Call For A Consultation (202) 644-8303
Our Blogs

Personal Injury Blog

Featured Article
DC’s New Right Care Program Provides Options for Non-Serious Patients
DC’s New Right Care Program Provides Options for Non-Serious Patients

By: Dan Hausman

There are many reasons you may need the services of an ambulance in the District of Columbia. A few of those reasons may even be related to a potential personal injury claim. This blog post is about DC’s Right Care Right Now program, a relatively new initiative in D.C. that seeks to improve patient outcomes across the district by preserving DC Fire and EMS Department resources while still serving residents and visitors with life threatening injuries and illnesses.

The way that DC Right Care works is to add an intermediate option for people who may need an ambulance. Traditionally, a 911 operator classifies an incoming call as either:

  1. An Emergency, which requires an ambulance and a trip to the hospital, or
  2. A non-life threatening situation, in which the injured or sick person can either wait for a first responder to come to them or travel to a health clinic.

Often, this two-option system led operators to err on the side of caution and call in ambulances when it wasn’t necessary. DC Right Care presents a third option in which the 911 operator connects the incoming caller to a nurse when they are unsure of whether the situation is an emergency or a non-life threatening situation. The nurse asks the incoming caller questions about their symptoms and their prior history. The nurse then can direct appropriate action, saving resources for D.C. and also potentially saving the injured or ill person of the costs of an ambulance (however, ambulance costs are generally compensable in personal injury claims).

It is important to note the changes in DC Fire and EMS Department procedures because they may affect your personal injury claim since 911 will be less likely to get you to an emergency room. It is still of utmost importance to get immediate medical care, which can be at an urgent care center, when you have been injured at no fault of your own. Your initial medical evaluation documents the severity of your injury and the immediacy in which you needed a medical professional to evaluate your injury and treat it. Just because a nurse doesn’t send an ambulance to you directly doesn’t mean you should forego treatment.

Don’t worry, you may have a case even if you delayed in seeing a medical professional. If you are a personal injury victim in the District of Columbia, Virginia, or Maryland, the attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. are more than happy to offer a free consultation to discuss your potential case. You can contact us online or call (202) 644-8303 at your convenience.

Find more information about the Right Care, Right Now Program.

Read More
Recent Posts
  • DC’s New Right Care Program Provides Options for Non-Serious Patients

    By: Dan Hausman

    There are many reasons you may need the services of an ambulance in the District of Columbia. A few of those reasons may even be related to a potential personal injury claim. This blog post is about DC’s Right Care Right Now program, a relatively new initiative in D.C. that seeks to improve patient outcomes across the district by preserving DC Fire and EMS Department resources while still serving residents and visitors with life threatening injuries and illnesses.

    The way that DC Right Care works is to add an intermediate option for people who may need an ambulance. Traditionally, a 911 operator classifies an incoming call as either:

    1. An Emergency, which requires an ambulance and a trip to the hospital, or
    2. A non-life threatening situation, in which the injured or sick person can either wait for a first responder to come to them or travel to a health clinic.

    Often, this two-option system led operators to err on the side of caution and call in ambulances when it wasn’t necessary. DC Right Care presents a third option in which the 911 operator connects the incoming caller to a nurse when they are unsure of whether the situation is an emergency or a non-life threatening situation. The nurse asks the incoming caller questions about their symptoms and their prior history. The nurse then can direct appropriate action, saving resources for D.C. and also potentially saving the injured or ill person of the costs of an ambulance (however, ambulance costs are generally compensable in personal injury claims).

    It is important to note the changes in DC Fire and EMS Department procedures because they may affect your personal injury claim since 911 will be less likely to get you to an emergency room. It is still of utmost importance to get immediate medical care, which can be at an urgent care center, when you have been injured at no fault of your own. Your initial medical evaluation documents the severity of your injury and the immediacy in which you needed a medical professional to evaluate your injury and treat it. Just because a nurse doesn’t send an ambulance to you directly doesn’t mean you should forego treatment.

    Don’t worry, you may have a case even if you delayed in seeing a medical professional. If you are a personal injury victim in the District of Columbia, Virginia, or Maryland, the attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. are more than happy to offer a free consultation to discuss your potential case. You can contact us online or call (202) 644-8303 at your convenience.

    Find more information about the Right Care, Right Now Program.

    Read More
  • Ethiopian Airline Crash: Condolences to Families, Support for the Community

    By: Dan Hausman

    It is with great sadness that I write about Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which crashed on March 10, 2019, due to unknown causes. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has supported young students through the firm’s Ethiopian Heritage Fund since 2008 and has represented hundreds of clients of Ethiopian descent over the years.

    We understand the importance placed on community and family in the Ethiopian culture and know this disaster has had a great toll on many of our clients and friends. We send our deepest condolences and our prayers to those harmed by this terrible incident. We encourage those who have been hurt by the plane crash to call us for support.

    This post also serves as a reminder that our firm can help in a mass disaster situation in the best way we know how; by helping secure compensation for victims and their families, supporting families in their time of need, and taking stress and pressure away by dealing with the investigators and insurance companies on behalf of the victims and their families.

    We have experience representing victims in mass disasters including the Silver Spring gas explosion case and major transportation crashes involving Metro and Amtrak trains. This experience has prepared us to effectively navigate the hurdles presented in mass disaster litigation to ensure justice for those injured. We are always available to discuss a specific mass tort case should the need ever arise.

    Our legal team serves clients throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Call (202) 644-8303 to speak with a lawyer for a free consultation.

    Read More
  • How Electronic Logging Devices, Job Surveillance Are Changing U.S. Trucking

    By: Dan Hausman

    One of the main reasons I became a high school social studies teacher was because of my curiosity about the past and how that informs what may occur in the future. The impact of technology on the way humans act is one of the topics that most interested me because technology has been a driving factor in human progress. As an attorney for a firm which represents people in automobile crashes, my interest in technology has become more focused on issues in transportation.

    Electronic Logging Devices

    Electronic Logging Devices (“ELD”) is one such technology. These devices monitor a truck driver’s location, driving status, speed, and also the amount of time a driver has been on the road. The proponents of ELDs point to increased safety as the main benefit of the technology. However, many truckers don’t think the ELDs will necessarily lead to safer roads.

    By law, and specifically trucking Hours-of-Service regulations, truckers are allowed to be on the road for 11 hours (with a mandated break) and can do an additional 3 hours of non-driving work before they must rest for ten hours. The interesting thing about the ELD is that it makes tracking adherence to the laws, which have been on the books in some form since 1938, easier. In the past, truckers had a paper and pencil log book that could be easily fudged. With ELDs, fudging won’t be so easy.

    Frankly, the laws make sense in that statistics show that the risk of a crash nearly doubles once a trucker has been on the road for over ten hours. On the other hand, the strict adherence to the law takes decision making out of the trucker’s hands. Truckers may feel extremely tired within their 11 hours of allotted drive time but don’t want to pull over because they would be wasting time they can be using to make money. This can lead to preventable crashes.

    Beyond the safety issue, another extremely interesting thing about the ELDs is that it shows how people react when their jobs are threatened by technology. People who have spent their lives in a particular career are generally experts at their jobs and are resistant to technological changes that lessen the need for their expertise. This is easily noticed in the protests against ELDs by many trucker organizations who believe that ELDs are the first step toward a fully automated trucking industry, which we've blogged about in the past.

    This video provides a brief breakdown about ELDs, automation, and other advancements are changing trucking in the United States.

    My take away from looking into ELD technology is that its ramifications are very complicated. What I once thought was a win-win for everyone turns out to be more complex. I will monitor technological advances in the trucking industry and transportation as a whole and will continue to write about the subject.

    If you want to know more about trucking advances or have been injured in a crash involving a truck, Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. can help. Our attorneys have represented many victims and families following commercial truck accidents. Call (202) 644-8303 or contact us online to request a free case evaluation.

    Read More
  • CSCS Celebrates Brain Injury Awareness Month 2019

    By: Allan M. Siegel

    March is Brain Injury Awareness month, and Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. is proud to be part of the Brain Injury Association of America’s continued efforts to engage the public in learning about traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and better understanding their impact on victims.

    Having led the annual observance of Brain Injury Awareness months for over three decades, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has designated a theme for this year’s campaign: Change Your Mind.

    Change Your Mind: A Campaign to Educate the Public

    BIAA’s Change Your Mind campaign focuses on providing an educational platform to help the public learn about brain injuries, how often they occur, and what their resulting repercussions truly look like for victims and their families. In particular, the campaign focuses its efforts on:

    • De-stigmatizing brain injuries through outreach efforts within the TBI community.
    • Empowering victims who have suffered brain injuries, as well as their support systems.
    • Discussing and promoting the various forms of support available to victims living with TBI.

    TBI: The Facts & Statistics

    In honor of the BIAA’s hallmark Brain Injury Awareness Month, our legal team wanted to share some important facts and statistics that paint a picture too many Americans don’t see. That includes the shocking fact that someone in the U.S experiences a traumatic brain injury every 9 seconds.

    Acquired Brain Injury – Traumatic brain injuries are a form of Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), which is any injury affecting the brain that is not congenital, hereditary, degenerative, or the result of trauma at birth. Although the total incidence of ABI is unknown, over 3.5 million people (children and adults) sustain an ABI every year. Common causes of ABI include:

    • Electric shock
    • Infectious disease
    • Tumors, stroke, and seizure disorders
    • Substance abuse / overdose
    • Toxic exposure
    • Near drowning
    • Oxygen deprivation (anoxia / hypoxia)

    TBI Incidence Rates / Impact – The number of people who sustain TBIs but do not obtain medical treatment is unknown, but experts estimate the figure to be quite high, often because many victims do not understand how profoundly the injury can affect their lives, and what risks they face for long-term repercussions. According to BIAA, 1 out of every 60 Americans (5.3 million people) live with a disability related to TBI, and the annual impact of brain injuries in America is shockingly significant:

    • At least 2.5 million people in the U.S. sustain a TBI each year.
    • Around 2.2 million people seek treatment for TBI in Emergency Rooms and Trauma Centers annually.
    • 280,000 TBI victims are ultimately hospitalized in connection their injuries.
    • Roughly 50,000 victims die as a result of TBI – that’s equal to roughly 137 deaths each day.
    • The leading causes of TBI include falls (over 40%), stuck by / against incidents, auto accidents, assaults, and unknown / other causes.
    • TBI affects more than just victims; they also impact families, friends, health care providers and insurance companies, attorneys, educators, employers, and government agencies.

    Washington, D.C. Brain Injury Lawyers Serving the DMV

    Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. devotes a large part of our practice to protecting the rights, health, and future of brain injury victims and their families. Our involvement in this difficult practice area entails comprehensive support for our clients, our communities, and all brain injury victims:

    • BIADC – Two of our firms Partners founded the Brain Injury Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C., and Joseph Cammarata currently serves as the President of BIADC.
    • Legislation – Our attorneys are advocates for better laws relating to brain injuries and victims, including Partner Joseph Cammarata’s drafting of D.C. Youth Athletic Concussion Protection Act, which became law in the District of Columbia and is regarded as the most comprehensive law of its kinds in America.
    • Representation – Our firm is expressly committed to representing brain injury victims and families who seek justice and compensation following car accidents and truck accidents, slips and falls, bicycle accidents, and other preventable incidents caused by the negligence of others. Over the years, we’ve recovered millions of dollars in compensation for brain injury victims, including several multi-million dollar case results.

    We encourage you to get involved in spreading the word about TBI and Brain Injury Awareness Month. Visit the BIAA website to learn more about what you can do and how you can spread the word on social media. You can also browse our website to learn more about brain injuries, their common causes, and the various types of TBI. Our attorneys are also available to help you better understand your rights, options, and what we can do to help after you or someone you love sustains a TBI in any type of accident in DC, Maryland, or Virginia. Contact us online or call (202) 644-8303 to speak with a lawyer.

    Read More
  • How the Attorney-Client Privilege Protects Your Communications with a Lawyer

    By: Matthew Tievsky

    The attorney-client privilege is a rule which has governed courts in the United States for over a century. The rule holds that if an attorney advises a client concerning a legal matter, neither the attorney nor the client can be compelled by a court of law to disclose the content of those communications. Relatedly, an attorney is not allowed to disclose those communications without the client’s permission.

    The function of the attorney-client privilege is to ensure that you, the client, can get the best legal advice possible. Because the privilege protects the secrecy of attorney-client communications, you can be honest and candid with your attorney, without worrying that it will hurt your case. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry that potentially embarrassing information will be made public.

    In turn, your attorney will have the information and unvarnished truth they need to effectively protect your rights and interests while handling your case, and to avoid any surprises which may arise because they were left in the dark about a certain issues you didn’t disclose due to fear of its dissemination.

    Fortunately, it isn’t necessary to formally hire a lawyer in order to gain the attorney-client privilege. Any consultation with a lawyer can be covered by the privilege, including the first phone call you make to a lawyer to determine whether you will hire them.

    If you or any friend, family member, or person you know has been wrongfully injured by another’s negligence, you can call the personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., for a free consultation – which will be private and confidential.

    Our legal team serves clients throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Call (202) 644-8303 to speak with a lawyer.

    Read More
  • National Transportation Safety Board Releases Annual List of Most Wanted Safety Improvements

    By: Allan M. Siegel

    In many of our blog posts, we call attention to the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB. Often, this is because the NTSB is the nation’s leading agency responsible for investigating major transportation accidents. It’s also because the NTSB regularly makes recommendations to cities, states, industries, and Congressional lawmakers about the need for certain types of safety improvements.

    As an agency that does not have the ability to propose or pass new laws, the NTSB is limited to making safety recommendations. However, those recommendations are created through years of meticulously curated data and statistics, and from the insight and experience of leading scientists and experts. As such, safety recommendations – issued as part of the NTSB’s annual “Most Wanted List” or as stand-alone advisements – are among the most powerful advocacy tools in existence, and act as a critical part of generating awareness and prompting needed changes or updates that ultimately protect the public.

    2019 – 2020 NTSB Most Wanted List

    The NTSB’s “Most Wanted List” is an annual report that details what the agency views as the most pressing transportation safety risks in the U.S., as well as data-driven and research-supported recommendations for eliminating or reducing those risks. In the past, we’ve discussed some of the issues the NTSB has included in their list, such as eliminating distracted driving. Although the problem is far from solved, the NTSB’s work has been critical to the passage of tougher driver distraction prohibitions in many states.

    This year, the NTSB’s Most Wanted List includes some time-honored safety issues that continue to plague the transportation industry, as well as some newer issues that demand immediate and thoughtful responses. The goal, as always, remains the same: reduce risks posed by transportation accidents, and prevent tragedies, injuries, and deaths that are, in many ways, completely preventable.

    This years’ Most Wanted List focuses on the need to:

    1. Eliminate Distracted Driving – Ending the scourge of distracted driving has long been on the NTSB’s radar, and has been included in previous editions of its Most Wanted List. This year, the NTSB reiterated the importance of eliminating distractions among motorists, pilots, other transportation operators, and pedestrians through better educational resources, new laws, and targeted enforcement. This includes recommendations to ban all forms of cell phone use behind the wheel of motor vehicles, and stronger recommendations for pilots, rail operators, and boat operators.
    2. End Alcohol / Drug Impairment – Drugged and drunk driving have similarly been long-standing safety issues on American roads, as well as in the skies, on the water, and on rail transit systems. The NTSB makes some aggressive recommendations by encouraging states to reduce BAC limits for .05 or below for all drivers, and increase use of counter-measures such as ignition interlock devices for motorists convicted of DUI.
    3. Hazardous Material Transportation – According to the NTSB, over 2 million miles of pipeline spanning the U.S. deliver a quarter of the country’s natural gas, and over a third of all its consumed natural gas. Unfortunately, only 16 percent of rail-tank train cars in the U.S. meet improved specifications for safely transporting hazardous materials. Given the risks of aging infrastructure and unsafe rail transit systems, the NTSB urges the railroad industry to meet federal deadlines regarding the replacement and retrofitting of rail tank cars, and the pipeline industry to perform proactive safety assessments and repairs that ensure the safety of nearby residents and communities.
    4. Fully Adopt Positive Train Control – PTC, or Positive Train Control, has been on the NTSB’s safety improvements radar for many years. Though Congress had required PTC to be installed on rail lines by the end of 2018, only a quarter of all passenger rail miles and just 60% of all passenger trains have actually met that deadline. The NTSB notes that full implementation of PTC, which is proven to prevent train accidents and reduce the severity of injuries and number of deaths they cause, before the extended deadline is critical to workers and consumers alike.
    5. Reduce Speed-Related Crashes – Speeding increases the risks of car accidents, and the potential for catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. The NTSB notes over 10,000 people die each year as a result of speeding-related collisions, which is why the agency is recommending the adoption of proven countermeasures. These include not only better laws, but also increased use of automated enforcement technology, new vehicle technology, improved infrastructure design, and better educational campaigns.
    6. Improve Flight Safety Management – The NTSB wants to implement the same safety requirements commercial airliners are expected to meet for air tour, air taxi / charger, medical air services, and on-demand flight services, which are currently not subject to the same rules and are therefore more susceptible to devastating accidents. Specifically, they’re calling on the Part 135 operators to mandate training for terrain-avoidance and implement safety management systems which include programs for monitoring flight data.
    7. Implement Crash Avoidance Technology in all New Vehicles – Modern automobiles have come a long way in terms of technology that provides both convenience and safety benefits. The NTSB wants vehicle manufacturers to make collision avoidance technology, in particular, a standard feature of all highway-capable vehicles, and encourages consumers to purchase vehicles with such technology installed.
    8. Reduce Fatigue-Related Crashes – Whether it’s behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, an airplane, or any other transportation vehicle, operator fatigue has major consequences, and has been found to be just as dangerous as drunk driving. The NSTB wants to focus on reducing risks posed by fatigue through improved research, education, and training, as well as tougher laws and enforcement in the commercial trucking industry (i.e. federal trucking regulations such as Hours-of-Service rules).
    9. Make Sleep Apnea Training Mandatory – In 2017, we discussed how the new administration declined to pursue new rules on testing and screening commercial drivers diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that can cause preventable accidents and death when left undiagnosed and untreated. Now, the NTSB is encouraging agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to revisit its stance on sleep apnea, and mandate screening and treatment for drivers / operators.
    10. Improve Occupant Protections – Safety restraints, including seat belt systems and child safety seats, have been proven to reduce injury and death risks in motor vehicles, boats, and airplanes. The NTSB wants states and industry regulators to strengthen protections of occupants, and better enforce new or existing laws.

    Moving Forward: What the Future Holds for Safety

    The NTSB’s annual Most Wanted list is a report that has major implications for transportation safety, and it has been critical to moving the ball forward in terms of improving safety. However, because the NTSB lacks any regulatory power to propose or pass new laws, the agency depends on various industries, operators, and lawmakers to do the difficult work, as well as advocates and members of the public who so frequently voice their support for needed safety improvements.

    While those parties do sometimes help with the implementation of recommended safety improvements, it is often the case that they don’t – at least immediately. What often happens instead is that these industries wait far too long to adopt measures that could have saved lives, and only change their policies or regulations when they have no other choice. For the public, that means these risks will likely remain, at least to some degree and for some uncertain amount of time. For those who’ve been injured due to issues mentioned above, it also means their cases could provide more than just the opportunity to hold at-fault parties accountable for their losses – they may very well fuel the attention, awareness, and efforts for actionable change in the future.

    CSCS: Fighting for Injured Victims & Families Across DC, Maryland & Virginia

    For the time being and well into whatever the future may hold, our personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. will continue to fight for the victims and families who suffered injuries or the ultimate losses as a result of negligence and wrongful acts. If you have a potential case to discuss – whether it involves a motor vehicle accident, train or bus accident, trucking collision, or any other type of preventable accident – we’re here to help.

    Contact us to discuss your case with a lawyer. CSCS serves clients throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.

    Read More