Monday, August 31, 2015

Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Safety of Robotic Surgery

Robot-assisted surgery is designed to help doctors perform complex, minimally invasive surgeries on areas of the body that might otherwise require traditional, open surgeries. The devices can be used to perform a variety of procedures including hysterectomies, prostate removals, weight loss surgeries, gall bladder removals, thyroid cancer surgeries, heart surgeries and organ transplants. While the technology is promising, it is not without its risks. Concerns were raised over the safety of medical devices like the da Vinci Surgical System after a wave of lawsuits were filed against Intuitive Surgical, the device’s maker. A subsequent investigation by the FDA found numerous reports of patients who suffered severe complications attributed to the robotic surgery system. Many of the reported complications required the need for additional surgeries and, in some cases, were even fatal. Safety experts claim the dangers stem from both the equipment itself and from surgeon’s training. Whil

Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers Provide School Bus Safety Tips

As we gear up for the start of a new school year, now is a good time to remind parents and drivers about the importance of keeping kids safe in and around school buses. School buses are by far the safest way for students to travel to and from school, but sadly, accidents sometimes happen. Maryland accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton provide the following advice to help keep kids safe the entire school year. Advice for Parents As a parent, your child’s safety is likely at the forefront of your mind; but as the first day of school approaches, your children are probably thinking more about who they will sit next to on the bus, or what they can expect when they reach school. Before the first day and throughout the school year, remind your children about the importance of staying safe in and around school buses. Wait with your kids at the bus stop or designate a responsible adult to wait with them until the bus arrives. Remind your child to stand at least three giant steps b

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Baltimore Birth Injury Lawyers Discuss Inadequate or Negligent Prenatal Care

Proper prenatal care is essential for the health and well-being of both mother and baby. Without it, serious complications can occur, including some that can have lifelong implications. Prenatal care refers to all of the checkups, health screenings and treatment of issues that occur during a pregnancy. Prenatal care is typically characterized as preventative health care, allowing doctors to identify potential issues early and treat them before they cause complications. Expectant mothers can do their part to protect themselves and their baby by getting regular checkups and following their doctor’s advice. Sadly, even the most diligent mothers can be harmed by doctors who fail in their duty to provide acceptable care. When this happens, it can be grounds to find Baltimore birth injury lawyers for a claim of medical malpractice. Failure to Identify a High-Risk Pregnancy There are many reasons why a pregnancy could be considered high risk, including advanced age of the mother; a multipl

Monday, August 24, 2015

Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers : Bias in Workers’ Compensation Medical Exams

Under Maryland Workers’ Compensation law, if you are injured on the job you have the right to choose your own doctor for treatment. Your employer’s insurance company also has the right to send you to one of their own doctors for an opinion. This is known as an independent medical examination (IME.) It is not uncommon for opinions between physicians to differ greatly. This is often attributed to some form of bias on the part of physicians. Unfortunately, bias can have a significant impact on your Workers’ Compensation claim if not handled properly by an experienced and skilled Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyer. First, it should be noted that the term “independent” should not be assumed to mean “impartial.” Rather, it means that the examination is taking place independent of a typical doctor-patient relationship. The examining physician is not your doctor, will not prescribe any treatment and is not bound by confidentially rules. He or she is hired for the sole purp

Monday, August 17, 2015

Maryland Boat Accident Lawyers Discuss Increase in Boat Accident Fatalities

Labor Day is coming later than usual this year, providing many Maryland residents and visitors the opportunity to take advantage of the extended boating season. Unfortunately, however, with the increased boating activity also comes a higher risk of boating-related accident injuries and fatalities. Boat accident fatalities are already on the rise this year. So far, the state of Maryland has seen 17 people killed in boat accidents. This is an increase over the state’s average of 12 boating-related deaths per year, and the summer is not yet over.  According to a Department of Natural Resources representative, the number of fatalities this year is due in part to an increase in boating activity caused by warmer weather and low gas prices. Maryland residents and visitors are urged to take heightened precautions when heading out to sea. One of the easiest ways for boaters to protect themselves is to wear a life jacket. Of the 17 people killed in Maryland boat accidents this year, 14 were

Maryland Truck Accident Lawyers: Proposed Bill to Allow More Teens to Drive Big-Rigs

For several years now, the American Trucking Association has been lamenting a shortage of truck drivers caused by retiring baby boomers and a growing demand for freight. Recently, the ATA has sought to solve this problem by asking Congress to approve a bill that would allow more teen drivers behind the wheel of tractor trailers. Many trucking companies already employ 18-20 year olds as in-state drivers. However, current federal regulations require drivers who cross state lines to be at least 21 years old. The rule is designed to protect young drivers and other motorists from the dangers of combining inexperience with driving heavy trucks for long distances. The proposed bill would permit states to form compacts that allow drivers as young as 18 years old to drive between them. The bill would restrict the number of miles a teen driver could travel into a neighboring state to 100 miles. Teens would also not be permitted to transport hazardous materials and many oversized loads. The bill

Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Benefits for Police and Other Public Safety Employees

Police officers and other public safety personnel face unique hazards at work due to the nature of their jobs. For this reason, public safety workers injured on the job are entitled to additional benefits under Maryland Workers’ Compensation law. Occupational Disease Presumption The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act includes a special presumption that favors public safety workers who develop certain conditions. The law lists specific conditions that, if developed by public safety employees, are presumed to be job-related, and therefore compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Law enforcement officers (including police officers, deputy sheriffs and correctional officers) hypertension, heart disease Fire fighters – hypertension; heart disease; and lung disease; and in some cases leukemia; prostate, rectal, or throat cancer; multiple myeloma; non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; brain, testicular or breast cancer Department of Natural Resources employees – Lyme disease; and in so

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Maryland Car Accident Lawyers: Teens Who Text and Drive Blame Parents

A recent study suggests that teens who engage in risky behavior behind the wheel may be doing so for an unlikely reason – because they think their parents expect them to. The findings are the result of a survey conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance in partnership with Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD.) The study focused on teen’s attitudes and behaviors behind the wheel. Surprisingly, teens reported feeling that their parents, more than anyone else, expect immediate responses to their text messages, even while driving. Today’s teens are under an enormous amount of pressure to stay constantly connected with the world around them. The study revealed the dangers that this hyper-connectivity can bring, including fatigue and technology use while driving. More than half of teens surveyed reported texting while driving in order to update their parents, and nearly one in five teens said their parents expect a text response within one minute, even if they are driving. However

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Maryland Medical Product Liability Lawyers Discuss Security Issues Linked to Medical Devices

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising healthcare facilities to stop using certain medical devices because of a cybersecurity risk. The FDA warned that devices linked to the Internet are vulnerable to hackers that could potentially gain access to the device, creating a serious risk of harm to patients. Specific warnings were issued to hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities using Hospira’s Symbiq medication infusion pump. The device is used to deliver medications directly into the bloodstream of patients over extended periods of time. Experts claim that hackers could potentially gain unauthorized access to the device’s settings and change the dosage the pump delivers, which could lead to an over- or under-infusion of critical patient therapies. The FDA has been aware of security vulnerabilities in medical devices for some time now. In 2012, the United States Government Accountability Office issued a report focused on the growing concern of security threats to med

Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers: Older Adults More Pain Post-Car Crash

There are nearly 36 million licensed drivers aged 65 and older in the United States, according to the most recent data provided by the CDC. In 2012, more than 5,560 older adults were killed and more than 214,000 were injured in car crashes, making car accidents the second leading cause of trauma after falls for older Americans. A new study suggests that seniors who sustain relatively minor injuries in car accidents may be at high risk of suffering long term pain that can affect their ability to perform daily activities. Study Overview Car accidents are a significant source of injuries among all populations, but researchers wanted to test the lasting effects of minor car accident injuries on seniors. They recruited 161 patients over the age of 65 who had been evaluated and released from the emergency room after being involved in a car accident. Patients with more severe injuries, such as fractures, major lacerations and brain and spinal injuries were not included in the study. Patients

Monday, August 10, 2015

Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Casino Workers Risk of Illness from Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke is a known occupational hazard for casino workers. While Maryland laws prohibit smoking indoors, every casino provides at least one designated area where guests smoke outside. Now, some casino owners are pushing regulators to allow smokers to have the best of both worlds, thus creating a potentially hazardous work environment for those employed there. Gambling and smoking have long been linked, and research suggests that gamblers who smoke daily spend more time and more money gambling than non-smokers. This may be why some casino owners are trying to find ways to allow their guests to do both. Horseshoe Casino Baltimore currently boasts eight outdoor smoking terraces where guests can light up while they hit the slots. Horseshoe is currently the only Maryland casino that offers outdoor gaming in smoking areas, but it will soon be joined by at least one other. Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Cumberland is also set to open a new 30-slot gaming and smoking deck this summer. In

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Maryland Truck Accident Lawyers: Insurance for Truck Crashes

A recently proposed bill seeks to overhaul the trucking industry in an effort to increase safety on our nation’s highways.  The new bill, titled the Truck Safety Act, was introduced before Congress by Senator Cory Booker in mid-July 2015. The goal is to replace outdated standards with newer, more modern standards of truck safety. The bill addresses minimum insurance requirements, driver pay and crash avoidance technology. Higher Minimum Insurance Insurance minimums have not moved since being set at $750,000 back in 1980. That figure is the equivalent of more than two million dollars in today’s economy. The idea was that high premiums would discourage trucking companies from engaging in negligent practices or employing reckless drivers. In today’s standards, that figure is only enough to cover a fraction of a truck accident victim’s medical costs. The Truck Safety Act would double the minimum insurance coverage requirements from $750,000 to $1.5 million. The bill also includes

Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: New Guidelines Address Misclassification of Workers

Debate over whether certain workers qualify as employees or independent contractors is nothing new. Employers and workers alike have struggled with this issue for decades. But with a flood of new sharing-economy jobs entering the market, the need for better clarification has never been more urgent. The Department of Labor has issued new guidance that has the potential to create shockwaves for a number of sharing-economy companies. The goal is to bring some much-needed clarification to as to who qualifies as an employee versus an independent contractor. The move follows a wave of lawsuits against a number of start-ups including ride-sharing firms Uber and Lyft, and other gig businesses like Handy and Crowdflower. The Department of Labor released the new directive in response to growing criticism from labor unions and activists who claim that companies like Uber exploit workers for their own benefit. Many argue that by misclassifying workers as independent contractors rather than employ

Monday, August 3, 2015

Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Anesthesiologist Ordered to Pay $500,000

A Virginia man has been awarded $500,000 after learning that he was mocked and ridiculed by medical staff while undergoing a surgical procedure. An audio recording captured the cruel exchange between the anesthesiologist, gastroenterologist and medical assistant as the sedated man underwent a colonoscopy, unaware of the verbal attack being launched at him. The man had originally intended to only record the post-op instructions from his doctors. He hit record on his smartphone and placed it into his pocket, not knowing that his clothes and other personal items would be in the operating room with him. When he played back the recording on his way home, he was shocked to hear the torrent of insults thrown at him as he lay defenseless on the operating table. Dr. Tiffany Ingham, then part of the Aisthesis anesthesia practice in Bethesda, Maryland, was working at the Reston, Virginia medical suite the day the man’s colonoscopy was being performed. Shortly after he drifted off to sleep, Ing