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.
1. Research the lawyer’s credentials. Does the lawyer have a good reputation in the Korean community? Has the lawyer spent decades representing Korean Americans for car accident and injury cases before many other “Korean Accident Lawyers,” were in the market? 2. Does the lawyer have a support staff who understands the needs of the Korean Community? 3. Where was the lawyer educated and what kind of experience does he have? 4. Does the lawyer provide top service to his clients? 5. Has the lawyer been recognized by word of mouth, friends, family and the like? Or are they merely heavy into advertising. Many lawyers spend more money and time marketing then they due providing quality service to their clients, and as a result the client’s case might suffer from lack of reasonable attention. 6. In addition to providing good service, does the lawyer get good results and publish those results? 7. Is the lawyer willing to take cases to trial and fight for reasonable and fair compensation for clients. 8. Check online to see what others have said about the lawyer? Do the online research. Has the lawyer ever been reprimanded for failure to act ethically or honorably? 9. Do the testimonials of the lawyer’s clients online speak highly of the lawyer’s abilities, responsiveness, aggressiveness and overall service level? 10. Does the lawyer give back to the Korean Community? 11. Look at the Korean Personal Injury Law Firm’s website? Has it been translated into Korean? Are testimonials from actual Korean speaking clients? Is the lawyer well known in the Korean community?
Why Bob Katz is a great choice as a personal injury or car accident attorney for someone in the Korean community.1. Bob’s Korean clients speak very highly of him. You can read some of our Korean client testimonials on our Korean Personal Injury Site koreanaccidentattorneys.com 2. Bob Katz has learned over time that Koreans in the Maryland, Northern Virginia and DC area are a tightly knit community that value professionals that give back to the community. Bob Katz believes that giving back to the Korean community has contributed to his success over time. From the Miss Korea Beauty Pageant to golf tournaments, to auto-body shops, Bob Katz stays involved locally and has sponsored and contributed to events in the local Korean community for more than a decade. 3. Bob Katz employs a number of Korean speaking staff in his day to day practice, which help give him insight into the needs of the Korean people. While Bob Katz is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race or any other factor, he does frequently have a need to hire Korean speaking attorneys and interpreters. For example, one of his top personal injury attorneys, Christine Lee, is a Korean-speaking attorney and alongside Bob Katz, she fights to help her clients get fair compensation every day. She has been with Bob Katz for more than 20 years. Additionally, several of Bob’s Korean interpreters have been with him for more than a decade. His interpreter, Yun Cha Yun, has been with him more than 15 years. 4. Mr. Katz is Chairman of the Personal Injury Group. Since joining Gordon, Feinblatt in 1982, Mr. Katz has concentrated his practice in the handling of personal injury claims, primarily plaintiff. His areas of practice include all areas of tort claims and litigation, including auto accidents, premises liability, products liability, toxic torts, air crash accidents, injury claims arising under maritime and admiralty jurisdiction, and worker's compensation. 5. He received his J.D. degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1973. He was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in 1973, the Maryland Bar in 1977 and is admitted to practice in the United States District Courts for the District of Columbia and Maryland. He was a trial attorney for the Federal Aviation Administration Office of Chief Counsel from 1973 to 1974 where he handled air safety matters, and was with the Department of Justice, Civil Division, Torts Section as a trial attorney from 1974 to 1976. At the Justice Department, he received merit awards each year for his success as a trial attorney defending the United States in complex, wrongful death cases involving up to 125 fatalities from a single accident. Thereafter, Mr. Katz was Counsel to The Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of Maryland where he handled personal injury defense litigation. 6. Bob Katz prides himself on the great five star reviews and client testimonials his clients leave him online. He loves to provide great service to his clients and strives to make each one happy. He is willing to travel to meet his clients in their time of need and will go them if they cannot make it to a meeting with him. Bob understands that many Koreans are not adequately educated on the American legal system and want an attorney who can represent their needs. This is why Bob brings to bear his many years of strength and success in every case he handles. He has five litigators that can go to court and fight for his client’s rights, when the insurance companies treat them unfairly. Additionally, he employes many support staff to make sure his client’s matters are well cared for. Many of the claims paralegals and attorneys who eventually decide to work in the Korean Personal Injury field outside of Bob Katz’s personal injury practice in Maryland and Virginia were actually trained at Gordon Feinblatt under the tutelage and mentorship of Bob Katz, himself. There are several such lawyers out there who now compete with Bob Katz, who were at one time trained and supervised by him.
If you were the victim of a negligent act by a non-employer third party, it is important you know what damages you can and cannot be compensated for. Like many states, Maryland law places caps, or limits, on the amount a plaintiff can recover for non-economic damages in personal injury claims.
Economic and Non-Economic DamagesIn general, there are two distinct categories of damages: economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses are considered both past and future medical expenses, lost income, lost future wages and earning capacity, and other financial expenses attributed to the wrongdoer. These damages do not have a cap, or ceiling, in the State of Maryland. The only requirement is that they are substantiated at trial. Non- economic damages include compensation for things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and the loss of enjoyment of life as a result of the negligence. These damages are more subjective, not easy to quantify, and vary from plaintiff to plaintiff.
Personal Injury CapsAt the urging of Virginia lobbyists for hospitals and the insurance industry, caps on damages were passed by the Maryland House of Delegates. The caps are modified and increased slightly from year to year to account for inflation and other factors. The Maryland statute places an $830,000 cap on non-economic damages for injuries and wrongful death cases arising in the the 2016 calendar year. The cap increases to $1,245,000 in wrongful death cases if you include the cap on survival actions. If there are two or more claimants in a wrongful death case, the cap increases to $2,075,000. Jury awards in Maryland that exceed these caps in the applicable circumstances will be reduced by the Trial Judge in a legal process known as remittur, pursuant to the laws of Maryland.
Medical Malpractice CapsMaryland has a separate cap for non-economic damages in medical malpractice and nursing home lawsuits. The cap is at $770,000 for malpractice cases arising in 2016. The cap rises to $962,500 in wrongful death cases made by two or more family members. This cap applies to a broad definition of health care providers including, dentists, nurses, nursing home employees, and chiropractors. Again, this cap only applies to non-economic damages. There is no limit or cap on the amount that can be awarded for actual sustainable economic losses.
In it's simplest form, "Negligence" is the failing to do what a reasonable person would do under the same or similar circumstances, or otherwise taking some action that falls outside the reasonable person standard. It can be an action or an omission and is usually judged by the "reasonable person" standard. The law usually imposes on most people a duty to act reasonably and considers a breach of this duty to be negligence. The standard of care required often varies depending on the circumstances, the age and mental status of the actor and may also be affected by the educational status of the actor. For example, professionals such as doctors may be held to a higher standard of care than a layperson would be held to, in the same or similar circumstances. Determining whether someone was negligent often depends as well on the cause of the accident. The Cause of Your Accident is Important to Know For example, responsible drivers usually do not cause auto accidents -- negligent drivers usually do. Some examples of negligent driving include:
- Distracted Driving: Many activities divert drivers' attention from safely navigating. Electronic devices are at the top of the list, but other tasks are great offenders, including operating the car radio, eating, drinking, talking with passengers, putting on makeup and reading.
- Speeding: "Speed Kills." This is a fact. When vehicles travel at higher rates of speed, it is harder to stop and reaction time is less. Some drivers ignore the speed limits on Maryland, Virignia and Washington DC city streets, highways and rural roads. Exceeding the speed limit is a common cause of wrongful injury or wrongful death.
- Reckless Driving: Often combined with speeding, reckless driving includes weaving in and out of traffic, fast lane changes, following too close to the car ahead, cutting off another driver, and road rage behavior.
- Drunk Driving: Operating a motor vehicle in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington DC with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher is illegal. A person driving under the influence and drunk or on drugs runs an extremely high risk of injuring or killing someone else, or him or herself.
Virginia does not have a specific statute that controls personal injury liability for dog bites. Instead the practice is for owners of dogs and other animals to be held liable only if the claimant can show that the owner should have known that their animal was dangerous. This is the “one bite” rule that is often used to deal with these cases.
What is Discovery in a Maryland Car Accident?There is a lot of activity that goes on outside the courtroom as attorneys are preparing a civil case for trial. Discovery is the pre-trial phase in a lawsuit where the parties use different tools, as designated by Maryland law, to obtain information and evidence about the other side, or sides, in a situation involving multiple parties.
Scope of DiscoveryIn general, a party may use discovery methods to obtain any information that does not qualify as privileged. Privileged information would include communications between the parties and the lawyers working on the case. The information must also be relevant to the cause of action, relating to a claim or defense of any party. It is important to note that information may be subject to discovery rules even if the evidence would not be admissible at trial. As long as the information sought could lead a party to find information that would be admissible, the discovery would be allowed.
The Purpose of DiscoveryThrough discovery methods, the parties are seeking to determine the existence, description, condition, and location of documents and tangible things, including electronically stored information, such as email communications. When the respective attorneys have a full picture of the evidence involved in a case, they can better assess the strengths and weaknesses of both sides. The lawyers can also determine which issues they agree upon and where there are contested matters. Often, the discovery process leads parties to engage in settlement discussions rather than go to a full trial, where the risk is considerable.
Methods Used for DiscoveryThere are different methods allowed by law for parties to engage in discovery. Asking another party for information is a discovery request, and Maryland law allows for five types.
- Production of Documents: Attorneys use a production of documents request to obtain paperwork that is relevant to their clients’ claims or defenses. In a Maryland car accident case, these documents may include police reports, medical records, statements of witnesses, statements of parties, and other written or electronically stored materials. A party is required to turn over this information as long as it is not privileged, but it is not necessary to give information that is not within the party’s possession.
- Interrogatories: An attorney may use written interrogatories to ask questions to other parties involved in the litigation. The questions may be “Yes or No,” or open ended. The party answering the interrogatories must give truthful responses to the inquiries because the information is sworn on oath: Dishonesty is a perjury offense that may be punished under Maryland law.
- Mental or Physical Examinations: It is common in a car accident case for the defendant to use discovery methods to arrange a medical examination of the injury victim. These exams may be mental or physical, depending on the circumstances. A party may want to retain their own medical expert to conduct a mental or physical assessment of the plaintiff, instead of relying on the plaintiff’s medical records. The exam may lead to information that disproves the victim’s claims or supports the defendant’s defense.
- Requests to Admit Facts: This discovery tool is similar to interrogatories, but instead of supplying questions, the requesting party states facts and asks the other party to admit or deny them. The request for admission may also ask the party to admit or deny the genuineness of a document. Timing is critical when a party receives a request to admit, as the facts are considered as truth by a court if they are not specifically denied within 30 days after service.
- Depositions: A deposition is a question-and-answer session attended by a party, his or her own attorney, and the lawyer for the requesting party. The process begins with a notice of deposition, requiring the party to appear for the proceeding. There will be a court reporter present to record the deposition through audio and written transcript. At the start of the deposition, the person is sworn in by the court reporter. Like interrogatories, the deponent must give truthful answers to deposition questions, or be subject to the penalties of perjury.
NOTE: the following is not legal advice. If you have questions about your specific case, right to make a PIP claim or how to make a PIP claim, please consult with an attorney. Generally speaking: Personal Injury Protection is a form of coverage offered to purchasers of motor-vehicle insurance and is governed by Maryland laws and the Maryland Insurance Code. The main function of PIP coverage is to serve as a way to help injured parties obtain reimbursement or payment for medical bills and monetary loss due to injury after an accident. In the State of Maryland, PIP coverage is mandatory. That is, insurance companies are required to provide this basic form of coverage to all applicants at the time they apply for insurance unless those individuals choose to affirmatively waive coverage. Pursuant to Maryland laws, which dictate the amount of coverage that must be provided, an insured who elects not to waive PIP coverage should expect that their automobile policy will hold at minimum, PIP coverage of up to $2,500. Historically, there was always the potential that an insured individual could sustain a policy premium increase when making a PIP claim against his or her own policy. Insurance companies can and will raise premium rates for a variety of reasons. However, recognizing that insurance carriers were able to penalize insured individuals for benefits they were paying for, the State of Maryland in 2009 passed a law rectifying this matter. In 2009, the Maryland General Assembly amended § 19-507(c) of the Maryland Insurance Article to prevent Insurers from raising insurance rates after a claim is made under this portion of the policy. The chief aim of this law is thus protect the rights of an injured person to make a claim for payment of medical expenses on their own insurance policy without the fear that their insurer will retaliate and raise their insurance rates. It protects their rights by enforcing the rule that a policy premium cannot be increased should a PIP claim be presented on your personal automobile insurance policy. The full changes to the law are summarized in a memorandum by the Maryland Insurance Administration and can be read here.
Most employers understand if you are unable to work due to a car accident when adequate communication is provided. We therefore encourage our clients to remain in communication daily with their employer’s to keep them informed of their rehabilitation progress. Not all employers are created equal, however. If you do lose your job as a result of your injuries or inability to work, we may be able to help you recover lost wages for the period that you are disabled as well as for the hardship your job loss has caused you. If you become permanently disabled or you have lost a portion of your earning capacity, we may be able to help you recover money for your loss in ability to earn to your previous potential. Consult with a lawyer to discuss the options in your particular case.
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. PLEASE NOTE: Materials are NOT Legal Advice or Legal Opinions - All material located on the Sites, in podcasts, blogs, Faqs and/or social media forums is prepared for a general audience for general informational purposes only. It is not legal advice or a legal opinion. Its sole purpose is to better educate you about a variety of general legal issues so that you become more educated consumers of legal services. While Gordon Feinblatt tries to provide accurate information on the Sites, the law changes quickly. Therefore information contained on the Sites may not reflect the most current interpretation or be complete. Many factors go into the decision-making process of selecting a lawyer and everyone’s needs differ. Moreover, although the specific facts of your matter may seem similar to those of others, they are actually quite different; the law may apply differently or not at all to your situation. Therefore, you should not rely upon or take any action with respect to your specific, personal legal matters based on information contained on the Sites. The Sites are provided “AS IS” and Gordon Feinblatt is not responsible for any action you do or do not take in reliance on any materials on the Sites. Information provided on the Sites should never be a substitute for consulting with a lawyer.
Please note: the following is not legal advice. Do not assume the facts herein are applicable to your case without talking to a lawyer. Each case is unique and results depend on a variety of factors. For more information see the full disclaimer below the article. In a serious accident, there will usually be a lengthy and thorough investigation of the accident. It is 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. Since in an accident case, one does not have to pay any attorney’s fees up front, it is to the client’s advantage to hire an attorney sooner than later. The costs for hiring an expert can be very expensive. 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 fighting for their interests as well.
erve 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
This topic was previously discussed in our injury blog in the article entitled: "Should I Give a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company Before Talking to a Lawyer?" You can access the full blog posting by clicking here.
understands the inconvenience and stress placed on an individual as a result of a motor vehicle accident. The last thing a victim wants to worry about is a replacement vehicle and how they will be able to perform their day to day tasks. Upon hiring our office, we will work closely with the insurance companies to set up a direct bill for a rental vehicle when necessary. A direct bill means that the insurance policy you are obtaining a rental through will pay the rental expenses directly that policy. In addition, our office will also advise you as to additional fees etc. that you may be presented with but are not necessary requirements. Our office agrees that our clients, should not be forced out of pocket expenses resulting from someone else’s negligence and we, therefore, assist with the property damage matters related to a claim.