Why Should You Consider a Lawyer After a Crash?

A car accident in Baltimore, MD. Personal injury attorney Nicholas Parr.

If you are ever involved in a car, truck, or bicycle accident, the experience can be overwhelming. There is property damage and even the possibility of physical damage to yourself and others involved. While this may present a lot of questions, a helpful lawyer can help guide you through the process and let you know the best route forward.

You need a lawyer after a crash

There is a common belief that if you think the accident was not your fault, you do not need a lawyer. This is a common mistake that many accident victims make. While you may be able to deal with the police report, insurance companies, and the other parties involved on your own, there is a great chance that you can miss an opportunity to gain the maximum amount of compensation possible. With a trustworthy lawyer, this can all be handled and you can rest easy knowing that there is someone knowledgeable in the area who is on your side, someone willing to fight for you.

Hiring a lawyer to help navigate an accident can help minimize stress. A lot of personal injury lawyers work on a contingency plan as well, which means that if they do not win the case, you are not subject to pay the full amount that the lawyer would normally charge.

If you find yourself caught up in a recent accident, Nicholas Parr can help alleviate the stress of the accident and help to get it resolved. With his help, you can focus on your recovery and rest easy knowing he is on the case.

To find out how to gain as much compensation as possible, contact Nicholas Parr right away for a free consultation at (410) 978-4000.

 

When Police Brutality Results in Personal Injury

Police brutality can lead to personal injury case

Police brutality is an issue all around the world, and has been getting more attention from the public and media. With social media being so utilized by the majority of the public, and every smartphone having instant access to a camera, police brutality is starting to be highlighted and shown across all platforms. If you are interested in learning about what you can do if you or a loved one have been a victim of police brutality, contact us. 

What is Police Brutality?

Police brutality is when a police officer or multiple police officers use excessive force to takedown or subdue a person. In most cases of police brutality, the police have used unnecessary force that wasn’t relevant to the situation. For instance, police have at times felt like the victim was not being as cooperative as they should be, so they use excessive force and harm the victim to make them more cooperative. Examples might be the use of a taser or the use of ketamine to subdue a suspect who is not actively resisting.

What can Count as Police Brutality? 

Police brutality can include but is not limited to: 

  • Injuring the arrestee after being arrested: If the arrestee is already in handcuffs and is not posing a threat to the officer’s life, it is illegal for the officer to punch, kick, or harm the arrestee in any way, shape, or form.
  • Extreme take-downs: Extreme take-downs are only reasonable if the victim is not responding to police and is acting aggressively towards the officers or the public in a manner that can cause harm. Being wrongfully taken down or put into chokeholds when cooperating with the police is not legal and you can take action. 
  • Being beat with a baton after being subdued: Once you have been subdued, it is illegal for an officer to beat the arrestee with a baton. It is also highly discouraged for officers not to aim at the head when using a baton as it can cause brain damage, spinal damage, and even death. 
  • Wrongful use of a taser: While tasers should definitely be used before a gun is, there have been cases where tasers have caused heart attacks and other serious injuries. Depending on the case, you can take action if you were injured by a taser.
  • Wrongful use of a Gun: Guns should be used as a last resort for police. The only time it would be okay for a policeman to use a gun is when their own life or someone else’s life is at danger. Police related shootings are on the rise, and if you or a loved one were wrongfully shot by the police, you can take immediate action.
  • Car Accidents: It is illegal for a police officer to use his or her vehicle as a means to bring yours to a stop. Doing so can cause injuries to drivers and action can be taken if this has happened to you.
  • High speed chases: High-speed chases are discouraged by police departments as they can lead to severe damage, injuries, and are a danger to the public. If you have been the victim of an injury due to a high-speed chase, you have the right to take action.

If you feel like you or a loved one was wrongfully treated by the police, get in contact with us to discuss your case. Police brutality is no longer something that is happening behind closed doors, social media is exposing a lot of police behavior. If you want to speak with a lawyer, visit us at Nicholas Parr Law today!

Can Employees with COVID-19 get Workers Compensation?

Can essential employees eligable for workers compensation if they get COVID

With everything that is happening in the world right now with COVID-19, there are a lot of unknowns out there about it, and if you have even been so much as exposed, that will set you back 14 days quarantine at home. Sure, there are definitely some precautions you can take to minimize the risk of catching it, but what happens if you do get COVID-19 or are exposed to it while you are working in the state of Maryland? How will you pay your bills or feed your family if you cannot work? Your employer may have a plan of action already in place, but if not – will you qualify to receive some sort of workers’ compensation? If you are interested in finding out about what action you can take at work if you have been exposed to COVID-19, this article will shed some light on what you can do to protect yourself and ensure you are taken care of if you may need workers compensation due to COVID-19.

What is Workers Compensation?

In order to understand what sort of actions you can take in the case of catching COVID in your workplace, it is important to understand what Workmans’ compensation is and how it works in the state of Maryland. Workmans Comp is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits that helps employees who are injured at their workplace. This system provides employees with compensation so that they aren’t stuck without money while they are out of work and to avoid outrageous medical bills. Workers Comp also benefits the employers in that their injured employees are less likely to try to make any wrongful claims about the employer. 

How do you Qualify for Workers Compensation?

In order to receive workers’ compensation, the employee must be injured while on duty at his/her workplace. So, as long as you are able to prove that you contracted COVID at your workplace, that should be enough to get you workers compensation, right? Well, it’s not that simple. 

The Case of Occupational Diseases 

When it comes to occupational diseases, these are not usually covered by workers’ compensation. This leaves employees who have contracted illnesses like the flu or cold out of the game since they aren’t really able to determine exactly where they contracted the illness.

So How Do You Get Worker’s Comp if you get COVID-19?

In order to receive workers’ compensation from your place of employment in the case of catching COVID, one must be able to prove that they caught the illness while on the job. For essential workers in Baltimore, Maryland, they will have a strong case during this pandemic that if they contract COVID-19, it would be considered an “occupational disease”. First responders, nurses,  Doctors, grocery store cashiers, and gas station clerks are some essential positions that would have an easier time proving they contracted the disease at work.

For nonessential workers, it’s a lot harder to build a case as to how you could have contracted COVID to be able to qualify to receive Workers compensation, and there are blurry lines with this disease and workers compensation in general. 

Who Should You Contact if This Happens & What are Your Options?

If you or someone you know contract COVID due to the work environment, speak with your employer and see what your options are.  If you don’t get a clear response from your employer about Workers compensation and would like to speak to a professional, contact us at Nicholas Parr Law. We’ll help you build a case in Maryland for yourself or your family to ensure you get the coverage you deserve and need during these tough times, and we don’t receive a fee unless we win.

For a free, virtual consultation please contact Nick at 410-978-4000.

Content and conclusions in this post are solely those of the author unless otherwise noted. This information is general and cannot be considered legal advice for any specific situation. Please contact Nicholas Parr Law for any questions or to receive legal advice.

What to Do if You Get In an Uber Or Lyft Accident in Baltimore?

man holding phone after uber car accident in baltimore maryland

Here is what to do if you are in an Uber or Lyft accident:

  • Call 911 or the police- This establishes proof the accident occurred and creates a police report of the event.
  • Take photos of the accident
  • Take names and contact information from witnesses
  • Take names and information from the Uber or Lyft driver and everyone involved in the accident
  • Take screenshots of your ride receipt and ride reservation in the App
  • Go to a doctor if you need medical care
  • Call your insurance company- If you are uninsured reach out to an experienced attorney for help
  • Do not speak with other insurance companies without a lawyer- The other insurance company does not have your best interest in mind
  • Contact an experienced car accident lawyer to make sure you are protected and rightfully compensated

Taking Action After an Accident involving Uber or Lyft

As time progresses, it seems that there is something new being created every day. That being said, the ride-sharing industry has been one that has had massive growth with new companies like Uber and Lyft. Both Uber and Lyft have caused a massive disruption in the ride-sharing industry which in turn has caused taxi services to be used less every day. One of the great things that both Uber and Lyft offer, is how nearly anyone with their own car and driver’s license can become a driver for them and make a steady income from doing just that. With so many Uber and Lyft drivers now, the is an arising issue that continues to get worse as both companies grow. The issue is car accidents.  What happens if you are injured as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle? If you use Uber or Lyft services, we recommended you keep reading so you know what to do if you are ever injured while in an Uber or Lyft vehicle.

 

First thing, why is this different than any other car accident?

This is a confusing aspect of being in a car wreck involved with Uber or Lyft vehicles. They will do anything in their power to ensure they aren’t responsible for the wreck or anything that goes wrong once you step foot into one of their driver’s vehicles. The reason that both of these companies are able to get away with this, is because the drivers’ aren’t considered employees but instead are “contractors” for the companies. To clarify, in the business world, companies are responsible for their employees but are not responsible for any of their contractors. Lawmakers across the United States are trying to make Uber and Lyft more responsible for their driver’s actions, claiming that their drivers are being treated more like “employees” with strict guidelines and schedules rather than “contractors”. Unfortunately, they are playing a dirty game in order to get the best of both worlds.

 

Which Parties Insurance Is Responsible In This Situation?

If you find yourself in an accident as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you might be wondering whose insurance is going to pay for your injuries. This depends on the driver status of the rideshare, and the driver at fault for the accident.

 

If the Rideshare Driver is Offline

A rideshare driver is considered “offline” when they are not working at the time of the accident. In this situation, you cannot sue Uber or Lyft for injuries from an accident caused by an off-duty driver in Baltimore. This would be handled like a regular car accident and you would need to pursue a case against the at-fault driver.

 

If the Rideshare Driver is Active

Uber and Lyft insurance policies cover accidents caused by their rideshare drivers while the drivers are waiting to get a ride, on their way to pick up a passenger, or transporting a passenger. Third-party drivers are covered in an Uber or Lyft accident too.


If the Uber or Lyft Driver is at Fault

If the rideshare driver is at fault, their insurance will cover your injuries- if the insurance allows doing so. In the case that their insurance won’t cover your injuries or won’t cover all of your injuries, Uber and Lyft will. Both companies have insurance policies that can cover you for up to $1 million in damages for the following:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Pain & Suffering
  • Loss of Wages

If the Uber or Lyft Driver is Not at Fault

If you are in an Uber or Lyft but your rideshare driver is not at fault, it will be up to the opposing driver’s insurance, if they have any, to cover your injury expenses. If for some reason the opposing driver doesn’t have insurance or is unknown because they drove off, Uber and Lyft have an insurance policy that covers up to $1 million in damages as well.

 

What Action can I Take?

 If you have been in an accident involving Uber or Lyft in Baltimore please call us at (410) 978-4000 or visit our website at Nick Parr Law and we will provide you with a free consultation to help ensure you get the help and coverage you need as soon as possible.

Texting While Driving Causes Increase in Accidents

Women gets pulled over for texting while driving in Baltimore

Whether you like to admit it or not, we have all picked up the phone at least once while behind the wheel. Texting while driving has become such an issue that in most states there is a law prohibiting the act. Not only is texting and driving a way to put yourself at harm, but you are also risking others lives when you decide to pick up the phone while behind the wheel. In fact, in the year 2018 there were 4,367 texting-while-driving related deaths. Every death that happens as a result of texting and driving could have been avoided if the driver just put their phone away.

Why Are Drivers So Distracted in The First Place?

In order for you to stay focused on any task, the given task needs to have your full attention. Because our phones contain so much of our life and have so much activity, they can be extremely distracting. Not too long ago, we all had phones to make calls and texts. Now, our phones are a constant barrage of notifications from emails, social media accounts, and other apps resulting in people of all ages being distracted by their phones at a higher rate than ever.

What You Can Do To Stay Focused on Driving

When it comes to staying focused on driving, it is important to know that you need to free yourself of any distractions that could potentially take your eyes off of the road. Below are some steps you can take to rid yourself of any distractions that your cell phone may cause.

  • Silence your cell phone: If you want to ultimately rid yourself of distractions from your phone, your best bet is to silence it or set it to where you can’t receive any calls or texts until you reach your destination. Knowing that your phone can’t receive any notifications while driving will free your mind from wanting to keep checking it. On another note, make sure it’s not on vibrate as the sound of it vibrating may make you want to check on it.
  • Glove Compartment: Another step you can take is to place your phone in a glove compartment before you start your drive. Knowing that you have your phone in a hard to reach location will keep you from wanting to grab it and check it.
  • Designated Phone Person: If you are driving with someone or with a group of people, choose a passenger that can hold your phone and respond to any texts or calls you may receive.

As a Driver, It’s Your Duty To Be Safe

One thing you need to remember is that as a driver, it is your responsibility to stay safe and distraction-less while driving. Not only will you be putting your life at risk, you are also putting passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers’ lives at risk, too. If you feel the need to pick up your phone while driving, pull over before picking the phone up.

If you’ve been in an accident as a result of texting while driving, Contact Nicholas Parr Law to discuss your options.

Why You Need a Police Report After a Car Accident

A woman calls Nick Parr law after a car accident

Did you know that the average number of vehicle accidents each year is averaged out to around 6 million crashes? It is always important to know what steps you should take immediately after a car accident. One of the most important things you need to do immediately after a crash is to contact the police. Due to the severity of the crash, the people involved may not be capable to reaching out to the police, so it is also important that if you witness a crash, you contact the police as well.

Why Are Police Necessary After a Car Accident?

A lot of people falsely assume that if the wreck is minor, contacting the police may be unnecessary. In any vehicle accident, regardless of the severity, police should be contacted immediately. When the police arrive, it is important to clearly and truthfully state every detail about how the accident occurred. After the officer has made his/her report, it is important that you ask to obtain a copy of the report so that you may have handy in case it’s needed in the future.

What Does a Police Report Consist of?

When a police officer is filing a report on an accident, they have to include quite a few details, so that the report remains concise. The type of information that will be logged is the date and time of the accident, the location of the accident, any damage that has been done to both vehicles, any injuries either party obtained from the accident, as well as any witness reports from bystanders who witnessed the accident.

What if I am at Fault?

If you are at fault in the accident, it is still important for you to contact the police. Leaving the accident scene without calling the police as that could be considered a hit-and-run and can lead to serious consequences. It is important to contact the police and obtain a report so that the opposing party doesn’t try to fake any injuries as a result of the wreck that you are responsible for. If they do try and fake any injuries and you have a police report, it will make it easier for you to fight your case and prove that you are not at fault for the injuries.

Conclusion

Remember, a lot of injuries don’t occur immediately after a car wreck. With adrenaline levels high after a crash, you may not feel injured right away. By filing a police report, you will be able to come back and report any injuries you may feel after the wreck. You want to make sure and file a report in case your car starts having internal issues shortly after the wreck. If you find yourself in any sort of car accident, regardless of severity or fault, it is always important to contact your local authorities and file a report. This police report will always come in handy regardless of the situation that you are put in after the car accident.

COVID-19’s Impact on Your Personal Injury Case

COVID-19 virus impacts personal injury claims

With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, many people are questioning how the pandemic can impact their personal injury case. If you are in the midst of a pending personal injury case, read on to find out how you can get the most out of your case during COVID-19.

Medical Treatment is Still a Must

This should be an obvious first step, but if you were injured, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible to obtain documentation. During pandemics, hospitals and places of treatment are the last places any person wants to be due to the fear that they may catch something by seeking medical treatment. Furthermore, during a pandemic, hospitals are usually overrun by multitudes of patients, and beds and resources are scarce, making it hard to get the care and documentation needed for your case.

In order to get the most from your case, you must seek the medical treatment necessary for your injury. You don’t want to skip out on any treatment that is necessary due to a fear of catching any other sickness. If you happen to find yourself in a situation where you tried to get treatment, but were unable to due to crowds, contact your lawyers and keep them aware of your situation, so they can keep everything documented. It is always optimal to keep your legal team in the loop and the lines of communication open.

Courthouse Schedules and Procedures Are Changing as a result of COVID-19

With COVID-19 spreading at such an alarming rate, many courthouses around the country are either closing temporarily. If you have a pending personal injury case, you may find that it will be prolonged due to closures and lockdowns. Sadly, there isn’t much you can do about this other than keeping in contact with your lawyers.  

Most Important: DON’T WAIT TO CALL

In any case, the worst thing a client could do is wait to contact a lawyer until things get better. By waiting to contact a lawyer, you are only dropping the case value and thus, increasing the chances of losing your case. Yes, times are pretty scary at the moment, but we are still a phone call away. If you were recently injured, you want to call a lawyer as soon as you can. I cannot stress this enough– DO NOT WAIT TO CALL. 

In Conclusion

If you were injured, get your medical treatment and call your lawyer as soon as possible. The longer you wait for your treatment and the longer you wait to contact a lawyer, the less value your case is going to carry. If you want the compensation you deserve, then you need to take the necessary steps to show that your case is a priority. You will only be taken as seriously as you treat your own case. 

Adapt and Conquer the COVID-19 Threat

COVID-19

At times I was self-critical of the way I set up and ran my law firm. What was I thinking letting the majority of my staff work from home? I was absolutely insane for giving all my clients my cell phone number. What kind of nut is constantly accessible and exchanges text with clients? Well maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. The natural evolution of my firm created a lean system that resembles the Native American Tribes of the Great Plains. If and when the buffalo move, we can pick up teepees and follow at a moments notice. With cloud-based case management software, Zoom, OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. we have the tools to manage Covid-19’s impact on our clients and our firm.

All Hands-on Deck, Batten Down the Hatches

Law firms are designated as essential in Maryland. Even though courts are closed the work doesn’t stop and the firm remains open. New clients need help and advice and many current clients need proceeds from settlements now more than ever. Being able to provide many of my clients with a much-needed influx of money during such a trying time has been rewarding. I am particularly thankful for my team’s dedication. Their focus and resolve have not waivered. We are here to help.

Turn a Negative into a Positive

The COVID-19 threat and the resulting quarantine has put a tremendous stress on the entire community. However, I can’t help but think that the challenges have made us stronger. In addition, for me at least, life has slowed down just a bit and I get to spend more time with my wife, my newborn son, and my two-year-old twins. Family and their safety are first and foremost during these trying times so take the medical community’s recommendations seriously and take every precaution possible. Stay safe and calm…and #washyourhands #covid19 #corona

Bicycle Accidents in Maryland

man rides his bike through baltimore

There is freedom in riding a bicycle to work every day in Maryland. Apart from the cool wind in your hair, there is also the satisfaction in knowing that this little bit of exercise can help improve your cardiovascular function and decrease all-cause mortality, and it’s good for the environment, too.

Maryland is a bike-friendly state and is striving to stay that way. In The League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly States (BFS) program, the state has managed to stay in the top 15 out of 50 states. From ranking 35th place in 2008, it held 14th place in 2019. 

However, while society has been supportive of cyclists, in general, a cyclist is at a severe risk of serious and sometimes life-threatening injuries in an accident because a bicycle does not offer the same level of protection as a car does.

Accidents In Maryland

If you’re a cyclist, you know the feeling when a car zooms past you at high speeds, nearly brushing against your elbow. There is a good reason why your heart pounds in such instances. 

According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), the state saw an average of 816 bicycle-/pedalcycle-related crashes annually between 2013 and 2017, with more than 80% resulting in death or injury. More than 85% of these crashes happened in the Baltimore and Washington Metropolitan areas and more than 60% occured in the warmer months (between May and October).

Risks of Not Knowing the Laws

Maryland law considers bicycles as vehicles. Apart from separate lanes for cyclists, there are rules in place for their protection, such as mandatory helmets for people below the age of 16 and many more. 

It’s important to know the state’s bicycle laws, as in the event of an accident, these will help determine if you will receive compensation or not. It’s worth noting that Maryland follows the contributory negligence rule, which denies you any compensation if you are found to be even marginally at fault for the collision.

Why You Need an Attorney

When you or someone you know gets involved in an accident, the incident can be too traumatizing to be able to respond properly. If there is a legal issue involved and you want to seek compensation, it is better to have an expert by your side to guide you through the process. (Remember that getting involved in accidents is always a costly affair. A UC San Francisco study states that medical costs associated with non-fatal bicycle crashes have steadily climbed by $789 million per year.)

A lawyer will be able to provide a professional take on the situation, to understand what happened and present the evidence in court. There have been many cases where the reason for the accident was the recklessness of the driver of the vehicle. A moment of negligence because of checking messages on the phone, changing the radio station or running a red light can all lead to accidents.

If you or anyone you know want to discuss your situation with a professional, please call Nick Parr. My team and I can help you with your personal injury claim and get you the compensation you need.

With Toxic Toys, Kids Suffer

a collection of plastic toys, lead poisoning, toxic toys

Parents always look out for their children’s safety, but could the danger be lurking in your homes, specifically in your kids’ toys? 

Chemicals in Toys

You might think it crazy for toys to contain dangerous chemicals, but it’s true. With the deluge of plastic toys in the market—mostly from China—there’s a big chance that your child could be in danger of playing with a hazardous toy.

Here are just a couple of chemicals found in kids’ toys and their associated health risks.

Lead

A stabilizer of plastic toys, lead can be found in imported products. The paint used in toys can also contain lead, especially old or antique toys and collectible items made before 1978 when lead was banned in the U.S. 

Children who put their toys or hands in their mouths are at a high risk of lead exposure; children 6 years old and younger are the most vulnerable. Lead exposure can result in impaired growth, hearing problems, anemia, behavior issues, lower IQ or learning predicaments, and hyperactivity; in rare cases, it can even lead to seizures, coma, and death. Most children don’t show any symptoms, so a blood lead test is necessary to know for sure. 

In Baltimore, children living in old houses and apartments, i.e., those constructed before 1950, are at an even higher risk for lead exposure. Although cases of lead poisoning in the city have decreased significantly since 2000, the paint used in some of these buildings may still harbor lead and continue to pose a health issue to this day.

Flame retardants

Chemicals that delay ignition or prevent the spread of fire can be found in a wide range of products, including mattresses, furniture, children’s toys and other plastic items.

In 2017, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning against organohalogen flame retardants (OFRs), a chemical group linked to hyperactivity in children, decreased IQ and learning deficits, impaired memory, hormone, and immune disorders, and cancer. 

OFRs escape from products into the environment as household dust and are ultimately absorbed, ingested, or inhaled by humans. Consumer Reports states, “Studies have suggested that more than 97 percent of U.S. residents have measurable quantities of OFRs in their blood,” with children having three to five times more OFRs than adults in the same household. 

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), another flame retardant, can be found in children’s toys and other everyday plastics like kitchen utensils. According to Ensia, a magazine powered by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, PBDEs were phased out a decade ago but continue to affect us today through their presence in products made from recycled plastics. 

PBDEs can disrupt hormones, adversely affect children’s brain development, and more. These chemicals are released into the air and onto dust and can be absorbed into the body through breathing contaminated air or touching dust.

What You Can Do

Toxic toys are indistinguishable from those that are safe; both look the same and are similarly priced. Dangerous chemicals don’t make production cheaper but appear in toys because they may be necessary for the chosen manufacturing process. 

Lawmakers are pushing to ban toys with dangerous chemicals, with a recent bill citing “100 chemicals deemed ‘of concern’.” As a parent, opt for wooden and cloth toys which are both good for children and the environment. Alternatively, always check the labels of toys to see if they have been sufficiently tested and avoid products without the manufacturer’s contact information. Buying products from reputable American brands is always a safe option.

If your child was harmed by a toxic toy, Nicholas Parr Law can help you pursue legal action to seek justice and compensation from liable, negligent parties. Talk to us today!