Articles Posted in News Stories

WBAL has a very informational yet unintentionally funny piece on its website about the relationship between car insurance rates and your credit history.

BALTIMORE — The WBAL TV 11 News I-Team has discovered that your credit can play a huge role in what you pay for auto insurance and there’s little you can do about it.

It’s been long known that where you live, your marital status and age can impact what you pay for auto insurance, I-Team reporter Deborah Weiner said. But an insurance agent from a well-known company who asked to remain anonymous risked her job to share her outrage with 11 News about credit scores impacting insurance rates.

Are you a local municipality looking to make a few extra bucks in this economy? Anne Arundel County has the answer: Starting next month, Anne Arundel County will reportedly start charging $500 for emergency ambulance rides.

Anne Arundel County officials note that county residents will not be personally responsible for any of the fees. Instead, the county will try to get the injured or sick person’s insurance to foot the bill. The county will not seek collection from uninsured people using these emergency services in Anne Arundel County.

The folks running the show in Annapolis are understandably pressed for cash these days (even more pressed in 2020 post-COVID). But how is Blue Cross going to feel when they find out they are paying a bill that is not being charged to people without insurance? What happens when the insurance companies get wise and deny payment?

This Maryland Daily Record last month reported on a twice tragic fatal Frederick, Maryland accident case. A woman was killed by a fire truck that was responding to an emergency.

Compounding the tragedy, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the Plaintiff’s maximum recovery in the case is $20,000 because the Federal Tort Claims Act allows the Plaintiff to piggyback onto a Maryland law that gives fire departments and their agents immunity “from civil liability for any act or omission in the course of performing their duties” except to the extent provided by the maximum coverage limits in Maryland of $20,000.

No reasonable person can argue that judging the negligence of a fire department must be viewed though the obvious lens: they are rushing to put out a fire. But negligence is negligence. What if the jury believed that a woman was killed because the driver was doing something that no reasonable person would do, even in response to an emergency? What if he was looking away from the road because he was in an argument with his girlfriend on his cell phone? Shouldn’t that woman’s family be entitled to an award beyond $20,000 for her death? The law is too inflexible and it provides too little trust in juries.

The Baltimore Examiner reports that Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell will suggest that judges give up five days of leave as a way of helping address Maryland’s budget crisis. Bell has scheduled a hearing tomorrow to propose taking away five of the 27 days of leave state judges will receive in 2009.

The full Maryland Court of Appeals is expected to vote on this issue. Judge Bell’s flip flop on this issue – he originally opposed the plan – underscores the increasing appreciation for the severe budgetary constraints facing Governor Martin O’Malley.

Twenty-seven days is a stunning about of leave for those of us in the private sector. There are not too many Maryland accident lawyers taking more than 5 weeks of vacation. But you have to remember that judges are being paid a lot less than they would be in the private sector, so allowing them perks like this is probably more than a fair tradeoff for Maryland taxpayers.

The New York Times reports on a new World Health Organization and UNICEF report that found that childhood accidents account for approximately 830,000 deaths annually around the world. Just an incredible statistic. Injury accidents are to blame for 40% of childhood deaths in developing countries. Car crashes were the leading cause of death for children under 5. A lens to how needless these deaths are: 5,000 children die from drinking the kerosene their parents use for cooking, a problem easily remedied with childproof caps.

Obviously, the United States is not immune, either. A CDC study released in conjunction with this report determined that accidents kill over 12,000 children in the United States each year.

The problem internationally is obviously harder for us to solve. Domestically, the CDC suggests three things: (1) graduated driver’s license laws, forbidding teenagers to drive at night or with teenage passengers (which may be a bit of a mixed bag), (2) to enforce seat-belt laws on teenagers, and (3) laws requiring children younger than 8 years-old to ride in booster seats.