"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.
Imagine an occurrence that happens across the state all of the time. A pedestrian (or perhaps a bike rider) is enjoying the day. He or she is doing nothing wrong until you fail to cross the street in a marked crosswalk. You’re just a few feet over the line. Suddenly, a vehicle screeches from behind, slams into the individual, and he or she flies into the air before hitting their head on the ground. That driver is intoxicated. Who is at fault?
Most people would say that the driver is at fault and should cover all of the damages the individual suffered. After all, the driver was breaking the law, he or she lost control over the vehicle, and that driver struck another person. The problem is, that’s not what’s happening under current Maryland laws. This is why it is so important for you to seek out legal help if you’ve been in an accident on a bike or just walking the dog. With a bike accident attorney, such as our team at DuBoff & Associates, Chartered, you’ll gain more insight into what happened.
Luckily, some laws may be changing, thanks to SB 465.
Senate Bill 465 was a bill specifically designed to provide protection to bike riders and pedestrians as adopted in Washington, D.C. two years ago. It would help to protect your right to file a claim against the negligent party and receive full compensation for what is owed to you. To understand how, we need to discuss comparative negligence and what it means.
Currently, the Maryland law system is comparative negligence-based; it’s contributory negligence–no excuse or negligence on your part or you cannot recover at all. Harsh, but that’s the MD law right now. In comparative negligence, which the Senate Bill 465 proposed, a legal defense can work to reduce the amount of damages a person can recover based on the degree to which the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to the injury. this form of negligence, a legal defense can work to reduce the amount of damages a person can recovery based on the degree to which the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to the injury.
Let’s make this simple and see why it is so devastating to many people who have suffered injuries and losses. In our above example, the pedestrian did have some fault involved. That person did not walk within the lines of the marked crosswalk. It could have been just a few feet. He or she may not have even noticed. Under current laws, some of the negligence in the case then can be attributed to the pedestrian.
Now, had that individual been within the crosswalk and obeying every other law, the drunk driver would be fully responsible for the losses. But, in this situation, the driver’s legal defense could help to protect them from full negligence claims like this. That’s what comparative negligence would provide for.
However, SB (comparative law) works toward changing that. Under this law, it means, simply, that the driver’s negligence is not minimized in any way when the other party is minimally at fault. It’s clear that, in this situation, the pedestrian had no way of knowing the risk, and should not have suffered loss. Washington DC has this law now. And, these bills are not new. Over 46 other states have them in place. Maryland is simply lacking in this key area.
For many people in Maryland, one thing is for sure. We’re busy, active people with a lot on our mind and plenty to do. However, this is one bill that every person that walks on the sidewalk or rides a bike needs to take note of. The reason is simple. Insurance companies are working hard to block SB 465. The bill could mean they would have to pay thousands – even millions – of dollars more to the average person.
Here’s an example. In the above example, the court may determine that the pedestrian is 10 percent at fault. When you are talking about millions of dollars in losses from the drunk driver’s negligence, 10 percent can equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars. By blocking this bill, insurance companies hope to reduce the amount they have to pay out to cover these losses.
And, that would mean that this pedestrian, who was just out for a walk, who had a family at home and perhaps a job to go to the next day, suffers financial hardship through truly no fault of his or her own. SB 465 is truly a win for bike riders and pedestrians who do not stand a chance when a two-ton vehicle is coming at them, driven by a drunk driver at high speeds. Insurance companies want to minimize their costs, but the result of doing so is making individuals like this the victims.
It’s true – insurance companies never have the victim’s best interests at heart. We do. For your free consultation to discuss your accident, before you settle with any insurance company, call DuBoff & Associates, Chtd. We’re here to go to work for you and to ensure you get fair compensation for your losses. Call 866-640-6665 or use our contact form.
Every day in the U.S., 153 people die from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Of the nearly 300,000 who survive a TBI, some are injured so severely their lives will never be the same. They struggle to get back the physical and mental capabilities they had before their injury.
Most of those who experienced a brain injury (BI) of any kind long to be self-sufficient. They seek employment, but due to the residual effects of their injury, they find this difficult since they may be impaired either physically, cognitively, emotionally or all three.
Those who suffer a BI often have cognitive, physical, or emotional impairments that affect their ability to find a job. Some disabilities which are barriers to employment are:
This include things like a shortened attention span, difficulty remembering things, decreased communication skills and a lack of reasoning and problem-solving skills. Those with a cognitive disability may also have trouble remembering things, so directions may need to be given several times or provided in writing.
Some people may suffer long-term or permanent paralysis. Others may have weakened limbs and suffer from lack of coordination, making it difficult for them to walk or to grasp with their hands. They may have impaired vision or hearing, and have difficulty sleeping. Many are unable to drive and must learn how to use alternative methods of transportation. Some may require the use of a wheelchair, which may affect the way they can move around in the workplace.
Many have difficulty controlling their emotions and may cry or laugh improperly and at inappropriate times, or have difficulty controlling their anger. They may succumb to periods of depression, and may exhibit impulsive behavior.
Those who previously were believed to be unemployable due to their disability may be able to find employment if they work within a system where there are now advocates and services that can help them overcome previous barriers to their employment.
Every state has a Vocational Rehabilitation Services Agency (VR) which has as its mission to help those with disabilities find employment. Every year, they assist thousands of people with disabilities to obtain job skills and ultimately become successfully employed.
VRs were established primarily to help those with physical disabilities. Since people with BIs who are seeking employment often have disabilities that are not visible, the severity of their disability may be discounted. In order to obtain VR services, those with a BI that results in cognitive or emotional disabilities and not physical ones must prove that their injury, although not immediately visible, is severe enough for them to qualify for services.
Even after a person with a BI convinces the counselor that they qualify for services, the VRs are required by law to assist those with the most severe disabilities first. Evaluations by a rehabilitation physician and neuropsychologist are often necessary in order to prove the person with a BI is indeed entitled to prompt services.
VRs experienced in dealing with those with a BI can be extremely helpful. Unfortunately, in some areas of the country, it may be uncommon to find a counselor with BI experience. That puts the onus of helping the counselor understand the limitations a BI has caused on the shoulders of the person with the BI. The injured person may need to provide the VR counselor with educational materials about the impact of a BI, how it changes lives, and how employers can benefit from employing them.
Once the hurdle of qualifying for services is over, the VR helps prepare those who are disabled in any way due to their BI to gain the skills they need for a particular job, prepare them for job interviews, and help them to understand what accommodations to ask the employer about during the employment interview.
Some specific services provided by some VRs include:
The Maryland VR, operated under the state Division of Rehabilitation Services offers services to “people with physical, emotional, intellectual, developmental, sensory and learning disabilities.” In addition to career assessment and counseling, it also provides education, job training, technology assistance, and job placement services.
Applicants for services must prove they are eligible for services. Those who are receiving benefits under the Social Security Administration (SSA) are automatically eligible.
VRs generally are aware of the most important elements of successful VR experiences for people with BIs. This includes early intervention, employer education, work trials, supported employment, a “place then train” program, and long term follow-up.
The earlier those with a BI begin rehabilitation, the better the outcome. This means including the prospect of returning to work as part of the rehabilitation plan. This is true even if it is clear that there will need to be a long period of rehabilitation time, which also means it will be a long time before returning to work will be a realistic option.
Some people want to hide their disability and not inform their employer or coworkers that they had a BI. For those who qualify for VR services, this is generally a mistake.
Employers are, or can be, educated about the value a person can bring to the workplace despite the disability. Also, if employers are aware of the disability, they can make the necessary legal accommodations. In some cases, an employer may be eligible for a financial incentive offered by the state or federal government for hiring someone with a certain disability.
Former employers of the person disabled by a BI are, for the most part, supportive of bringing the person back to work to their old job. If this is not possible, former employers are known to work diligently to find an alternate placement for the BI employee somewhere within the organization.
An employer, and even the brain-injured potential employee, may have reservations about the ability of the injured person to do the job. Convincing either or both of them to give it a trial has often been successful. It may then lead to permanent employment.
Initially, a brain-injured person may need a job where they can have a job coach available as he or she learns how to do the job. The job coaching needs diminish as the employee becomes more comfortable at the job. Eventually, the coach will no longer be needed.
Traditionally, people are trained to do a job before they seek employment. Those with a BI have been found to do better if they have on-the-job training with the assistance of a job coach. That gives them the opportunity of learning what is specifically required of them, which is easier for them than transferring their general training to the specific job description.
The most common reason people with BIs lose their jobs is that there was a change in the job requirements, or a change in the work environment that upsets them. This can range from having a new supervisor, or a change, even a simple change, to their job duties. If a counselor or job coach is involved and providing long term follow-up, the counselor can intercede with the employer and work with the employee in adjusting to the new situation.
In 1990, the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) was made into law. It is a civil rights act designed to protect those with disabilities from discrimination in all areas of public life, including protection against discrimination by employers. This means that employers cannot refuse to hire someone who is otherwise qualified for a job simply because the person has a disability.
The ADA also prevents an employer from firing, or refusing to offer a person who is otherwise qualified a promotion or job training based solely on the employee’s disability. A qualified individual with a disability is defined as “a person with a disability who satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education and other job-related requirements of the employment position such individual holds or desires, and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of such position.”
A reasonable accommodation is defined as, “any modification to a job or the work environment that will enable an applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions.”
Some examples of reasonable accommodations are:
Employers are not required to pay for accommodations themselves, and there are federal funds available to compensate them for changes they make. Employers may avoid making accommodations if they can show that such an accommodation creates an “undue hardship” for them. But, they cannot refuse to make accommodations, or refuse to hire someone with a disability, if the disability interferes with the person’s ability to perform minor duties that are not essential to the performance of the job.
Those with a BI who are seeking employment need to let the employer or prospective employer know about accommodations as soon as possible. Employers need advance notice in order to make many potential accommodations. They are not required to make any accommodation if they have not been notified of the need to make such an accommodation and the accommodation requested must be reasonable.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers two programs designed to assist people who have a medically related disability:
The SSA has no provisions for paying benefits to those who are only partially disabled or disabled for only a short period of time. The qualifications that must be met in order to qualify for benefits under the SSA definition of disability are:
The SSA periodically reviews a case to determine if a person receiving benefits is still disabled. In turn, the disabled person is expected to keep SSA informed of any improvement in their medical condition.
The SSA offers assistance to those who receive benefits with a goal of helping them increase their self-sufficiency and return to work. The program helps then in preparing to reenter the work force and in maintaining that employment.
When people begin receiving benefits under the SSA, most of them become eligible for the Ticket to Work Program which has as its goal to help those with disabilities to reenter the workforce. To help them meet that goal, under this program, the injured person can choose to use the services of an Employment Network (EN), a vocational rehabilitation services provider, or any other services provider that is designed to help them achieve the goal of returning to work.
Whichever service provider the disabled person chooses to work with, the idea is to put a plan together with a goal for the person receiving disability benefits to reenter the workforce.
Participating in the program does not affect the receipt of benefits. Benefits continue until the person actually begins earning wages or income from self-employment. The program is also designed so those who become self-sufficient by earning an income are still able to keep their Medicaid or Medicare.
There are many aspects to the Ticket to Work program. SSA has provided a FAQs section on its website to assist those who are receiving SSA benefits in understanding the Ticket to Work program.
In addition, for those who are receiving SSA benefits, every state has a program called Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS). PABSS staff assist people who are receiving SS disability benefits in “obtaining information and advice about receiving vocational rehabilitation and employment services.”
The Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program, formerly known as the Benefits Planning Assistance and Outreach (BPAO) program, is designed to help those with disabilities who want to work, but still face barriers in finding employment.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides vocational rehabilitation and employment services (VR & E) to those who have a service-related disability and find it difficult to work in their former occupations. The goal is to help the veterans find suitable employment. Suitable employment is defined as employment that is: 1) within a veteran’s physical and emotional capacity; and 2) matches his or her skills and interests.
All veterans who are on active service who expect to receive a discharge other than dishonorable, and have received a memorandum rating of 20 percent are eligible for VR & E services. Veterans who received a discharge other than dishonorable, and have a service-connected disability rating of 10 percent, are eligible for VR & E services.
After eligibility for services is established, the veteran will meet with a VR counselor (VRC). Together, they will put together a rehabilitation plan. In order to determine a realistic plan, the two will work together to, among other things:
The purpose of the plan is to assist the veteran to meet his or her goal of self-sufficiency and employment.
Like it or not, cell phones have become an essential part of our culture. With easy access to friends and family, plus limitless knowledge at our fingertips, any stray thought or moment can be shared, Tweeted, Instagrammed, or messaged to our circles.
While these devices are usually a blessing, they can also be a curse–especially behind the steering wheel. As technology continues to advance, distracted driving and its deadly consequences continue to increase. Further, Maryland is far from exempt.
Since 2012, law enforcement handed out over 32,000 traffic violations to Montgomery County drivers for distracted driving. Over 15,000 traffic violations were handed out during 2014 and 2015. Here’s a breakdown of the data:
You might notice the giant leap in traffic violations from 2013 to 2014. After 2013, cell phone technology advancements truly came underway. In 2013, social networking on cell phones became more popular than ever, which explains the jump from the number of traffic violations in 2012. In 2014, better cameras, more selfies, Instagram, dating apps, and the app store (in general) completely changed the game. With all those new changes, it’s no wonder why people were so glued to their phones everywhere they went.
The three cities with substantially higher numbers of stops were Bestheda (8,100), Wheaton (6,968), and Silver Spring (6,434). This is not surprising as these are the most populated areas.
You may know that intersections are inherently dangerous. They are even more dangerous when motorists are distracted while driving.
The intersections where drivers received the most distracted driving citations occurred on Old Georgetown Rd. at Tuckerman Lane in Bethesda(116), Kentlands Blvd. at Booth St. in Gaithersburg (113), and Rockville Pike and Talbott St in Rockville. (94).
The fewest amount of traffic stops occur during the winter months (December, January, and February). Luckily, drivers are more aware of the types of dangers present on the road during these months (ice, potholes, slick roads, etc.). Take note of how the amount of traffic stops increase as the weather gets warmer.
There aren’t many instances of bad road conditions during the warmer months (other than the occasional pothole or rain storm that may make the roads slippery). Therefore, drivers may feel less inclined remain alert of their distracted driving habits. Here are the top 3 months that have the most traffic stops:
Over the span of our data, the highest amount of distracted driving traffic stops have occurred on Mondays and Fridays.
If you’re curious of when distracted driving traffic stops most frequently occur (so you can stay safe and out of the way), look no further.
Surprisingly, these stops do not occur as often during rush hours in Montgomery County.
The fewest amount of traffic stops occur between 1 AM and 6 AM, where each hour has fewer than 200 traffic stops–most likely because there are fewer people on the road during these hours.
Hopefully, these conclusions will prove helpful in battling the distracted driving epidemic in 2018 and years to come. The best defense, of course, is putting down the cell phones while driving. Motorists already know that distracted driving can be fatal (which is why laws exist to deter these bad habits). These drivers must also be equipped with the knowledge that, should they decide to drive while distracted, the officers of Montgomery County will not hesitate to intervene.
One of the worse things for a person to experience is having their insurance claim denied. Whether you were in a car accident, slip and fall accident, or experienced some other trauma where someone else was liable for your injuries, you need to be compensated for your medical expenses, damages, and lost wages. However, insurance companies look at every angle to determine whether you were at fault for the accident so that they don’t have to pay for an insurance claim.
Once you receive a denial to your insurance claim, you may think that your only option is to just pay for your medical injuries and damages out of your own pocket. Yet you do have another option. You can appeal your claim and make a formal demand for compensation.
Before you take any steps in appealing your claim, you want to understand the reason for the denial. Did you wait too long to inform the insurance company about the accident? Is the injury covered by your insurance policy? Were there any policy exceptions that your personal injuries fall under where your claim could be denied, and is your policy still active? All of these instances can be used by your insurance company to deny your claim. There are also other reasons why an insurance claim may be denied:
Always look at the denial letter to see if the insurance company provided a reason for denying your claim. Once you know the reason, you can take the steps necessary to prove your case to the insurance company so that they will not be able to deny your claim a second time when you reapply.
You will need to draft a demand letter that states your case and the reasons why you should obtain compensation. The letter should go into greater detail on why you think the other person is at fault for your injuries, and why you are requesting the compensation amount or treatment. You may also have additional documents, photos or other information that you can send with the demand letter that further proves why they should approve your insurance claim.
Most insurance companies will have an appeals process, and many states may require that an insurance company to go through arbitration or an appeal’s process for all denied claims. The length of this particular process can vary. It is always ideal to have legal representation as your attorney will have more knowledge about these claim cases and arbitration stages with insurance company. Then they can leverage their legal experience to help you win your claim and seek out the compensation amount that you demand.
You should appeal any insurance claim that you feel should be compensated. You should also appeal your claim if you feel that the insurance company is engaging in improper claim denial practices. Your attorney will be able to review state laws in regards to prohibited acts and make an additional claim toward the insurance company for engaging in such illegal practices that go against state laws. If you go through all the steps in appealing a denied claim and the insurance company still will not offer compensation, you may decide to file a lawsuit.
If you are injured in an accident and someone else is at fault, you should be compensated for your injuries even when the insurance company denies your claim. The law firm of DuBoff & Associates Chartered can review the circumstances of your case and insurance claim denial. Then we can offer you a consultation to go over the details as well as provide advice on how to go through the appeals and arbitration process. Contact our office today to set up an appointment to review your claim.
Synvisc One, an injectable medication used to treat arthritis in the knees has been recalled by its maker Sanofi Genzyme. This is a very serious complication for the thousands of people who use this medication for pain relief. If you are on this medication, or you have taken it in the past, your first step is to contact your doctor immediately to learn more about how to safely stop taking it. In addition to this, you may be entitled to a cash settlement in some cases.
At DuBoff & Associates, Chtd., we are working with patients who have taken the Synvisc One injection and helping them to file claims with the maker and insurers for it. If you are suffering from any side effects or any illness, we encourage you to contact our offices immediately to learn more about your options – do not just settle your claim without legal representation through this process!
The Synvisc One recall has taken place. The company has recalled the use of all of its Synvisc One knee injection medications. The company sites serious health risks associated with taking this treatment. This is a voluntary recall from Sanofi Genzyme, the biotech company behind the product. It was for a single lot of the medication. The lot impacted was found to contain some level of contamination. Specifically, those who received this medication experienced a high level of side effects (more about these later).
As a result, the company has issued an urgent hold on the product – a letter was provided to doctors, all clinics, and pharmacies using the product that came from this lot. Specifically, lot 7RSL021 is being further investigated. This recall was due to the potential presence of microbial contamination, according to a release of information from the company.
The company reports that it issued the recall as a direct response to a high result of unexpected high levels of reports of adverse events. These seem to have happened in the United States specifically. Within its recall press release, the company notes that having this injection can result in an increased risk of infection in some patients.
If you are taking Synvisc One – consult with your doctor immediately. Verify that your product is not from the lot mentioned here – 7RSL021 and that you have not received injections from this lot previously.
For those who have arthritis, the movement of a joint like the knee tends to be very difficult and painful. Synvisc One, also known as Hylan G-F 20, is a type of injection placed into the impacted joint. It is an elastoviscous, high molecular weight product. It contains polymers Hylan A as well as Hylan B. These are derived from chicken combs.
Doctors prescribed this medication specifically to treat osteoarthritis in the knees. It was not a first line of treatment drug. Rather, it was often turned to when patients did not get the results they wanted from other types of drug therapies or nonpharmacologic treatment. Those who did not find relief from pain medications such as acetaminophen often had this recommended.
The drug combined three doses of Hylan G-F 20 and Hylan B hydrated gel. It was included in a sodium chloride solution with a pH level of 7.2. Generally, this medication was found in a 10 mL syringe that had three, 2-Ml doses in them. This was considered a complete treatment of the drug. Its makeup, then, included:
Side effects can occur with Synvisc One – and they have in many people. The most common high-risk side effect is an allergic reaction. This can cause an immediate, life-threatening event. It may include hives, difficulty breathing, swelling in the lips, face, and tongue, as well as loss of consciousness.
Some individuals struggle with the development of worse or severe pain located in or around their knee after they received an injection. Swelling in this area is also a sign of concern and needs to be treated by a doctor.
Other side effects of Synvisc One include:
If you have these or any other symptoms, please seek out medical help immediately.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of hyaluronic acid injections like this in patients who have osteoarthritis in their needs. It can sometimes be used in other joints as well. This acid is naturally present in the body’s healthy joints and works to allow the joints to move properly and smoothly. The specific concern here is with a batch of Synvisc One that may be contaminated.
As noted, we highly recommend that anyone taking this medication or who has used injections into the knee previously to contact our offices. This is critically important to your wellbeing and in claiming the settlement owed to you. Our team has decades of experience and an aggressive style of legal support. We’ll make sure you get the compensation owed to you.
For a free consultation, call DuBoff & Associates, Chtd., immediately for a consultation. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day to help you. Call 866-640-6665 or use our online contact form and our attorney will call you. We have offices in Silver Spring and Baltimore to help you.