Personal Injury Malpractice and Accident Cases in Prince George's County, Maryland
An Overview of the Most Favorable Jurisdiction in Maryland for Plaintiffs
Prince George's County is the only jurisdiction in Maryland where both Circuit Court and District Court are favorable venues for Maryland personal injury lawyers fighting on behalf of injured clients. Juries in this county have historically given awards in civil tort cases that are fair considering the Plaintiff's injuries.
These are the last two Miller & Zois jury verdicts in Prince George's County:
- October, 2013: $5.5 million (no settlement offer)
- November, 2013: $938,000 ($140,000 offer)
In the serious injury cases our law firm handles in Maryland, personal injury victims typically have the best chance of success in Baltimore City and Prince George's County. Opinions differ from attorney to attorney as to which of these venues is more favorable but there is some empirical data available that suggests that Prince George's County jurors give slightly higher compensation than Baltimore City jurors.
Our Track Record In Prince George’s County
Miller & Zois' lawyers have had a track record of good results in many of the cases we have tried in this jurisdiction, including an $8 million jury verdict in a wrongful death case and the verdicts listed above. (Go here to see what some of our clients have said about our results in Prince George’s County cases.)
We are very comfortable asking P.G. County juries to fairly compensate our clients. Because of the jurisdiction (and perhaps because of the results we have achieved for our clients here) we find that insurance adjusters are more reasonable in these case both because of our track record and because of the history of fair outcomes in this county. As a result, our settlements tend to have higher values in P.G. than in other Maryland counties.
Prince George’s County Demographics
Demographically, this region is quite ethnically diverse. For people self-identifying as belonging to a single race, 2010 census results show the following breakdown:
Obviously, using statistics like this can be this can be complicated, as many people who live in Prince George’s County self-identify as belonging to two or more races. For example, 14.94% of the population identified as Hispanic/Latino, which incorporates those who also identified as belonging to some other race. But for our purposes- namely looking at the demographic make-up of the potential jury pool, these numbers at least offer a reasonably reliable snapshot of the makeup of likely jurors in this jurisdiction. But we think the take home message is that diverse jurisdictions tend to be, for whatever reason, generally more fair to plaintiffs.
The 2011 American Community Survey data shows the highest levels of educational achievement for Prince George’s County residents over 25 years old:
Less than 9th grade: 7.5%
9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 7.4%
High School graduate/GED: 26.3%
Some colleges, no degree: 22.5%
Associate’s degree: 6.2%
Bachelor’s degree: 17.9%
Graduate or Professional degree: 12.2%
High school graduate or higher: 85.1%
Bachelor’s degree or higher: 30.1%
So what you have in this county is educational and cultural diversity. For us, the lesson from all of this is that P.G. County is ethnically, culturally, and educationally diverse. Juries that have diversity tend to be, in our opinion, for whatever reason, generally more fair when compensating victims then homogenous juries.
The Path to Trial in Prince George's County
The Circuit Court for Prince George’s County does a good job getting civil injury cases to trial on the dates they are set. In almost every case, the trial takes place before the “try by” date set by the assignment office.
The Circuit Court does a good job in identifying cases that may benefit from Alternative Dispute Resolution, such as mediation. The court will assign cases to its Mediation Program, where it can be sent before one of several retired judges who will work hard to move the parties closer to settlement.
Currently, the court is running a pilot program where Pretrial Conferences are done by telephone conference with a judge. This makes the court more efficient by not requiring the attorneys and/or parties to appear in person for a scheduling conference that typically takes only a few minutes. Hopefully, this program will expand to the entire civil docket. Because it is hard to ask our clients to appear on court when they are clearly not needed.
Jury Verdicts and Settlements in Prince George's County
2013: $5.5 Million Miller & Zois Verdict: A 54 year old woman tragically bleeds to death when a nurse pulls the pacing wires out after her coronary bypass. The wires, placed to help regulate the heart rate after surgery, were improperly placed behind the woman’s heart, causing a fatal injury when removed. She left behind a loving daughter who filed suit on her behalf. The defense was "this just happens" sometimes. This might be true. But it only happens when the surgeon makes a big mistake. The jury awarded the $5.5 million dollars.
- 2013: $928,000 Miller & Zois Verdict: Plaintiff, a 30 year old mother of four, sustains a severe and permanent ankle injury when her vehicle is struck by a woman make a left hand turn in front of her. The Defendant was admittedly distracted when the vehicle behind her honked its horn. Without observing the Plaintiff’s vehicle approaching the intersection, the Defendant pulled forward, right into Plaintiff’s path. Plaintiff’s ankle was shattered, causing a life-altering injury. Allstate, Defendant’s insurance company, made a disconcerting pre-suit offer of $70,000 which they increased to $140,000 before trial. No negotiating. Just Allstate dictating the value of the case. As a defense lawyer told a reporter after the trial, we were confident in our case and had no interest in engaging Allstate in their effort to low ball our client. Thankfully, our client saw it the same way and rejected these ridiculously low offers. We proceeded to trial where a Prince George’s County jury awarded her $928,000 after deliberating less than an hour.
2012: $50,315 Verdict. Plaintiff is unemployed and in her 50s when she is rear-ended by the defendant at a traffic light. Plaintiff sustains soft tissue neck and back injuries, as well as aggravates a pre-existing neck and back injury. Plaintiff’s vehicle sustained $700 in property damage. Defendant argues that the impact was minor and could not result in any injuries. The jury disagrees and awards plaintiff $50,315 in past medical bills and pain and suffering.
2012: $20,881,082 Verdict. Plaintiff presents to Washington Adventist Hospital for a scheduled induction of labor. During the procedure, the baby’s left shoulder becomes stuck and the obstetrician pulls down forcefully on the baby’s head to get him out. The infant suffers from a left brachial plexus palsy as the nerves in his neck are irreparably damaged and require extensive therapy and surgical interventions. The infants left shoulder, arm, wrist, hand and fingers remain permanently impaired. Plaintiff sues the obstetrician and her employer. The jury awards $53,720.17 in past medical expenses, $582,999 in future medical expenses, $244,363 in lost future earning capacity, and $20 million in non-economic damages for past and future pain and suffering. Maryland’s non-economic damages’ statutory cap reduces the award to $1,531,000. Medical Mutual was the insurance carrier.
2012: $170,467 Verdict. Plaintiff is 45 years old and owns an IT services company. Plaintiff’s vehicle is struck subsequent to a collision between two other vehicles. Plaintiff suffers cervical and lumbar pain and treats for a year and a half. Plaintiff sues both vehicles involved in the original accident, who both claim the other was at fault. Plaintiff claims $45,000 in past medical specials and $250,000 in lost wages. Plaintiff is awarded $170,467, with all damages apportioned to only one of the two defendants (the defendant represented by Erie Insurance).
2012: $32,742 Verdict. Plaintiff is a 50 year old janitor and part-time deli clerk. Plaintiff’s vehicle collides with a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority bus. Plaintiff claims the bus driver failed to yield and squeezed her out of a merging lane. Defendant denies liability for the collision as the bus driver claims to witness the driver attempting to make a U-turn. Plaintiff sustains an aggravation of lower back radiculopathy, and claims $6,842 in past medical bills and $25,900 for lost wages. The jury sides with the plaintiff and awards her what she claims.
2012: $90,992 Arbitration Award. A significant intersection collision involving two plaintiffs, a driver and a passenger. Plaintiffs' claim defendant is the cause of this accident when she fails to stop at the intersection and yield the right of way to the plaintiffs. Sadly, a five year old from defendant’s vehicle died as a result of her injuries. Plaintiffs allege serious injuries as the result of the impact. Plaintiff driver claims the death of the child causes a cardiac reaction, while Plaintiff passenger claims a cervical disc injury. Defendant disputes causation and the extent of plaintiff passenger’s injuries, and, understandably, frankly, Plaintiff driver’s cardiac condition. Plaintiff driver claims $28,000 in medical bills, and is awarded $55,992, while Plaintiff passenger claims $10,900 in medical costs and is awarded $35,000.
2012: 45,000 Verdict. Plaintiff, a 43 year old barber, claims soft tissue cervical and lumbar injuries, as well as aggravation of a knee injury, as the result of a rear-end accident. The Defendant admits to falling asleep and contends that the neck and back injuries may be caused by the accident, but that the knee injury was unrelated to the collision due to the mild-to-moderate speed of the accident. Plaintiff seeks $200,000 including $5,200 in past medical bills, $40,000 in future expected medical costs, and $15,000 in lost wages from the defendant driver, as well as plaintiff’s own insurance company. The jury awards $45,000. Western Union (25,000) and UIM (50,000 limits) is State Farm.
- Get more PG County Verdicts and Settlements
Getting a Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Prince George's County Claim
Our lawyers handle a substantial number tort cases in PG County, including Bowie, Laurel, Greenbelt, Adelphi, Beltsville, Calverton, College Park, Cheverly, Landover, Lanham, Largo, Clinton, New Carrollton, Fort Washington and Oxon Hill. We have recovered tens of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients in these cases.
If you have been injured, call to speak to one of our personal injury accident attorneys at 800-553-8082 or get free online consultation.
More on Prince George's Court Circuit Court Trials
- Sample Prince George's County Scheduling Order
- Sample Prince George's County Pre-Trial Statement
- Bringing Malpractice Claims Against P.G. Hospital Center