Thanksgiving Turkey Frying Accidents: Do You Have a Claim?

Fried Turkey During Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of the highlights of the year for a lot of people. What could be better than gathering with family and friends to relax, enjoy each other’s company, watch sports on TV and eat great food? Unfortunately, Thanksgiving get-togethers can sometimes lead to accidents and injuries. Let’s talk about one particular type: deep-fried turkey accidents.

What is deep-fried turkey?

This unique turkey preparation method originated in Louisiana, and quickly gained popularity after an article about the delicacy appeared in the New Orleans Times Picayune in the 1980s. It involves lowering an entire turkey into a turkey fryer (basically a tall pot full of boiling oil, heated by a propane tank) and letting it sit in the oil until it’s fully cooked through. Fried turkey takes less time to prepare than oven-baked turkey, and fans of the dish swear that the finished product is crispier and juicier.

Of course, if you think that frying a large hunk of meat in a vat of oil over an open flame sounds potentially hazardous, you’re not wrong. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, turkey fryers account for over 1,000 fires every year, causing dozens of injuries and even some fatalities – not to mention over $15 million in property damage. And the vast majority of these fryer accidents take place on or around Thanksgiving.

So should I forget about deep-frying a turkey this Thanksgiving?

Not necessarily. If you are careful and follow some very specific safety guidelines, you can greatly reduce your risk of accidents and injury when deep-frying a turkey. (A word of advice before you start, too – you may want to double-check your home insurance policy to make sure that turkey fryer-related damage is covered.)

Here are some of those guidelines:

  • Make sure your turkey is COMPLETELY thawed before deep-frying it. Frozen turkeys contain water, which does not react well when combined with burning oil. Depending on how large your turkey is, it might take you a couple of days to thaw it – so build that time into your schedule. Once it’s thawed, go over the surface of the turkey with a paper towel to soak up any residual moisture.
  • Never use a turkey fryer inside. Set up the fryer outdoors on a level surface, away from trees and at least 10 feet away from your house or any other structure. Don’t use the fryer if it’s raining or snowing outside (see above re: oil and water).
  • Use a newer turkey fryer. Generally speaking, the newer the model, the safer the fryer. (This is true for a lot of appliances.) Choose a fryer with a leak-proof lid, which can help prevent oil spills. Make sure your propane tank is clean and leak-free, too.
  • Don’t use too much oil – and don’t overheat it. Pour in just enough oil to cover the turkey completely; any more than that and you risk a spill. Keep an eye on oil temperature, too. Most turkey fryers come with a thermometer; the optimal frying temperature is 350 degrees.
  • Wear grill gloves (and a pair of goggles, if possible). No matter how careful you are when lowering the turkey into the vat (and raising it back up again), there is a chance the oil might splatter. Get yourself some proper grill gloves and consider wearing goggles to protect your eyes.
  • Keep kids and pets clear. The turkey frying process might be exciting to little ones and furry friends, but it’s not safe for them to get too close to the action. Make sure they keep a good distance from the fryer.
  • Call 911 if a fire breaks out. Oil fires are notoriously difficult to contain. In the event of an accident, call emergency services right away. Don’t try to put out the fire yourself (unless you have a fire extinguisher that’s specifically intended for oil fires – and even then, you should still call 911).
  • Consider using an electric fryer. While results may differ somewhat, oil-free electric fryers can still produce a crisp, tasty turkey. And they are safer than their oil-and-propane-tank counterparts. (You’re unlikely to find ones quite as big as the 30-quart oil fryers, though.)

Do I have a claim if I’m injured while deep-frying a turkey?

It depends. In order to have a valid personal injury claim, you’ll have to demonstrate that you were not at fault in your turkey fryer accident. Remember, too, that Maryland is a contributory negligence state, which means that you can’t be compensated at all if you’re found to be even 1% responsible for your injuries.

Having said that, you may have a case if you are able to prove the following three things:

  • You used the turkey fryer correctly and according to manufacturing instructions. In other words, you didn’t ignore any potential safety hazards like frying indoors, placing the fryer on an uneven surface, adding too much oil, heating the oil to a higher than recommended temperature or frying an un-thawed turkey.
  • The turkey fryer was defective, and those defects were the cause of the accident. It’s not enough to prove that the appliance you used did not function as intended. You must also prove that you were injured, or your property was damaged, as a direct result of those defects.
  • You sustained injuries or property damage because of the accident. As with any personal injury claim, you’ll need to prove that you sustained quantifiable injuries (physical or emotional) because of your accident. That means medical records, notes from your doctor, photos of home damage and so on.


All of this can seem a little daunting, which is why your best bet is to get in touch with an experienced lawyer. They can talk you through the specifics and help you determine the best strategy for getting the compensation you deserve.

If you are injured using a turkey fryer and you think you have a right to a claim, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.

Personal Injury Claims After a Storm – What to Know and What to Do

Storm Damage - Lightening in the Sky

Like it or not, storms are a part of life. We can’t control when they happen or how serious they are, and even if we do everything we possibly can to prepare for them, they sometimes cause damage.

If you’ve experienced property damage or personal injury as the result of a storm, you may be wondering what your options are with regard to compensation. Let’s break down some of the things that you need to consider.

Can Fault Be Determined?

Storms are typically referred to as “Acts of God” – natural events for which no one is at fault – and, as mentioned above, they’re unavoidable. Insurance policies usually have pretty specific guidelines regarding what they will and won’t cover in these instances, and you probably won’t have much success filing for compensation beyond what your policy allows.

There are some cases, however, in which fault can be determined for damages sustained because of a storm. If you can prove that the storm damage you suffer could have been prevented if it weren’t for someone else’s negligence, then you might have a case. Here’s an example: say your next-door neighbor has a tree on their property that is rotten or has a bunch of dead branches on it. If, during a storm, that tree (or one of the branches) falls on your property and causes damage, you might be able to claim that your neighbor is to blame for not properly maintaining the tree (and therefore putting you and your home at risk with their negligence). Of course, being able to prove that the neighbor willingly ignored repeated warning signs that the tree needed to be removed; they can simply say that they were unaware of the danger or didn’t realize how serious it was. If that’s the case, a good lawyer may be able to help you work through how to respond.

Another thing to remember is that Maryland is a contributory negligence state, which means that if you’re determined to be even 1% at fault in a personal injury case, you’re not entitled to any compensation. Again, an experienced lawyer can talk to you about what this means and if you still might have a case, regardless of how strict the laws are. So don’t assume you don’t have any recourse, even if you’re concerned that you might be partly to blame.

How Long Do I Have to File?

In Maryland, the statute of limitations (i.e., the amount of time you have to file your case in court) is three years from when the damage occurred. There are certain cases in which this time limit can be extended, but they are extremely rare; they typically have to do with your age at the time of the accident (for example, if you were under the age of 18 when the damage occurred) or whether or not you can prove that you were legally disabled and unable to file sooner. If you’re planning to file a claim, earlier is always better, so that you don’t run out of time while trying to clear potential hurdles.

Now that we’ve gone over some things to consider, let’s walk through the steps you need to take if you’ve suffered a personal or property-related injury as a result of a storm.

  1. Assess (and Document) the Damage. As soon as it’s safe to do so, make a detailed note of any and all damage to your property as a result of the storm; take plenty of pictures and/or video if possible. If you have suffered a physical injury because of the storm, seek medical treatment immediately; even if your injuries don’t warrant emergency care, make an appointment with your doctor or healthcare provider and get yourself checked out.

    One thing you shouldn’t do yet: clean up property damage caused by the storm, unless it’s absolutely necessary to do so. While pictures and videos are important, you’ll also want to actually show the damage to an insurance adjuster when they come to inspect it. Which brings us to the next step…

  2. Contact Your Insurance Provider. Take a look at your insurance policy to determine what it covers, and what you might be entitled to in terms of compensation. Then get in touch with your provider to report the damage. If there is extensive damage to your property, the insurance company will probably send a claims adjuster to inspect it. They will also want to examine all of your documentation (photos, video, written testimony if you have it and doctor’s records if you’ve been physically injured).

    Keep in mind that your insurance company might try to get you to quickly sign off on a settlement. A word of advice: don’t agree to anything before this next step…

  3. Speak to a Lawyer. Insurance companies don’t necessarily have your best interests at heart; they may be looking for the quickest and cheapest resolution, rather than one that accurately reflects the compensation you deserve. Enlisting the services of a qualified personal injury lawyer protects you against this outcome, while also taking the burden of dealing with the insurance company off your shoulders. Once you’ve reported the accident and your subsequent injuries or damage, your attorney can be the main point of contact with your insurance provider. They can also help you determine how much you should file for and what to expect during the process.

Dealing with the aftermath of a storm is stressful. But if you know what to look for and you have a plan in place, you can minimize the anxiety and assure yourself of the best possible outcome.

If you’ve suffered personal injury or property damage after a storm and you are considering filing a claim, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.

How Maryland Laws Affect Personal Injury Claims

State of Maryland Statue

If you’ve been injured in an accident and someone else is to blame, there is a strong chance that you have a right to financial compensation. Unfortunately, the process is rarely as easy as filing a claim and waiting for the money to roll in. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with state laws in order to understand how, when, and against whom you should file your claim.

These state laws – or statutes – are very important in personal injury claims. Let’s talk about a few of Maryland’s statutes in more detail.

Statute of limitations. The statute of limitations dictates how much time you have to file a personal injury claim, and is typically calculated from the date you first realized you had grounds for a claim (the so-called “date of discovery”). In the state of Maryland, the statute of limitations is three years. While that might seem like a lot of time, keep in mind that there are a number of logistical issues that can delay the claim process, and the last thing you want to deal with is finding yourself in a race against the clock to settle your case. (And yes, there are ways to potentially extend the statute of limitations, depending on your circumstances, but you don’t want to have to depend on those loopholes.)

Contributory negligence. This is a big one, which we have discussed in detail in another post[TK1] . Maryland is one of only four states (and, to a slightly lesser extent, the District of Columbia) that adhere to the law of contributory negligence, which dictates that if you are proven to be even 1% at fault in an accident, you are banned from receiving any compensation for it at all. It’s important to note, though, that this statute doesn’t necessarily represent a deal-breaker if you’re looking to file a claim. An experienced attorney can help you determine if you have a valid case, regardless of whether or not you think you might be somewhat at fault.

Non-economic damage caps. Personal injury claims are not always about physical damages. If you can prove that you’ve suffered psychological anguish as a direct result of your accident, you are eligible to file a claim for emotional distress [TK2] (or non-economic damage, as it’s referred to legally). Maryland, like many other states, puts a cap on how much money you can receive if you file a personal claim for emotional distress. That cap is $920,000 (as of October 2022).

Knowing the laws that affect you is a crucial step in filing a claim for personal injury in Maryland.  Even more important: retaining the services of a competent lawyer who can walk you through all of those laws in detail and help you present a case that has the highest odds of being successful.

If you’ve suffered a personal injury and you are considering filing a claim, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.

Emotional Distress Claims in Personal Injury Cases: What They Are and How They Work

Emotional Distress, Man Sitting on Leather Couch

You probably know that you’re eligible to file a claim if you’re hurt in an accident and someone else is to blame. But these claims are not limited to just physical injuries. There is another component of personal injury compensation that focuses on the mental and psychological pain you can experience in the aftermath of an accident: emotional distress.

What is Emotional Distress?

Sometimes referred to as non-economic damage or mental anguish, emotional distress describes the psychological pain that a person suffers as the result of personal injury. These damages can present themselves in a variety of different forms, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and even suicidal thoughts. Emotional distress is a little harder to measure than physical injury, since it’s not always visible or easy to quantify, but that doesn’t make it any less real or debilitating.

How Do Emotional Distress Claims Work in Maryland?

If you’ve suffered an injury in Baltimore or elsewhere in Maryland and you want to file a claim for emotional distress, you will need to be able to prove that your mental pain can be measured in some tangible way. Typically, this means a diagnosis from a medical professional, a prescription for medication or documented treatment (therapy sessions, for example).

How Do I Know if I Have a Case? 

Every situation is different, and you should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine your options when filing a claim for emotional distress. At a high level, however, you need to be able to prove that your emotional distress is a direct result of your injury and is negatively impacting your life. If your accident is serious enough that you need medical treatment for physical injuries, chances are you can make a case for mental anguish, given that physical pain often leads to psychological distress (and can potentially affect your ability to work – which in turn leads to loss of income and further emotional upset).

How Much Can I Receive for Emotional Distress in Maryland?

Many states, including Maryland, place a limit on how much you can receive as part of your claim for non-economic damages. As of October 2022, the cap for emotional distress damages in Maryland is $920,000 (note that this is for personal injury cases that don’t involve wrongful death).

I’m Ready to File a Claim. What’s My Next Step?

Talk to an attorney who is experienced in managing emotional distress claims. This person will have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the process, from advising you on how to document your emotions to gathering witnesses for testimony, if necessary.

If you’ve suffered a personal injury and you are considering filing an emotional distress claim, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.

Can I Pursue a Legal Action if I Am Partially Responsible for an Accident in Maryland?

Law courtroom, Judge Bench. Woman sitting, auction gavel and notepad on wooden table, close up.

Like it or not, accidents happen. While we certainly do our best to avoid them, many of us will, unfortunately, be involved in an accident at some point in our lives. Hopefully, these accidents aren’t serious enough to affect our lives of the lives of the other people involved in them. Regardless of the severity of your accident, you’re likely to be overwhelmed in its aftermath, trying to figure out the best course of action.

One of the things you might be wondering is how much of the accident is your fault, and if you’re able to seek compensation for any damages that might have occurred due to someone else’s negligence. Let’s dive into what you need to know about determining accident fault in here in Maryland, as well as what your options are when it comes to filing a claim for compensation.

Understanding Negligence Laws

Before you can determine who is at fault in an accident, you need to understand the rules that apply in your state with regard to negligence. There are two basic types of negligence laws: comparative negligence and contributory negligence.

Most states operate under the principle of comparative negligence. This law allows you to sue for damages and compensation even if you are partially to blame for an accident. Different states have different rules for how much compensation you can claim, based on your percentage of fault. Some states practice something called modified comparative negligence, where they cap the percentage at 50% and only allow you to pursue damages if your fault is determined to be less than that. Other states are more flexible and allow you to seek compensation even if you are over 50% responsible; this version of the law is what’s known as pure comparative negligence.

On the other hand, Maryland is one of only four states, along with Washington, D.C., that follow the principle of contributory negligence. This is a much stricter law than comparative negligence because it dictates that you can’t receive any compensation at all if you are found to be even the slightest bit at fault in an accident (although D.C. does allow for some exceptions in accidents involving bike riders or pedestrians). If you think the contributory negligence rule seems unfair or overly harsh, you’re not alone. There’s a reason why so few states follow these laws; most people would agree that it’s pretty restrictive to require 100% fault on the part of one person in order for a compensation claim to be legal.

Does this mean that, if you think you’re partially responsible for an accident in Bowie or elsewhere in Maryland, you shouldn’t bother looking into making a claim? Absolutely not. Even if you are concerned that you might be somewhat at fault for an accident, you might not actually be at fault from a legal standpoint. In order to know for sure, you need a knowledgeable, experienced attorney on your side who can work to establish a strong claim that you are indeed completely innocent.

How is Fault Determined?

It all comes down to collecting and examining evidence. There are several means by which this is done – including witness statements, photographs, police reports, medical records and vehicle or property damage. The more comprehensive the evidence, the easier it will be for those who are in charge of examining it to make a solid determination – so it’s in your best interest to help them collect as much proof as possible. Take photos of the accident scene if you can; call the police and have them investigate the scene and write a report; get the contact info of any witnesses who were at the scene at the time of the accident (or better yet, ask them questions and request permission to record their comments on your phone); seek medical help even if you don’t think you’re in urgent need. And find a good personal injury lawyer who understands Maryland’s strict contributory negligence laws and can help you navigate them.

Keep in mind, though, that not [TK1] all forms of evidence are beneficial to your claim. Insurance adjusters and others who might not have your best interests in mind will try to convince you to settle quickly, or they’ll mine your social media accounts for any references you make to your accident. For this reason, it’s very important that you steer clear of saying anything about your accident publicly. You should also never admit fault to an adjuster, or sign a quick settlement agreement; don’t even verbally agree to one. If you feel as though you are being pressured into making a statement or settling by insurance claim adjusters, refer them to your lawyer.

Who Determines Fault?

As mentioned earlier, attorneys play a large part in determining fault in an accident. They have the education, training and experience to be able to examine all of the evidence and make an informed decision about where the blame lies. Of course, they aren’t the only people in charge of determining fault. Police officers also contribute their findings, as well as a judge and jury if your case goes to court. (Insurance adjusters have a role to play in fault determination as well, although it should be noted that an adjuster’s main goal is usually to deny or minimize payouts, which could affect the way they consider the evidence presented to them.)

Given all of the moving parts associated with blame determination and compensation, your first (and best) course of action is to enlist the help of a dedicated attorney. Doing so will dramatically increase your chances of achieving the best possible outcome.

If you have been involved in an accident in Bowie and you think you might be entitled to compensation, a lawyer can help you determine the next steps. Contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.

Factors to consider when choosing a lawyer

Lawyers in Maryland

Lawyers can handle all sorts of legal matters, and this is because they are professionals who are qualified to offer advice about the law or even present someone with legal issues. Lawyers can also be called counselors, attorneys, or a barrister. They apply the law to specific cases.

However, they investigate the facts and the evidence by conferring with their clients and reviewing documents; after that, they prepare and file the pleadings in court. They are expected to introduce evidence, interrogate witnesses, and argue questions of law and facts. They sometimes don’t win the cases, so they are expected to seek a new trial or relief in an appellate court. However, many lawyers in the industry make it challenging to choose the best one for your needs. This article discusses the top factors to consider when choosing an experienced lawyer for your needs.

Experience and Expertise  

Hiring an experienced lawyer is integral to considering their experience in work. Due to their experience, lawyers can also settle cases through compromise, negotiations, and reconciliation. One needs a lawyer who understands the ins and outs of your business, is aware of what to expect, and has a proven track record of success. A key factor is also to consider the law firm and its focus on meeting your specific needs. It is essential to hire an experienced lawyer like Maryland’s Car Accident Lawyer.

Fees 

Law firms have schedules that ask one to sign the price agreement. Lawyers charge different amounts of fees depending on a variety of factors. Choose a lawyer who you can afford to pay. More experienced lawyers tend to charge higher fees but understand that you simply must find a better balance that will lead you to give yourself the most value. Make sure you choose a lawyer who works on the contingency of the outcome of the case. 

Communication Skills  

Lawyers should be good listeners and must, be orally persuasive, and have quality written communication skills. This enables them to content before the judges in the courtroom. Quality public speaking skills are necessary. Lawyers develop these skills during their studies by participating in activities like prevailing public express.  

Analytical Skills

Practice and study of law necessitate compulsive large consignment of details and distorting it into something logical and manageable. Most of the time, there seems to be more than one level-headed conclusion to solve a situation. This forces lawyers to have more estimative skills to choose the suitable one. Lawyers should be able to investigate all concerns and analyze them from all points of view. Lawyers must be able to take in a large proportion of knowledge at a time, organize it, and understand it on the spot.

Conclusion

Lawyers play an intriguing role within modern society. Lawyers need to be experts in numerous areas. Lawyers must be organized, for the organization is critical to everything a lawyer does. Lawyers should be very creative because they display great originality in their problem-clearing. And are mainly required to anticipate outside the receptacle. 

How to Prepare for Halloween and Avoid a Personal Injury Claim at Your Home

Avoid a Personal Injury Claim at Your Home at Halloween

For many people, Halloween is one of the highlights of the year. It’s a time for family, friends and neighbors to dress up in fun costumes and enjoy each other’s company. Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions – and if an accident occurs on your property, you could be held responsible for it. Keep your guests safe (and avoid the potential for personal injury liability) by following these home safety tips.

Make sure any pathways are well-lit and unobstructed.

You might be tempted to lower the lights in your yard to create a spookier atmosphere, but doing so can cause problems for visitors (especially if they’re wearing costumes that partially obstruct their vision). Ensure that any pathways to your door are brightly lit and free of any potential slip or trip hazards like rocks, leaves, and decorations (including pumpkins, which are very slippery when broken). Having a well-lit path to your door offers the extra bonus of encouraging guests to stick to the path and not trample your yard, too.

Consider adding treads to your steps.

It doesn’t typically get icy here in Baltimore until later in the year, but stairs can still be treacherous at night. If you have steps leading up to your front door, adding treads to them can help prevent slips.

Keep your pets away from visitors.

Even the friendliest pets can be frightened by all of the noise and excitement of Halloween, and you don’t want them doing anything to inadvertently harm your guests as a result. Keep them inside during trick-or-treating, or block off a portion of your house for them to roam undisturbed while you’re hosting a party.

Only hand out pre-packaged, store-bought treats.

Resist the temptation to give homemade goodies to trick-or-treaters. If someone gets sick after eating something you made, you might get blamed for it. (And a lot of parents force their kids to throw out items that aren’t store-bought out of an abundance of caution anyway).  

Encourage (and enforce) responsible partying.

If you’re planning an adult party and serving alcohol, you have some additional concerns you’ll need to address. Drinking can affect people’s judgement and make them more susceptible to injury… and you could be held liable for those injuries as a result. Encourage your partygoers to be responsible with their drinking, and make sure no one drives home drunk. And, of course, don’t let anyone drink alcohol in your home if they’re under 21.

If a personal injury occurs at your home and you need advice, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.

6 Most Common Mistakes When Filing a Personal Injury Claim

Broken Arm for Personal Injury Case

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be wondering if you’re entitled to compensation – especially if the accident wasn’t your fault. But before you start the process of filing a personal injury claim, here are some potential pitfalls to avoid.

1. Not getting immediate medical attention. Even if you don’t need emergency treatment and you don’t think the injuries you’ve suffered are serious, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible after your accident. A thorough medical examination might uncover some issues that weren’t immediately apparent when the accident occurred. Plus, medical records and doctors’ reports serve as proof of your injuries, which can strengthen your case when filing a claim.

2. Not contacting the police or filing a report. If you’re in a car accident, it’s not enough just to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver (or drivers) involved. Call the police and have them investigate the scene and create a report. That way, you have an official, impartial account of what happened, so there’s no possibility that anyone can dispute it. (If you’re physically able to do so, it’s a good idea to take pictures of the scene as well.)

3. Posting on social media. Personal injury can be traumatic, and it’s tempting to share your situation with friends and loved ones as a means of gaining their support and keeping them updated on your recovery. Unfortunately, insurance adjusters or those representing the people on the “other side” of the accident will likely be checking your social media accounts to see if they can use what you’ve posted as proof that your injury isn’t as serious as you say it is. That’s why it’s better to keep the details of your accident and injuries private while you’re in the process of filing a claim. (Be sure to ask your family and friends not to post about anything related to the accident, either.)

4. Missing the statute of limitations. In Anne Arundel County and throughout Maryland, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is three years. You might think that’s plenty of time, but the truth is that these claims sometimes take a long time to negotiate – and the last thing you want to worry about is not having enough time to take care of everything.

5. Talking to insurance adjusters and signing a settlement agreement too quickly. After your injury, don’t be surprised to get a call from an insurance adjuster. The adjuster will ask you a lot of questions about your injuries and even ask for access to your medical records. Often they will try to get you to record a statement about how you’re feeling, or convince you to sign a settlement agreement. Don’t do it! These people definitely don’t have your best interests at heart. Even if it seems like a good deal, a settlement agreement, once signed, is very difficult to overturn (plus, signing one bars you from filing any future claims related to your accident). Keep your responses to an absolute minimum and tell them to speak to your attorney. Which brings us to our last mistake to avoid…

6. Not hiring a qualified attorney. Let’s face it – accidents and injuries are stressful. In the aftermath of your accident, you may be dealing with physical and emotional pain, loss of income and expensive medical bills. You have enough to manage without the anxiety of talking to insurance companies and trying to figure out the ins and outs of filing a personal injury claim. An experienced attorney relieves this stress by managing the process from start to finish. And you can feel secure in the knowledge that your lawyer is on your side, fighting for the compensation you deserve.

If you have been involved in an accident in Anne Arundel County, a lawyer can help you determine the next steps regarding filing a personal injury claim. Contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.

Personal Injury Claims in Prince George’s County, MD

Being injured in an accident is an overwhelming experience. In addition to the physical and emotional pain you’re likely feeling, you might be wondering if someone else is at fault for your injury – and if so, whether or not you have a right to compensation. So how do you know if you have a valid personal injury claim? Let’s talk through some of the criteria.

There was a clear violation of duty of care.

First things first: what is duty of care? Basically, it refers to a person’s (or employer’s) responsibility to act reasonably and to avoid doing anything that might cause harm to others. For example, let’s say you work in a factory operating heavy machinery. The factory owners have a duty of care to ensure that the equipment you use is safe and well-maintained. If you are involved in an accident because the machinery is faulty, then your employers have violated a duty of care with their negligence, and you have a solid case for a personal injury claim.

Your injury was caused by someone else’s recklessness.

Recklessness is still considered a violation of duty of care, but it takes things a step further than negligence, because it asserts that someone knowingly violated their duty of care. If you’re in a car accident and the other driver was speeding, texting or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can argue that they behaved recklessly (because they knew beforehand that their actions were dangerous and illegal).

Your injury led to personal and/or professional damages.

If your injury cost you money in medical bills or forced you to miss work and lose wages, you can argue that you are entitled to compensation from the responsible party – basically, repayment for the long-term damages that the injury has caused you. Of course, you’ll need to prove these damages with medical records and communications from your employer.

What next?

The best thing to do if you think you have a personal injury claim is to speak to a qualified attorney, who can walk you through the steps involved in filing that claim. Be sure to look for someone local. If you’re in Prince George’s County, for example, you’ll want to find a personal injury lawyer who is familiar with the rules specific to the county, so they’ll know exactly what your options are. Keep in mind, too, that the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Prince George’s County (and throughout Maryland) is three years, so don’t delay.

One thing you shouldn’t do is talk to a lot of people about your case. Obviously, discussing it with close family members or trusted confidants is one thing, but steer clear of posting anything on social media. And definitely don’t talk to anyone representing the responsible party (like their insurance company) without a lawyer present.

If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence in Maryland, a lawyer can help you determine the best course of action. Contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.

Is courteous driving the path to roadway serenity in Maryland?

Roadway in Maryland

Nobody thinks they’re a bad driver. We all like to believe we’re just as courteous as can be when behind the wheel, but if you take a drive on just about any road or highway these days you’ll agree that some of us are clearly fooling ourselves. There’s selfishness, aggressiveness, and a palpable sense of anger everywhere you look.

But there are still plenty of well-mannered and considerate drivers out there. In fact, a friend of mine believes that by being super mindful of other drivers’ feelings and intentions, he can affect traffic in a positive way. As he broke down his theory for me, I found myself wondering whether it’s really possible for a lone driver to affect an entire traffic pattern. I also wondered if it’s a good idea that one driver has such influence.

Can one man erase traffic jams?

My buddy claims that he can actually keep things moving in one of those mysterious traffic jams that suddenly appear for no reason. It’s happened to all of us: We’ll be cruising along on the highway at a nice clip, and all of the sudden BAM! Everything slows to a crawl with no apparent cause, no accident, no merging, no police activity. From there it’s stop-and-go the rest of the way.

If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if everyone would just agree to go at the same speed at the same time, my friend is determined to find out. His plan to eradicate traffic is to leave a sizable gap between himself and the car in front of him. That way, he can roll along slowly without hitting his brakes. At that pace, as soon as he reaches the car in front of him, it speeds up and he can keep rolling along. He believes that he can “absorb the wave” of traffic by leaving plenty of following distance and keeping a steady speed.

By doing this, he claims to make life easier for the cars behind him since, because he never brakes, neither do they. This smooths out the flow of traffic in his lane. But he did admit this occasionally gets him angry honks from behind from drivers who want him to speed up and stop letting cars into his lane.

But what if everyone agreed to go at the same speed? You can read more about the pluses and minuses of this approach in a recap of Colorado’s “rolling speed harmonization” experiment.  

Just let ‘em merge!  

A second fix my friend has is for the traffic jams caused when drivers have to merge because of construction lane closures or the road narrowing from four lanes to three or three lanes to two, etc.

When approaching a merge, he once again keeps a wide gap between himself and the car in front of him, which lets other cars merge in before they decide to zip to the front of the line and have to merge at the last minute. His reasoning for so many drivers rushing to the front of the line is that they think that nobody will let them in before that without a fight.

There’s research to suggest he’s wrong on this one. The zipper merge theory holds that motorists should stay in the merge lane until reaching the point of merger and then “zipper” into traffic by alternating one car from each lane. So all those drivers driving right up to the merge are actually doing the right thing.

The jury is still out on my friend’s theories, but I think we can all agree a little more civility on the road would be a wonderful thing. If you’ve been injured or in a car accident as a result of aggressive or discourteous driving in Maryland, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, Maryland today to schedule your free consultation. We’re here to protect your rights, and we don’t receive a fee unless we win.