While accidents cannot always be avoided, sometimes, the blame lies solely on the driver. Drunk driving accidents are some of such incidences. An NHTSA survey states that drunk driving was responsible for 29% of fatal accidents in the United States in 2018.
Like drugs, alcohol is a substance that could significantly impair thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination. This means that a person driving while under the influence of alcohol will have slower reflexes than usual and, in most cases, will be unable to operate a vehicle safely.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is an offense in Maryland. As such, arrested drunk drivers are usually issued criminal charges and rewarded with several charges, from jail time to fines. However, as a victim of a drunk driving accident, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you file a civil lawsuit to ensure that you can receive financial compensation for whatever loss you may have incurred as a result of the accident.
Parties You Can Claim Compensation From
In a DUI car accident, there are certain parties that you can get compensation from. These are the main parties:
One of the reasons why bars and restaurants are so hard on not serving minors alcohol is that they can be held liable for a drunk driving accident caused by a minor served alcohol at their establishment. An experienced injury lawyer in Maryland can help you claim compensation from such establishments. This is because they were meant to foresee the danger that could be caused by a minor and prevent such by not serving them alcohol. However, there are no laws holding establishments liable for serving alcohol to adults.
The Owner of the Vehicle
As a victim of a drunk driving accident, you can also claim compensation and recover damages from the owner of the vehicle the drunk driver is driving. This is applicable when the vehicle owner was aware that the driver was intoxicated and still entrusted the vehicle to such a person.
The Drunk Driver
Maryland’s Negligence Per Se law allows a lawyer to claim that the drunk driver broke the law by driving impaired. DUI laws were passed to prevent drunk driving as it poses a world risk to people and property. Therefore, if your lawyer can prove that the defendant violated the statute by deciding to drive impaired and can directly relate this to the cause of your injuries, you can claim compensation from the drunk driver.
In some cases, to claim compensation from the drunk driver in a drunk driving accident, you must prove that the driver was entirely responsible for the accident. If you cannot prove this, the driver can walk away. An experienced personal injury lawyer like the ones at Pinder Plotkin LLC can help you ensure that this proof is established and that you can get the compensation you deserve.
What Compensations Can I Claim for a Drunk Driving Accident?
There are typically three types of compensations one can claim for being a victim in a drunk driving accident. These include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
- Economic Damages: This is usually monetary and is easier to calculate. It is meant to reimburse the victim of the accident for expenses incurred due to the accident. This could include property damage, medical bills, wages lost during recovery from an injury caused by the accident, therapy, etc.
- Non-economic Damages: These are usually less tangible than economic damages; they can’t be quantified; therefore, it takes a good lawyer to make compensation claims. This includes damages such as reputation damage, mental suffering, recurring pain caused by your injuries, emotional distress, loss of time, etc.
- Punitive Damages: In rare cases, a defendant can receive punitive damages for a drunk driving accident. This is compensation for the driver’s recklessness and negligence and serves as a deterrent to the driver and others for drunk driving. A few factors including the damages caused to property, the severity of injuries sustained, and whether there were other secondary causes for the accident, determines whether a defendant will be awarded punitive damages. An experienced lawyer can help pursue punitive damages by proving that the driver intentionally went against Maryland laws by driving under the influence of alcohol.
Contact a Lawyer in Maryland
If you or your loved one are victims of a drunk driving accident and seek redress, you should contact a lawyer at Pinder Plotkin LLC. We will work hard to ensure that you receive adequate compensation for any loss that might have occurred due to the accident.