If you live in Baltimore and have suffered injuries due to a car accident caused by a drunk driver, make sure you seek the services of an experienced Baltimore drunk driving accident attorney from Pinder Plotkin. A drunk driving accident attorney can help determine if you have valid reasons to file a civil claim.

In the event you suffer serious injuries, or a loved one dies as a result of the accident; an experienced attorney can provide you with the legal support you need to navigate the complicated process of filing a civil case. Doing so is not only essential for you and your family but also for the community — it helps ensure that the person responsible for the death or injury is held accountable for their actions and is promptly dealt with.

If you’ve sustained injuries due to the negligence of another, you are entitled to compensation for:

  • Lost wages
  • Job loss
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Ongoing medical treatment

As with a majority of personal injury suits, Maryland’s statute of limitations does limit the amount of time you have before filing a claim. In Maryland, the time you have to file an injury claim is limited to three years.

Since these claims are time-sensitive, it is essential that you seek the services of a qualified Baltimore car accident lawyer that understands what drunk driving accident claims involve and who has extensive experience litigating such claims as soon as you can. Contact Pinder Plotkin today and schedule an obligation-free, cost-free legal consultation and get the process of building a strong civil claim started.

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Why Choose Pinder Plotkin?

With all the lawyers in Maryland, it can be difficult to determine the right one for you. Let me tell you that we are a team of trusted lawyers. What does the legal team of Pinder Plotkin do for you?

  • We’re here to work hard for people who work hard.
  • You have access to us. We have a 24-hour phone line, and our online chat feature is here for you, as well.
  • Our team is greatly involved in the Baltimore, Maryland community. We take great pride in serving the community and giving back to others.
  • We are a team of trusted lawyers; Jason Plotkin has years of investigative legal experience.
  • We will take your case to court and focus on winning. We’ve recovered millions for our clients by taking cases to court.
  • Our practice has a focus on helping victims of car accidents, so we know how to assist in cases like these.

The legal team at Pinder Plotkin is ready to serve. We work hard for every one of our clients because we know just how important your case is. If you want to know how we can specifically help you, reach out to us today.

Drunk Driving Accident Statistics in Maryland

Drunk driving is responsible for a high amount of deaths and injuries across the country. Just in the United States, on average, drunk drivers are responsible for thousands of accidents every year, costing too many lives and millions in damages.

So many traffic hazards pose serious collision threats. When alcohol or other drugs are added to this mix of complications, the chances of tragedy increase dramatically. Over 1,000 car crashes happen in Baltimore every month, which makes at least about 34 crashes every single day. In 2022, Maryland saw over 150 deaths from drunk driving every year, making up a third of traffic fatalities. If you’ve sustained serious injuries due to a drunk driving accident in Baltimore, get in touch with our knowledgeable and dedicated team of auto accident lawyers at Pinder Plotkin for more on the potential compensation for the losses and harms you’ve suffered.

Related: Drunk Driving Uber Accidents in Maryland

Drunk Driving Regulations in Baltimore

Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is extremely dangerous. In fact, the law states that anyone with a .08% blood alcohol content (BAC) is considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and can be charged with a DUI, whether or not involved in a crash. For simply driving under the influence, a person looks at up to a $1000 fine and the possibility of their license being revoked, as well as possible jail time.

People who drive trucks and other commercial vehicles for a living have more stringent regulations. Their BAC must be below .04% for them to legally drive, and they can receive a DUI if their blood alcohol content is at or above that level.

For drivers under 21 who have been drinking and driving, if they get pulled over, they can face the suspension of their license for 30 to 60 days.

DWI or DUI: What’s the Difference I Need to Know?

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) means that the breathalyzer clocked between a .07% and .08%. While the penalties and legal repercussions are less severe than a DUI, it is still a serious charge which can affect your driving record and cost you a fine, in addition to greatly endangering the lives of others.

How Alcohol Causes Drivers in Baltimore to Crash

Alcohol is a substance that alters the human body. It makes us think and act differently from how we normally might, and it gives us less control. Anyone who has been drinking should not be behind the wheel of a vehicle until they’re sober. If they do, the consequences can be huge.

The reason that alcohol affects our bodies so much is because it disrupts how our brains normally work. You’ve probably heard of or seen that when someone is drunk, they’re more likely to stumble, have slurred speech, and not make the best decisions, among other things. If someone who is affected in this way by alcohol decides to drive a car or other vehicle, the results may be:

  • Weaving all over the road, endangering other cars and vehicles
  • Engaging in dangerous behavior, like racing other cars, trying to get across a bridge before it raises, or across train tracks before the level crossing signals drops
  • Ignoring posted caution signs
  • Speeding
  • Ignoring stop lights or stop signs
  • Not being aware of the dangerous nature of the roads, including going too fast or driving dangerously in rain or snow

Because alcohol affects the mood of the drinker, they may also:

  • Get very angry or upset, leading to reckless behavior or confrontation
  • Become dangerously competitive
  • Not be able to control their emotions as they usually do, which does not mix well when driving a vehicle

The main point is that it’s incredibly dangerous to drink and drive. Don’t get in a car as a driver if you’ve been drinking, and make sure that your driver is sober to protect yourself, physically and legally. If you have questions about the drunk driving accident you were in, the legal team at Pinder Plotkin is ready with answers.

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Fatalities and Injuries: Drunk Driving Risks

Fatalities from drunk driving account for nearly 10,000 deaths every year. Injuries from drunk driving are even more common. While some people may have minor injuries from drunk driving accidents, serious and sometimes lasting damages may occur. These might include:

  • Broken bones from collisions are very common. This can include broken arms, legs, ribs, or other bone breaks. Broken bones can cost an injured person weeks or months of time in lost work and wages.
  • Whiplash affects the neck and spinal cord. It can take weeks or months to heal from, affecting balance and mobility, sometimes leading to lasting injury.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be caused by a penetrating injury, such as a piece of debris entering the skull.
  • Concussions, which are usually sustained from a blow to the head, are another kind of TBI, and they take time to heal. These injuries may include symptoms like dizziness, migraines, sensitivity to light, or mobility issues after an accident. The effects of a concussion, like any TBI, may be permanent.
  • Sprains and fractures are more minor than breaks, but they may still account for lost time at work, in addition to being very painful.
  • Back and neck injuries may be the result of damage to the spinal cord. Back and neck injuries can be extremely difficult to heal, and may never heal fully, even with physical therapy.
  • Internal injuries to organs can be fatal, caused by penetrating injuries or by blunt force trauma. This could include a ruptured organ.
  • Burns that happen as a result of a car crash can be hard to heal from. Some burns need time to heal, while others cause permanent scarring.
  • Amputation that either happens at the time of the accident, or, if needed after an accident because of a limb that was greatly injured, can greatly disrupt the life of the injured person, causing a permanent rift in their ability to continue as before.
  • Nerve damage from injuries like broken bones, fractures, or other injuries has long-lasting consequences. Nerve damage may require surgery to help fix it, though the body may never be fully mobile in the same way.
  • Emotional trauma of being in a severe crash may also accompany the accident. Mental and emotional damages from being involved in an accident can impact daily life.

All of these injuries affect and lower the quality of life of the injured person. Loss of income due to not being able to hold a job or not returning to work can also be an issue. These injuries can also lead to a greater risk of infection and other diseases later on in life.

Other Associated Risks with Drunk Driving if You Are the Driver

  • Fines, which vary in cost depending on the number of previous offenses but can be up to $1000 on the first offense of DUI
  • Jail time, which can be up to two years (and at least five days if it’s a second offense)
  • Loss of or suspension of license
  • Probation
  • Mandatory alcohol and addiction treatment education

Maryland takes drunk driving very seriously, so think before you get behind the wheel or into a vehicle with a driver who isn’t sober. This also goes for drivers who are under the influence of other drugs or substances.

Steps to Take After a Drunk Driving Accident

If you’ve been involved in a drunk driving accident, make sure that you seek medical care so they can assess your injuries. If you are able to collect testimonies at the scene, that could help your case as well. You’ll want to keep and request detailed medical records of what procedures, surgeries, and other treatments you needed to heal. Reach out to the legal team at Pinder Plotkin so we can help you put together your claim. We’re here to fight for your justice.

What Damages are Included in a Drunk Driving Accident Claim?

The damages that you can receive for a drunk driving accident claim are wide-reaching. When we take your case to court, we can ask for the following:

  • Compensation to cover medical bills, including for surgery, hospital stays, and treatments to help you heal from your injuries
  • Compensation for longer treatments, like physical therapy, that will increase your healing
  • Compensation for lost work or wages, or even for future lost wages if you have lost some or all of the ability to work
  • Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
  • Property damage, such as damage to your vehicle, or other property damages

Your claims will depend on the severity of the accident, the extent of your injuries, and the testimony of evidence, like police reports and eyewitnesses, if any. We will go over each piece of evidence thoroughly, and talk with you about what happened at the time of the accident so that we can present the full picture to the courts.

Statute of Limitations on Drunk Driving Accidents

A statute of limitations is a time frame in which you have to file a claim. In this case, as with most cases of personal injury in Maryland, you have three years, or 36 months, to file a claim after an accident. It’s important that you contact us as soon as possible so we can approach your case while reports and eyewitness testimony are still right in people’s minds.

Once the 36 months are over, a court may not accept your claim against a drunk driving accident unless there were other circumstances they should consider. The lawyers at Pinder Plotkin will help you walk through the necessary steps to file and submit a claim, and we’ll take it all the way to court for you. Contact our legal team to get started.

How Does Maryland’s Pure Contributory Negligence Standard Impact My Claim for a Drunk Driving Accident?

Maryland code follows a contributory negligence standard. Contributory negligence means that, even if you, as the victim, were the smallest fraction of a percent guilty or responsible for the accident, then you would not be able to bring a claim forward for the drunk driving accident. This includes the obvious, such as if you were intoxicated while driving. But it also includes more subtle things like:

  • If you were sober and willingly got into a car with a drunk driver
  • If you were drunk but sober enough to realize you were willingly getting into a car with a drunk driver
  • If you were a passenger in a sober-driving car, but noticed a drunk driver and goaded or negatively engaged with that car’s drivers or passengers
  • If you were a sober driver hit by a drunk driver, but you were speeding or ignoring other posted road signs, including stop signs or stop lights
  • If you were a sober driver hit by a drunk driver, but you were engaging in reckless behavior like racing or road rage
  • If you were sober, but drove distracted or fell asleep at the wheel

While contributory negligence laws are strict, that’s one of the reasons Pinder Plotkin goes over your cases so thoroughly. If you have questions or concerns about what constitutes a legal claim for a drunk driving accident under Maryland’s Contributory Negligence standard, reach out to the legal team at Pinder Plotkin today.

A Baltimore Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Will Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a person who was operating a car while impaired by alcohol or drugs, chances are you have the right to seek compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact Pinder Plotkin now and schedule a free legal consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. Let us help you get the justice you deserve.

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