Wicomico County (Salisbury)
Salisbury has in recent years become a far more favorable jurisdiction for Maryland accident lawyers handling personal injury cases in Salisbury. This is arguably due in part to the area becoming more affluent and cosmopolitan in recent years. Salisbury was recently ranked the 55th "Hottest Small City" by Inc. Magazine in their annual report of the nation's "Best Cities for Doing Business." No doubt, Salisbury is clearly a town on the rise.What to Know about Personal Injury Cases in Salisbury
There are a few points of interest about handling personal injury cases in Wicomico County Circuit Court. After receiving your Scheduling Order which will contain all of the discovery deadlines and pretrial conference dates, the experienced personal inury attorney will carefully avoid a trial scheduled in the months of January, February, and early March when the chance of snow is the greatest.
Unlike large metropolitan cities which are accustomed to significant snowfall and equipped to deal with its removal in a quick and efficient manner, the Eastern Shore of Maryland is not. Although significant snowfall is rare in Salisbury, if snow does fall and the public schools are closed you will be hard pressed to find a jury panel for your trial.
This will present a hardship on the plaintiff's attorney who has already paid significant sums of money for the expert witnesses to travel to the Eastern Shore to testify. If at all possible, if you have a case in Salisbury should file a motion to have the trial date moved to a warmer month as soon as a copy of the Scheduling Order is received.
Unlike most scheduling orders, Wicomico County scheduling orders will also contain the deadline for all videotaped depositions. Counsel should not assume that entering into an agreement with opposing counsel to take video depositions outside the deadline will suffice with the Court. Regardless of such an agreement, the Court may refuse to entertain a Motion in Limine to address objections the attorney raised during the deposition. If you file a Motion to extend the deadlines, also include a Motion to extend the deadline to file Motions in Limine to address objections raised during the deposition.
One bonus of practicing in Salisbury is that the well prepared attorney can call the jury commissioner on the eve of trial and obtain the list of prospective jurors who are scheduled to appear the following day. A "sneak preview" of prospective jurors can often provide an edge to the trial attorney and a more effective use of your premptory strikes.
One additional side note about trying a personal injury case in a smaller town like Salisbury. When preparing your voir dire always ask the following question: "Does any member of the jury panel know any other member of the jury panel." Invariably, you will have two members on the jury panel who know each other. (Hopefully, you can avoid having ex-spouses sitting on the same jury by asking this question. This happened to us in Wicomico once!)Sample Settlements and Verdict in Wicomico County
Below are sample verdicts and settlements in accident and malpractice cases in Salisbury. First, there is not a large sampling to chose from because few personal injury cases find their way to trial in Wicomico County. Second, we believe the results are illustrative of the value of similar cases. But verdicts in other cases have to be taken with many grains of salt. It is impossible to completely compare two cases under any circumstances, much less in settlement and verdict summaries.
- 2014, Maryland: $2,512,179 Verdict. A 22 year old girl is diagnosed with stage IV rectal cancer. She passes away two years later, after undergoing surgical resection, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Her parents file suit in Wicomico County against her physician and his practice for medical malpractice and wrongful death. Three years prior to this diagnosis, Plaintiff had presented to her doctor with a history of bloody stools a few months earlier. The doctor, not ordering specific tests, diagnosed her with a healing anal fissure. Her parents contend that had he ordered the appropriate procedures, their daughter’s cancer could have been cured and she would need no further treatment. Defendants contend that nothing they did or failed to do caused and/or contributed to the patient’s death. The Wicomico County jury disagreed and ordered the parents and the decendant’s estate a combined $2,512,179 award.
- October 2013, Truck Crash Verdict for $1,026,786.46 Verdict: A man is driving on Norriss Twilley Road with his wife riding in the passenger seat. A large semi-tractor towing a bulky seeder is coming from the opposite direction. This particular portion of Norriss Twilley Road does not have a shoulder, causing the seeder to protrude about three to five feet into the opposite lane. The man does not see the seeder in tow in his lane and consequently loses control of his vehicle while narrowly trying to avoid it. He attempts to avoid a collision and veers off the road only to slam into a tree. The impact on the tree is so substantial, emergency crews have to cut him from the vehicle. He is treated for multiple injuries and unfortunately looses his right eye. His wife suffers from a broken hip along with other injuries. They sue the driver of the semi-tractor, his employer and the owner of the seeder for negligence and negligent entrustment. The defendants file a counterclaim, stating that the seeder was only 18 to 24 inches over the center line plaintiff’s are at fault for not avoiding the seeder in tow. A Wicomico County jury finds in favor of the plaintiffs and award them $1,026,786.46
- 2012: Medical Negligence Verdict for $1,228,160. Plaintiff is in the middle of a cardiac procedure when a guide wire used penetrates her aortic valve. Emergency surgery is performed to remove the wire, and Plaintiff suffers a blood clot which subsequently causes neuropathic pain syndrome. Plaintiff alleges the Defendant doctor who performed the procedure did so with excessive force, negligently, and without reasonable care and attention to avoid the injury to the aorta. Defendant doctor denies liability, but a jury returns a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff for $1,228,160. The judge reduces the award amount to $1,000,854.
- 2009: Medical Malpractice Settlement of $850,000. Doctor cut Plaintiff's illiac vein and artery, during surgery, causing her additional surgeries and a great deal of pain and suffering. The Law Offices of Miller & Zois handled this case.
- 2008: Medical Negligence Verdict for $2,000,000. Plaintiffs, parents to a 19 day old infant, allege that their pediatrician failed to adequately diagnose their child’s condition which led to the infant’s untimely death. Plaintiffs contact their pediatrician, the Defendant, and inform him that their son has lost weigh since birth. The Defendant doctor relays to the Plaintiffs that their son may be allergic to his formula and suggests changing the formula. Plaintiffs comply, but three days later, they contact the Defendant doctor again to relay that their son has continued to lose weight. The parties converse for 30-45 minutes whereupon it is determined an additional formula should be tried. The next day, Plaintiffs take their infant son to the ER, and he is airlifted to Johns Hopkins where he dies the next day of sepsis. Plaintiffs allege the Defendant doctor failed to suggest appropriate testing for their son and that if such testing had been done, their son would not have passed. Defendants contend the infant’s death was not a foreseeable event, and that it was the parent’s decision to try a third formula instead of taking the infant to the hospital. A jury deliberated for two and a half hours before awarding the Plaintiffs $2,000,000.
If you have been injured in a car accident, a truck accident, or by medical malpractice in or around the Salisbury/Eastern Shore/Ocean City area, or if you are a Maryland attorney and would like us to handle your case on the Eastern Shore, call our Salisbury lawyers at 800-553-8082 or select here for a free consultation.
- Sample Wicomico County Settlement Conference Statement (required for pretrial)
- Peninsula Regional Malpractice Claims