May 2011 Archives

May 31, 2011

Horrific tour bus crash on I-95 in Virginia

Bus Crash VA.jpgThis morning there was a terrible tour bus crash on I-95 in Virginia. The Virgnia tour bus crash is still being investigated, but it seems that it occurred due to driver error/driver fatigue. The driver of the Sky Express Bus was Kin Yiu Cheung who lives in Flushing, New York. Sky Express Tours have been cited for numerous safety violations in the past year or two. The tour bus overturned and went off of the right side of the road. This occurred in Caroline County, Virginia. After the crash, he was charged with reckless driving and is being held in jail in Pamunkey Regional Jail in Hanover County, Virgnia which is near Kings Dominion. There were over 50 people on the bus travelling from Greensboro, North Carolina to New York. The National Transportation Safety Board has launched a full blown investigation into the cause of crash called a "Go-Team" Investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those injured and killed in this crash. Those injured (and the families of those killed) should be sure to make a claim with any auto insurance carrier they may have in their own name or with resident relatives for first party benefits. First party benefits are often called Personal Injury Protection Benefits (PIP Benefits) or Med Pay Benefits. This is a no fault benefit that often will pay immediately for funeral expenses, medical bills, etc. Those injured and killed obviously will also seek compensation from the liability insurance carrier for Sky Express Bus Tours and the driver Kin Yiu Cheung. Payments from a liability carrier, however, require a finding of fault and are typically a lump sum settlement/payment for all past and future damages. Anyone seriously injured or who has a loved one killed in this tour bus crash should hire a Virginia car accident lawyer to assist them.

Sky Express Bus tours is a very low cost service that drives people on the east coast to and from new york city. For example, a ticket from Greensboro, NC to New York on a Sky Express Bus would typically cost just $30.00 or so.

Those injured in this horrific accident can feel free to call the lawyers at Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, LLC at 888-213-8140 x102 for a free phone consultation about how to protect your rights.

May 25, 2011

Fatal Car Crash In Wheaton Maryland

There was a terrible car accident in Wheaton, Maryland on Monday May 23, 2011. A married couple was crossing the street when they were struck by a BMW believed to have been driven by Pierre Michel who lives in Silver Spring. Our thoughts and prayers go to the families of those involved.

The families of the persons involved in this Maryland car crash should know that they are likely entitled to personal injury protection benefits (PIP Benefits) from the insurance policy that covered the BMW that struck the people, and that this benefit covers at least up to $2,500.00 in funeral expenses (PIP benefits also cover medical expenses and lost wages). For more information about Maryland PIP benefits see the PIP page of our website. PIP benefits are generally available immediately and are obviously in addition to compensation the families may be entitied to as a result of the driver's negligence.

Christopher Forker was apparently also in the striking vehicle. As a result of the car striking the pedestrians, the wife was killed and the husband has terrible injuries for which he his being treated at Suburban Hospital (which-by the way-has an excellent trauma team). The driver of the BMW is said to have left the scene of the crash without stopping and will likely be arrested. When a crash like this happens, the families of those involved should consider taking immediate steps to have the accident investigated by an accident reconstructionist, and gathering evidence (such as photos of skid marks at the scene etc?). Skid marks fade and evidence can disappear. While it is true that the State of Maryland does its own accident reconstruction in most fatal car accident incidents, the quality and focus of their reconstruction often leaves a lot to be desired (some of the accident reconstructionists are very experienced but some are relative rookies and have not had adequate training to do a serious reconstruction in a wrongful death car accident case in Maryland). The bottom line is that the accident reconstruction efforts by the Maryland State Police are not focused on gathering evidence and preserving evidence that will be necessary to win a civil lawsuit if that becomes necessary.

It is disgraceful that the driver of the BMW left the scene of the crash without stopping. Of course it is possible that the driver was either intoxicated or under the influence of drugs and by not stopping, the police will never be able to prove that. Unfortunately, in Maryland, even if someone is intoxicated and totally drunk, they cannot be sued for punitive damages (unless they literally intentionally struck the pedestrian). This law needs to be changed. If someone leaves the scene of a serious car crash in Maryland without even stopping to see if the victims are ok then that person should indeed be exposed to punitive damages in a civil lawsuit.

May 19, 2011

$3.8 Million Dollar Maryland Medical Malpractice Verdict in Baltimore

This week a Baltimore City Jury compensated the family of a Catonsville Maryland man $3,800,000.00 after finding his medical doctor's negligence caused him to die of breast cancer at just fifty four years old. Maryland's cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases will, in all likelihood, cause the verdict to be reduced to less than $1.1 Million dollars. The evidence presented basically showed that the doctors were overwhelmed with the requirements of seeing too many patients. In this case, Dr. BErnita C. Taylor, who was found to be at fault, was having to see over 25 patients a day and each for less than 20 minutes. Such volume can cause mistakes to happen. The lead plaintiff's lawyer Briggs Vedigan was quoted as saying "Doctors are beign forced to see too many patients, and communication is lacking...Medicine needs to go back to stressing quality over quantity." Many times patients who are diagnosed with cancer in Maryland are diagnosed when it is too late to perform treatment (e.g. chemotherapy, biopsies, surgery) that could cure the cancer or at least give the individual patient a decent shot of surviving. When a medical professional fails to diagnose a condition such as cancer in a timely manner, and as a result of the medical mistake the patient suffers injury or dies, then the medical professional and his employer are liable to the patient under Maryland Medical Malpractice law. If you or someone you love has a condition that you believe should have been diagnosed earlier then you should consult with a medical-legal professional. At Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, we have lawyers who are also trained registered nurses/medical professionals to assist in the evaluation of your potential case. Medical Malpractice consultations are free and there is no attorney fee or costs unless there is a recovery in the case. Call us at 888-213-8140 for a free medical-legal phone consultation to determine if your loved one's medical condition was due to a negligent failure to properly diagnose the condition.

May 4, 2011

Maryland MAIF Madness---Be sure to File Suit Within 1 Year!

Lawyers handling Maryland car accident claims and personal injury claims need to be aware that On Friday April 28, 2011 the Maryland Court of Special Appeals issued a new opinion that basically changes what everyone presumed was the law relating to breach of contract claims against the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (also known as MAIF). Prior to the opinoion in Mary Katherine Daughton v. MAIF, the legal community assumed that the statute of limitaitons for bringing a claim against MAIF for the auto liability insurance policy personal injury protection benefits and/or uninsured motorist benefits was 3 years from the date of accident. This opinion changes this. The Court held that MAIF is a State Agency and that therefore a breach of contract action against MAIF must be brought within 1 year. The Court based its reasoning on Maryland statute 12-202 of the State Government Article of the Maryland Code which provides that claims against State Government Agencies must be made within 1 year.

Lawyers and pro se claimants need to be aware of this change in Maryland Law and make sure that suit is filed promptly in any breach of contract case against MAIF for Maryland uninsured motorist benefits or Maryland personal injury protection benefits. A copy of the opinion can be found at BAD OPINION ABOUT CLAIMS AGAINST MAIF IN MARYLAND maif opinion Daughton.pdf

MAIF is basically an insurance company of last resort for drivers who do not qualify for reasonable rates with other auto insurance liability carriers like State Farm, GEICO and Allstate. MAIF policies are typically (but not always) written for minimal limits but do provide for personal injury protection coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. claims for the PIP and UM benefits are brought via a breach of contract cause of action against MAIF.