Articles Posted in Featured Lawsuits

If you are considering bringing a wrongful death lawsuit, one question may have is what is the most you can sue for in a wrongful death case?

The better question is how much money can a jury award you.  Because in a wrongful death case in Maryland, you no longer ask for a specific amount of money in the Complaint.  Assuming the plaintiff’s lawyer understands Maryland law, the days of the Baltimore Sun publishing a story about a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit are over.  Today, we do not sue for a specific amount, but we ask for what a judge or jury deems just.

A wrongful death claim is a statutory cause of action governed by the specific rules of Maryland law.   It bears repeating that actions for wrongful death in Maryland must be commenced within three years of the death of the injured person. To date, the Maryland General Assembly has only enacted exceptions for deaths caused by occupational disease and criminal homicide.

Knee injuries make up probably 10% of our law firm’s car accident caseload. This is consistent with studies that show how often knee injuries occur in car accidents.

What is the settlement value of a knee injury case? Below we discuss the average and median settlement values of these cases. We also list more statistics, relevant medical literature, and the importance of expert testimony.

Our law firm has successfully handled scores of serious knee injury cases. Most recently, we won a $5.2 million verdict in a knee injury case. We fight for our clients. Call (800) 553-8082 or get a free online consultation.

baltimore injury case value

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Baltimore City settled a wrongful death and survival action by Freddie Gray’s family for $6.4 million.  The criminally unfair Maryland Local Government Tort Claim Act would have capped these claims at $400,000.  So Baltimore City settled for a whopping $6 million more than the maximum value of the case.   Said another way, the settlement was 16 times the cap for personal injury and wrongful death claims had this case taken the standard path and been heard by a Baltimore City jury.

High-profile cases mold public perception, in Baltimore and throughout Maryland, of our civil justice system.  People form impressions on how well the system performs when placing dollar amounts on personal injury and wrongful death cases.

On some level, Freddie Gray is a Baltimore specific McDonald’s coffee case. It has now been 24 years since Stella Liebeck spilled coffee on herself at a McDonald’s drive-through in New Mexico and that case continues to inform prospective jurors on how personal injury cases actually work.  Freddie Gray may leave a similar legacy in Baltimore.  What will that legacy be?  What misimpressions will jurors carry into the jury box because of this case?  I believe there are unintended consequences to this settlement that will be felt for years.

I think these are the Freddy Gray takeaway messages:

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Maryland personal injury lawyers are not permitted to say that they specialize in personal injury law.  This may soon change.maryland personal injury law

The Maryland Court of Appeals is considering amendments to Rule 7.4 of the Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct that would permit a Maryland personal injury attorney — or any lawyer for that matter — who has been certified as a specialist in a particular area of law to hold themselves out to the public as a specialist.

What would the attorney’s qualifications be for specialization?  I think this may be the challenge that led the court to defer ruling on this issue, which they did last week.

[2018 Update: I DO specialize in personal injury law!  We are now allowed to make this claim.]

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There are an unbelievable number of variables involved in arriving at a settlement value for a personal injury case.  Compensation offers varyinjury type settlement wildly because there are so many different factors with different weights attached to them.

But assuming there is no issue about the amount of money available* to pay on the claim, the single most reliable way to predict settlement value is the type of injury.  There are two key factors to consider when looking at the type of injury.

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baltimore malpractice verdictOur Memorial Day weekend got a good kickoff with a $5.2 million verdict in Baltimore in an emergency room misdiagnosis medical malpractice case.

I can’t start out the facts of this case without pointing out how amazing our client and his family were and are.  Just a great loyal family.  They came in and out of the courtroom during the two-week trial, including six of his seven siblings.   His elderly parents were there for the closing too, along with one of his nieces.    I have four small kids.  When they are older, I want us to all be as close as that family.   They are great people that love each other, and they love God. Which means they have 95% of life covered when they wake up in the morning.

Facts of the Case

appellate court rules malpractice

Maryland appellate court kicks malpractice case

Before the holidays, the Court of Special Appeals issued a new opinion dealing with medical malpractice actions.  The case, Puppolo, v. Adventist Healthace, Inc., et al., is a perfect example of how difficult it can be to litigate a medical malpractice claim when you don’t understand and/or abide by the procedural and statutory “rules” Maryland has in place.  (You can read the case here.)  I know that slogging through statutes can be really tedious and boring, but when it comes to med mal, there are no excuses.  You’ve just gotta do it.  Maybe this cautionary tale case will shed some light… Continue reading

governmental immunities caseThe Maryland Court of Appeals decided Espina v. Prince George’s County  last week.  The opinion is not a good one if you care about justice.  

I have written here two times how awful governmental immunities are.   But I think the topic is inexhaustible, like Doris Kearns Goodwin digging even deeper into Lincoln’s life.  The unfairness of protecting government when they hurt someone is just plain wrong.  In 2014, they just make little sense. Virtually everyone agrees they lead to grave injustice.  Yet no one really cares. Continue reading

california bad faith

California insurance law is far more generous than ours in Maryland

I’m glad to say that our firm has had several verdicts in recent years that exceeded the insurance policy of the at-fault driver.   In almost all these cases – there is one exception  – we made a demand for the insurance policy limits.    Why?  Because we knew they would not pay the policy limits, and we were trying to set up our bad faith case after an excess verdict.

Insurance companies have a duty to their insured to try and settle a case within policy limits if it is reasonable to do so.  In every Maryland case, we have had, the “reasonable to do so” never gets flushed out because the insurance company does the right thing and pays the policy.
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