Commentary on This Month’s Trial Magazine
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Feb 13, 2009 in Car Accidents
This month's Trial Magazine, a publication of the American Association for Justice, has some great articles for Maryland auto accident lawyers. My favorite is an Article by my friend David Kopstein on Defeating the Sudden Emergency Defense. David's article discusses strategies for defeating a defendant's claim that the accident occurred because of a sudden medical emergency. He discusses that in order for such a defense to succeed, the defendant must show he became physically incapacitated, the incapacity was not reasonably foreseeable, the incapacity rendered him unable to control his vehicle, and the car crash was caused by a loss of control relating to the sudden medical incapacity. In Maryland car accident cases, I have seen defendants raise this defense on several occasions, but have never seen it be successful at trial. The article also discusses that a doctor can be liable to a driver injured in a crash for failing to warn the patient of the risk of incapacity relating to taking the medication.
Another article discusses liability of contractors and municipalities for roadway drop-off cases. The article explained that the Federal Highway Administration estimates 11,000 are injured each year and 160 die in crashes related to unsafe pavement edges.
There is also an article on vehicle rollover deaths and injuries. Apparently rollovers account for 1/3 of all deaths in light vehicle accidents and are responsible for 10,000 deaths per year and 24,000 serious injuries per year. The article discusses that the auto industry has been very slow to make appropriate and known safety changes and states "With the adoption of a weak federal roof crush standard in 1973, manufacturers lost their incentive to make a roof capable of protecting occupants in rollover accidents."