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or call to speak with one of our experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorneys at (301) 854-9000 for a free consultation.

Insurance Company Compiling List of Efficient Doctors to Save Members Money

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield CEO Chet Burrell announced earlier this week he wants to award members discounts for picking efficient doctors.  The insurer plans to begin keeping track of which doctors are most efficient in its physician directory as soon as 2016.  Then, when members choose a doctor that is on this list, they could receive a discount on their premium.  The goal of this plan is to help slow rising health care costs. 

CareFirst also uses the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program for more efficient and cost effective medical service.  In this program, a group of doctors "work together to treat patients with a goal of reducing unnecessary and improving the patients' overall health."  Further, if patients' health care costs come in under budget, the doctors get to share in some of CareFirst's savings.

Both of CareFirst's programs (Efficient Doctors Database and PCMH) can be extremely beneficial for our medical malpractice clients in Maryland.  With the possibility of saving money on insurance premiums, our clients can be persuaded to choose efficient doctors, thereby avoiding any potential medical malpractice claims.  A major cause of medical malpractice claims involves doctors who run unnecessary tests or do not run correct tests to help diagnose a patient and the patient gets more sick or injured in some way. 

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider causes injury or death to a patient by failing to act within the applicable standard of care.  Many Maryland patients who enter surgery like to believe they have entrusted their life in the hands of a capable and careful surgeon.  Unfortunately, surgical errors are more common than one would like to believe.  In order to prove malpractice, there had to have been a breach of the standard of care and/or a failure to obtain informed consent. 

The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Portner & Shure possess excellent knowledge, in addition to being familiar with the health care profession and standards of treatment.  In fact, Mr. Shure worked as in-house counsel for a national health care corporation and uses the knowledge he gained to help persuade insurance companies to provide our injured clients with benefits they are entitled to receive.

In every case we handle, our attorneys and staff work with numerous physicians and other experts to strengthen our claims.  There are many factors that impact the value of a medical malpractice claim.  It is important that your attorney understands how to properly evaluate damages in order to determine the full value of a claim and build a strong case for the jury.  Common damages for medical malpractice cases include:

  • medical expenses

  • lost wages

  • pain and suffering

  • loss of consortium

  • wrongful death

Surgical errors can cause serious harm to a patient, and if an injury of surgical error was caused through medical malpractice in Maryland, an experienced attorney from Portner & Shure can help you get the compensation you are entitled.

If you or a family member is the victim of an injury caused by medical malpractice in Maryland, an experienced attorney from Portner & Shure can help you get the compensation you are entitled.  If you would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on medical malpractice in Maryland, please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 or visit us on the web at www.portnerandshure.com

For those readers interested in reading the article, the link can found below:

http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2014/10/29/carefirst-wants-to-give-discounts-to-members-who.html

 

 

Maryland Personal Injury Attorneys | Airbag Recall

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or call 410-995-1515 to speak with an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney today for a Free Consultation.

Maryland, Virginia Personal Injury Attorney: Airbag recall Affects Millions of Cars

Millions of cars from almost a dozen auto makers are affected by a serious and dangerous recall due to defective airbags. Over five million Honda vehicles could have the issue, nearly one million Toyota vehicles, almost 700,000 Nissan vehicles, and more than 600,000 BMW vehicles are affected. A significant number of Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru vehicles are all affected. Years for these vehicles range from 2000 to 2011 depending on the specific model. The reason for the recall is due to defective inflators made by Japanese parts supplier Tanaka that explode too strongly and send metal shrapnel through the bag into people. There have been more than 100 cases where this has occurred. Some say there have been four deaths and multiple injuries. However, the government is only reporting three injuries and is continuing to investigate. Federal regulators are urging owners of these affected vehicles to
"take immediate action." 2014 has been the worst year for auto recalls in U.S. history, with more than 1 in 5 cars and trucks at risk of defects.

If you have purchased a car that has recently been recalled, take it to the dealer to get fixed. Further, you may be entitled to several legal remedies, including:

Economic damages: you may be able to recoup lost value of the car's resale value. You may also be able to recover for loss of use of the car

Personal injury recovery: if the defective automobile resulted in physical injuries to you, you may be able to recover for the costs associated with the injury

Class action: If the recall has affected enough numbers of consumers, a class action lawsuit might be an available option

Manufacturer reimbursement: Some auto manufacturers may voluntarily pay repair bills the defective product caused before the recall.

Sometimes, however, you may need to initiate litigation to be compensated for your financial as well as your physical losses. From SUV rollovers to fuel fed fires and faulty door latches, there are a variety of vehicle safety defects that can lead to severe injuries in a car crash. At Portner & Shure, we have handled these cases for over twenty years. We have the experience and technical resources to analyze your auto accident case, answer your questions, and pursue the compensation you deserve.

If you or a family member has been injured or killed as a result of a Maryland personal injury and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information, please feel free to contact our office at (410) 995-1515 or visit us on the web at www.portnerandshure.com

Maryland Auto Accident Attorneys | Car Crash MD

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How Dangerous Road Conditions Can Lead to Car Accidents

  1.  Potholes/Uneven Road Surfaces: Uneven road surfaces and pot holes can cause cars, motorcycles, or trucks to lose control, especially on a highway.  Uneven roads are usually the result of repairing roadways where one lane has a new surface and the other lanes do not.  Motorcyclists are in the most danger in these situations because it is very easy to lose control of a two-wheeled vehicle.  Pot holes are just as dangerous as uneven surfaces.  Depending on the size of the pot hole, cars are subject to damage to tires and wheel alignment.  In addition, as drivers try to avoid potholes in the roads, it can lead to accidents.
  2. Expansion Joints: Expansion joints are parts that connect bridges and overpasses to the actual roadway.  These joints can create an uneven surface and become very slippery in wet weather.  Slippery expansion joints are a common cause of accidents on bridges and overpasses.  The uneven surface created from the joints is also dangerous for motorcycles because drivers can easily lose control or have difficulty stopping quickly on them.

  3. Unpaved Roadways: Unpaved roadways, especially those with gravel, can easily lead to accidents.  One example is when these unpaved roads are not properly maintained and severe undulations develop, making driving quite treacherous.  Another example is when it rains or snows and these surfaces become muddy and uneven, making driving difficult due to visibility problems from mud spraying up.

  4. Debris: Debris on roads is a very common occurrence, especially on well-travelled roads like highways.  Common examples include cargo falling off of trucks, strips of rubber from tire blowouts, car accident debris, road work materials, rocks, large tree branches, and animal carcasses.  Each county is responsible for removing these dangerous obstacles from the roadways to prevent accidents.  However, when these items are not removed in a timely manner, accidents occur when drivers hit these objects or try to avoid them.

  5. Slippery Surfaces: Slippery surfaces are the most common cause of automobile, truck, and motorcycle accidents.  Some causes of slippery roadways include: painted surfaces, wet leaves, snow, ice, standing water, spilled oil, and mud.  As we move into winter, more and more leaves will fall on to roadways, thereby making driving more treacherous when it rains or snows.  Motorists tend to forget to drive cautiously in wet weather and should slow down to protect their own safety and the safety of others.

  6. Animals: Maryland is filled with many different types of animals, and sometimes these animals run into the streets in front of cars.  Many rural areas are affected by animals such as deer, foxes, raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits.  Deer are especially dangerous to drivers because they cannot see anything when headlights are shining directly at them, and oftentimes, they will dart out in the road unexpectedly.  Our clients in Owings Mills, Towson, Frederick, Rockville, and Columbia are most prone to accidents caused by deer and other animals.

Cities and counties are expected to keep their roads safe.  When they fail to do that and their negligence leads to a car, truck, or motorcycle accidents, victims may have a legal claim to seek compensation for injuries, losses, and damages.  It is important that if you are involved in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident that you hire an experienced Maryland car accident attorney who can uncover all liable parties and fight for full compensation.

If you or a family member has been injured or killed in an automobile accident, truck, bus or motorcycle accident, and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on car accidents please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 or visit us on the web at www.portnerandshure.com

Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyer | Top Court Decides

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or call to speak with one of our experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorneys at (301) 854-9000 for a free consultation.

Earlier this month, the Maryland Court of Appeals heard oral argumens in the Wicomico County case of Ginneene Williams v. Peninsula Regional Medical Center.  Maryland's highest court is "tasked with determining whether medical professionals are immune from liability if they decide not to admit a patient after an evaluation."

The basic facts of this case involve Ms. Williams taking her son to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in 2009 because of strange behavior.  The hospital released him, and he subsequently went to a restaurant where he continued to act strange.  Later, he broke into a home and Salisbury police shot Mr. Williams fifteen times after he charged at the officers with a knife and told them to shoot him.  The Wicomico County Circuit Court held that the wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family be dismissed.  The Court of Special Appeals upheld the Circuit Court's ruling.  This will be the first time the Court of Appeals interprets the statute in question.

During oral arguments, Court of Appeals Judge Sally D. Adkins posed the following question: "why legislation would provide doctors with immunity to admit patients but not for determining not to admit them?"  Judge Adkins followed that up by commenting, "[i]n that case...if doctors were to have any doubt, they would admit the patient."  It will certainly be interesting to see how the Court rules in this matter, and depending on how they rule, our future medical malpractice clients could be affected.

If you or a family member is the victim of an injury caused by medical malpractice in Maryland, an experienced attorney from Portner & Shure can help you get the compensation you are entitled.  If you would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on medical malpractice in Maryland, please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 or visit us on the web at www.portnerandshure.com

Gun Control Forefront of Maryland Governor's Race

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Two candidates competing for position as governor of Maryland have staunch differences on where they stand on gun control.  Maryland's General Assembly last year passed new gun control legislation, making it among the strictest in the country.  The legislation requires people who purchase a handgun to submit fingerprints to state police, bans forty-five types of assault weapons, and limits gun magazines to ten bullets.  Democratic candidate Lt. Governor Anthony Brown supports Maryland's sweeping gun control legislation passed last year, whereas Republican candidate Larry Hogan has said he cannot support Maryland's Gun Safety Act.  Hogan has been accused by Lt. Governor Brown of flip flopping on the issue because in one interview he will claim he supports the legislation and in another one he will say the legislation "went too far."  Oddly enough, just yesterday the National Rifle Association (NRA) endorsed Hogan, citing his "support and commitment to the Second Amendment."

The legislation passed last year is certainly a step in the right direction in terms of protecting Marylander's safety and preventing major public shootings.  An interesting point to consider is that Lt. Governor Brown's campaign advertisements focused heavily on attacking Hogan's pro-gun views.  Before Lt. Governor Brown started running these advertisements, many Marylanders had no idea who Larry Hogan even was.  It is ironic that Maryland's race for governor has become so closely contested, in part due to Lt. Governor Brown's television advertisements.  It shall be interesting to see what will happen in these last few weeks before the election.

If you or anyone you know has been charged with possession of a firearm, and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on criminal defense, please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 or visit us on the web at www.portnerandshure.com.

 

Visit us at:  www.portnerandshure.com

or call to speak with one of our experienced Maryland auto accident attorneys at (301) 854-9000 for a free consultation.

Michael Phelp's DUI arrest following an eight hour period of drinking and gambling at Baltimore's Horseshoe Casino raised concerns at the city's liquor board.  The casino is the only establishment in the city with a 24-hour a day liquor license.  The liquor board is investigating whether servers should have continued serving alcohol to Phelps.  There is a rule in place by the liquor board to prevent over-service.  This rule prohibits all bars in the city from selling alcohol to someone who is "under the influence," "disorderly" or "known to be a habitual drunkard."  Maryland state law also prohibits vendors with a liquor license from selling or providing alcohol to anyone under 21 or someone "visibly under the influence of any alcoholic beverage."

Interestingly, Maryland is one of eight states in which bars cannot be held liable for serving intoxicated patrons.  This is otherwise known as the dram shop law.  The law varies in the states that have it, but generally, a bar or similar establishment can be held liable for death or injury to third parties caused by selling alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons or minors.

The Court of Appeals of Maryland recently declined to change the common law to impose civil liability on an establishment that serves a visibly intoxicated patron, who then drives drunk, and causes an injury or death.  The Court believes that this is a matter of public policy that is best left to Maryland's General Assembly.  Three bills proposing dram shop liability have been introduced in the General Assembly since 2002, but none have even come close to passing.

Maryland has remained steadfast in the notion that there should be no third party liability for the actions of drunk drivers and the harm they cause.  Maryland's Court of Appeals recently refused to make changes to Maryland's common law in a case where a bar patron was served seventeen beers and four shots and drove his car into another car killing a 10-year old girl.  The results of this case prove the unlikeliness of things changing any time soon.  If there was a case to hold a bar liable for a third party injury, this would have been it.

Maryland already has laws in place to prohibit over serving by restaurants and bars.  While it does seem appropriate and fair to implement a dram shop rule to also hold an establishment liable for third party injuries caused by over serving a patron, it does not seem fair to hold a liquor store liable for the same injuries.  A liquor store, unlike a bar or restaurant, has no control over how much alcohol is consumed, what alcohol is consumed, or where it is consumed.  However, it does seem fair to implement a dram shop rule for injuries caused by serving or over serving a minor.  It is the restaurant's, bar's, or liquor store's fault for serving a minor alcohol and they should be held responsible for any injuries the minor causes to a third party.

If you or a family member has been charged with DUI or DWI and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on DUI or DWI please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 or visit us on the web at www.portnerandshure.com]

CDS Possession Charge in Maryland | Criminal Lawyer

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or call to speak with one of our experienced Maryland criminal defense attorneys at (301) 854-9000 for a free consultation.

Maryland Decriminalizes Marijuana, Cuts into Criminal Defense Attorney Businesses

On October 1st, several new laws took effect in Maryland. The most newsworthy change is making possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana punishable by a civil citation rather than a criminal penalty. Under the new law, fines range from $100 for a first offense to $500 for a third offense. The change does not mean that marijuana is legalized in Maryland, it just means that possessing less than 10 grams results in a citation and no criminal charges.

The interesting thing to look at now will be the effect on criminal defense attorneys. Before the change, people knew they needed a lawyer to help them fight a marijuana possession charge. However, now people will likely think they will not need a criminal attorney because they can take care of the citation on their own. Thus, many defense attorneys believe that this law change will substantially cut down business on marijuana possession cases.

Like every new law, there are potential issues and loopholes that people should be aware of. For example, possession of paraphernalia is still a criminal offense punishable up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Another issue could be the impact the new law has on defendants' Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful searches and seizures. Police are allowed to issue citations for probable cause if they believe a person has less than 10 grams of marijuana. There is a potential for a tremendous amount of challenges to searches. One final issue is whether a citation for marijuana possession under 10 grams would be considered a probation violation. New marijuana citations are akin to speeding tickets, which are not considered violations of probation. However, it would appear that marijuana citations could still be considered a violation of probation because marijuana is still an illegal drug and most probation contracts prohibit use of illegal drugs.

It will certainly be interesting to see the effect the new law has on criminal defense attorneys and whether any changes are made to this law or related laws.

If you or a family member has been charged with a criminal drug act and would like a free legal consultation please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 or visit us on the web at www.portnerandshure.com

Visit us at:  www.portnerandshure.com

or call to speak with one of our experienced Maryland auto accident attorneys at (301) 854-9000 for a free consultation.

Most importantly, an officer must have probable cause to pull you over.  An officer establishes probable cause if you are swerving, cause an accident, speed or have a headlight or taillight out.

Once you are pulled over:

  1. You will first be asked to take a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test.
  2. The roadside sobriety test will include anything from standing on one leg to answering questions.  Sometimes the officer will ask you to perform the eye test or a test in which you read the alphabet backwards.

  3. If you refuse to take the field sobriety or breathalyzer test, which you have the right to do, your driver's license will automatically be suspended for 120 days, even if you are subsequently found not guilty.  First offenders in most cases should always take the test.

  4. If you fail the sobriety test or blow a .08 or more on the breathalyzer, you will most likely be arrested.  At this time, you may be asked to relinquish your driver's license

  5. You will be taken to jail in a police car while sitting in handcuffs.

  6. You will be allowed to sober up in jail as proceedings against you begin.

If you have been arrested for a DUI/DWI, it is important that you consult an experienced Maryland DUI attorney immediately because DUI is a criminal offense and carries severe penalties.  Your attorney will guide you through the initial process with MVA.  He or she should then enter their appearance with the Court and serve the State with discovery.  Your attorney will then obtain the State's entire file for your case.

If you or a family member has been charged with DUI or DWI and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on DUI or DWI please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 or visit us on the web at www.portnerandshure.com


Visit us at: www.portnerandshure.com

or call to speak with one of our experienced Maryland motorcycle accident attorneys at (301) 854-9000 for a free consultation.

Baltimore, Maryland is the largest city in Maryland, and the 26th largest city in the United States with a population over 600,000.  With traffic being a major issue in the city, one must be wary of traffic accidents.  Motorcycle accidents are one of the most dangerous types of accidents because motorcyclists lack the same protection as cars and trucks.  Motorcycles do not have airbags, windshields or seatbelts to protect them in an accident.  After a motorcycle accident has occurred, it is important for you, as the rider, to follow these tips to protect your personal safety and to ensure your best chance at getting the compensation you deserve.

  • Escape Immediate Danger and Seek Medical Attention

    • Nearly 62% of motorcycle accidents involve fuel leaks.  You must distance yourself from the motorcycle if there is a leak.  Further, make sure no one lights an open flame, including flares, near the scene of the accident if there is gasoline leaking.  If you are injured, you should be taken to a hospital for immediate care.  Common injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident include scrapes and bruises, broken arms and/or legs, and concussions.  It is important that a doctor examines your injuries to determine the severity.

  • Stay Calm and Remain Silent

    • After any traumatic event, such as an accident, your body's adrenaline may cause you to act irrationally.  Remain calm by taking deep breaths and sitting down.  Do not talk to anyone because adrenaline sometimes causes people to speak without thinking, and it is important to avoid admitting fault.

  • Do Not Leave the Scene of the Accident

    • Make sure you exchange information with all involved parties and wait for the police to arrive.  By leaving after the accident, you open yourself up to a hit and run felony charge.

  • Keep Records of All Documents Related to the Accident

    • It is very important to keep a record of all expenses you incurred as a result of the accident.  Some common expenses include doctor's visits, repairs and lost wages from time missed at work.

  • Call the Police

    • A police report is important because it will document the facts of the crash, the parties involved and record of any witnesses.  If police do not arrive at the scene, it is best to file a report later at the police station.

  • Seek Professional Legal Counsel

    • Call an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to help you recover any benefits to which you may be entitled.  It is important to call a lawyer as soon as possible to assure that all evidence and witnesses do not disappear.   

If you or a family member has been injured or killed in an automobile accident, truck, bus, or motorcycle accident, and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on car accidents please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 or visit us on the web at www.portnerandshure.com

 

Maryland Auto Accident Lawyer

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or call to speak with one of our experienced Maryland auto accident attorneys at (301) 854-9000 for a free consultation.

Insure.com conducted a survey of 2,000 drivers in which Washington, D.C. recently placed second for rudest drivers in the United States.  In addition, Maryland was named as the state that hates Washington, D.C. drivers the most.

Furthermore, the DriverSide study ranked Washington, D.C. as number one in speeding tickets per capita.  Several D.C. residents claim that many drivers fail to signal when changing lanes and there is always someone driving behind you wanting to run you off the road.

These recent poll results raise concerns about Maryland drivers because there is a higher risk of becoming an accident victim.  Due to Maryland's close proximity to Washington, D.C., Maryland drivers have an increased risk of being a victim of reckless driving.  It is important for Maryland drivers to know what to do if they are a victim of an automobile accident.

If you or a family member has been injured or killed in an automobile accident, truck, bus or motorcycle accident, and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on car accidents please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 or visit us on the web at www.portnerandshure.com

 

 

 

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