One of the most tragic things that can happen in personal injury law or life itself is a birth injury. No parent wants to see their child potentially harmed forever as a result of a birth injury, and the impact of those injuries does not only harm and devastate the child. When a birth injury occurs, it’s understandable that you want to understand why it happened and if you have potential legal recourse. Do you have a birth injury case in Maryland?
Understanding Birth Defects vs. Birth Injuries
It’s a sensitive topic, but one of the most important things to consider when determining if you have a birth injury case is whether or not the result was a birth defect or a birth injury. Birth defects include things that were inherited, like a genetic abnormality, or things that occurred as a result of exposure to a toxin during pregnancy. Birth defects can include Down syndrome, spina bifida or cleft palates.
Birth injuries are things that were caused due to circumstances during delivery, like a doctor using excessive force during the delivery, a nurse failing to identify signs of fetal distress or the failure to deliver a baby with fetal distress in an efficient fashion. The negligence on behalf of the medical team causes hypoxia in many of these situations, and that lack of oxygen can lead to permanent cognitive or physical injury.
What Damages Are Awarded?
In general, the damages awarded can cover past medical expenses, lost income and out of pocket expenses for caring for the child. Things can become more complicated when projecting future expenses and damages, which is why partnering with an experienced lawyer is so critical. It’s impossible for you to put a monetary value on the pain and suffering you, your child and your family have faced, which is why a lawyer can be essential to presenting your case in a compelling fashion.
What Birth Injuries Can Indicate Medical Malpractice?
Every case differs, but some examples of birth injuries that indicate medical malpractice can include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Brain damage or skull bruising
- Bone fractures
- Caput succedaneum
- Facial paralysis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Birth asphyxia
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help with Your Birth Injury Case
If you are seeking assistance in Maryland in the aftermath of your accident or injury and unsure of how to proceed, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.
Did you know that over 55% of Americans do not have a will? Many of those adults have children, but many others do not have children to pass things onto. Most states dictate that, in couples with children, belongings will pass on to a spouse or the children without a will. However, things can be more complex for married couples without children. What unique considerations should be made when estate planning for couples without children?
Complications in Estate Planning for Couples Without Children
In most cases, the surviving spouse will inherit all of the assets that the couple had. What happens if both spouses pass away at the same time? Those assets might be distributed back to the families of each spouse. This often leads to unintended beneficiaries, or someone who you did not intend to receive a benefit getting one due to a lack of planning.
While this is common in estate planning for couples without children, it can also be common for singles. One recent example of this is what happened when Prince, the late musician, passed away without a will. His estate has remained in probate court for years, and it is routinely being contested. Instead of people who he would have given items to receiving them, things devolved into a “he said-she said” battle all governed by a judge.
What Do You Need to Do?
Every estate plan should include a will and powers of attorney for both health care and financial decisions. Power of attorney can become critical if you are incapacitated and unable to state your wishes and your spouse is also in a similar state. If you are incapacitated and do not have a named power of attorney and your spouse is unavailable or you are unmarried, in many cases the default will be a sibling or parent. If you are not on good terms with that person, or you are not physically or emotionally close to them, it can seriously complicate matters.
Then, you should choose your beneficiaries. When estate planning for couples without children, many times nephews or nieces are named. Many couples also name charities or other organizations in their will to leave assets and gifts to. We can assist you in determining what you would like to do with your assets and formalizing your intentions in a will.
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help with Estate Planning for Couples Without Children
If you are seeking assistance in Maryland as part of your estate planning and unsure of how to proceed, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.
As one year comes to a close and another is about to begin, it’s time to review all of your estate planning documents and ensure that they are adequate and up to date. Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to create these documents once and forget about them. However, it’s critical to routinely review and update these documents to reflect your life situation.
The Importance of Reviewing Your Will and Power of Attorney
Your will and power of attorney are living documents, which means that they can and should be updated as your life continues to reflect your current lifestyle, needs and preferences. Many people view creating a will as a one-time task, but it should be updated annually in accordance with the acquisition of new high-value possessions, the addition of a new family member or after a divorce or passing. Failing to update your will or power of attorney could leave you in a situation where your current wishes are not executed and you are unable to properly articulate your preferences. Relationships change, assets change, your location changes and tax laws change. Are your will and power of attorney changing as well?
Reviewing Your Power of Attorney
The power of attorney designation gives someone else the authority to act on your behalf in a variety of circumstances, whether it is medically when you are incapacitated or financially. You should always review who your power of attorney is annually and in the event of terminal illness. If you are married, divorced or merely changed your mind about who you trust to act on your behalf, now is the perfect time to revise your power of attorney document.
Reviewing Your Will
Reviewing your will annually is another important task. How can you quickly review your will? Grab a copy and, before you sit down with your attorney at Mobley and Brown, LLP, answer the following questions:
- Is anyone missing who should be listed on the document?
- Are there people listed in the document that should not be?
- Have the circumstances of any individuals listed changed since it was drafted? Are they no longer of sound mind to receive a certain gift or serve as executor?
- How are you feeling about the division of your assets?
We can help you to adjust your assets and will as needed.
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help with Emotional Distress Cases in Maryland
If you are seeking assistance in Maryland as part of your personal injury case or emotional distress case and unsure of how to proceed, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.
While non-compete agreements in Maryland are very common, they are often misunderstood by employers and employees alike. Non-compete agreements in Maryland are signed by employees, often as a condition of work, and involve an agreement to not work in the employer’s industry, within a certain geographical area or do either within a certain period of time.
What Are Non-Compete Agreements in Maryland?
Non-compete agreements are used to help employers survive in the face of employees leaving. It would be unfair to a company of any size for an employee who understands all of the behind-the-scenes workings, client list and tricks of the trade to quit and start their own business to directly compete (or go to a competitor armed with the information). Non-compete agreements in Maryland avoid situations like that, but are sometimes unenforceable depending on what the agreement is composed of.
Is Your Non-Compete Enforceable?
When bringing a non-compete agreement to court to enforce, the court will consider a broad range of factors, including:
- If the non-compete agreement is against the public interest
- If the restrictions are unreasonable and prevent the employee from finding any work
- How unique the skillset of the employee is
- The nature and extent of the employee’s exploitation of their relationship with existing clients or customers
- If the non-compete only restricts what is reasonable to protect the employer
- If the non-compete is necessary
While these seem like common sense, they can be difficult to defend in court if you do not think each non-compete agreement you have signed through.
What Does Maryland Consider in Court?
For non-compete agreements in Maryland, one of the primary things that the court considers is fairness. The court doesn’t want employees to take advantage of former employers and put them in an unfair position. In the same fashion, the court also does not want a former employer to prevent an employee from working again. The court will also consider the limitations placed in the non-compete, like geographical area and time limitations. If you are a former employee or an employer concerned about the validity of a non-compete agreement in Maryland, you need a skilled attorney.
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help with Non-Compete Agreements in Maryland
If you are seeking assistance in Maryland as part of your non-compete case and unsure of how to proceed, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.
Medicare liens can rapidly complicate a personal injury case or settlement, and it’s vital that anyone going through one and relying on Medicare understands what they are and how they work. What are Medicare liens in Maryland, and how do they play a role in many personal injury cases?
Medicare Liens in Maryland
If you have Medicare, receiving your personal injury settlement in the aftermath of a car accident or other accident can be very complicated. Whenever you are injured during a car accident, the no-fault coverage on the vehicle is your primary coverage, or the first way that you pay your medical bills. Because the minimum for no-fault coverage is often low ($2,500 in Maryland), many people need to use their health insurance to cover costs.
Whenever you have a settlement to cover the costs of accident-related medical expenses and injuries, there is often an obligation to reimburse the health insurance provider or Medicare for the bills that they paid prior to the settlement. This obligation is known as a Medicare lien. If you do not pay off this lien during the settlement process, you could be sued or the Medicare payments could be retracted and leave you liable for the balance. Unlike private insurance companies, Medicare has more jurisdiction and can sue you or your car insurance company years after an accident to recover the money that they paid.
Why a Lawyer Matters
When Medicare is involved, many insurance adjusters will refuse to make a settlement for your claim until you have completed the Medicare Secondary Payer process. Even skilled attorneys can have difficulty navigating this complicated process, which means that experience matters. Mobley and Brown, LLP has a wealth of experience working with Medicare’s Benefits Coordination & Recovery Center (BCRC) to remove barriers to receiving your settlement and avoid any delays in receiving your payment. Thankfully, Medicare reduces its lien amount to help cover the cost of hiring an attorney, and they are required to do so by federal statute. Once your personal injury insurance claim is settled, we can assist you with covering the final lien amount and ensuring your obligation to Medicare is paid.
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help with a Medicare Lien in Maryland
If you are seeking assistance in Maryland as part of your personal injury settlement and unsure of how to proceed, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.
If you were charged with Driving Under the Influence, or a DUI, in the state of Maryland, you are probably overwhelmed at the ramifications and consequences you could experience as a result. Like many states, Maryland’s penalties for a DUI change depending on how many DUIs you have received in the past. Does a DUI suspend your license in the state of Maryland?
What is a DUI?
An individual can be convicted of a DUI for driving or attempting to drive while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance a substantial amount or with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above .08%. Every person responds differently to substances like alcohol, so the amount of alcohol that makes someone else substantially intoxicated could be lower for you. A DUI has a higher obligation on the prosecution to show that the driver was severely impaired. A DWI conviction has a lower evidentiary burden.
The Penalties for a DUI in Maryland
While the exact penalties received might vary, the penalties are generally:
- First Offense: Up to 1 year of jail time, up to $1,000 in fines and a license suspension up to 6 months
- Second Offense: Up to 2 years of jail time, up to $2,000 in fines and a license suspension up to 9 months
- Third Offense: Up to 3 years of jail time, up to $3,000 in fines and a license suspension up to 12 months
If you have a passenger in the car under the age of 18 at the time of the offense, you can have up to $1,000 in fines and a year of jail service added on to the existing penalties. When considering the number of offenses, the court typically only considers offenses within the last five year period.
Does a DUI Suspend Your License in Maryland?
In most cases, any DUI conviction will suspend your license for a certain period of time. Depending on breath or blood test results, you could receive an automatic suspension regardless of your court outcome. A driver with a BAC of .08% will face a 180-day suspension automatically. A driver with a BAC of .15% or higher will face a 180-day suspension for the first offense and a 270-day suspension for a second or later violation. Any driver who refuses to take a test will be levied a 270-day suspension, or two years if they have a past violation.
What Can You Do?
If you have received a suspension due to implied consent or have been charged with a DUI, you need representation as soon as possible. You can contest your implied consent suspension if you file a request within 30 days of your notice of suspension, but if it’s done within ten days your license will be extended until the time if your administrative hearing.
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help After a DUI
If you are seeking assistance in Maryland after a DUI charge or conviction and unsure of how to proceed, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.
Starting and building a small business or start-up is anything but easy. Because of how complicated and labor-intensive the process can be, some businesses cut corners early on and pay the price later. What are the most common legal mistakes that small businesses make when starting and building their businesses?
5 Common Legal Mistakes Small Businesses Make
- Skipping an Attorney: Many partnerships and people starting a business by themselves assume that they don’t need a lawyer in the same way that larger businesses do. Instead of starting out with an attorney, they plan on seeking legal representation in the future. However, that can lead to a great deal of wasted money and resources. Work with a lawyer when structuring your company to ensure you are set up the right way from the start.
- Not Using Terms & Conditions: Whenever you access a website or download an app, you usually see an important legal agreement called the “Terms and Conditions.” This lists out the obligations that everyone accessing the website or purchasing a product agrees to before making a purchase, creating an account or even using the website. If you don’t have a check box before a customer makes a purchase, you could be leaving yourself open to lawsuits.
- Ignoring Business Tax Laws: Is your company subject to sales taxes? When should returns be filed? Are you eligible for quarterly tax payments? Working with a skilled attorney can ensure that you obey all relevant business tax laws and structure your business in a manner that is most beneficial tax-wise.
- Insufficient Documentation: As you hire more employees and grow, there are many legal mistakes that you can experience. Federal law requires every employer to have certain documents on file. If you do not have proper documentation and are caught skirting regulations, you can face serious consequences, including your business being fined or shut down.
- Not Protecting Your Property: Unfortunately, numerous small companies neglect to protect their intellectual property with copyrights, patents or trademarks until they have been stolen. If you fail to protect the name of your business, you will not have much recourse if another competitor in the same industry names themselves the same thing. Intellectual property laws are complex, so it’s vital that you work with a lawyer to protect your ideas and brand.
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help Avoiding Legal Mistakes
If you are seeking business law assistance in Maryland and unsure of how to proceed, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.
Are you eligible for an expungement in Maryland? A wide variety of factors, including your criminal record, will determine whether or not this is possible. If you are granted an expungement, it will formally remove all records of your offense from law enforcement and court records. Should you give Mobley and Brown, LLP to start the process for expungements in Maryland?
When Is an Expungement Appropriate?
Expungements in Maryland can be completed for both adult and juvenile cases. In adult cases, expungements are used for clearing records of peace or protective orders, civil cases or criminal convictions. If you were the defendant in a criminal case, there are numerous requirements that you must meet to have your record be eligible for expungement:
You could be eligible for an expungement now if:
- You received a gubernatorial pardon within the past 10 years
- You can show good cause
- The act that your conviction was based upon is no longer a criminal act
- The case was filed in criminal court and transferred to juvenile court
You could be eligible for an expungement if three years have passed and:
- You had probation before judgment for a case (other than DUI/DWI)
- The court indefinitely postponed your case
- The crime you were convicted of can be found in Md Code, Criminal Procedure §10-105(a)(9)
- You were deemed not criminally responsible for disturbing the peace, trespass or telephone misuse
You could be eligible for an expungement if ten years have passed and:
You could be eligible for an expungement if three years have passed or you correctly file a General Waiver and Release [form CC-DC-CR-078] and:
- Your case was dismissed
- The state chose not to prosecute
- You were found not guilty
You could be eligible for an expungement if fifteen years have passed and:
How Can You File a Petition for Expungement in Maryland?
You should start by calling your lawyer at Mobley and Brown, LLP. We can help you to complete the correct Petition for Expungement of Records form for your situation, along with obtaining a copy of your criminal record. We can then assist with filing petitions for each case or in each court.
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP
If you are seeking expungements in Maryland and unsure of how to proceed, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.
If you don’t have a surviving spouse, estate planning can become a complicated affair with or without children. Unmarried adults have specific estate planning concerns that they should consider with the help of an experienced law firm like Mobley and Brown, LLP.
Unmarried Adults With Children
Estate planning for unmarried adults with children can be straightforward if you are interested in passing on your assets to your children. It’s important that you formalize your intentions in a will, even if you want everything to be passed to your children. Without a will, Maryland will follow intestate succession laws. Under intestate succession laws, your children will automatically inherit everything if you are an unmarried adult.
Unmarried Adults Without Children
If you are an unmarried adult without children, your estate planning situation could be complex. You do not only need to decide what will happen to your assets when you are no longer here, but also who to name as executor of your will and who you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated. In many cases, estate planning will involve focusing on your interests and tying them in with charitable giving. What do you care about? How could you use your assets to give back to the world? If you’re interested in education, you could create a scholarship at a school that you went to. Your estate planning could also involve starting to distribute your assets while you are still here. If you start gifting money during retirement and have the means to do so, you could see the fruits of your labor.
A Will Matters
Unmarried adults with or without children need to have a will in Maryland. If you do not have a will in place, the state of Maryland will get to decide how all of your physical and financial assets are divided up. Without a will, you will not get to have a say in how all of the things that belong to you are distributed when you are no longer here. Mobley and Brown, LLP can assist you with estate planning and creating a will that reflects who you are and your priorities.
Trust Mobley and Brown, LLP for Your Estate Planning
If you are seeking assistance in estate planning whether or not you are married or a parent, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.
Summer is here, which makes it the perfect time to head to the beach and enjoy the beautiful weather. While there is nothing wrong with legally and safely enjoying a few alcoholic beverages while you are on vacation, there are serious consequences to not legally and safely doing so.
What Is Drunk Driving in Maryland?
In Maryland, DWIs and DUIs are two distinct things. If you are driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.07 and 0.08 percent, you can be charged with Driving While Impaired (DWI). A DWI is considered the lesser offense of the two, but charges are still serious. For a first offense, you could face up to a $500 fine and 60 days in jail. If you are driving with a BAC anywhere 0.08 percent or higher, you could be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). This offense is taken very seriously, even if you are at a Maryland beach, and can come with a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.
What Initiatives Do Ocean City Police Officers Participate In?
Ocean City is a Maryland beach that takes drunk and impaired driving very seriously. Because many people go to the beach to have a good time and let loose on vacation, local officers cannot afford to be relaxed with law enforcement. Worcester County boasts the highest DUI conviction ratein the state of Maryland, with 91% of those charged also being convicted. If you are charged with a DUI or DWI in Ocean City, you need to contact an experienced lawyer at a firm like Mobley and Brown, LLP as soon as possible.
Understanding the Law
If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer and suspected to be under the influence of alcohol, you might be asked to take a field sobriety test or portable breath test. If you are being arrested for impaired driving, the police officer will read you your rights and give you a form before asking you to submit to a BAC test. If you test above the legal limit or refuse to submit to the test, you will be given an Order of Suspension form with your traffic citations. Your license will be confiscated and could be replaced with a 45-day temporary license. You should call your attorney immediately.
Trust Mobley and Brown, LLP for Your Personal Injury Claims
If you are seeking compensation in the aftermath of an accident, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.