Ron Miller is an attorney who focuses on serious injury and wrongful death cases involving motor vehicle collisions, medical malpractice, and products and premises liability. If you are looking for a Maryland personal injury attorney for your case, call him today at 800-553-8082.

Infographic explaining what a herniated disc is

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Metro Verdicts Monthly’s graph in this month’s issue is median settlements and verdicts in cervical (neck) herniated disc cases in Maryland, Washington, D.C, and Virginia. The median cervical herniated disc case in Maryland is $40,000. The Washington D.C. and Virginia medians are $50,000 and $36,000, respectively.

Settlement Values Vary Wildly

Headaches

What is the value of head injury cases?

I’m fortunate in that I don’t get many headaches, a blessing I attribute to good hydration and genetic good fortune. On the rare occasion that I do get headaches, they are debilitating. It is hard to enjoy much of anything in life when you have anything north of a mild headache.

Juries struggle with figuring out how to value personal injury cases when the primary injury is a head injury that caused —  and may be continuing to cause — headaches.

Do you want to make a pain and suffering claim without a lawyer?  I believe car crash injury victims are always better off hiring a lawyer for many reasons not worth fully exploring here (but I do here).

But if there is any claim where an injured victim can justify proceeding without an attorney, it is in the classic neck or back soft tissue/whiplash injury traffic collision case with pain and suffering but clearly no permanency.

My belief has always been that the benefit of experienced counsel can bring to a case is proportionate to the severity of the injury. If you have a permanent injury, you are foolish if you don’t hire a lawyer. (I wouldn’t handle my own case, either. Because that is also an awful idea.)

A quality attorney in serious injury and death cases will statistically get you a lot more money – put a lot more money in your pocket – than you would get for yourself. The same is probably true in soft tissue neck/back injury cases, too.

But car accident lawyers cannot run from the fact that the difference is much less significant in smaller cases.  Some people just prefer the path where lawyers are not taking money away from their settlement. So be it. As long as you understand you run a risk just like you run a risk when you try to install your own bathroom floor, just typically with a lot more money at stake.

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Most personal injury lawyers have had more than a few encounters with consumer bankruptcy proceeding.  Personal injury clients frequently file personal bankruptcies.

It is therefore important to know how personal injury claims, settlements, or awards are treated in bankruptcy.  The question everyone wants to know is will the client get to keep some or all of their settlement or judgment?

The short answer is yes – as long the settlement proceeds are compensation for pain and suffering or future lost wages.

We have been getting a lot of calls from Atrium C-Qur hernia mesh victims.  These poor people have a lot of questions and concerns and we try to lay some of those out for you here.

The C-Qur hernia mesh products are a line of polypropylene surgical implants that were manufactured by Atrium Medical Corp.  The C-Qur hernia mesh products were one of several types of implant devices used in hernia repair surgery between 2006 and 2015.  Hernia repair is one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in the U.S. each year.

What are Hernia Mesh & Patch Devices?

Knee dislocations are relatively rare in automobile accidents.  But we have seen a number of these recently so I’m writing today about these injuries and to give you some idea of the potential settlement value of these claims.  If you are trying to find the settlement value of knee injury cases generally, we provide statistics and verdicts for your elsewhere.

Knee Dislocations in Car Accidents

knee-200x300Knee dislocations are technically a dislocation of the patella. Our lawyers have seen a lot of these cases.  Our knees are in a grove at the end of our thigh bones.  This allows the kneecap to slide back and forth.  When our clients have a knee dislocation, what we see is the kneecap is completely out of the knee’s grove.  You can actually see it off to the side of the bone. If it is just partially out and perched on the edge, that is a subluxation or partially dislocated knee.

Note: post was originally in 2012.  It has been updated in November, 2018  to discuss a new martial privilege case, Sewell v. State, now pending before the Maryland Court of Appeals with a decision coming any day now.

I never find myself writing about marital privilege. But I do have an interest in modern technology and how it will impact pre-trial discovery and admissibility of evidence. Which takes me to the  4th Circuit opinion U.S. v. Hamilton.

This case involves the bribery conviction of a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates who also served part-time as an administrator with the Newport News, Virginia public schools system. Basically, the guy pushed for and got a salary from Old Dominion University in exchange for getting funding for a million dollar program called Center for Teacher Quality and Education Leadership. (FACT: 89% of all “education centers” with titles as goofy and ambiguous as this one are hopelessly corrupt.)email1

Anyway, a key piece of evidence in the takedown of this guy is an email that he writes to his wife about how he is trying to get this salary out of the deal, which he writes from his public school computer. So the question is whether the marital privilege applies because he used his work email account.

For what I think are good reasons, communications between spouses have long been thought to implicate important privacy and confidentiality interests. This has led to a recognition of a marital privilege in both Maryland and federal law that makes communications between spouses presumptively confidential.

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Fetal macrosomia is a medical term that means fetal weight at birth is greater than 4000 grams (8 lbs. 13 oz). Compared to the size of other newborns of the same gestational age, this is considered excessive fetal growth. Your doctor will be concerned with the baby’s probable weight at delivery for a few reasons and should want more testing to be done.

Fetal macrosomia is a serious condition in pregnancy. It is well recognized in the medical literature that a major concern in the delivery of a macrosomic baby is shoulder dystocia and the attendant risks of permanent brachial plexus palsy. It requires close monitoring and frequent visits to the doctor’s office. But the reward is a healthier baby at delivery and sometimes a healthier mother, too.

Why is Fetal Macrosomia Important?

I’m always interested in the Metro Verdicts Monthly graph on the front of their publication which compares verdicts and settlements for a certain type of personal injury claim in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Sometimes I am surprised by the difference in the results.

nursinghome5This month I am astounded by the difference between Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland in median nursing home liability verdicts and settlements since 1987. The median recoveries in Maryland and Virginia are $125,000 and $175,000, respectively. This means that the median settlement and verdict in Virginia is 40% higher than Maryland. Virginia juries are generally more conservative than Maryland so this result is somewhat surprising. But here is what I find surprising: the average nursing home case settlement or verdict in Washington, D.C. is $700,000.  I realize there is no cap in D.C. But it is still amazing.

Real Value of Maryland Nursing Home Claims

caps on malpractice lawyers' feesIn recent years, we have been picking up more malpractice cases — primarily birth injury cases — in jurisdictions outside of Maryland and D.C.  We have handled claims close to home like Pennsylvania and West Virginia and we have also handled (and settled) cases as far away as Oregon.

To do this, we needed to get up to speed on the basics of malpractice calls in that jurisdiction.  Not so much to handle the case — we have local counsel for that — but to screen the case to evaluate whether it is a viable claim to bring.   It is important, of course, to know if the state has caps on malpractice cases and we have done that research.

But, honestly, you also need to know whether there are significant caps on attorneys’ fees because it has a real impact.  Taking a birth injury case in New York, for example, is a very tough play economically because you are only getting 10% of everything past $1 million.

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