Have you been injured in a drunk driving accident in Baltimore, MD? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering. The experienced Baltimore car accident lawyers at William G. Kolodner P.A. can help you fight to maximize your financial recovery.
Want to learn more? Give us a quick call to schedule a free initial case evaluation. Our team will help you understand your rights, explain your legal options, and answer any questions that you might have. It’s important to get started on your car accident case as soon as possible, call now.
Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Drunk Driving Accident in Baltimore?
Protecting your rights is one reason to hire a personal injury attorney in Baltimore. Leveling the playing field with the insurance company is another reason. Additionally, hiring a personal injury lawyer for a Baltimore drunk driving accident reduces stress and allows you to focus on your recovery.
Even though the driver who caused your car accident was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, you must prove that the driver was fully responsible for the cause of the crash. As discussed above, if you cannot prove the other driver was entirely at fault, you lose the case.
It can be difficult to investigate an accident if you are recovering from injuries. Also, you may not have the resources and skills to investigate a complicated traffic accident.
An attorney has the time, resources, skills, and experience to conduct a thorough investigation of the DUI accident. The attorney monitors any criminal case while conducting an independent investigation into the cause of the crash. That investigation may include hiring one or more experts to analyze the crash to determine the cause and provide evidence supporting liability.
Furthermore, your attorney works to document your damages so that you can receive maximum compensation for your injury claim. Without proof of damages, the value of your claim is lower.
Having an experienced, skilled Baltimore drunk driving accident lawyer on your side evens the playing field with the insurance company. The insurance company has an entire team of professionals working to protect the company’s best interests. You deserve a legal team on your side to protect your best interests and fight for justice for you and your family.
How Common are Drunk Driving Accidents in Maryland?
DUI accidents or drunk driving accidents continue to claim the lives of thousands of people in the United States. It is estimated that a person dies every 50 minutes in a DUI accident. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of people are injured by drunk drivers each year.
During 2018, 10,511 people died in accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers. Maryland had 122 deaths related to DUI accidents that year.
In 2017, 2,088 DUI crashes resulted in injuries. Fatal crashes for that same period totaled 167. From 2013 through 2017, 17,236 people were either killed or injured in drunk driving crashes.
The Baltimore Metropolitan area had the highest percent of Maryland impaired driving crashes from 2013 through 2017. Late evening hours and the weekends had the highest number of impaired driving crashes, according to statistics.
How Alcohol Causes Drivers in Baltimore to Crash
Alcohol has a negative impact on many of the skills a person needs to operate a motor vehicle safely.
Just two beers can affect a person’s judgment and the ability to perform two tasks at one time. Drinking three beers can make it difficult to steer the vehicle, reduces coordination, and reduces a person’s ability to track moving objects. After four beers, a person may have difficulty controlling speed and processing information.
Additionally, an intoxicated person’s vision, reaction time, and color distinction are impaired. All of the above skills are necessary to drive a vehicle. Therefore, many of the causes of drunk driving accidents stem from a driver’s impaired skills.
For instance, a driver may not react in time to avoid a collision with a stopped vehicle or avoid a child running across the road. A driver who has been drinking alcohol may lack the coordination or ability to multitask required to step on the brake pedal while trying to steer the vehicle.
In many cases, a DUI accident results when a drunk driver swerves into oncoming traffic, fails to yield the right of way, or crashes into the rear of a stopped vehicle. Unfortunately, the innocent victims of drunk driving accidents often sustain severe and life-threatening injuries.
Common Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Baltimore
Drunk driving accident injuries range from mild concussions or whiplash to paralysis and traumatic brain injury. In some cases, a person may sustain permanent impairments or disability because of a drunk driver.
Common injuries caused by drunk driving accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Head Injuries
- Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Neck Injuries and Whiplash
- Broken Bones and Fractures
- Disfigurement and Scarring
- Damage to Internal Organs
- Bleeding Internally, and
- Loss of Vision or Hearing.
A DUI accident injury can be devastating for the victim and the victim’s family. The damages caused by a drunk driver can cause severe financial hardship for the victim.
What Damages are Included in a Drunk Driving Accident Claim?
An intoxicated driver can cause significant damages for victims of a DUI accident. Victims may sustain physical, emotional, and financial damages. In many cases, the total damages may equal hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The types of damages included in a drunk driving accident claim depend on the circumstances of the case. However, common damages that our Baltimore drunk driving accident attorneys see in many claims include:
- Cost of Medical Care and Treatment
- Personal Care Costs
- Loss of Income and Benefits
- Emotional and Mental Suffering and Distress
- Physical Pain and Suffering
- Scarring and Disfigurement
- Permanent Impairments and Disability
- Future Loss of Income
- Ongoing Medical and Personal Care Costs, and
- Property Damage.
The value of your DUI accident claim depends on numerous factors. In many cases, traumatic injuries and permanent disabilities increase the value of a drunk driving accident claim.
Our injury lawyers will carefully document your damages to maximize the value of your claim. We’ll work closely with you and your doctors to ensure that all losses, expenses, and damages are included in the demand for settlement.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Drunk Driving Car Accident Lawsuit in Maryland?
Maryland has a three-year Statute of Limitations for most car accident lawsuits, including drunk driving lawsuits. A Statute of Limitation is a deadline for filing a claim. If you do not file your lawsuit before the deadline expires, you cannot pursue legal action to hold the drunk driver liable for damages caused by a DUI accident.
However, there are exceptions to the general rule. For example, if a government agency is involved, your time to file a claim could be very short. On the other hand, if the victim is a minor, the victim may have additional time after turning 18 years of age to file a claim.
It is best to talk to a Baltimore DUI accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. Talking to an attorney soon after an accident can help you avoid mistakes that could hurt your chance of recovering fair compensation for a drunk driving injury claim.
How Does Maryland’s Pure Contributory Negligence Standard Impact My Claim for a Drunk Driving Accident?
The insurance company for the other driver might allege that you share in the responsibility for the cause of the crash. The reason is that Maryland adopted the harshest rule for shared liability in accident cases.
Under Maryland’s pure contributory negligence laws, if you share responsibility for the cause of an accident, you cannot recover any compensation for your damages. It does not matter that the other driver may have been driving under the influence. It also does not matter that your level of fault is extremely low compared to the other driver.
If you are just one percent at fault, you cannot receive any money for a drunk driving accident claim. For that reason alone, you should consult with a DUI accident lawyer as soon as possible. Lawyers understand how to fight false allegations of contributory negligence designed to deny valid injury claims in DUI accident cases.
What Should I Do After a Drunk Driving Accident in Baltimore?
Steps to take after a DUI accident include:
- Call 911 to report the accident.
- Do not confront the driver. Tell police officers your suspicion and let them handle the matter.
- Take pictures and ask eyewitnesses for their information.
- Seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. Documenting injuries as soon as possible improves your chances of success in an injury claim.
- Do not talk to the insurance company or sign documents without consulting with an attorney.
- Avoid using social media accounts until you talk to a lawyer.
- Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a Baltimore Drunk Driving Accident Attorney for a Free Case Review
The damages caused by drunk drivers can result in life-altering consequences for innocent victims. If a drunk driver injured you or a family member, contact William G. Kolodner P.A. to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Baltimore drunk driving accident attorney.