is listed in Maryland Superlawyers for 2008 and 2009. Tad Farrington obtained the biggest verdict ever in a car accident case in Calvert County, Maryland.
January 2009 Archives
Did the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority Intentionally Mislead The Public About Lead in the Drinking Water?
In 2003 and 2004 tap water in many Washington, D.C. homes had hundreds of times the lead levels considered safe, and this may have caused injury to children residing in the District of Columbia. The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority was apparently aware of the rising lead levels problem for a long time before they told authorities--perhaps as early as 2001 (reported by the Washington Post).
The D.C. Department of Health and EPA were made aware of the high lead levels in 2003 but did not warn residents or suggest that they drink bottled water. An independent study shows that 42,000 infants and fetuses in the District of Columbia were put at a high risk of irreversible brain damage during Washington, D.C.'s water crisis in 2004. The D.C. Council is now asking the inspector general to investigate whether D.C. WASA should have looked harder for a correlation and whether it negligently and intentionally misled the public. The water agency had gone on record saying that there was no evidence that the elevated lead levels in the water impacted children's health.
The D.C. WASA (D.C. Water and Sewer Authority) and perhaps the D.C. Government underestimated the danger to children in order to avoid blame and legal responsibility. It has been known for decades that exposure to elevated levels of lead is extremely dangerous to children. That is why lead paint and lead in household products such as toys is strictly regulated. Children injured by exposure to the lead in the drinking water have legal rights, and our law firm can help. Our Washington DC law firm can bring a lead paint lawsuit against those responsible on behalf of our clients. If you believe that your child has been injured and/or exposed to lead paint poisoning, and/or if you live in Washington, D.C. and your child has brain damage, call us for a free consultation at 202-887-5533. There is no attorney fee if there is no recovery.
Montgomery County has not released a report on declining water quality in the County. The report has existed for at least six months, and it should have been released a long time ago. It apparently documents a steady decline in water stream health in northern Montgomery County where expansion, development and construction have been rampant in recent years. Sediment Control Systems used by builders (and required by Montgomery County) in Clarksburg have apparently been inadequate. Hopefully, the Montgomery County Council will hold a hearing on why this delay occurred, and the extent and cause of the environmental problems. The problems we are seeing now were foreshadowed by environmental reports based on 2006 data and should not come as a surprise to politicians and the business community who certainly had access to that data.
Other areas affected besides Clarksburg are Paint Brach, Rock Creek and Piney Branch. Clarksburg has been affected the most. Residents of Montgomery County generally, and Clarksburg in particular, should consult with legal counsel to determine what their rights are. A lawsuit could possibly be brought against any construction companies and/or contractors who have not complied with State, County or Federal requirements, if it can be shown that water quality has been adversely affected and/or that there are health problems as a result. Causes of action include negligence claims, nuisance claims, and trespass claims. Another major concern is that the value of properties in these areas will be decreased as a result of the polluted waterstream. It is simply wrong that this report has been withheld from the public. Residents of Clarksburg and Montgomery County who believe that they are sick and/or that their property value declined as a result of this pollution should contact an attorney as soon as possible. To the extent that there are any claims against the State or County, residents should know that the Local Government Tort Claims Act requires that notice be given to the County Executive (Ike Leggeett) within 180 days of the injury occurring (This statute is at 5-304 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article of the Maryland Code). If this statutory requirement is not met, then the claims will be barred by sovereign immunity. It is obviously troubling and of great concern that the report has existed for 6 months and residents may now have lost their opportunity to bring claims against the County and County Officials. Claims against the State of Maryland are governed by the Maryland State Tort Claims Act, and the notice requirement under that statute is one year. The general statute of limitations for negligence claims against private parties (such as construction companies) in Maryland is 3 years from the date of the injury. This is codified at 5-101 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article of the Maryland Code. If you believe that you have a claim for damages as a result of damage to the water quality in this Montgomery County, call our Silver Spring Law Firm at 301-589-2999 today.
Washington has seen big changes recently, and all eyes have been on the capital. Where it will all head is a subject of intense debate, equal parts anticipation and trepidation. However, for the average Washington DC motorist, life goes on along the highways, boulevards, and sidestreets.
A Washington DC automobile accident is inevitable for many, and for this reason Washington DC auto accident attorneys remain an important part of our capitol. If our capital city can be said to stand for the system of representation through government, a Washington DC accident law firm certainly stands for representation through the legal system. One individual or entity representing another is a pillar of government and judicial procedure. This time of inauguration is not one to forget the initial stirrings caused by "taxation without representation" over 225 years ago, and clearly this nation learned a lesson, championing representation since our founding.
In any breach of personal injury law, some duty has been violated, some damage sustained between two citizens. Such is the case in a Maryland car accident. To maximize justice, our legal system takes this initially private dispute/encounter and allows professionals, Virginia auto accident attorneys, to represent those involved. These professionals know the laws, know the procedures, know the ropes, and take thier clients' interests into the courtroom
Hiring an expert Washington DC auto accident attorney means investing in that representation, putting support and belief behind your lawyer and the system of representation upon which this country has been built. The efficacy of this system is well-proven, its fundamentals remarkably concise. If and when you find yourself involved in a Maryland auto accident: invest in it.
The attorneys at Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester are well trained in fairly evaluating cases so that our clients can anticipate and appreciate realistic outcomes. When cases can be resolved fairly for all, through mediation, arbitration, or other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods, our lawyers can aid in achieving that result. When cases must be tried, our attorneys have extensive experience in the courtroom and will fight for your rights. Whatever the practical or legal issues that arise out of an automobile collision, our Maryland car injury lawyers are prepared to address them in order to meet and exceed client objectives and goals.
Kevin Simpson of Bumpass, Virginia was killed on Saturday as a result of a truck accident in Virginia. He was riding in the bed of a Chevrolet S-10 Pickup when the motor vehicle had an accident and crashed into a tree in Manassas, VA. This occurred along Quarry Road near Battery Heights Boulevard. Mr. Simpson was ejected from the vehicle and died at Prince William Hospital. The driver of the pickup, Mr. Stephen McDonald, and another passenger was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital and obviously suffered serious injuries as well.
Another car accident occurred in Dale City, Virginia when a woman was struck and killed by a car about a mile from her home in Prince William. Ms. Barbara Hicks was in the crosswalk near Minnieville Road and Prince William Parkway when this occurred. Ms. Hicks estate and family members can bring a negligence lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle that struck her for negligence. Her family should act promptly and hire an aggressive motor vehicle accident lawyer to preserve the necessary evidence, conduct the post accident investigation, and set up the estate so that the appropriate legal claims can be brought.
Our auto accident law firm represents families of those injured or killed in car accidents in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Tragically, a Medivac helicopter crashed on September 27, 2008 killing 4 people and injuring others. Those killed include Stephen Bunker, Mickey Lippy, Tanya Mallard and Ashley Younger. Jordan Wells was a passenger who survived the crash. The safety board has released hundreds of pages of information about the crash in anticipation of an upcoming hearing on the matter. The facts surrounding why this crash occurred are now coming to light. It appears that the pilot was given old information--an aged weather report--instead of the fresh information that he should have been given. Guidelines call for state police-run helicopters not to initiate flights at night when the cloud ceiling is less than 800 feet above ground level. The controller who relayed the information told investigators that the weather report is supposed to automatically update. This controller, Mr. Kendall Young, has been assigned to administrative duties during the crash investigation. As it now is apparent that this crash never should have occurred in the first place, it will be interesting to see if the Maryland Legislature addresses this issue at the upcoming Legislative session in Annapolis, Maryland.
Relatives of those involved in the crash need to act promptly to preserve their negligence claims, product liability claims, and workman's compensation claims. Since governmental agencies are involved, issues of sovereign immunity may apply that require notice to be formally given to the State of Maryland and/or Local Governments (e.g. Prince George's County/Charles County) regarding claims for unliquidated damages. It is important that those injured and the families of those killed in this crash hire an attorney as soon as possible. Our Maryland attorneys would be glad to help and can be reached at 301-589-2999 x102
If you are struck by an uninsured vehicle, underinsured vehicle or a phantom vehicle in Maryland, then you can and should make an uninsured motorist claim on your own policy. If you do not own a car, but if you live with others in your family who do own a car, then you may be able to make an uninsured motorist claim on their policy.
Maryland's legislature requires that all insurance policies issued in the State of Maryland have uninsured motorist coverage in the same amount as liability insurance coverage unless an appropriate waiver has been signed (See Section 19-509 (e) of the Insurance Article of the Maryland Code). Maryland Courts have explained that the purpose of the requirement for uninsured motorist coverage (also known as "UM coverage") is to assure financial compensation to innocent victims of motor vehicle accidents who are unable to recover from financially irresponsible uninsured motorists. See Matta v. Geico, 705 A. 2d 29.
Unfortunately, in Maryland taxicabs and government owned vehicles are not required to carry uninsured motorist coverage. Pope v. Sun Cab Co., 488 A.2d 1009. Also, practitioners should note that uninsured motorist coverage does not stack in Maryland. Section 19-511 of the Insurance Article of the Maryland Code governs how a tort victim who is injured as a result of the negligence of an under insured motorist can go about settling with the underinsured tortfeasor, while preserving his right to pursue the additional UM benefits he may be entitled to. The written offer from the tortfeasor's carrier needs to be sent via certified mail to the UM carrier. The UM Carrier then has 60 days to consent to the acceptance of the offer and execution of a release, or to refuse consent. If consent is refused, the insurance company must pay the amount of the settlement to the injured party (this preserves their subrogation rights).
As a consumer, I would advise that everyone make sure that they purchase as much uninsured motorist insurance as they can afford, and as will be permitted to be sold to them. It is important because is you are injured as a result of a collision with an uninsured motorist, you want to be sure that you and your family receive compensation as if the party that caused the accident in fact had adequate insurance.
The Maryland Auto Accident Attorneys at Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, LLC can give expert compensation claims advice. They handle claims from a variety of accidents and negligence including car, work, and medical accidents.