Baltimore Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
Just over 500 car accident fatalities occurred throughout Maryland in one recent year, According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of those accidents, nearly 40 percent involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit, and another 31 percent involved a driver with at least some alcohol in their system.
If you suffered serious injuries in a drunk driving accident in Baltimore, Maryland, you have a right to be frustrated and upset that someone’s poor decisions harmed you. Fortunately, you could hold the drunk driver accountable and seek fair compensation from them through a personal injury claim.
At Cohen & Dwin, P.A., our trusted Baltimore car accident attorneys have the experience and resources needed to help you seek justice if someone else’s negligence caused a crash that injured you or took the life of someone close to you.
We are ready to analyze the legal issues surrounding your auto accident and provide you with the professional legal representation you need. Let an experienced attorney deal with the insurance adjusters and pursue your personal injury case while you focus on recovering and getting the medical care you need for your personal injuries.
Contact us today to learn more in a free consultation with a knowledgeable car accident attorney on our team. In addition to assisting our Baltimore clients, our law firm also handles claims related to motor vehicle accidents throughout Baltimore County.
Is Drunk Driving Considered Negligence?
Yes. In addition to being a criminal violation, drunk driving is considered to be negligent driving. Under Maryland law, drivers must behave responsibly by driving carefully, respecting other road users, and obeying all traffic laws.
When intoxicated drivers get behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit, they are breaking the law and could be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Even people who drive with a BAC below the legal limit could face driving while impaired (DWI) charges if they are too impaired to drive safely.
Because alcohol can cause significant impairment of vision, motor skills, and judgment, driving while intoxicated puts the driver and other road users at risk. Being drunk behind the wheel is illegal, hazardous, and a clear example of negligent driving.
What Proof Do You Need in a Drunk Driving Accident Case?
Even if it seemed obvious to you that the other driver was drunk, you still need proof to recover compensation in a drunk driving accident claim. At Cohen & Dwin, P.A., our skilled attorneys can help by investigating the crash and securing some of the following types of evidence to support your claim:
- Police accident reports – If the officer who investigated the scene believed the driver was drunk, they should note this information noted in their report. If officers performed a breathalyzer test or other toxicology test, the official accident report should include the results. The report may also list any traffic violations, including drunk driving charges.
- Photos and video footage – Photos of the accident scene or video footage can help investigators evaluate the crash. If the other driver was at a bar, restaurant, or entertainment venue before the collision, investigators might also review footage from security cameras to determine how much they had to drink.
- Eyewitness statements – Eyewitnesses such as bartenders, servers, and sales clerks can attest to how much alcohol the other driver purchased or consumed before the accident. Witnesses who saw the crash occur can also testify how the other driver behaved before and after the accident.
- Expert witness testimony – Expert witnesses such as medical providers and accident reconstruction specialists can use their professional training to determine the accident’s most likely causes and effects.
- Bills, invoices, receipts, and pay stubs – Your medical bills, vehicle repair invoices, pay stubs, and receipts from incidental expenses can help you demonstrate the extent of the financial losses you suffered due to the accident.
How the Driver’s Criminal DUI Charge Affects Your Claim
If you believe you have grounds for a drunk driving accident claim against the other driver, it’s essential to understand that their DUI or DWI charges are an entirely separate legal matter. Whether they are convicted of the DUI or DWI charges does not dictate the outcome of your case.
That is because DUI and DWI charges are criminal charges, and your accident claim is a civil matter. Prosecutors pursue charges for illegal activity such as driving under the influence of alcohol, and drivers convicted of such charges can face criminal penalties like fines and jail time.
When individuals who are harmed by drunk drivers file personal injury lawsuits, their cases are heard in civil court. If a drunk driver is held responsible in a civil lawsuit, it does not affect their criminal case. But the court may order them to pay restitution in the form of compensation for the accident victim’s losses.
Even though DUI and DWI charges have no direct impact on the success or failure of your case, you can still use the other driver’s charges or conviction as factual evidence to demonstrate that they were indeed negligent.
What Is the Legal Limit in Maryland?
The legal BAC limit for Maryland drivers who are 21 years old or older is 0.08 percent. If a driver involved in a car accident has a BAC level of 0.08 percent or higher, they can be charged with DUI. If the driver’s BAC is 0.07 percent, but they are still too impaired to drive safely, they can be charged with DWI.
The limits are slightly different for certain drivers. Commercial vehicle operators are prohibited from driving if their BAC is 0.04 percent or higher. Drivers under the age of 21 can face DUI charges for driving with a 0.02 percent or higher BAC.
Damages from a Drunk Driving Accident
The money you receive for your drunk driving accident claim is meant to compensate you for the personal and financial losses you suffer due to the crash, such as:
- Past and future medical costs from the treatment of your accident-related injuries
- Lost wages from time you missed at work while recovering from your injuries
- Losses in your future earning capacity from accident-related injuries that leave you with disabilities that prevent you from returning to work
- The pain, suffering, and losses in quality of life you endure as a result of the accident
- Out-of-pocket expenses you incur from incidental costs, such as transportation to and from accident-related medical appointments
- Costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other personal property of yours that was damaged in the accident
If you file a personal injury lawsuit, you could also be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are a special and rare type of compensation awarded to victims injured by at-fault parties who were extremely reckless or intentionally malicious.
Contact a Baltimore Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
When you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident in Baltimore, MD, you need a dedicated and relentless attorney to fight for your rights.
Contact the law offices of Cohen & Dwin, P.A., to discuss the details of your case with our compassionate lawyers and learn more about what we can do for you. The consultation and legal advice are confidential and free. We handle car accident cases throughout Baltimore County and surrounding areas of Maryland.