Bowie Personal Injury Lawyer
Incorporated in 1882, the city of Bowie, MD, has gone from that of a humble railroad stop on the Baltimore & Potomac Railway line to the largest municipality in Maryland's Prince George's County. Home to over 58,000 residents, Bowie is also the third largest jurisdiction in the county by square area. Covering 16 square miles with a population density of more than 2,800 people per square mile, Bowie residents and visitors can occasionally fall victim to any number of personal injury accidents.
Based on Bowie's relative size and demographics, injury accidents and personal injury claims in the municipality would tend to mirror the state of Maryland as a whole, though personal injury accidents and subsequent legal claims for physical and psychological injury can vary widely, even within a particular jurisdiction. Based on accident report information from the city of Bowie, MD, across five years (2017-2021), the city recorded an average of 250 personal injury accidents annually, with the top three being traffic-related incidents, slip and fall accidents and dog bites.Traffic-Related Injury Claims
Here in Bowie, the most common injury claims arise from traffic accidents involving passenger cars, commercial trucks and motorcycles. September is the most dangerous month for car and truck accidents, while February and May have the lowest frequency of roadway injury accidents; Thursday evenings tend to be the safest time to travel, based on 50 years of accident data. Expected EMS response time for a traffic collision in Bowie, MD, averages just over seven minutes from the time of a 911 call, while ambulance transport time for an injury accident can be about 35 minutes versus nearly 45 minutes as an average for Prince George's County as a whole.
In 2022, the Bowie police department recorded 498 traffic accidents, 103 of which were injury-involved collisions, with five fatal accidents (including two pedestrian fatalities) for the year. The most active road for traffic accidents, according to Bowie police, was along the Route 197 Corridor — which comprises Collington Road and Laurel-Bowie Road — accounting for 92 wrecks, or more than 18 percent of all reported traffic accidents in the city for that year.
Personal injury cases can often be quite complicated due to the wide range and severity of bodily injuries that can result from a serious car or motorcycle crash. Driver negligence, including distracted driving and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are some of the more common factors contributing to accidents in Bowie, Maryland.Dangerous Roadway Intersections
T-bone or broadside traffic collisions are a frequent occurrence at many intersections throughout Maryland. In fact, 40 percent — more than a third of all motor vehicle crashes — take place at intersections throughout our state. Generally defined as the crossing of two or more roads, any intersection can be dangerous given the right set of circumstances, but some are worse than others.
One of Maryland's more treacherous intersections is at the confluence of northbound US-1 and Bowie Road. Named the second-most dangerous intersection in Maryland by AAA Mid-Atlantic, this crossroads has been the site of numerous serious — and often fatal — motor vehicle collisions in the state. While every Maryland intersection can be a potentially deadly location for drivers, passengers and pedestrians, the more dangerous areas have some common attributes, such as the lack of a turn lane and increased vehicle congestion.
Depending on the circumstances, victims of roadway collisions can file a personal injury claim against another driver, or even the state or local municipality if safety-related signage or traffic signals are found to have been inadequate. Our auto accident attorneys can assist you or a family member who has been injured in a bad car, truck or motorcycle accident.Mass Transit Personal Injury Cases
Taking the city bus or light rail line is a wonderful way to cut back on driving a private car, saving money and reducing one's carbon footprint; however, as with every endeavor there are risks and taking mass transit has many of its own. Traveling by city bus can be risky if the driver is not properly trained, in some way impaired, or commits a serious driving error behind the wheel. Not only can a bus or train passenger be injured due to operator error, but other drivers or vehicles can also cause a municipal bus to crash or hit another vehicle.
Here in Maryland, between 2012 and 2018, 49 fatal bus crashes were reported with a like number of deaths resulting from those accidents. It is important to note that, generally, many of the fatalities linked to municipal bus accidents are not the passengers riding inside the bus, but pedestrian bystanders and drivers of the other vehicles involved in the crash.School Bus Accidents
Fatalities from school bus crashes are relatively rare when compared to passenger car and commercial trucking accidents. Based on data collected by Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), over a span of five years (2017-2021), less than 0.1 percent of all traffic accidents in the Bowie, MD, area involved a school bus.
The following shows a breakdown of the average number of traffic accidents (listed by type of crash) in Bowie, Maryland, that involved a school bus:
- Rear-end: 0.05 accidents per year
- Sideswipe: 0.02 accidents per year
- T-bone: 0.01 accidents per year
This breakdown is based on the average number of collisions; the actual number of traffic accidents involving school buses in Bowie can vary from year to year. For parents of school-age children, it is important to remember that a student is more likely to be fatally injured while they wait at a bus stop, or when getting on or off a bus.Injury Lawsuits Against Bus Companies
If you or a family member have been injured in a school bus or municipal transit accident, your ability to file a personal injury lawsuit will hinge on who was at fault for the accident, as well as which vehicle you were in when the collision occurred. Some personal injury claims involving a city bus or mass transit conveyance may name the transit company or the operator of the vehicle, as well.
It is important to note that transit companies are typically responsible for any negligent actions taken by their employees while on the job. Based on this, a private bus or transit company could be held liable should one of its bus operators cause an accident. Accidents resulting from mechanical deficiencies caused by poor maintenance practices can also result in a bus company being held responsible for problems or issues they should have been aware of.
There are, of course, potential limitations on the amount of damages that may be awarded when suing a public transit entity versus a private bus company. A qualified personal injury attorney will be able to guide victims of bus-related accidents through an often confusing legal process when seeking monetary compensation for their injuries.Metrobus Routes in the Bowie, MD, Area
There are several local Metrobus lines in operation around the Bowie and Crofton area. These routes, which can be found on the Washington Metro Transit Authority website, include the following:
- Bowie State University Line (B21, 22)
Service between Bowie State University, The Market Place (B22), Bowie Park and Ride Lot (Routes 50 and 197), and New Carrollton Metro Station
- Bowie-Belair Line (B24, 25)
Service between Bowie Park and Ride lot, Bowie Senior Center (B25), The Market Place (Belair Center), Camelot, Buena Vista and New Carrollton Metro Station
- Bowie-New Carrolton Line (B27)
Service between Bowie State University, Old Bowie, Glenn Dale, Seabrook, Lanham, and New Carrollton Metro Station
- Crofton-New Carrollton Line (B29, 31)
Service between Crofton Country Club Park & Ride Lot (B29), Gateway Center, Covington (Bowie), Bowie Town Center, Bowie Park and Ride lot, and New Carrollton Metro Station
As Maryland automobile and trucking-related accident attorneys, Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, represent victims of car, commercial truck, city bus and motorcycle collisions who have been seriously hurt as a result of another person’s negligent actions.
Injured parties may file personal injury lawsuits in local courthouses, such as the one located at 14735 Main Street in Upper Marlboro. Serving individuals in Prince George’s County, Maryland, these district and circuit courts are the venue for a variety of criminal, civil and appeals cases, such as automobile injury lawsuits, medical malpractice claims, divorce hearings and other family law cases.
At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, our Maryland traffic accident team has pursued numerous personal injury claims for victims of car, truck and motorcycle accidents over the years. Our experienced attorneys have the legal training and litigation experience to assist victims in recovering the monetary compensation due them under Maryland law.
As the victim of a negligence-related traffic accident, in order to recover damages from the responsible party, you must not only prove that the other motorist was at fault, but you will likely have to show that your own actions at the time of the collision did not contribute to the accident.
Because determining fault is an important part of any personal injury claim, locating the police report detailing the accident in which you were injured should be an overriding concern. Significant monetary damages may hinge on whether or not the responding police officer’s traffic accident report has determined the other driver was at fault. It is a key piece of evidence in any auto or motorcycle injury accident case.Finding a Bowie, MD, Police Auto Accident Report
To obtain a copy of a Bowie police traffic accident report, one may apply in person, by mail, or online. Please allow at least 72 hours from the time of a Bowie traffic accident before requesting a copy of the police accident report.Applying in Person
Police accident reports may be requested at the Bowie Police Records office during regular business hours. You will be required to fill out a Report Request form and will be asked to show a government-issued photo ID in order to obtain the report. A fee of $10 — payable by money order, business check or credit card — is charged for each copy. There is a credit card service charge of $1.50 per transaction.Applying by Mail
You may request a Bowie police report by mail using a Report Request form. If you do not know the police report number, you will need to include as much detailed information as possible with your request (this can include: Incident Date, Incident Location, Incident Type, and Names of Involved Individuals). Without a police case number, there is no guarantee that the Department will be able to locate a particular police report. Police report requests that include a self-addressed stamped envelope will often receive a quicker response.
Mail your request to:
Prince George’s County Police Records
4923 43rd Avenue, 3rd floor
Hyattsville, Maryland 20781
Please note that all police reports requested by mail must include the required $10 fee, payable by business check, credit card or money order. A credit card service charge of $1.50 is included with each transaction. You must also include a copy of your government-issued photo ID with the request form, which must be completed in its entirety.Applying Online
Bowie traffic accident reports are available on one of two websites: www.BuyCrash.com or www.CrashDocs.org for a fee of $10 per requested report. Applicants must provide the police case number and name of the involved party.
Please keep in mind that police departments are required to verify that any individual requesting a police report is an involved party. Citizens are permitted to receive copies of police reports; however, following the rules of the Maryland Public Information Act, certain information may be redacted from police reports before it is issued.Non-Automotive Injury Cases
Personal injury claims in the Bowie area typically result from a broad range of accidents and injury-related incidents — often resulting from the plaintiff receiving injuries due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another individual.Slip-and-Fall Claims
Many Premises Liability cases entail a plaintiff who had slipped on a wet or slick surface; tripped on an uneven or heaved walkway; or fell while using a staircase or escalator, in addition to elevator-related injury claims. The city of Bowie sees its share of slip-and-fall incidents annually, with an average of 60 slip-and-fall injury accidents taking place within the city limits each year, according to the National Safety Council (NSC), which studied Maryland injury data from 2017 to 2021.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are responsible for nearly 90 percent of all bone fractures in the age group of 65 and above; falls are also the second leading cause of spinal cord injuries, as well as resulting in symptoms that indicate some level of brain injury; reports further show that more than 1.5 million people over 65 years are treated in an ER for injuries resulting from a fall — either at home, work or in a public space.Eldercare Slip-and-Fall Cases
For those aged 65 to 84 years old, a fall is the second most common cause of injury-related death (however, for individuals 85 years or older, falls are listed as the main cause of an injury-related death). In fact, according to CDC information, when it comes to deaths precipitated by a slip-and-fall accident, 60 percent of those victims are typically 75 years or older.
Many elderly-involved slip-and-fall accidents that take place can happen in assisted living and nursing home facilities, as well as adult daycare locations. Bowie is home to a number of these eldercare operations, including the following:
- Brookdale Woodward Estates (14997 Health Center Dr., Bowie, MD 20716)
- Sunlife Assisted Living (2929 Tallow Ln., Bowie, MD 20715)
- Bowie Spring Assisted Living, Inc. (12667 Heming Ln., Bowie, MD 20716)
- Charter Senior Living of Bowie (7600 Laurel-Bowie Rd., Bowie, MD 20715)
- Unique Care Assisted Living (12418 Sandal Ln., Bowie, MD 20715)
- Larkin Chase Center (15005 Health Center Dr., Bowie, MD 20716)
- Ace Assisted Living LLC (12704 Milan Way, Bowie, MD 20715)
- Golden Age Adult Daycare (3112 Belair Dr., Bowie, MD 20715)
- Second Family Inc (14110 Lancaster Ln., Bowie, MD 20715)
- Abundance Care Residential Assisted Living (12619 Kavanaugh Ln., Bowie, MD 20715)
- Ameristar Assisted Living (2900 Tarragon Ln., Bowie, MD 20715)
Fall fatalities are nearly equally divided between men and women. While historical data suggests that more women than men will experience a slip-and-fall accident over their lifetime, studies from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that falls experienced by women accounted for five percent of work-related fatalities versus 11 percent for men. Although slip-and-fall accidents do not represent the main cause of fatal occupational injury, they do account for the majority of lost working days.
Based on data from the Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission (WCC), an average of 12 workplace slip-and-fall accidents occur each year in Bowie, Maryland. This information comes from WCC research, which included data across five years (2017-2021). Below is a breakdown by industry for this five-year period:
- Healthcare: 4 accidents per year
- Retail: 3 accidents per year
- Accommodation / Food Services: 2 accidents per year
- Manufacturing: 2 accidents per year
- Other Industries: 1 accident per year
In contrast to fatal workplace slip-and-fall incidents, fully half of all accidental deaths that take place in the home are the result of a slip-and-fall episode, with the majority of home-related fall injuries taking place at ground level, versus from an elevated position inside or outside the victim's household.
Non-fatal falls that result in some type of bone fracture involve a broken hip; these kinds of fractures can be particularly serious for older adults and lead to the greatest percentage of health problems and deaths. In fact, half of elderly adults (those over 65 years old) who are hospitalized for a fracture of the hip will not be able to return home or live independently following the event. According to the CDC, slip-and-fall accidents represent 40 percent of all nursing home admissions; falls are also the sixth most common cause of death among elderly individuals 70 years or older.Injury Claims Due to Medical Malpractice
Medical Malpractice is one of the more serious claims that a victim can file in a Maryland court of law, especially because so much is at stake when it comes to an individual's health and well-being. Most malpractice lawsuits are made against an individual caregiver — such as a doctor, nurse, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner — though many cases also name a medical facility or healthcare company in conjunction with an individual or individuals believed to be responsible for a medical-related personal injury. Some typical types of malpractice cases involve surgical or medication errors, missed or delayed diagnosis, and birth-related injuries.
While the bulk of medical malpractice cases involve a victim's physician, about a quarter of malpractice cases name a non-physician as the responsible party. According to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), over a ten-year period (2012-2022), 26 percent of all medical malpractice judgements involve a non-physician. This list includes dentists and dental hygienists, nurses and nursing paraprofessionals, pharmacists and chiropractors, among others. Malpractice claims against dentists comprise the second most common medical malpractice cases — nearly 12 percent — followed by nurses and physician's assistants at around eight percent of cases.Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care Facilities
The University of Maryland operates the Bowie Health Center Emergency Room, which provides ER services to approximately 40,000 people each year, both adults and children. The facility's staff includes board certified doctors, and nurses with advanced training in emergency care. The center's Emergency Department also boasts a close working relationship with local Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers and maintains diagnostic testing equipment, such as Computed Tomography (CT) scanning, ultrasound and X-ray machines.
In addition to the Bowie Health Center ER, there are a handful of other independent urgent care facilities offering a range of patient services including treatment of ear, nose and respiratory infections, ophthalmic conditions, gastrointestinal (GI) problems, minor cuts and wounds, burns and broken bones, as well as physical exams and immunizations.
While it is difficult to say whether standalone emergency room and urgent care facilities are more or less likely to be sued by a patient on the grounds of medical malpractice, some experts suggest that urgent care facilities may be more prone to misdiagnosis or simply fail to fully diagnose a patient with a more complex condition. That said, studies indicate that the malpractice claim rates against urgent care facilities is not significantly different than for other medical providers, such as hospitals or larger medical clinics.
Compared to larger healthcare facilities with greater resources, urgent care locations that operate on smaller budgets may provide staff with less time for patient interaction, which could possibly lead to an incomplete diagnosis — the result of an overlooked condition or misdiagnosed symptom may lead to poor patient outcomes and potential malpractice lawsuits. As a scaled-down alternative to the ER at a local hospital, most urgent care facilities are frequently staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants who may not have the same level of experience to help a patient in need of serious medical attention.
Despite any potential risks, urgent care facilities remain a valuable, and often indispensable resource for individuals and families in need of quick and convenient medical care. And, although these facilities don't have the same capabilities as larger hospital emergency departments, malpractice lawsuits filed against urgent care facilities have, as yet, been relatively rare. According to a study from the Journal of Emergency Medicine, less than one percent of nationwide medical malpractice claims filed between 2001 and 2015 involved an urgent care facility.Death Due to Medical Malpractice
Sadly, a good deal of malpractice claims are brought by family members of deceased victims. When malpractice results in the death of an individual, a spouse, parent or child may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the victim. While medical malpractice does not always result in death, the potential exists; some cases involve the immediate death of a victim — such as from a fatal mistake in the ER or operating room following a life-threatening car accident or construction site mishap — other cases may arise from complications where the victim dies days, weeks or even months following a botched medical procedure.
Information on medical malpractice-related deaths is difficult to accurately quantify, due to lack of reporting, as well as difficulty in determining causality and the varying definitions used to report individual incidents. In 2016, Johns Hopkins researchers conducted a study showing that over 250,000 deaths annually in the U.S. are the result of some kind of medical error. Several years later, in 2019, another study investigating the link between medical treatment and patient mortality in the United States looked at patient deaths over a quarter century and determined that less than 5,000 patient deaths each year were the result of medical error.
The seeming disparity between those two studies points up the inherent difficulty in determining, with any meaningful accuracy, the number of wrongful deaths one might expect as a result of malpractice across the country, as well as in the state of Maryland.
In the final analysis, the risk of malpractice presents a complex set of factors, including the type of healthcare facility, the doctor and staff's medical experience, and the patient's unique circumstances. At the very least, it is important to choose a healthcare provider that you not only feel comfortable with, but whom you trust with your health; and always keep in mind the potential risks associated with any type of medical care.Contact a Qualified Bowie, MD, Injury Accident Lawyer
The attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen are ready to help victims and their families when medical malpractice is suspected. Our overriding goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for each and every one of our clients. Whether the injury is a doctor’s error, hospital ER mistake, or pharmacy misfill, we strive to provide full and utmost attention to every case.