Negligence is the Foundation of a Personal Injury Claim

According to WMAR in August of 2017, a MTA bus and car crashed on an early Wednesday morning. Police and first responders were dispatched to McCulloh Street and MLK Blvd short before 6 a.m. The fire department confirmed that three people were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

At the time of the report, police did not know how the car-bus accident happened. The report did not indicate if the injured passengers would sue the MTA or driver of the vehicle for damages sustained in the crash.

Negligence is the Failure to Protect an Accident Victim from Harm in a Baltimore Car Accident

Negligence is the legal reason to file a personal injury claim. The other driver must be negligent in some way and have caused the car accident and the victim’s injuries. The legal definition of negligence is the failure to do the same thing that a reasonable driver would do in the same and/or similar circumstances.

For example, two drivers are traveling in Baltimore. One driver is following the other too closely. Following too closely is a violation of the traffic laws. Another driver in the same and/or similar circumstance would keep his or her distance from the driver in front of them to obey the traffic laws.

The driver stops at a red light. The other driver is distracted and does not realize the other driver has stopped. They stop, but because they were following too closely, it is too late; they hit the other car. The first driver sustains an injury such as whiplash or a bruised shoulder because of the accident. Because this driver failed to do the same thing a reasonable driver would do in a similar circumstance, he or she can be sued for causing the accident.

Options to Resolve a Car Accident Claim in Baltimore

A car accident victim has plenty of options to resolve a car accident. A victim can file a claim with the car insurance company. The insurer has the option of denying or approving the claim. If denied, the dispute may end up in court.

Another option is to settle the claim. If the claim is sent to the auto insurer and approved, the accident victim cannot sue in court. In addition, the at-fault driver may want to settle out of court. In this case, the accident victim gives up the right to sue in exchange for a lump sum or series of payments to cover accident-related expenses.

The last option is to file a personal injury lawsuit. The accident victim is a plaintiff in the case. The car insurance company or at-fault party is called a defendant. An attorney will typically file a lawsuit immediate to prevent the statute of limitations from running out. The statute of limitations is a number of years an accident victim has to sue for his or her injuries.

Contact a Hassan, Hassan & Tuchman, PA to Learn More about Negligence in Your Baltimore Car Accident Claim

You need legal representation whether you plan to file a claim, settle your claim, or go to court. We will help you resolve your car accident claim. Contact us.

Severe Punishment for Baltimore Driving Under the Influence Conviction

According to a Baltimore CBS September 2017 report, a driver involved in a Route 50 crash in Anne Arundel County had four times the legal limit of alcohol in her system. Maryland State Police released new details in the fatal wrong way car accident that killed two people in July of 2017. Police now claim the at-fault driver, a 31-year-old female, was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.

She was allegedly driving the wrong way when she hit another vehicle head-on, killing herself and the other driver. The crash also injured two other people in another vehicle.

Police could not initially determine why the female driver allegedly drove on the wrong side of the road. The new report of alcohol in her bloodstream does shed new light on the investigation.

The July car accident was one of many deadly accident on Route 50.

DUI is Prohibited in Baltimore Under the Statute 21-902

Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or DUI, is illegal in Baltimore. It is illegal to have 0.08% or more alcohol in a driver’s blood system when operating a motor vehicle.

Penalties for DUI in Baltimore

The punishment for having a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, at or higher than 0.08% depends on the offense. A DUI offenses range from a first to third offense. The penalties are:

  • First DUI offense: Jail time for up to one year, life suspension for six months and a $1,000 fine. 12 points are added to the driving record.
  • Second DUI offense: Mandatory minimum five days jail time, $2,000 fine revoked license for a year and ignition interlock device installed to restore the license.
  • Third DUI offense: About three years in prison, $3,000 fine and loss of license for 18 months

 DUI and Driving While Intoxicated are not the Same Crime in Baltimore

In Baltimore, DUI and driving while intoxicated, or DWI, are separate crimes. They both involve being under the influence of alcohol. However, driving while intoxicated only takes a 0.07% BAC or lower. This means a driver could be below the legal limit in Baltimore and be arrested for driving under the influence.

Penalties for DWI in Baltimore

The penalties for DWI are less than DUI. However, it is still a harsh crime. The penalties include:

  • First DWI offense: Fine of $500, up to 60 days in jail. A 60-day suspended license and eight points added to the driver’s record
  • Second DWI offense: A year in jail, license suspension of 120 days and $500 fine
  • Third DWI offense: A year in jail and license suspension for one year

Hassan, Hassan & Tuchman, PA will Help You with Your DUI or DWI Charge in Baltimore


You have been charged with either DUI or DWI. You need tough legal representation to prove your innocence. Contact us.

A Baltimore Pedestrian Accident is a Personal Injury Case

In May of 2017, a 6-year-old boy died following an alleged auto-pedestrian accident, according to Baltimore CBS. It happened around 5:40 p.m. in the 4100 block of Glenarm Ave. The alleged driver involved in the accident was operating a 2005 Honda Pilot. Immediately after the accident, the little boy was transported to Johns Hopkins Pediatrics. At the time, he was in critical condition. He died from his injuries the following day.

So far, the police have determined the driver was traveling eastbound on Glenarm Ave. The 6-year-old boy allegedly ran out into the street from between two parked vehicles on the south side of the street.

The driver remained at the accident scene. According to police, the driver did not appear to be under the influence or impaired at the time of the accident. An investigation was ongoing at the time of the report.

What is a Pedestrian Accident in Baltimore?

A pedestrian accident is a type of personal injury case involving an accident between a pedestrian and driver. The driver may hit the pedestrian while operating a motor vehicle, or the driver may indirectly cause the pedestrian’s injuries by causing him or her to try to avoid being hit.

Common causes of a pedestrian accident include:

  • A driver not stopping at a crosswalk
  • A driver not clearing the intersection when turning right on red
  • A driver exiting out of the parking lot without looking for pedestrians
  • A driver operating a motor vehicle in a reckless way while driving in a parking lot

Suing After a Baltimore Pedestrian Accident

All pedestrian accidents are not the fault of a driver. For an injured pedestrian to file a personal injury claim, the driver must be negligent. Negligence is defined as the failure to do the same thing in a similar and/or same manner as a reasonable driver.

A driver who cautiously drives around the parking lot looking out for pedestrians while trying to find a parking space is a reasonable driver. A reasonable driver follows traffic laws. The driver who recklessly drives around trying to find a parking space and hits a pedestrian is negligent.

Prove Negligence in a Pedestrian Accident in Baltimore

In court, a pedestrian injured by a driver is the plaintiff. The plaintiff responsible for proving that the driver, called the defendant, injured him or her in the accident. Baltimore has four steps required for proving negligence:

  • The defendant had a legal duty to the pedestrian. This means the driver had the responsibility of avoiding an accident while driving
  • The defendant caused an accident. It was done directly or indirectly.
  • The defendant’s negligence was the cause of the pedestrian’s injury
  • The defendant owes the pedestrian damages in the form of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering

Contact Hassan, Hassan & Tuchman, PA about Your Baltimore Pedestrian Accident

You were walking from one place to another when you were struck by a vehicle. The driver is at fault for the accident. It is time you get the money you need for your accident-related injuries. Contact us immediately for help.

Proving Medical Negligence in Baltimore

A Baltimore man won $3.9 million in a negligence case, according to an October 2014 report on Baltimore CBS. The man claimed he was left paralyzed from the mid-chest down because of the postoperative medical treatment he received. The 64-year-old man and his wife were awarded the damages after a weeklong jury trial.

According to the report, the man underwent successful spinal cord surgery at Saint Agnes Hospital in 2012. He claimed the neurosurgeon incorrectly restarted him on a blood pressure medication. The medication allegedly led to the man having a stroke in his spinal cord.

The defendant in the case, the neurosurgeon, argued the blood pressure medication did not lead to the stroke. Instead, he claimed it was a blood clot that led to the stroke. However, the man’s attorney counter-argued that the medical records did not support the neurosurgeon’s arguments.

The defendant and his attorneys were not available for comment at the time of the report. It is not known whether the defendant planned to appeal the verdict.

Medical Malpractice Involves Providing Substandard Care to a Patient in Baltimore

Medical malpractice is the failure on a medical professional’s part to provide standard care to a patient. Standard care does not mean top-notch medical care. It does not mean the medical professional has to be nice to the patient during treatment. Standard care means providing treatment that does not cause additional harm to the patient.

In Baltimore, every medical professional is required to provide treatment that does not cause additional harm. Additional harm is defined as another injury. For instance, if a medical professional treating a patient for a broken arm amputates the limb instead of placing it in a cast, that is an additional injury and not standard care.

A Plaintiff Must Prove That Medical Negligence Occurred

A patient is typically injured at the time he or she visits a medical professional. That is why the patient has the burden of proving medical negligence actually happened. Maryland has specific elements a patient must use as a guide when proving a malpractice case in court. The elements are:

  • The medical professional had a legal duty to provide standard care to the patient. This means the medical professional was hired to treat the patient and not merely offer advice.
  • The medical professional breached the legal duty by providing substandard care.
  • The medical professional’s breach of legal duty was the reason the injury to the patient occurred.
  • The patient is owed damages such as pain and suffering, lost wages, decreased income and medical bills.

Hassan, Hassan & Tuchman, PA are Your Baltimore Medical Malpractice Attorneys

You expected to be treated competently by a medical professional, not sustain further injury. You have the right to sue the medical professional who injured you. The at-fault party may want to settle. This means you do not have to go to court. You still need an attorney to make sure you receive a fair settlement. Whether you want to sue or settle your medical malpractice claim, contact us. We will represent you.

Federal Bankruptcy Saves Maryland School Bus Driver

Unaware of a brewing legal situation with her former landlord, a Baltimore County bus driver narrowly avoided disaster by filing for bankruptcy, according to an article by The Baltimore Sun.

The bus driver in question was ordered to pay $7,100, after a court rendered a decision for her landlord. When the bus driver failed to appear in court, the judge tacked on additional penalties. Eventually, the judge ordered a body attachment, calling for authorities to detain the bus driver and bring her to court.

The bus driver maintains that she never received notice to appear in court. Moreover, the bus driver challenges the amount claimed by the landlord. She maintains that cleaning and upkeep fees were vastly overstated and that the landlord failed to credit her security deposit.

Before the court case began, the landlord claimed a debt of $4,637.76. After the court decision awarded court and attorney’s fees as well as interest, the judgment totaled $7,100.

I can be Arrested for Failing to Pay a Debt?!

As detailed by the Maryland Courts, a body attachment allows authorities to detain an individual and bring them to court. This rule only applies in three specific situations. Two of those situations involve witnesses. A third situation applies to our present question, involving anyone “who fails to comply with a court order in a civil action.”

Using the school bus driver as an example, her landlord filed a civil action for an original debt of $4,637.76. Notice to appear in court went out to the bus driver and the landlord. But the bus driver did not appear in court. The judge ruled in favor of the landlord, awarding a total of $7,100. The judge also issued a body attachment, ordering authorities to bring the bus driver to court.

That being said, the bus driver claims that after moving she never received any notices to appear in court. The bus driver also claims that the amount of debt is inflated. Overall, the bus driver declared bankruptcy and wiped the slate clean.

Circling back to our original question, yes, you can be arrested for failing to pay a debt. This rule only applies in extreme situations. Judges do not generally issue body attachment orders until a party fails to appear multiple times. This underscores the need to pay attention to any court notices or orders.

Do You Need Legal Counsel from a Seasoned Bankruptcy Attorney?

Whether you face mounting debts or a body attachment, it can be a terrifying experience. The stress can be crippling. But with the advice and counsel of a seasoned bankruptcy attorney, you can navigate toward an effective resolution.

With more than 40 years of experience serving clients, Hassan, Hassan & Tuchman can help you overcome a wide range of debt and bankruptcy issues. If you have questions about wage garnishment, foreclosure and other bankruptcy concerns, please do not hesitate. Contact us today for a free consultation at our Baltimore office. You can reach our attorneys by calling 410.669.5070 or by completing a simple online form.

Maryland Car Accident Raises Questions About Personal Injury

A rush hour accident on the interstate in Maryland sent three people to the hospital and resulted in severe traffic delays, according to an article by The Baltimore Sun. The fallout from this accident has serious personal injury implications, particularly concerning the injured drivers and damaged cars.

At approximately 4 p.m. on August 17, 2017, a car attempted to take an exit off I-97 onto Route 50. The car failed to brake fast enough and collided with another vehicle. The force of the collision carried into a Maryland Transportation Authority police car.

All three drivers were treated for minor injuries at Anne Arundel Medical Center. Wreckage from the accident took a little longer to clear, closing off I-97 from Route 50 for several hours.

Overall, this accident resulted in injuries to three people and damage to three vehicles, including a police car. In such a situation, it is fair to wonder who will pay for the medical bills and vehicle repairs. As with most personal injury cases, the answer will depend upon a finding of negligence.

How does Maryland Define Negligence?

Maryland laws outline a four-part test for determining negligence. In order to prove a case of negligence against the person who caused an injury (defendant), the injured person (plaintiff) must satisfy four conditions.

  • Duty: The plaintiff must show that the defendant had a “duty of care” to act reasonably under the circumstances.
  • Breach: The plaintiff must show that the defendant breached the duty of care by acting in an unreasonable manner.
  • Proximate Cause: The plaintiff must show that their injuries were a direct result of the defendant’s actions.
  • Damages: The plaintiff must be able to demonstrate an approximate value for injuries and losses.

After proving all of the elements above, the plaintiff can recover compensation for injury or loss from the defendant. But the defendant may be able to avoid liability through legal defenses or contributory negligence.

What does Contributory Negligence Mean in Maryland?

Contributory negligence is a legal doctrine that considers whether the plaintiff played a role in their injury. If the plaintiff contributed to the injury at all, then contributory negligence prevents recovery the defendant. Stated otherwise, if the plaintiff was to blame for any part of an injury, then he or she will lose the case against the defendant.

Do You Need Legal Advice from an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney?

Whether you were involved in a traffic accident, slip and fall, or suffered other personal injury, the road to recovery can be painful and stressful. As the bills pile up for medical services and property repair or replacement, it can be a challenge to make ends meet. Thankfully an experienced personal injury attorney can make a real difference, helping you maximize your chance of success.

Featuring over 40 years of experience, Hassan, Hassan & Tuchman can help you figure out the best road to recovery. We will accurately appraise your property. We will also ensure consideration for your injuries, pain, suffering, lost wages, and medical bills. Overall, we operate on a contingent fee basis. Unless we win your personal injury claim, there is no fee.

If you have questions about personal injury, please feel free to contact Hassan, Hassan & Tuchman for a free consultation today. We are available 24/7/365 by phone at 410.669.5070 or online by filling out an electronic form.

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