Articles Posted in Drunk Driving Accidents

Driving under the influence (DUI) places everyone on the road at risk of serious injury. If you are hit by a drunk driver, you may incur medical bills, lost wages, or property damage. To recover damages for these losses, you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. Civil lawsuits are separate from criminal cases, which often do not result in just monetary compensation. When bringing a civil case, Maryland DUI accident victims should understand the types of damages awards they can recover from a successful personal injury lawsuit.

Recently, a driver pleaded guilty to felony manslaughter charges after a Maryland DUI accident. The charges stem from a crash involving two drivers who were under the influence. The first driver was speeding on I-70 when the second driver clipped his car while attempting to change lanes. The first driver then crashed into a work zone, striking several construction workers. Sadly, six of the workers died from their injuries. Both drivers were traveling at over 100 miles per hour when the crash occurred. The second driver also faces DUI charges.

What Damages Are Available After a Maryland DUI Accident?

If you pursue a negligence lawsuit against the responsible driver, you may be able to seek compensatory damages. This type of damages award intends to restore you to the position you were in before the accident. Compensatory damages can include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages compensate for expenses incurred from the accident. These often include medical bills and lost future wages if your injuries prevent you from performing your usual job functions. In addition, you can seek non-economic damages, which compensate for emotional harm resulting from the accident. These often take the form of damages for “pain and suffering.” Finally, your spouse may be able to seek damages for “loss of consortium,” which refers to the loss of a spouse’s companionship. To recover compensatory damages, you must prove it is more likely than not that the driver’s negligence caused your injuries.

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Driving under the influence (DUI) is so dangerous that it can lead to both criminal and civil penalties. If a person driving under the influence causes injury, the victim could sue them for negligence, and the state could bring a criminal DUI charge. Virginia accident victims should understand the important differences between a negligence lawsuit and a criminal prosecution. Even if the responsible driver faces a criminal conviction, you can still hold them accountable for damages through a civil negligence lawsuit.

For example, a recent Fairfax County, Virginia DUI accident injured six teenagers. The accident occulted in the early morning hours as an intoxicated teenage driver was speeding in a residential neighborhood. Eventually, the driver lost control of the vehicle, which rammed into a large tree. Witnesses remarked that the vehicle started to spin before rolling over. Multiple passengers were ejected from the car. As a result, six teenagers suffered injuries. Debris from the accident also struck a parked car nearby.

How Do Criminal and Civil DUI Accident Cases Differ?

Driving under the influence or while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs leads to many serious risks and can lead to devastating injuries or even deaths. Driving while impaired with alcohol has been shown to impair one’s judgment, reaction time, and ability to process changing driving conditions on the road. Every day, 29 people die in motor vehicle accidents in the United States that involve an alcohol-impaired driver according to the CDC. This equates to one death every 50 minutes, and the annual cost of car accidents involving alcohol totals more than $44 billion according to the CDC.

A recent news article reports that a car accident happened in the area of Willows Road and Abberly Crest Lane in Lexington Park in Maryland. It was a rear-end crash and deputies found one person unresponsive when they arrived at the scene. A preliminary investigation determined that a car traveling northbound was struck in the rear end by another car, which was operated by an 18-year-old male. The 18-year-old driver was taken to a local hospital in critical condition and later succumbed to his injuries. An initial investigation found that speed and alcohol played a role in the accident.

In the state of Maryland, driving under the influence (DUI) has different consequences than driving while impaired (DWI). In Maryland, a person may be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is .08 percent or higher, which is called under the influence per se. A DUI conviction will result in 12 points on your license, which can result in a license revocation. In Maryland, a DWI holds slightly lesser consequences. A DWI charge involves a BAC that is .07 percent and when the driver is presumed impaired.

In Maryland, hit-and-run accidents refer to incidents in which at least one individual involved in a crash leaves the scene before rendering aid or providing identifying information. These crashes contribute to the pain and suffering and economic burdens of typical injury crashes but can aggravate the severity of a victim’s outcome. The delay or complete lack of medical attention for the victim can lead to deadly consequences. In addition to civil ramifications, those who flee an accident scene can face criminal charges.

An analysis by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatal Reporting System (FRS) revealed an increase in fatal hit-and-run accidents. There are many individual, vehicle, and environmental factors that play a role in these accidents. Additionally, researchers apply two primary behavioral theories to drivers who commit hit-and-runs. Under the “rational decision theory,” drivers may decide to flee when they have the opportunity, the incentive, and the time to flee. For instance, drunk driving is more likely to occur at night or when there is limited lighting and fewer witnesses. Similarly, a drunk driver who commits an accident at night may take the opportunity to flee.

For example, a recent article reported on a 3 a.m. Hagerstown drunk driving accident where the driver may have been attempting to flee. Police explained that they saw the driver leaving the scene when they arrived at the accident. Police apprehended the vehicle on the ramp and arrested the driver with DUI. The second car’s driver and one passenger suffered life-threatening injuries. Further, emergency responders transported another passenger to the “shock trauma” unit. Early evidence suggests that both drivers may have been under the influence of alcohol.

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