Posted On: June 29, 2009

Maryland Car Accident on I-70 Kills Two; Police Blame Illegal Street Racing

A Baltimore County car crash that left two young people dead and another in critical condition is believed to have been caused by illegal drag racing, authorities report.

Two bystanders were killed and two suffered personal injury last Sunday when one car crashed into another on the westbound side of Interstate 70. Witnesses reported that a crowd had gathered to watch drag racers on the eastbound side of I-70 where the highway abruptly ends. Police had been observing this little-used area of the highway, which is tempting to amateur street racers. Cars parked on the roadside began to leave when they spotted the police cruiser. According to news reports, that's when a 2009 Chevy Impala struck the rear of a 2004 Chevy Cavalier.

The crash set off a chain reaction and two young bystanders on the shoulder of the road -- a woman age 22 and a man age 20 -- were struck and killed. A third bystander was struck and treated for serious personal injury and released, and a fourth was in critical condition at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

The stretch of highway where this fatal Maryland accident occurred is the result of a blocked expansion of the interstate into Baltimore city dating back to the 1960s. Maryland State Police and State Highway Administration officials are looking into ways to curb illegal street racing, including the use of video cameras and rumble strips.

According to the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ), there is no database of street racing related fatalities at this time. A report for law enforcement published by the DOJ (see link below) notes that illegal drag racing has been depicted in films for years, including Rebel Without a Cause, American Graffiti, and Grease, and most recently in The Fast and the Furious. Identifying drag racing locations -- such as this site in Baltimore County, Maryland where young lives of pedestrian bystanders were lost -- is among the steps the DOJ recommends for police and highway authorities who seek to curb illegal street racing in their states and communities.

Md. police look to deter racing after deadly crash June 22, 2009

Related Web Resources

Racers Against Street Racing

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
Street Racing: Problem-Oriented Guides for Police

Posted On: June 22, 2009

Baltimore Drivers Ranked Among the Most Courteous in the Nation

A national survey conducted by auto club AutoVantage rates Baltimore, Maryland, as the USA's no.-3 most courteous city to drive in. Does this surprise you? Or sound about right? The top city was Portland, Oregon, followed by Cleveland, then our beloved city.

The AutoVantage survey was conducted to determine the causes of road rage, which can lead to car and truck accidents, personal injury, and wrongful death on the road. New York City ranked no. 1 for having the angriest and most aggressive drivers, unseating long-time champ Miami, which had topped the list for the past 4 surveys. NYC was followed by Dallas Fort Worth and Detroit as the places with the worst road rage.

The survey found that the top causes of road rage were other drivers driving badly (i.e., speeding, tailgating, failing to use turn signals, cutting each other off, or close-shave lane changing), talking on cell phones, and making obscene gestures. Other causes included bad weather, road construction, or simply people who are tired, angry, stressed, in a hurry, or otherwise "having a bad day." That pretty much covers just about everyone on the road, wouldn't you say? Yet Baltimore's courteous drivers have made the national news. Go Baltimore!

Baltimore car accident attorneys like us often see the worst in the area's drivers when we go to court to fight for clients who've been hurt in accidents due to the negligence or recklessness of others. It's good to hear positive news like that reported in the survey.

So let's give Baltimore drivers a hand for being so courteous. But still watch it out there when you're driving on our roads and highways and bridges: it's the minority of drivers who are rude, aggressive, angry -- and worse -- who can cause trouble leading to serious Baltimore County and other Maryland car crashes.

AutoVantage Road Rage Survey Reveals Best, Worst Cities
The Auto Channel June 16, 2009

Top Road Rage Cities: Baltimore Is Charming June 16, 2009

Posted On: June 16, 2009

Cecil County Man Killed in Hit and Run Traffic Accident

News sources reported that a man from Cecil County, Maryland, died when he was struck by a truck as he loaded a moped into his parked vehicle.

According to news reports, this Maryland hit-and-run death occurred in the early evening on June 12. The victim, a 44-year-old Elkton man, was crushed between his car and the pickup truck that hit him, driven by a 55-year old man. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Charges may be filed against the driver of the truck, pending a decision by the Cecil County State Attorney. This fatal car truck accident occurred on Elkton, Maryland area roads.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has examined hit & run car accidents in the context of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. NHTSA reports that "it is well-known to law enforcement that many drivers flee the scene of a nighttime crash to conceal their alcohol-impairment." (Source: "Open Container Laws And Alcohol Involved Crashes," NHTSA, DOT HS 809 426, April 2002.)

According to Maryland state law, drivers involved in serious motor vehicle crashes are to remain at or as close to the accident scene as possible without obstructing traffic. The exact circumstances of this fatal Cecil County traffic accident remain under investigation.

Cecil Co. Man Killed in Hit-And-Run
WBOC 16 News June 15, 2009

Related Web Resource

Cecil County Maryland Government

Posted On: June 8, 2009

Maryland Workers Compensation: The Top 3 Reasons Employers Tell Injured Workers Not to File (And Why You Shouldn't Listen to Them)

In our work as Maryland Workers Comp attorneys, we hear this all the time: People who are hurt on the job will say, "My employer said that I don't need to file for workers' compensation because we have disability insurance." Or, "They said they would pay me under the table while I take time off to recuperate." Or, "They said they would continue to pay me legitimately (i.e., on the books) while I'm off."

Those are the BIG 3 EXCUSES we hear employers using to discourage injured workers from filing Maryland Workers Comp cases. What happens in those scenarios, inevitably, is the employee gets paid for the time that they're off, but they really get shorted on the two most important things:

1. They don't get compensated for any permanent physical problems they're having.

2. Since they haven't filed a claim, if they have trouble down the road and they need surgery or additional treatment -- they’re likely to be completely out of luck. Because at that point, the employer will never pay for the expense of surgery and follow up treatment and medications, which could be $50,000 or more. Even worse, they may have missed the two (2) year Statute of Limitations, in which case they are in real trouble.

This is something we feel strongly that Maryland injury lawyers need to relay to people:

The real reason you file a work comp case isn't to get paid in the short run, it's to protect yourself in the long run.

Especially nowadays.

Why Workers Comp in Maryland Protects Injured Employees
Back in the day, our parents and grandparents tended to work for the same employer or just a handful of employers for their entire careers. Say you worked for a company and you knew the president, "Old Man Jenkins," since you were a little boy, and he coached you in Little League. You knew that if you were hurt in his shop, he would protect you, even if 10 years later that injury acted up again.

But it's not like that now. People change jobs yearly. And if you're injured at work and you haven't filed a claim and documented it, a doctor cannot make a "causal connection" if your injury flares up in the future and you need surgery or treatment. You're going to lose that work comp case if you've sat on your rights, because there's no way on earth you can link a current problem to a past work injury without proper medical and legal documentation.

In Maryland, you have two years to file a work comp case. Filing and winning are totally different things. Employees who report their injuries right away and document them, and who seek legal counsel from a qualified Workers Comp attorney, are the ones who fare best in the Maryland state system. Don't be afraid of offending or inconveniencing your employer. Your rights come first.

Related Web Resources

Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission

Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH)

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)