Binding Arbitration as an Alternative to Trial

Binding Arbitration as an Alternative to Trial

Binding arbitration as opposed to a trial

Attorney Craig Meyers

Attorney Craig Meyers

Sometimes you can settle a case, sometimes you have to try a case.  But there is an in between: binding arbitration.  Binding arbitration is a less formal alternative to a trial that is appropriate in cases where both sides have some type of risk they want to limit.

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How Long Will Your Case Take?

Auto accident injury cases in Maryland

Attorney Craig Meyers

Attorney Craig Meyers

I am often asked by clients how long it will take to complete their case.  It is a tough question to answer and much of the time depends on how long it takes for an injury to heal.

For minor injuries such as sprains and strains, it may only take a month or two to heal; but for more serious automobile accident injuries such as fractures or herniated discs, treatment may last years. 

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You Always Hurt the One You Love, So Make Sure They are Covered by Your Insurance

You may not know it, but your large insurance policy may not cover the people closest to you.  This issue comes up occasionally, and involves drivers causing collisions which injury their family members riding as passengers.    Recently, I read of an instance of a husband driving his car with his wife as a passenger.  The husband caused an accident, which resulted in a substantial injury to his wife.  The husband and wife carried a large policy, I think their liability limits were  it was either  $300,000 or $500,000 per person, per incident, but when the wife made a claim, the insurer informed the wife’s attorney that the coverage for her was reduced to $30,000 (the  Maryland state minimum).

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How Fast Can I Go?

speed limitPop quiz hotshot.  You pull onto a roadway and you don’t know what the speed limit is.   How fast can you legally drive?

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Welcome to the Party: Third Party Cases

party-hatWhen a worker is injured on the job by the fault of another person, she has the right to make a worker’s compensation claim, but may also pursue the at-fault person for damages.  The claim or lawsuit against the at-fault person is called a third party claim.  Why is it a third party claim?  You (the injured worker) are the first party, the employer/worker’s comp. insurance (employer/insurer) is the second party, and the person that injured you is the third party. Continue reading

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Pay My Bills! Or, Brother Can You Spare a Dime, For Just a Little While?

a woman with unpaid bills has many debts. unemployment and persoAfter you have been injured in a car crash, someone has to pay your bills.  That someone is generally YOU.  It doesn’t matter whether you were at fault or if someone else caused your injuries, the legal responsibility to pay those bills is yours.  So what do you do?

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You Must Replace Your Car Seat After a Moderate or Severe Collision

iStock_000018326347XSmallMost car safety seats work by holding your child snuggly in place during a collision, and by absorbing or redirecting the energy in a collision away from your child’s body.  Quality car seats also drop the child vertically to redirect the energy from the collision, and prevent the child from striking the backs of the front seats.  Much like the bumper of a car, the car seat is designed with materials that break down, and in so doing, reduce the likelihood of injury to your child.   

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Dear Maryland, Please May I Sue You? Or, Rex Non Potest Peccare

king dollarBelieve it or not, the only reason you can sue the State of Maryland, its counties, or other governmental entities is because the State of Maryland allows it?  It is true; the concept arises from when the U.S. was part of England.  The legal concept, and of course the latin, is Rex non potest peccare, which translates to, “The King can do no wrong.”  In England at the time of King George III and his predecessors to the throne, you could not sue the King. Continue reading

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Health Insurance Liens: That’s Not a Get Well Card.

bigstock-Piggy-Bank-with-Bandage-on-Fac-42538342After being injured in a motor vehicle collision, you may receive a letter from your health insurer telling you that it looks like you were injured in an accident.  At first, you may think, “How nice.”  But if you read further, you will see, THEY WANT YOUR MONEY!  Even worse, they are entitled to it by law, at least some of it.

The letter will generally tell you that the type of treatment you received is generally consistent with an injury that could have been caused by the negligence of someone else.  It will ask you to fill out a form and return it to them.  Generally, the form will ask how your injury occurred, it will request the liability insurance information for the person that caused your injury, and it will ask whether you have an attorney.  The insurer is looking to exercise its right of subrogation:  its right to stand in your shoes and collect back the money it paid for your health care.  This may surprise you.

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What Does It Mean When A Driver Receives A Citation After A Collision?

iStock_000007960974XSmallAfter a motor vehicle collision, one or even both of the drivers may receive a citation.  Both drivers invariably ask the same question:  “What does this mean in a future lawsuit?”  The answer depends what the driver does after the citation.

The law in Maryland is that a guilty plea is an admission against interest.  This means that if a person pleads guilty to a crime or citation, it can be used against her later.  She is permitted to appear in court at a later civil trial and explain why she plead guilty, but she cannot claim that she did not commit the crime.  There are essentially three possibilities:

THE DRIVER PAYS THE CITATION

The fact that a driver paid her traffic citation is not considered an admission of guilt in Maryland.  Drivers pay citations for many reasons unrelated to guilt.  For example, a driver may not wish to take an entire day off of work to fight a $50 ticket; or, she may be scared to appear in Court; or she may simply have “better things to do.”  The Legislature has given her the option of simply paying the ticket, accepting any related points, and not having to appear.  For public policy reason, it cannot be used against her in a later civil trial.

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