"Thank you so much for all your guidance and support during this difficult period in my life.I Will Never Forget Your Compassionate Professionalism And Unparalleled Legal Expertise." -Zachary P..
"From the 1st meeting, he invested so much time & interest. He was so helpful & reassuring. We won in court." -Ina Lerner.
"They’re the best. You will never lose with them" -Ana Thomas.
"Their services were honest with integrity. I always walked out their office with a smile." -Damilola Adeyale.
"I had a tough case in the beginning but it ended wonderfully and I grossed more than I expected. I recommend each & everyone who has an accident or any other legal matters, to please call Duboff & Assoc." -Terrence Edwards.
"The service was great and very understanding and straight forward all the way to the end." -Kevin Hines.
"I had a great experience working with Duboff & Associates through my legal case. I was involved in a car accident by a tuck tractor at no fault of mine. Mr. Duboff was such pleasant person that he guided me through the process and through by medical care." -Mohamed A..
"We are most grateful to you personally as well as your entire staff at DuBoff & Associates. Had it not been for your legal expertise, our opponents would have prevailed. The series of meetings we had–especially on Sundays to accommodate our individual schedules and our witnesses–deserve special mention." -Isaac Vodi, Riteway Driving School.
"I will not hesitate to refer them to my friends and I have done it before. Again I am very pleased for the good service they provided me. I will always come back for future incident." -Read the full testimonial.
"You have been great to work with, you are a top notch attorney in my opinion. This is my first experience and hopefully my last but I appreciate your openness, patience, and honesty in guiding me through the process. You always made me feel you were working on my behalf to get the best settlement possible." -Larry McClain.
Let’s say you’re involved in a minor accident that wasn’t your fault but still inflicted thousands of dollars in damages. Your insurance company is going to cover the repair costs, but what many car owners forget about is how you won’t necessarily be able to cover the now diminished value of your vehicle.
Our team of attorneys is constantly dealing with car accident cases, and our track record proves our consistent success in terms of helping clients receive their rightful compensation from insurance companies and private, at-fault parties.
But we also understand that the effects of car accidents don’t necessarily end when the case is closed and you’ve received compensation, and that’s because your vehicle’s value will potentially see detrimental decline years down the road.
We’ve created this page to help you better understand history reports and how they affect car value, how to file diminished value claims, and have an overall better understanding of how state insurance laws can help you sell your car that was in an accident.
Many drivers are surprised by how much their vehicle’s value will drop after an accident, even when the accident wasn’t their fault. Auto insurance companies often fall short of fully covering people in these types of situations, but it might not be recognizable until you’re ready to sell your car.
Vehicle history reports on sites like Carfax will have previous accidents reported for potential buyers to view, and these reports will often work against car owners even after all necessary repairs have been made.
This typically happens when people try to sell their used cars to dealers who considerably knock down the trade-in value in order to protect their own profit margins.
Putting it simply, any similar model to your car that wasn’t in a wreck is going to have much higher resale value. Dealers many times will cut about 10-30% off a trade, so if your car is valued at $20,000 undamaged then an $18,000 offer would be pretty much par for the course when trading it in post-accident.
Diminished value claims are one of the main ways that drivers can get some kind of recourse for the deficiency between a vehicle’s value before an accident and after repairs are completed. So many dealers will automatically discount a car’s value when a Carfax Report shows an accident history, so it’s crucial to make sure you are obtaining compensation for this difference in value that wasn’t necessarily your fault to begin with.
So if your estimated book value was something like $20,000 without an accident, but was appraised for $15,500, then there is a $4,500 deficiency that a diminished value claim may be able to help you recoup.
You’ll have to contact the at-fault party’s insurance company and request compensation for this type of deficiency in order to file a diminished value claim, but don’t expect the insurance company to quickly write you a check. You’re going to need to present a copy of your most recent appraisal and hard data that backs up your request. This can include a clear demonstration of your car’s value based on information found on online car value sites.
This is where our car accident expertise can readily assist you because many times auto insurance companies are going to be difficult in terms of negotiation and paying your calculated, full deficiency. Some car owners think that it’s perfectly fine to negotiate and at least get some of the deficiency recovered, but if you have persistent legal representation helping you throughout this process you’ll have a much better chance at receiving your full and rightful deficiency compensation.
If the insurance company refuses to compensate you then we’ll take them to small claims court and make sure they do their due diligence to assist you in your vehicle transition.
These types of financial setbacks after an accident are only part of the toll that car accidents have on owners. The physical and emotional effects of car accidents are also very important to recognize in terms of what your insurance policy covers.
You should try to familiarize yourself with your insurance agent and policy details, as well as your state’s insurance laws too. There are several loopholes out there that can end up costing you after all types of accidents, so you’re always going to want to utilize the necessary legal assistance that can close up those loopholes and lower your risks of deficiency losses.
If you were in a car accident that wasn’t your fault then you should be compensated for the difference in your car’s value when you’re ready to sell it. The law firm of DuBoff & Associates can review your case and insurance information to ensure that you are getting the very best deal once you are ready to move on to a different vehicle.
Contact our office today to set up an appointment to review your car accident claim.
Millions of Americans suffer from brain injuries every year, and more than half of these injuries necessitate extended hospital visits. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) consist of several severity degrees, and the worst TBIs can lead to permanent brain damage or even death.
Over half of all TBIs are the result of motor vehicle accidents, and another significant percentage of TBI victims are military personnel who’ve suffered from combat zone injuries. We help countless clients throughout Maryland, Virginia and the D.C. Metro Area to get the rightful compensation for their medical treatments, pain and suffering and everything in between; which ultimately helps TBI victims and their loved ones more easily get their lives back in order after these types of catastrophic injuries.
All of us at DuBoff & Associates understand that our legal services are part of a multi-pronged approach to TBI rehabilitation and that it’s part of our responsibilities to set TBI victims and their loved ones up with the very best and most convenient rehabilitation centers in their local area.
We’ve created this list of traumatic brain injury rehab centers so that you can continue researching exactly where you think you or your loved one will receive complete TBI medical attention in a location that’s most convenient for your whole family.
Rockville, Maryland 20852
Sandstone Care consists of several treatment centers throughout the D.C. Metro Area, and they primarily help young adults and adolescents through a whole array of treatment options for mental health treatment and substance use rehabilitation. They accept just about every insurance provider and are state licensed and accredited by The Joint Commission.
They have a multidisciplinary clinical team and help each TBI patient individually through vocational/academic support, multi-family group sessions, individual sessions and community events.
4350 East-West Highway Suite 200
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
The team at Healthy Foundations Group is comprised of psychiatrists, therapists and nurse practitioners who offer a wide variety of customized treatment plans that are always tailored to each patient and their family’s needs. They offer multi-disciplinary approaches to TBI care and work meticulously to determine the source of why a client is struggling.
They always do their due diligence when it comes to getting to know their patients on a personal level, and their treatment modalities include family, group and individual therapy. Their team strives to utilize their expertise in order to help TBI clients overcome the certain physical, mental and emotional obstacles that are blocking them from realizing their fullest potential.
10000 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, Maryland 20901
Their team of licensed professionals help patients of all mental health issues to manage good health habits, achieve personal goals and usher in an overall sense of well being. This treatment facility offers a confidential, safe and supportive environment for TBI victims, and they also utilize technology-assisted venues to help their clients remotely and come to their clients’ homes when it’s too hard to come to them.
They provide holistic services on site in order to help TBI patients spiritually, mentally and physically; and they also utilize a network of professionals for referrals as well to make it easier on patients and their families within certain circumstances.
4111 East Joppa Road Suite 101
Nottingham, Maryland 21236
Hope’s Horizon utilizes individualized treatment plans that help TBI patients get on the right track towards recovery. They specialize in therapy options and offer a wide array of unique types of therapy, including art therapy, cognitive behavioral (CBT), emotionally focused, family, mindfulness-based (MBCT) and solution focused brief therapy.
Although their specialties are medical detox, addiction treatment and dual diagnosis, Hope’s Horizon has remained a prominent rehabilitation facility for TBI patients.
2200 Kernan Drive
Baltimore, MD 21207
This rehabilitation center is located within Kernan Hospital in Baltimore, and it’s a part of the University Rehabilitation Network. Their Traumatic Brain Injury program serves adults and adolescents, and their overall goal for each patient is to achieve the highest levels possible within functionality and independence.
They have kitchen and bathroom setups so patients can re-learn daily living skills, and they offer a large array of therapeutic equipment. They are accredited with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).
5601 Loch Ravel Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239
The partnership with John Hopkins University School of Medicine helps set this rehabilitation center apart when it comes to treating TBI victims, and individualized care is highly stressed at this rehabilitation center through the coordination of a case manager.
The TBI injury program does wonders in terms of helping patients independently return to their community through the efforts of an interdisciplinary team. This team also includes the patient’s family. They focus not only on physical coping, but also mental coping skills that every TBI patient requires after such tragic injuries.
They are also accredited with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).
200 Kernan Drive
Baltimore, MD 21207
The Inpatient Brain Injury Program at this rehabilitation center offers a therapeutic, supportive environment that helps adolescents and adults throughout their TBI rehab. They utilize an interdisciplinary, comprehensive program to help each patient obtain their highest independence potential and ultimately return to their community.
Their inpatient/outpatient system makes it flexible for TBI patients and their families to obtain the appropriate services for individuals who range amongst the severity levels of TBIs. Family involvement is a paramount part of their overall rehabilitation strategy, and they also utilize a support group and education programs to help families and caregivers provide extra support to TBI patients.
2401 W. Belvedere Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21215
LifeBridge Health’s Brain Injury Program’s specific goals are to provide the very best neuro-rehabilitative care to TBI victims, and their staff of brain injury specialists are ACBIS-certified and are more than capable of handling the entire spectrum of brain injury treatments.
Their main goal is always to help TBI victims to resume their lives in a productive and meaningful way. Their inpatient and outpatient services are considered to be potentially the most complete and overarching throughout Maryland.
1750 E. Fairmount Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21231
The Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Brain Injury Recovery is world-renowned and helps young adults and children recover from a whole array of brain injuries. They utilize a 24-hour inpatient program, as well as outpatient programs, to evaluate and treat TBI victims of all varieties up to 21-years-old.
Their Brain Injury Responsiveness program is comprised of an innovative team that for years has been refining the way inpatient TBI victims are treated and rehabilitated.
2200 Kernan Drive
Baltimore, MD 21207
1 (800) 221-6443
This rehabilitation program is the Maryland state affiliate of the Brain Injury Association of America, which is a great connection that allows this local facility to be able to provide some of the most current research and overall best practices from around the entire country to Maryland’s TBI patients.
They offer support groups throughout the entire state and D.C. Metro Area, so family members of TBI patients and the patients themselves can collaborate together with people who are going through the same type of rehabilitation.
2910 Monument Ave.
Richmond, VA 23221
The Family Institute of Virginia is a private TBI rehabilitation center that provides a very broad range of mental health professionals and therapeutic services to families and individuals in need. It was established in 1977 and has gained a great reputation throughout the state over the years, while also remaining on the cutting edge of TBI rehab strategies.
They utilize an interdisciplinary approach that will touch every aspect of a patient’s life in order to provide comprehensive treatment for the individual and their loved ones. Their treatments always involve the whole family, and they consider therapy as a discovery, learning and growth-enabling process.
Traumatic brain injuries are just one of the many issues they help patients with, and they are renowned throughout Virginia as one of the best, private TBI rehabilitation centers.
2121 Eisenhower Ave. Suite 604
Alexandria, VA 22314
The Better Brain Center is known for utilizing cutting edge mental health care techniques for their TBI patients through their neurofeedback, counseling services and psychiatry. They offer a wide array of clinical support, and their team lead by Dr. Adnan Durrani is considered to be not only one of the best medical teams in Virginia, but the entire east coast.
Neurofeedback is one of their cutting edge treatments that help TBI patients re-train their brain to respond to certain stimuli and stresses. This type of treatment can narrowly focus on specific brain areas, which allows the Better Brain Center team to finely target and improve brain function on an individual basis.
Fairfax, VA 22031
Sandstone Care provides mental health services for patients between 13 and 18 years old, as well as young adults from 18 to 30. This includes day treatments, extended residential care, intensive outpatient and general outpatient treatments.
They focus in on the entire ecosystem of each patient, so for TBI patients this will include providing individual and family therapy sessions, academic and vocational support, and much more.
Although traumatic brain injuries are just one of the many issues that Sandstone helps patients with, they are still considered a top provider of TBI rehabilitation throughout Virginia.
McLean, Virginia 22101
This is a rather famous rehabilitation center that has locations all across the world, including in McLean. It is known for hosting very wealthy patients who are suffering from a whole array of mental health issues, including traumatic brain injuries.
Although this treatment center is more luxurious and expensive than most of the others in Virginia, that doesn’t mean that it lacks behind in quality care at all. When families of TBI victims pay the extra money that it does cost to get treatment at The Scott, the patient will also receive advanced clinical and medical care.
1300 E. Marshall St.
Richmond, VA 23298
The Brain Injury Rehabilitation department at VCU is considered to be one of the very best inpatient/outpatient TBI treatment programs in the entire country. It’s located at both the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center and at VCU Health, and their programs emphasize enhancing a TBI patient’s overall functional independence and quality of life through social activity participation, preventative care and health maintenance education.
This self-contained unit treats adolescent and adult patients with TBIs that stem from all different causes/accidents, and it also helps with less traumatic brain injuries like brain tumors, hemorrhages and aneurysms. This intensive rehabilitation program emphasizes therapeutic intervention, functional assessment, community reintegration and long-term follow-ups.
4341 Ridgewood Center Dr.
Woodbridge, VA 22192
Brain Injury Services is a unique TBI rehabilitation center that specializes in case management by addressing the overall needs of patients who have trouble with behavioral, cognitive and physical functioning. They help TBI patients and their families to minimize the need for any kind of institutionalization and ultimately maximize a patient’s abilities to thrive within their local community.
They offer a whole array of programs and services that aim to provide assistance in the Northern Virginia area, as well as Winchester, Fredericksburg and several other counties.
8101 Hinson Farm Rd. #401
Alexandria, VA 22306
This is a state-of-the-art medical facility and rehabilitation center that is known for its awards and recognition throughout the American medical industry. Their rehabilitation center is ranked amongst the top in the country, which is partly due to this hospital having one of the very best and most experienced medical staffs in the entire state of Virginia.
1701 N. George Mason Dr. Suite 2-E
Arlington, VA 22205
This rehabilitation center utilizes medical and therapy care, as well as multidisciplinary nursing in order to assist with the emotional and physical needs that TBI patients require. They mainly focus in on overall neurological and cognitive function recovery, improving swallowing and speech, increasing mobility and physical ability, and recovering the necessary skills for daily activities.
They also emphasize educating family members and patients throughout the entire rehabilitation process, and this includes a better understanding of the recovery stages for TBIs.
This facility is known for offering a wide variety of specialized treatment and equipment that goes above and beyond many other TBI treatment centers throughout Virginia.
NeuroRestorative is a well-known provider for brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation services across the entire country, and their location in Blacksburg is in the very heart of the Virginia Tech University community. This location offers a whole array of support services and programs that help TBI patients, including their neurobehavioral, neurorehabilitation, respite, supported living and day treatment programs.
28 Andrew Russell Lane
Fisherville, VA 22939
WWRC provides an array of services for clients with a TBI, including the following:
These services are meant to help patients obtain a more functional independence and enhance their overall opportunities for future employment once their treatment is completed.
The WWRC staff utilizes a collaborative effort to treat and evaluate clients with TBIs, and each patient will obtain a ‘brain injury team’ that works together to create a unique, individualized service program.
7700 Arlington Blvd. Suite 5101
Falls Church, VA 22041
This facility is a member of the U.S. Military Health System, and the DVBIC is known for being the TBI center for the Defense Health Agency since its founding in 1992. The core mission of this treatment center is to help veterans and service members to reintegrate themselves into their local communities after suffering mild to severe TBIs.
This facility helps service members from the moment of their injury all the way to the point of their return to duty or community reintegration. They’ve taken on a number of very important database and research duties for the U.S. military, and still today are an integral part of helping U.S. military men and women who fall victim to TBIs of all types.
102 Irving Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20010
The MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital has been widely known as one of the United States’ best medical facilities that specialize in spinal cord and brain injuries. Their team of award-winning physicians and vocational rehabilitation counselors, among many others, have access to some of the most cutting edge assistive technology and equipment within the TBI treatment field.
They also specialize in TBI treatment research and education. They are also CARF and JCAHO certified.
900 23rd Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20037
The therapists who specialize in neurological rehabilitation at this hospital deal with much more than just TBI patients, but they are still considered some of the very best TBI specialists in the entire country. They’ll utilize an entire multidisciplinary team to conduct occupational, physical and speech-language treatments in order to help patients fully restore their functionality and independence.
These medical experts consider many types of neurological rehabilitation as a great alternative to pain medication and sometimes even surgery. They use a whole array of therapy techniques that are customized to each TBI patient, and their impeccable track record speaks for itself.
1232 17th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
This is a TBI treatment facility that was created in 2007 on the foundation that every member of the board of directors was in some way affected by a traumatic brain injury directly or indirectly. Their overall mission is to create brighter futures for all patients who suffer from all calibers of TBIs through research, education, prevention, and fundraising.
There are quite a few factors that come into play when someone suffers from a brain injury, and you’re always going to want a proper legal game plan to help you and your family get through such a tough time a little more easily. Call us for a free consultation so we can discuss your injury and see what your options are with your insurance company and so much more.
At DuBoff & Associates, it’s always our goal to ensure that you and your loved ones get the very best medical treatment available as we fight to ensure you get fairly compensated for all of your losses. Contact us through this contact form or at 866-640-6665.
The population of the country has grown exponentially as people are moving to city, suburban and rural locations. This population growth has also caused an increased need for more products and shipments in all industries.
Trucks are moving raw materials to manufacturers, fruits and meat products to grocery stores, and end products to retailers. This growth in demand requires warehouses and distribution centers to invest in larger fleet vehicles. These larger trailer trucks are jockeying for space on rural roads and interstate highways. They are moving at great speeds around passenger cars, buses and other vehicles, increasing the chances of a dangerous accident on the road.
The Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) reported that in 2016, large trucks accounted for 4,213 fatal accidents and 55,633 injury crashes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In addition, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that fatality crashes resulted in 3,986 deaths.
Tractor trailers were involved in the deadliest accidents when compared to single unit trucks, as there were 2,920 deaths in 2016, stated IIHS. While single-trailer trucks dominated in traffic crashes at 62 percent, double trailers also became a troubling concern with 3 percent involved in crashes while triple-trailer trucks accounted for less than 0.1 percent.
When towing trailers, drivers can experience problems trying to control the fast-moving vehicle during pre-crash events. The trailers are normally stacked with pallets and shipping crates, causing the vehicle to be heavier during travel that can cause the trailer to sway at certain speeds and road conditions.
When it came to pre-crash statistics, these larger trucks encountered another vehicle, animal, pedestrian or object in the road lane at roughly 73 percent of the time, detailed the FMSCA Crash File. Loss of control and the trucks’ own movement accounted to 23 percent of crashes. Another important statistic from the FMSCA revealed that drivers coded accidents as “vehicle-related factors,” “tires” and “other motor vehicles” as the most common causes of fatal crashes.
Currently, only 23 states allow for combination triple-trailer trucks in 2018, according to Consumer Reports. As more passenger vehicles and big rigs share the road, fleet managers are looking at technology to offer more safety protections. Anti-lock brakes, electronic stability controls and onboard electronic logging devices are standard technologies in the industry today.
Many companies are upgrading their larger trucks with FCW/crash mitigation systems. The Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) think tank expects that about 40 percent of large truck fleets will have these systems installed by 2020, as stated by Consumer Reports. However, there are no government mandates regarding these crash mitigation systems. Trucking associations have lobbied for less government involvement when it came to mandating all trucks to be outfitted with advanced safety systems.
For owner operators of large rigs, many drivers cite costs as a factor when it involves obtaining new safety systems. With prices ranging in the hundreds of thousands for a new vehicle purchase, these new trucks don’t fit into their budgets. Retrofitting older vehicles with these systems could drastically cut down on safety system prices. However, other truck drivers simply don’t believe that these systems are necessary. Instead, they cite their own driving records with few crashes as reasons why they are safe on the road. Other drivers are placing the blame on distracted passenger vehicle drivers as the reason for big truck accidents.
Companies across the country are also looking to improve truck safety with additional training measures for their drivers. With newer vehicle enhancements, technologies, and traffic patterns, drivers can gain immense benefits from continuous training practices. This training will provide large truck drivers with increased experience and driving versatility if they find themselves moving from hauling single-trailer trucks up to double-trailer and triple-trailer trucks.
Knowing how each vehicle handles differently with different loads can lower the chances of driver mistakes. Companies can also make the decision to invest in better fleet management initiatives by hiring more drivers to operate smaller trucks that are not overloaded.
In addition, they can revamp their delivery schedules to ensure their drivers are taking all safety precautions and are not being overworked to fulfill difficult delivery timelines. When drivers are set to short delivery windows, this issue may cause many of them to speed or make unnecessary driving decisions that result in fatal crashes.
Lower speeds, correctly loaded trucks, investing in safety technologies, and limiting the number of trailers that a single truck pulls can end of saving lives. These measures can ensure that both passenger vehicle drivers and truck drivers reach home safely.
Duboff & Associates has handled and continues to handle Big Rig cases in MD, D.C., CA, and MA. These are not just large auto wrecks. Don’t let anyone fool you. If you are the victim or relative of someone injured from trucking negligence, call us now for a free consultation.
If you drive regularly in the Montgomery County area, it is probably not surprising that local roads can be hazardous. There’s even evidence that Maryland roads and drivers can be more dangerous than average.
Data from D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles indicates that Maryland’s drivers rack up more traffic and parking citations than both D.C. and Virginia drivers and also owe more in fines than D.C. and VA drivers combined. A study released by WalletHub in January rated Maryland as the third-worst state to drive in based on several different measurements.
Rather than looking at a long list of statewide figures, zeroing in on a single year in a single county presents a more focused local picture. We examined location data for motor vehicle accidents in Montgomery County in 2015 and found that there were 58 pedestrian incidents. Of those 58 incidents, two resulted in fatalities; one on Frederick Road in Germantown and one on River Road in Kenwood. After mapping the location, it then became apparent that the most active area for pedestrian-involved motor vehicle accidents was the Bethesda-Silver Spring area, with a total of 24 incidents (including the River Road fatality).
Over the course of 2015, 58 accidents convert to a pedestrian-involved accident occurring in Montgomery County 6.2 days, or slightly more than one accident a week. Furthermore, 3.44% of those pedestrian-involved incidents resulted in fatalities.
More extensive data, including data that dates back to January 2012, and a map displaying pedestrian-related traffic incidents, paints an even more disturbing picture. When additional years of data are plotted on a map of Montgomery County, the 2015 clusters get larger, additional clusters appear, and more roads where accidents occurred are visible.
As a result of expanding the data, dozens of additional pedestrian-related traffic incidents are shown in the Bethesda and Silver Spring areas. Also, additional clusters appear in Gaithersburg and Montgomery Village, Germantown, North Potomac, Rockville, Glenmont, and Wheaton. Some of these clusters even connect along heavily-traveled roads like Viers Mill, Georgia Avenue, Rockville Pike, Colesville Road, and Frederick Road, meaning that the roads themselves (not just specific locations or intersections) are danger zones for pedestrians.
In late 2017, the Baltimore Sun reported that according to a survey of Maryland State Police data, Georgia Avenue in Montgomery County was one of the most dangerous roads for pedestrians in the entire state. The study found these four major clusters of pedestrian accidents in a single eight-mile section of the road: Aspen Hill (near the Connecticut Avenue intersection), Wheaton, south of Wheaton (near August Drive) and in downtown Silver Spring. The data from 2015-2017 conclude that those four locales accounted for 117 incidents, with 61 people seriously injured and two deaths.
Keep in mind that these traffic incidents did not always involve a call to the ambulance. In many cases, a pedestrian was simply present and involved. The 4700 block of Bradley Boulevard in Bethesda is a good example.
In recent years, one specific location that requires the driver to yield for pedestrians waiting to use the crosswalk was the site of almost 200 citations. That said, if any pedestrian had attempted to cross Bradley Boulevard while not paying attention, an accident resulting in injury certainly could have happened.
Maryland does have a system in place for identifying and addressing locally-identified road construction projects. This includes pedestrian-related projects like sidewalk installation, placement of roadside fencing or railings, and restriping crosswalks and bicycle lanes. Counties are invited to send an annual list of priority road projects in writing to the Maryland Department of Transportation. The Governor and state legislature then approve or deny funding on an item-by-item basis.
Interestingly enough, many counties, including Montgomery County, put road congestion-related projects at or near the top of their lists but placed pedestrian-related projects at or near the bottom of their lists. Also, while Montgomery County did include improving Georgia Avenue pedestrian safety on its most recent list submitted to MDOT, they placed the notion near the bottom of the list.
While the vast majority of pedestrian-related incidents happen on major roads and thoroughfares, these incidents do occur on private property on residential streets. Some citizens groups have sought to lower the speed limits in residential areas on suburban county roads, only to find that (with few exceptions) Maryland state law prevents counties or municipalities from reducing speed limits below 25 MPH. In 2017, the Montgomery County delegation sponsored legislation in the Maryland House of Delegates to reduce that limit to 20 MPH. The legislation had passed in the House but didn’t pass out of any Senate committees for a full vote before the session ended.
In short, despite the potential danger to pedestrians in some areas of Montgomery County, it doesn’t seem likely that any solution is coming any time soon. That means that your best protection from traffic as a pedestrian is your own alertness, attention, and caution.
If you’ve been the victim of a pedestrian accident or other personal injury in Montgomery County you have means for compensation. Contact the attorneys at DuBoff & Associated, Charteded to discuss how we can help you receive compensation for injuries, medical bills, and lost wages.
There was a time when you called a taxi if you needed a ride to get somewhere. Times are changing though, and taxis are no longer the only option. Riders now have a choice, and many are opting for app-based ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. These companies are not only changing transportation, they are changing the way auto insurance works as well. The way these companies work has become known as a special category of transportation called ridesharing.
As ridesharing has gained popularity over the past few years, lawmakers have had to step up and create laws that cover the unique circumstances that these services present. This can leave passengers (or anyone else involved in an Uber or Lyft accident) somewhat confused, wondering who is responsible in a car accident when they are riding with Uber or Lyft.
When these vehicles are involved in an accident, it’s not the same as when two regular passenger vehicles have a problem. Circumstances for everyone involved; passengers, drivers, and even pedestrians or bicyclists are different. These services sit somewhere in the middle of professional service and a private citizen driving their own car.
When someone is involved in a rideshare accident, they’re often confused about what their next step should be and where to start. Do accident victims need to deal with the drivers, the companies, or both? And how does the process even work?
If you’ve been involved in an Uber accident, you have all the same rights to file injury and damage claims just as you would in any other accident. It’s important, though, that you speak with an accident attorney familiar with the differences between a straight accident case and an accident claim involving an uber vehicle.
Even though the rideshare companies carry plenty of insurance coverage, you can surely understand that they’re not just going to hand over their money because you file a personal injury claim against them. They are large companies, with large and experienced legal teams. You need to make sure that you work with a law firm and personal injury lawyer that knows how to deal with these companies and the tactics their legal departments will use against you.
Just like any other motorist, Uber and Lyft drivers must have specific liability coverage in order to drive. Under Maryland law, all drivers are required to carry a minimum level of coverage and are responsible for purchasing their own insurance in order to be able to drive. The minimum insurance coverage that is required for every driver in the state is 30/60/15, or $30,000 bodily injury per person, $60,000 per accident for two or more people, and $15,000 property damage.
In fact, rideshare service drivers require special rideshare insurance to be able to legally provide their services at all. If there is an accident while one of these drivers is working, it will not be the rideshare driver’s own personal liability insurance that covers any damages, it will be the rideshare insurance purchased by the driver or the company they are working for. The driver’s insurance will only provide coverage when the vehicle is being used for personal reasons.
Commercial drivers are typically covered by the insurance policy their employer carries. However, Uber and Lyft drivers have a unique work situation. They drive their vehicles for personal use but also drive the for work. They are not considered to be employees. They are independent contractors. This means that different insurance policies cover their vehicle depending on whether they are on duty or off duty.
The driver may have his or her own insurance for when they are driving their vehicle for personal reasons, but receive coverage from the ridesharing companies when they are working. Some drivers also have a single two-in-one type of insurance policy that provides the necessary coverage for both situations.
Regulations can change the exact insurance coverage between different states and locales, but, at a minimum, Uber’s insurance and company policies provide the following coverage to protect both drivers and Uber passengers:
Lyft maintains similar insurance and policies for their drivers and passengers.
Accidents happen, even to Uber drivers and Lyft drivers. In fact, statistically speaking, drivers for rideshare companies are more likely to get in an accident simply because they are spending more time behind the wheel than regular drivers.
Rideshare drivers are also more likely to get into an accident because of what’s come to be known as distracted driving. Their job revolves around checking the Uber app of the Lyft app on the screen of their smartphone (or another mobile device) to see if there are passengers available, to follow directions to an address, receiving messages while they’re en route, and for other reasons.
When they reach a destination to pick someone up, they may also get distracted as they begin looking around, trying to find the passenger that sent the ride request. Even if they’re moving slow, they can easily bump into other cars or injure a pedestrian or bicyclist because they weren’t paying enough attention to the street in front of them. Even slow-moving vehicles can cause serious injuries.
A driver could also be in an unfamiliar place at the time of the accident. Some passengers may request to be picked up or dropped off in a place where the driver has never been. The driver may not be aware of sudden turns, unusual traffic patterns, or other hazards that locals pass through every day without a second thought.
If you are a third-party motorist involved in an accident with a Lyft or Uber rideshare driver, and especially if you were in need of any medical attention, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the company, the driver of the car, or both.
It’s also extremely important to contact the police from the scene of the accident and make sure that a police report is filed. If you speak with a car accident lawyer and have a police report stating that a Lyft or Uber driver was at fault in an accident, you have much higher chances of a successful claim.
If you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft and the driver gets into an accident, both the driver and the company may be held liable. You may have physical injuries that incur expenses like medical bills, lost wages, and future medical costs. Pain and suffering may also be involved. You would need to file a claim with the rideshare company’s insurance as soon as possible.
Rideshare situations are unique and very complex from a legal standpoint. While the company insurance for Uber or Lyft does provide coverage while the car is on duty, the drivers are still independent contractors. They are not actual company employees. This means that the insurance coverage from the rideshare company can have certain limitations. For instance, if the driver was acting recklessly and caused an accident intentionally (i.e. road rage), or if they were driving under the influence (DUI), it could cause the claim to be denied. In that case, a claim would need to be filed against the actual driver.
If you’re involved in any type of accident with Lyft or Uber, no matter if you were a passenger, another driver, or a pedestrian, there are several things you should do to improve the chances of filing a successful claim against either the driver or the company they are working for.
Even if the accident seems minor, don’t let the other driver talk you out of calling the police. You should call 911 immediately and request the presence of the police to be sure they can investigate the circumstances and file a proper police report of the incident.
As a passenger, you should ask the driver for their license, insurance, and registration information. If you are another driver, you should exchange this information with the rideshare driver and any other driver that might have been involved. If anyone refuses to give you their information, you should simply wait for the police to arrive and they will be able to help you get the information you need.
If possible, take photos of everything you can think of at the accident scene. Take pictures of the car(s), specific damage to the vehicles, any injuries you or anyone else has sustained, damage to property, marks on the roadway, etc. You should, of course, make sure you are standing in a safe place as you take pictures, but get as many pictures as you can. You never know what might turn out to be the proof that you need to make your case. The more visual information you have, the more your lawyer will have to work with.
If you (or anyone else involved) have sustained serious injuries, you should request an ambulance for medical treatment at the same time when you call 911 to request the presence of the police.
Even if you think you only have minor injuries, or perhaps none at all, you should still see a doctor and get a full medical report of your examination. Some injuries can seem almost insignificant at first and develop into something much more serious over the next few days or weeks. It can be difficult to prove that these “delayed onset” injuries were caused in the accident if you haven’t been examined by a doctor as soon as possible after the accident occurs.
Filing a personal injury claim against Uber or Lyft can be a complex process that will take a lot of work and time, but it can be summed up fairly simply.
First, we’ll ask you to come in too our office for a free and confidential consultation with as much information as you have about the accident and any medical treatments you’ve received since then. We’ll go over the information, photos, and reports together and we’ll discuss the possible first steps we can take. We’ll give you a complete case evaluation and determine whether or not it looks like your claim will hold up if it’s filed.
If we think your case looks like it’s worth pursuing, we’ll discuss some of the first steps we can take to get things underway and give you our honest legal advice for your particular case.
We’ll conduct our own investigation of the incident, have experts review the available information and evidence, and start putting together our plan to move forward. We’ll file the personal injury claim on your behalf and the official legal process will begin.
There will be plenty of paperwork sent back and forth as well as talks and negotiations with insurance companies and the opposing legal team. We’ll take care of all of the “heavy lifting” but we’ll always keep you informed of what is going on and where we are in the process. Whenever we come to a fork in the road, the decision on which way to go will be up to you.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to negotiate a settlement between you and the insurance company that makes both sides happy, but we’ll be ready to go to court if we have to as well. If we can’t come to a settlement agreement, our team has the experience needed and is fully ready to take the case to court.
In court, we will present a concrete case using all of the evidence we have at our disposal and take advantage of expert witnesses to help prove that the other side is liable for the injuries and damages you have suffered. Once both sides have made their arguments, a jury will decide the outcome of the case and you’ll know the result as soon as they make their decision.
To put it in the simplest terms, we will do everything within our power to defend your legal rights and make sure that you receive the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident and a rideshare vehicle was involved, you need an experienced personal injury attorney in your corner fighting for your rights. You can bet that a company like Uber or Lyft will have an entire legal team working for them.
At DuBoff and Associates, we have the experience and knowledge to handle these complex rideshare cases. Contact us online anytime or call us at 866-461-9330 for a free consultation. We’ll walk through your case with you, give you honest, direct feedback, and make our recommendations on how to proceed. We care, and we want to see you on the road to recovery. Let us handle the insurance company; you concentrate on healing.