Posted On: November 28, 2008

I'm an Organ Donor - If My Doctor Finds Out, Will He Work As Hard to Save Me?

If you die without a Will, the law of your State provides for the distribution of your assets. So, it's not necessarily bad if someone dies without a Will. But, if you are alive and cannot give direction about your care to your doctor, things can become complicated and expensive. Often, someone has to go to Court and have a guardian appointed. That's why I urge all of my clients to have an Advance Directive. It's a legal document that combines a living will with a medical power of attorney and often includes directions about organ donation and disposition of your body. Some of the people I see hesitate and procrastinate because of bad information.

One of the common misconceptions is that your doctor won't work as hard if you are an organ donor. This and other myths are addressed on the UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) website. The facts are: "If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ donation can only be considered after brain death has been declared by a physician. Many states have adopted legislation allowing individuals to legally designate their wish to be a donor should brain death occur, although in many states Organ Procurement Organizations also require consent from the donor's family."

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Posted On: November 24, 2008

Companies Ordered to Stop Charging Unlawfully High Finance Charges on MAIF Policies

In an interesting story about the seemingly ever rising cost of auto insurance in the state of Maryland, the reports that Maryland Insurance Commissioner Ralph S. Tyler has ordered nine premium finance companies to stop charging unlawfully high finance charges to drivers who are insured by the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF). The order follows a yearlong investigation by regulators into the activities of the finance companies, which have been criticized by state lawmakers seeking to lower costs for consumers.

The Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund was created by the Maryland State Legislature for the purpose of providing automobile liability insurance for those residents of the State of Maryland who are unable to obtain it elsewhere in the private insurance market.

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Posted On: November 18, 2008

Maryland Roadways Slated For New Construction

A recent article published on explains that local and state politicians have pledged funds to help improve several of Maryland’s roads and highways. Among the projects slated for new construction are Route 589, Route 113, and the Sinepuxent Bay Bridge. But can new construction contribute to the likelihood of serious personal injury resulting from auto accidents on Maryland roadways?

Though driver error and negligence plays a huge part in auto accidents, road conditions can dramatically affect an accident’s outcome and increase the chance of delayed reaction time, distracted driving, and poor decision-making. Add adverse weather conditions, driver fatigue, and issues of negligence, and you have a recipe for disaster – after all, Bethesda car accidents don’t just cause property damage, they can cost you serious personal injury and even your life.

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Posted On: November 13, 2008

Maryland Car Crash Kills Police Officer’s Son

Unfortunately as reported in the following article there has been another Maryland auto accident fatality involving a teen driver. The incident occurred in Damascus, Maryland where Ryan Didone, the 15-year old son of a Maryland police district commander, was killed in a car crash while on his way home from a youth worship meeting. The article reports that Didone was a passenger in a car with other teenagers when the driver, 17 year old Zachary Kimble, lost control of the vehicle, causing it to strike a tree and catch fire. Ryan Didone was not wearing a seatbelt. Kimble was said to be a new driver who lost control of the vehicle on a curvy roadway.

It was reported that four other teens riding in the vehicle survived the crash, though one remains in critical condition. There is no word yet on whether any criminal charges will be filed against Kimble or whether Didone’s parents will file a civil claim for the death of their child. In either instance, the crash will involve extensive investigation and reconstruction to determine the exact cause of this accident and to develop facts which may help prevent such tragedies in the future.

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Posted On: November 10, 2008

Teen Auto Accidents In Maryland Hope To Be Curbed By Car Cameras

A recent Washington Post article has highlighted the growing popularity of car cameras that keep tabs on teen drivers – and the cameras in question are available free of charge to Southern Maryland families. The program, which was created in response to the increased problem with teen fatalities due to Maryland auto accidents, was funded by the Maryland Highway Administration and installs cameras that capture in-car and external activity while a teen is driving. Video is streamed to the DriveCam offices and parents are informed of video postings.

The thought behind the teen cams? Encourage safe driving with an in-car monitor when parents are unable to drive with a teen. But will the cameras really help teen drivers? Signs point to yes, since the cameras are triggered by high-force events such as sudden braking. The efficacy of the program will have to be tested over time, however, and its final outcome is not yet known.

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