There’s No Such Thing as Too Many Questions
Bob Katz wants Maryland, Virginia and DC accident victims to have all the facts so they can make the right decision when hiring an attorney. Accordingly, this section of our website is meant to provide basic insight into the issues we deal with for our clients on a day to day basis. It is NOT meant to be a substitute for real legal advice or opinion applicable to your particular situation. Please note therefore that the following materials are NOT Legal Advice or Legal Opinion.
All materials provided herein are prepared for a general audience for general informational purposes only. Their sole purpose is to better educate accident victims about a variety of general legal issues so these victims they can become more educated consumers of legal services. Information provided on the Sites should never be a substitute for consulting with a lawyer. Please contact us directly for advice on your specific situation.
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Can I ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in Maryland?
Maryland Code generally prohibits driving any kind of vehicle on the sidewalk under Title 21 of the Vehicle Laws.
The code lists bicycles as an exception only where permitted by local ordinance. Different counties and cities in Maryland have different rules so there is no easy general answer.
The best guide I have on local bike laws is here
If you are a bicyclist who was injured while riding on a sidewalk or a pedestrian injured by a bicyclist while walking on a sidewalk, your best bet is to contact a Maryland bicycle accident lawyer who is familiar with the bicycle law in the particular county or city where you were injured.
For more information visit
I Was Injured in a Bus Accident. What Should I Do?
Bus Accidents are sometimes much more complicated than a 'run-of-the-mill' car accident case. The law varies in this area depending on the particular facts of each case and therefore it is imperative that you speak with an attorney to determine if you have a case and what rules of law will apply in your particular jurisdiction. There are several reasons for this:
Injuries Can Be Substantial
Because bus accidents often result in substantial injuries and substantial liability for the bus company, the bus company, typically, is well prepared to respond to the accident scene and perform its own accident investigation to determine the cause of the crash. As plaintiff’s attorneys, it is our view that the bus company’s investigation will often be skewed towards the interests of the bus company in order to limit their own liability. Indeed, we have found that it is very rare that the bus company will attribute the cause of the accident to their own driver's negligence. Therefore, if you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a bus accident, you should obtain an attorney as soon as possible after the accident to aggressively conduct an independent investigation into the facts and to rapidly secure the evidence necessary to prove how the accident happened.
Different Laws May Apply
A different set of laws will apply to the regulation and operation of buses. These are not the same laws that are applicable to regular motor vehicles. For example, unlike cars, most buses are not required to have seat belts. This fact alone is quite disturbing when considering that a majority of injuries and deaths resulting from bus related accidents, result from passengers inside the bus being thrown from their seat. Nevertheless, bus operators and the companies or entities they work for, (which are sometimes referred to as 'common carriers') are typically held to a higher standard of care than regular drivers. Therefore, what may be a reasonable action for a driver to take on the roadway may be entirely unreasonable, when the driver of a children’s school bus takes that same action. Attorneys with experience handling these complicated matters will be well prepared to deal with the specific laws and statutes that apply to bus related accidents.
Traps and Pitfalls
Bus Accident lawyers can help you navigate the pitfalls and complications that lie in wait. Most people do not realize that public transportation systems usually have limited immunity. That is; local government entities have, over the years carved out some form of limited immunity, which usually consists of
a. Immunity from lawsuits pursuant to local government tort claims acts or statewide grants of immunity - There are limited time periods in which suits must be filed in claims against most local governments.
b. Immunity and/or damage caps may apply
c. Limited statute of limitations periods for suits against these entities
d. Strict Notice Requirements for bringing a claim against the entity - failure to comply with these requirements to the letter may result in a complete bar of the claim entirely.
Ask These Questions
Thus, if you are deciding on whether to hire a lawyer for your bus accident claim, make sure you ask and get answers to the following questions:
- 1. How much time do you have to file your claim?
- 2. What government or state entity is potentially involved?
- 3. What are the statutory requirements for putting the government entity on notice?
- 4. What damage caps may apply?
- 5. Does the government entity enjoy any kind of limited immunity?
Ask These Questions Too
Additionally, you may want to ask yourself the following questions to ensure the lawyer is competent to handle a more complex accident case.
- 1. How did I come upon this lawyer? Did a family member or friend in the community who has used the lawyer recommend the lawyer?
- What do online reviews say about the lawyer?
- 2. What is the lawyer's reputation in the community?
- 3. What are the lawyer's credentials?
- 4. What are the lawyer's case results?
- 5. Does the lawyer has a reputation for taking cases to trial and getting large verdicts
- 6. Is the lawyer not afraid to take cases to trial?
Call Bob Katz Today!
Bob Katz has represented injury victims for over 35 years. His personal injury attorneys in Maryland and Virginia are well aware that you and your family are counting on us. Let us help you focus on your physical recovery by working hard to ensure that you are taken care of legally and financially. Call us 1-888-540-2599.
What if I am not a legal citizen. Can I still make a claim for injury in Maryland or Virginia? Will the claim affect my citizenship status?
Any communications you make to your attorney which you wish to remain privileged, cannot be disclosed by your attorney, and are protected by the attorney client privilege.
Secondly, all injured victims are protected equally under the law. The law does not discriminate on the basis of citizenship. If you are an illegal citizen or worried about your citizenship status and are afraid to make a claim for injury, you may have remedies available to you under the law.
Generally speaking, your citizenship status will be wholly irrelevant to any injury claim. With proper legal representation, your attorney will help you to assert a personal injury claim and get you the justice you deserve, without putting your citizenship status at risk or revealing that you are not a legal citizen.
In short, your entitlement to most forms of compensation under Maryland and Virginia Injury law will not be affected by your citizenship status and similarly, your citizenship status should feel no impact from your injury claim.
What is PIP (Personal Injury Protection Coverage) and how does it work in Maryland?
- Q. What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?
- A. Personal Injury Protection is a type of coverage under one’s automobile insurance coverage that pays for the medical bills, loss of income and other expenses, like copays and deductibles that is incurred as a result of injuries suffered from an auto accident. It is coverage that one pays for as part of the premium for auto insurance in Maryland.
- Q. Who gets covered under the Personal Injury Protection coverage?
- A. First of all, it is also called “no fault” insurance because the PIP insurance covers the medical bills and other expenses of the person covered regardless of whether they caused the accident or not. There are several different types of people that can benefit from the PIP coverage: The person who is named as the insured under the insurance policy, passengers in the insured’s vehicle, family members who live in the household of the insured, persons with permission to use the vehicle involved in the accident and pedestrians who are injured by the insured’s vehicle.
- Q. Is everyone required to purchase PIP coverage on auto insurance policies?
- A. Although Maryland accident law does not require PIP coverage on automobile policies, insurance companies have to offer PIP coverage when you buy auto insurance and you have to reject it or waive it by signing a document saying that you are rejecting it.
- Q. How much of my medical bills and expenses are covered under PIP?
- A. The amount of expenses that will be covered will be dependent on the coverage you purchase in Maryland. Basic PIP coverage in Maryland is $2500.00, but one can elect to purchase a higher amount of coverage.
- Q. How does PIP coverage benefit one involved in an auto accident if the other side is already going to pay for the injuries?
- A. Under the collateral source rule, the law in Maryland allows for one to recover not only from the other insurance company but your insurance company as well. For example, if you have $5,000 total in medical bills and lost wages, and you have $5,000 in PIP benefits, your own insurance company will cover the medical bills. You can then collect from the other insurance company for the same medical bills and lost wages in addition to money for your pain and suffering.
- Q. Is there a time limitation to filing for the PIP benefits?
- A. In Maryland, one has to file a PIP claim within a year of the date of the accident or one may not be able to get those benefits. If our office handles the case, we will not charge an additional fee to file the PIP application on behalf of the client and help ensure that the claims are processed by the insurance company.
What can I do if I was struck as a pedestrian?
- Seek out medical care. This may seem obvious, but it is surprising the number of people who refuse to seek out medical care immediately and who think they are fine after being struck by a car. Often times, injuries can be internal and are not obvious to a layperson. Get yourself seen by experts as soon as possible to rule out more serious complications that can arise from internal bleeding and other internal injuries.
- Document Your Accident. This means carefully documenting relevant information to your claim, which may be useful later. Do get contact information from any witnesses to the accident. Do report the accident to the proper authorities. If you need help with this, please let us know. That's what we are here for.
- Speak to an attorney. This is critical so you can discuss with your attorney what kinds of problems you are having as a result of your injuries and your attorney can help you preserve your claim. Acting quickly may affect the type and amount of compensation you may be entitled to.
- Discuss Your Remedies. If you have been struck as a pedestrian and are not at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries as well as compensation for various losses. Make sure you discuss with your attorney each of the following elements if they are applicable to your situation.
- - Medical bills you have incurred
- - Costs of presently needed medical treatment (physical therapy, chiropractic care or other forms of treatment)
- - Future Medical Treatment
- - Pain and suffering
- - Death
- - Loss of financial support
- - Loss of consortium
- - Mileage
- - Lost Wages
- - Out of Pocket Expenses
There are no hard and fast rules to determining if you have a case. Each case is unique and is dependent on the facts of the particular case. The law is a constantly changing entity and only by consulting an attorney directly, can you achieve the piece of mind that comes with knowing where you stand legally on the issues relevant to your particular case.
What kind of "Personal Injury" cases does your firm handle?
Our firm is experienced in handling a variety of "personal injury" matters throughout Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia. We regularly accept cases and represent victims who have been injured due to:
- Automobile Accidents
- Worker’s Compensation / Job Related Accidents
- Slip and Fall Injuries
- Truck Accidents
- Boating Accidents
- Fatal Accidents
- Defective Products
- Head and Brain Injury
- Catastrophic Injury
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Animal Attacks
- Wrongful Death
- Birth Injuries
- Food Poisoning
- Medical Mistakes
- Nursing Home / HMO Neglect Abuse
For over 35 years, Bob Katz has been helping victims of personal injuries obtain justice and fair compensation. We have a wide variety of attorneys who have expertise representing victims of many different kinds of personal injury accidents including but not limited to:
- Auto Defects
- Maryland and Virginia Auto Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Food Poisoning
- Intersection Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Premises Liability
- Product Defects
- Slip and Fall
- Boating Accidents
- Maryland and Virginia Bus Accidents
- Catastrophic Burns
- Untested products
- Defective Medications
- Dog Bites
- Workers Compensation
- Pharmacy Error
- Train Accidents
- Metro Accidents
- Negligent Fires
We have obtained millions of dollars for our clients in the last year alone, let alone over 35 years of practice. Our personal injury attorneys in Maryland are well aware that you and your family are counting on us. Let us help you focus on your physical recovery by working hard to ensure that you are taken care of legally and financially.
Hire an Experienced Maryland Personal Injury Attorney Today. Call Bob Katz. 1-888-540-2599
For more information or to find out if your specific injury or loss gives you standing to make a personal injury claim, please contact our office at 1-888-540-2599.
What rights do I have if I am injured on another person's property due to negligence?
Maryland Slip and Fall Law
When people think about personal injuries, they mainly think about car accidents. However, one can suffer injuries through other kinds of accidents. While people’s initial reaction to a slip and fall is that no one other than the injured victim is at fault, this is often not the case. Premises liability law sometimes dictates that the owner/occupier of the premises should be held responsible for an injury that resulted due to that owner’s negligence.
Visit our Slip and Fall Practice Area Page for More Information on Slip and Fall Accidents
Maryland law requires that all property owners owe a duty of reasonable care see that those portions of their property which invitees may be expected to use, are safe and kept in good repair. Additionally, there may be a duty to warn invitees or individuals on the property of known dangers located on the premises. If there is a dangerous condition on their property that the business owner knew about and failed to warn you of, or otherwise reasonably should have known about but failed to detect, then they could be held responsible for causing you injuries.
Most Common Types of Premises Liability Negligence
Among the most common types of land owner negligence we encounter are some of the following:
- Poor lighting
- Damaged or uneven carpeting or flooring
- Wet floors
- Black ice that was ignored or negligently treated
- Stairs without safety railings
- Outdoor tile stairs not property treated for outdoor use
- Unmarked or camouflaged stairs or curbs
- Negligently designed restaurant booths
Premises Liability is a Complex Area of Law
It is important to note that just because you are injured on someone else’s property, it does not mean that the property owner or occupier is automatically are responsible for your injuries. Maryland law looks to several factors to resolve these cases and you should consult with an experienced slip and fall lawyer to determine if you have a viable claim.
Proving matters of what a company or business knew, or should have known, is never a simple matter, Additionally, slip and fall cases often involve complex injuries. While many people are not injured after falling, others can sustain extremely severe injuries, brain damage, broken bones and even death. Finally, in Maryland, contributory negligence or assumption of risk defenses may be available to the property owner which would bar an injured person from recovering any compensation.
What should I do immediately after a car accident in maryland? (Or Virginia)
What to Do Immediately After a Maryland Car Accident
The period of time immediately after an auto accident can be confusing. If the accident was substantial, then there may be significant property damage or injuries to account for. If you are knocked unconscious in a car accident, then all you can really do is trust in the medical attention that you have been given. But if you are conscious, then there are certain things that you need to do immediately after an accident that will help preserve the information your attorney will need later.
Confirm You and Your Passengers Are Not Seriously Injured.
The most important thing to do is to make certain that you and your passengers are not seriously injured. If you are able to move, then get out of the vehicle and see of any of the people in the other vehicle are injured. This is information you will need to know when you call the police to file an accident report. If there have been injuries, then you will need to let the police know so that emergency medical responders can be contacted. It is important to remember that you should avoid any other conversation with the other parties beyond checking to see if anyone is injured. Do not allow your emotions to cause you to say something that could be used against you later in court.
Call and Wait for the Police
Police may ask you on the phone if anyone is injured. If anyone is in any pain, even minor pain; be sure to answer in the affirmative. Police may elect not to come to the accident scene if no injuries are reported. Once the police arrive, ask if the accident report will include each party's insurance information. The police will either inform you that the information will be on the report, or they will suggest that each party supply the information to the other. The most important thing to do is to follow the instructions given by the police officers. If you see any witnesses to the accident, ask for their name and contact information. The more corroborating stories you can get for your case, the better it will be for you.
Take Pictures of the Accident Scene and/or Vehicles
One of the things that people often forget to do immediately after an accident is take pictures. With most smartphones having cameras in them, it is easier now for people to take pictures of accident scene or vehicle damage. Be sure that you get pictures of each vehicle involved in the accident, pictures of the people that were involved, pictures of the witnesses and as many pictures of the accident scene as you possibly can. Remember, damage to all vehicles involved may be evidence.
Secure Witness Information
The cause of accidents is not always easy to determine. Make sure you secure phone or address information from any witness who is willing to provide it. Many people do not seek out witnesses at the scene because they feel that fault is obvious and that there will not be any dispute about how or why the accident occurred. Get witness statements anyway. If liability is later disputed, you may need a witness to corroborate the events in order to prevail in your claim.
Call an Accident Attorney
Consider retaining an auto accident lawyer and turn all of the above information over to your attorney. Accident lawyers are experienced at negotiating and proving accident claims and can guide you through the legal process. There is no easy way to determine if you will need an attorney following a car accident in Maryland or Virginia. The best way to make this determination is to speak with an experienced lawyer who can answer all of your questions in a face-to-face meeting and make the decision for yourself. If you retain a lawyer to help you deal with your accident claim, your lawyer will address any specific legal issues that may be of significance to your case.
Why do I need to contact a lawyer immediately after a catastrophic injury?
When one is involved in a serious accident that leaves a victim with a permanent injury and the need for extensive medical care, it is very important that you hire the right attorney to handle your matter and that you do so promptly.
First - In a serious accident, there will usually be a lengthy and thorough investigation of the accident by the insurance company. Often, the more serious your injuries are, the more thorough the investigation will be, regardless of which driver was at fault. Indeed, many things can go wrong during this investigation process which can jeopardize your claim. It is therefore very important to consult with an attorney right away so that they can be involved in the investigation from the beginning. A good attorney will hire an expert to do an analysis of the crash and the scene of the collision, interview any witnesses, emergency personnel and police to make sure that any evidence pertaining to the accident is properly preserved.
Second - when you hire an attorney on a contingency basis, (i.e. when you are not required to pay any attorney’s fees up front) it is often to your advantage to hire an attorney sooner rather than later. The attorney costs do not vary based on when they begin working on your case, but instead will vary based on the result obtained. Therefore, it is generally to your advantage to get them working for you as soon as is practicable.
Third -Many cases will involve the need for expert testimony in order to prove a case. One important reason to hire an attorney immediately is to secure the proper expert witnesses you will need to prove your case. A qualified attorney will secure a proper and qualified expert who is competent to testify to the critical issues in your case. The insurance companies for the at fault party have experts on their side from the beginning doing their own investigation and it is crucial that the client has someone on their side.
Finally, If, as a result of some else’s negligence, you are left with a permanent impairment, it could have an impact on the rest of your life. This is just one example of many issues that need to be dealt with which your attorney will help you with which you may not be able to effectively convince the insurance company of without proper legal counsel.
Bob Katz is the head of the Personal Injury Group at Gordon, Feinblatt. He has been serving Baltimore community for over 35 years and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, whose membership is limited to attorneys that have won million dollar verdicts and settlements. He can be reached at 1-888-540-2599.
What states, cities and counties does your law firm service?
We serve and represent injury victims in the following areas in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Maryland - Annapolis, Arbutus, Baltimore City, Bel Air, Bethesda, Bowie, Cambridge, Catonsville, Centreville, Columbia, Dundalk, Easton, Ellicott City, Essex, Ferndale, Frederick, Ft. Meade, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Glen Burnie, Greenbelt, Hanover, Hyattsville, Laurel, Linthicum, Ocean City, Olney, Owings Mills, Pasadena, Randallstown, Rockville, Salisbury, Severn, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Towson
We serve the following counties in Maryland - Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carol County, Frederick County, Harford County, Howard County, Prince George's County, and Montgomery County.
Virginia - Arlington, Chantilly, Fairfax, Falls Church, Herndon, Lorton, Manassas, McLean, Richmond, Alexandria, Annandale, Centreville, Dale City, Dumfries, Leesburg, Reston, Springfield, Tyson's Corner, Vienna, Woodbridge.
We serve the following counties in Virginia - Arlington County, Clark County, Fairfax County, Fauquier County, Fredericksburg County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, and Warren County
Washington D.C. - All Areas