Drunk Driving Accidents in Baltimore County
Each year, the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) publishes an annual report that examines different factors that cause car accidents. By analyzing how these factors impact the number and severity of car accidents, safety experts hope to come up with effective methods that will help reduce the number of wrecks. Drunk driving continues to be a major cause of serious, often fatal crashes in the state of Maryland. Yet, these accidents are preventable if drivers make the responsible choice to avoid getting behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of alcohol.
The MVA Highway Safety Plan from 2015 reports that approximately 24,000 drunk drivers are arrested each year in the state of Maryland alone, with Baltimore County in the top three for the highest annual average DUI arrests. Many of these drivers were speeding, according to a 2002 report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This report discovered that approximately 42 percent of all drunk drivers who were involved in a fatal car accident were also speeding, compared to only 15 percent of sober drivers.
Legal Recourse for Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
In Maryland, a driver is considered to be legally drunk if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, or 0.02 for drivers who are under the legal drinking age of 21. Victims of drunk driving car wrecks have options when it comes to recovering compensation for injuries, personal property, and pain and suffering. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you determine your best legal course of action based on the detail of your case. The following are examples of some of the options available to you:
Civil Suit: A civil suit, in the form of a personal injury lawsuit, is filed by the victim who was struck by a drunk driver. If there was a fatality, the victim’s family may file the lawsuit in order to recover damages. In many cases, a civil suit may be the only option when it comes to seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, or pain and suffering. A civil suit is separate from a criminal suit.
Criminal Proceedings: Drunk drivers may also face criminal charges, which can result in jail time, loss of driver’s license, restitution, and various fees and penalties. Criminal proceedings are designed to protect the general public from future harm that the drunk driver could impose if they were to drive while intoxicated again. Drunk drivers can face criminal charges even if the driver did not cause an accident or injury. The prosecutor assigned must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver had alcohol in their system at the time of the accident.
Wrongful Fatality Suit: If a drunk driving car accident results in a fatality, the surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit to ensure that they have financial stability after the loss of their loved one. Wrongful death suits are a type of personal injury claim, and they provide both economic and noneconomic damages for victims.
Dram Shop Liability: Dram Shop Liability means that a commercial vendor, such as a liquor store, bar, or restaurant, may be held liable for damages caused by a patron that they served or sold alcohol to, who then caused an accident. Maryland does not currently allow Dram Shop Lawsuits, but new legislation may change this, making this argument available to drunk driving victims.
Baltimore County Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving car accident, you are urged to contact the experienced Baltimore County car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. Our dedicated team will recommend the best legal course of action based on the details of your case. We will hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions, and pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.