Annapolis Personal Injury Lawyer
Twenty-six miles south of Baltimore City and located next to the Chesapeake Bay near the mouth of the Severn River, Annapolis is not only the seat of Maryland’s state government but is also known to boaters and sailors around the world as “America’s Sailing Capital.” With a population approaching 40,000 residents, Annapolis is also the county seat of Anne Arundel County — though it should not be confused with Annapolis Junction, MD, which is an unincorporated community located in Howard County.
Considered part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, Annapolis occupies less than seven square miles of land area and is perhaps best known as home to the United States Naval Academy. Though it is located a little less than 30 miles from our nation’s capital in Washington, D.C., few Americans would remember that the city was actually the temporary capital of the United States, albeit briefly, from 1783 to 1784.
As one of the United States’ earliest port cities, Annapolis was founded in 1649 and incorporated barely 60 years later in 1708. Located in the Province of Maryland, the original town was named Providence, but later became "Anne Arundel's Towne," being named for the wife of Lord Baltimore. From the mid-18th century until the American Revolutionary War, the area was well known for its wealthy and cultivated society.
With much of its modern waterfront area now home to private boats and recreational watercraft, one can only imagine Annapolis in its former capacity as the main port for this area of the country 200 years ago. At that time, the city was a bustling port until commerce fell off precipitously following the establishment of Baltimore as the primary port of entry back in 1780. Afterward, businesses such as sailmaking, boatbuilding and oyster packing became the city's main industries.
As the county seat of Anne Arundel County, Annapolis is also the location of one of Maryland’s many Circuit Courts. Located at 7 Church Circle in Annapolis, Anne Arundel Courthouse is remarkable in its own right, having been built between 1821 and 1824, and recognized as the third oldest courthouse in operation here in Maryland. Originally constructed with the intent to function as a safe repository for local county records, the entire structure is still used for this purpose today, in addition to providing meeting rooms for the Court itself, as well as officials of the county’s judiciary.
Having been updated over the years to meet the ever-changing needs of local and county government, the Anne Arundel Courthouse is the site of numerous criminal, civil and appellate cases every year. Cases heard in this venue include adoption hearings, appeals, criminal trials, family law cases and other civil disputes.
These days, Annapolis, like many cities across the nation, faces many challenges. Despite the difficult times, the city enjoys a thriving community theater scene, including a couple local venues in its historic district, as well as numerous museums and historical sites. Even with a moderate population, the Annapolis residential community is comprised of more than 15,000 households, nearly a quarter of which have children under the age of 18. A little less than 10 percent of the homes in the area have at least one individual aged 65 or older.
With more than a third of residences being home to individuals 45 years of age or older, the number of Annapolis residents who rely on some kind of prescribed medication is not insignificant. Because of this, one might expect a certain percentage of the population to be affected by a pharmacy error at some time in his or her life. These types of errors, also known as pharmacy misfills, can cause serious injury and sometimes even death for the individuals who end up taking the incorrect medicine.
Cases regarding pharmacy errors, misfills or erroneous medication prescriptions constitute just a small fraction of the medical errors that occur all across the United States every year. In fact, it has been shown that more than 300,000 people are injured in hospitals alone due to errors in medication. Furthermore, innocent individuals of all ages have been known to die following instances of incorrect medicine being administered by physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals.Car Accidents Resulting from Pharmacy Mistakes
A percentage of traffic accidents result from motorist impairment due to some kind of prescription medication. Though some prescription-induced impairment can come from the proper use of doctor-prescribed pills; occasionally, a pharmacy mistake can cause an otherwise responsible driver to become impaired while behind the wheel of his or her automobile. Either way, the results can be catastrophic for everyone involved.
While it is true that prescription medications sometimes provide the only viable means by which numerous people may function on a day-to-day basis, any use of medication should be undertaken in a cautious manner, especially when there is a chance that the patient will be operating heavy equipment, driving on public roads or be responsible for the safety of others.
Modern medicines can be a lifesaver for many individuals by helping to stem infection, prevent unpleasant symptoms, reduce the chance of further medical complications or to manage chronic pain. However, many prescription meds can cause dangerous side effects, which unfortunately can lead to serious or even fatal roadway accidents. The following are some of the more common side effects resulting from use of prescription medications:
- — Dizziness: The feeling of being woozy or suffering from vertigo, dizziness may leave an individual unable to walk easily through a room, or worse, to navigate their vehicle in rush hour traffic. Medication-induced dizziness can lead to impaired visual perception, such as difficulty judging distance or other problems associated with spatial awareness. All of this can become a serious problem for any person who is affected while behind the wheel of a car or truck.
- — Drowsiness: Feeling sleepy or actually falling asleep due to prescription medication can be, at the very least, embarrassing when it happens in a business meeting or during a meal. But being overcome with drowsiness while driving along the Capital Beltway or on a rural Maryland roadway can end tragically for one or more people. Even a momentary instance of dozing off behind the wheel can put a motorist and other drivers at extreme danger.
- — Reduced Cognitive Function: Despite what many people say they can do while taking doctor-prescribed medication, the effects of certain drugs can cause cognitive impairment, which might not be readily obvious to the person who is affected. Many motorists who take prescription meds may unknowingly struggle with reduced cognition, which can manifest itself in trouble remembering the rules of the road or the inability to follow certain traffic laws, or even how to navigate their vehicle through a busy urban center.
- — Impaired vision: Blurry vision or extreme light sensitivity may be the result of taking some medications. Though often temporary, loss of visual acuity while operating a motor vehicle can be a dangerous situation depending on the circumstances. Motorists suffering from blurred vision may not easily discern traffic signals and directional signs. In areas with a high percentage of pedestrian traffic, an impaired driver with blurry vision can be a serious hazard on the street.
- — Drop in Reaction Time: Coupled with the effects of impaired cognition, some motorists who take doctor-prescribed medication can also suffer from slow physical and mental reaction times. Reduced reaction time means a driver will have less safety margin to react to an emergency situation, such as another vehicle running a stop light or a pedestrian stepping out into the roadway without looking. Whether due to a medication error or a properly-dosed prescription, a driver who experiences slower than normal reaction times may be at substantially higher risk of causing a serious traffic accident because he or she is unable to respond quickly enough to prevent a crash.
If you believe that an Annapolis roadway accident may have been the result of a driver suffering from the effects of a drug reaction or medication dosing error, it may be a good idea to consult with a qualified Maryland personal injury attorney. The legal team at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, understands Maryland and federal law and has experience with a wide range of personal injury litigation throughout the state, as well as in the District of Columbia.
The side effects caused by certain drugs — and even some over-the-counter supplements — can result in serious consequences when the patient is operating a motor vehicle. As the victim of a severe Maryland car crash, it is important to obtain the police report pertaining to your personal injury car or trucking accident; this is a key step when preparing a personal injury claim and especially true when the circumstances point to driver impairment or even third-party negligence, such as a pharmacy misfill.
Motorists of advancing years should also note that their physiological reaction to medications can shift over time, especially if they stop taking a certain medication for a while and then go back to it at a later date. As we age, many individuals find that they have more pronounced reactions to medications that previously only resulted in fairly minor side effects. Adding supplements and other prescriptions to one’s daily regimen can also impact the way in which a person’s body responds to new medications. And, of course, alcohol can also increase the side effects of many prescription medications, with some of those effects tending to linger even after the body has processed the alcohol.Obtaining an Annapolis Police Report
With all this in mind, getting the police accident report for any impaired driving accident is important when filing a personal injury claim or pursuing legal action in a court of law. The Central Records Division of the Annapolis Police Department is responsible for the collection and maintenance of all incident reports filed by Annapolis police officers in the course of their official duties. There are two main types of numerical identifiers assigned to Annapolis police incident reports, which depends on the circumstances surrounding the particular police call — One type uses an “Event Number” while the other employs a “Case Number.”
- — Event Number: A police call pertaining to this kind of report is identified by a set of digits representing the year, month and day of the incident followed by a sequential number (for example: YYMMDD-XXXX). Event Number’s are assigned to ALL police calls regardless of whether the officer was dispatched by the Annapolis PD Communications Center or if the event report was the result of an officer’s response to an incident while on patrol.
According to the APD, this kind of identifier is issued under circumstances where a “full police report is not necessary” but the officer needs to provide the involved parties with a formal record of his or her response. This can often include situations like a Maryland hit-and-run vehicle collision where there is no suspect information available. These kinds of police reports are frequently useful to victims of car crashes as proof to provide to their insurance carrier or for their personal records. A formal report is not written when an event number is assigned and Central Records does not maintain documentation on these incidents.
- — Case Number: This identifier is used in situations where police department policy requires that an incident report be generated by the responding officer and consists of different arrangement of digits (for example: YY-XXXXXX). Following an injury accident, fatal collision, or other serious Maryland roadway accident, the responding officer will issue the involved parties this type of case number for their records. Using this identifier allows victims of Annapolis car, truck or motorcycle collisions to obtain a copy of the accident report, as well as to follow up on the results of any outstanding police investigation.
It is important to understand that the process of generating a police report can take up to two weeks, depending on the complexity of the accident and other factors, such as internal police department review and approval to through the officer's chain of command. Once approved, a police accident report is forwarded to the Central Records Division where it will be available for public access.
To check on the availability of an Annapolis accident report, contact the APD Central Records Division at 410-268-9000. Reports can be picked up at the Annapolis Police Department during the workweek, 8am to 3:30pm by filling out a completed Records Request Form and a check or money order for $5 (cash is not accepted). Police reports can also be obtained through the mail by sending a completed Records Request Form along with a $5 check/money order, plus a self-addressed stamped envelope to the following:
Annapolis Police Department
ATTN: Central Records
199 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401
You should include your Case Number with your mailed request (or present it at the Central Records Division, if applying in person). If for some reason you do not have the Case Number, be prepared to provide the following information:
- — Approximate date/time of accident
- — Accident Location
- — Officer’s name (if known)
There is no guarantee that the APD will be able to locate a particular accident report without the proper identifier, the department will often try to assist accident victims in obtaining the associated report based on information that you can provide.
For more information on obtaining an Annapolis PD vehicle accident report, visit the department’s website at https://www.annapolis.gov/542/Obtaining-a-Police-ReportPrescription Misfill Malpractice Lawyers
At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, our skilled Maryland malpractice attorneys are knowledgeable in the laws that cover pharmacy error. These kinds of cases can include instances of the wrong prescription medication being placed in a pill bottle, dispensing an incorrect dosage of a particular medication, mislabeled medicines or providing erroneous instructions, and even the selling of one individual’s prescription to another unwitting customer.
Often, the cause of these sometimes-deadly misfills can be traced to the policies of a corporate pharmacy chain requiring its pharmacists to fill far too many prescriptions within a certain period of time. It has been suggested that there is a business culture pervading some pharmacies and drugstores that tends to promote a high volume of retail prescription sales to the potential detriment of quality service. To put it another way: sales over safety.
To do their job safely, pharmacists need to fill prescriptions with high accuracy and attention to detail. When corporate policies encourage greater and greater sales volume, pharmacy personnel are more apt to make mistakes while trying to meet sales quotas or other profit targets. As personal injury lawyers, Lebowitz & Mzhen believes quantity of prescriptions filled at certain pharmacies is being stressed over quality of customer care and personal safety.
To discuss issues related to pharmacy errors or any other instance of personal injury, such as a passenger car collision, nursing home neglect, pedestrian traffic accident or injury-related commercial trucking wreck, we can be contacted at (800) 654-1949. We will be happy to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.Driving Directions
The law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, maintains its main offices in the city of Owings Mills, Maryland, approximately 16 miles from Baltimore City. Situated at 10 Crossroads Drive, Suite 105, Owings Mills, MD, 21117, we can be reached by taking the Jones Falls Expressway to Interstate 695 West. After merging onto I-695 West/Baltimore Beltway Outer Loop towards Pikesville, travel an additional 4.4 miles then get off at the MD-140 North exit (Exit 20) and head toward Garrison. Turn right onto Reisterstown Road/MD-140 West, go 1.3 miles to Crossroads Drive and turn left. Take the first right onto Park Center Court; then make a left at the first available parking lot, which serves our offices. You will find us on the first floor in Suite 105.