Drunk Driving Accidents
Car crash fatalities had been on the decline in recent years, here in Maryland and across the U.S. Unfortunately, that trend has reversed itself. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2015, some 35,092 people died due to injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents—a 7.2 percent increase over 2014 and the largest increase in 50 years. Of those accidents, drunk driving was a factor in 10,265 deaths. That number is appauling. We know from our work as Maryland accident attorneys that even one death on our roadways due to drunk driving is one too many.
Here in Baltimore, DUI arrests were up in 2015. NHTSA reported a total of 513 traffic accident deaths in Maryland in 2015, up from 442 fatalities in 2104. Drunk-driving crashes accounted for more than one-third of traffic accident fatalities in Maryland. (Sources: CBSBaltimore.com, Huge Jump in DUI Arrests from 2014 to 2015, Jan. 6, 2016; NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts, 2015 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview, Aug. 2016.)
Some other sobering statistics from Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD):
- Every day, 28 people are killed in drunk driving accidents.
- Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash.
- An average drunk driver has driven drunk over 80 times before the first arrest.
- 50 to 75% of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license.
- 100% of drunk driving accidents are preventable.
Public safety experts attribute the overall rise in motor vehicle crash fatalities to a number of factors. These include lower gas prices making auto travel more affordable; distracted driving due to texting and cell phone usage, interacting with other passengers, and other distractions; drowsy driving; not wearing seat belts; and speeding and aggressive driving. Add alcohol consumption to any of the risk factors, and that's a recipe for disaster. Nationally, drunk driving is a factor in one out of three traffic accident fatalities, while distracted driving plays a role in one out of 10 deaths.
Maryland Drunk Driving Cases : Damages and Compensation
As experienced personal injury litigators, we know that statistics tell only part of the story. In our work with grieving families and injured citizens, we see first-hand the human toll that results from drunk driving motor vehicle crashes in Md. Lives are changed forever, as victims struggle to recover from serious injuries and cope with the loss of loved ones.
Drunk driving car crash victims suffer physical and emotional pain. In addition, families often endure financial hardship, when a wage earner is killed or an accident victim can't work due to their injuries caused by the drunk driving traffic accidents in Maryland.
Sometimes drunk driving cases dovetail with Workers Compensation or work-related injury cases in Md. (for example, if the car accident occurred while the victim was driving or otherwise working as part of their employment). In these circumstances, it is absolutely essential that the victim or his or her family retain counsel with knowledge in both Maryland Workers’ Compensation and personal injury litigation.
On top of all of this are the legal aspects of a drunk driving car crash case. Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of even .02 can be a crime in Maryland. Drunk driving car crash cases are criminally prosecuted in the Maryland District Courts system. However drunk driving crash victims must usually pursue compensation and damages in a civil case in the Maryland Circuit Courts.
To victims who've already suffered physical and emotional pain, the idea of dealing with the Maryland courts system can seem confusing and overwhelming. What's more, defense attorneys representing the driver charged with operating under the influence of alcohol (Maryland DUI or DWI) in the case will aggressively defend their client, to the fullest extent of the law.
This is where a compassionate and knowledgeable Maryland drunk driving injury attorney can be your best ally. Your personal injury lawyer will serve as a liaison between the Maryland state's attorney prosecuting the drunk driving case in criminal court -- and your civil case in the Circuit Courts where your attorney pursues compensation and damages on your behalf. It's absolutely imperative to contact an experienced Md. DUI / DWI injury lawyer right away, as the accused driver's lawyers will be working hard to represent their client.
How a Maryland Injury Attorney Assists Victims of Drunk Driving Crashes
Pursuing compensation and damages in a Maryland drunk driving car crash case is something an accident victim should not try to handle themselves. An experienced Baltimore County injury attorney will handle the legal aspects for you -- to make sure you recover the compensation you are entitled to by law.
Here at Butschky & Butschky, LLC, we have over two decades of experience fighting on behalf of drunk-driving and other car accident victims in the state of Maryland. We know the Maryland courts system and the insurance companies inside and out -- and we bring that experience and our commitment to helping clients to every case we take.
We are based in Sparks, Md., convenient to clients in Hunt Valley and other communities in Baltimore County. We also have a branch office for clients in Baltimore City. Please contact us today for a free consultation regarding your drunk driving car crash case in Baltimore County, Harford County, and Carroll County, Maryland. Call toll-free: (800) 722-6616.