Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys in Baltimore

Whether you use a ride-share service or make plans to have a designated driver, there are plenty of ways to keep from driving under the influence of alcohol. Simply put, there is no good excuse or reason for driving drunk. Sadly, some people do not act responsibly and end up seriously injuring or killing others in drunk driving car crashes. To be a responsible driver who would not put other motorists and pedestrians in danger, a fair amount of focus and self-control is required. However, alcohol impairs the brain’s ability to process information and self-control behind the wheel, thus increasing the odds of a collision occurring due to a lapse of focus and judgment.

A car accident can be very scary, especially if it happened out of the blue. After the accident, if the other driver turns out to be intoxicated, you may become upset that someone could be so irresponsible to put your and your family in danger. Injury claims in an impaired driver accident can be complicated by the fact that the other driver will likely face criminal charges. In order to make sure you and your family receive compensation for your injuries and damages, you may need to contact a knowledgeable Baltimore attorney. Your personal injury accident lawyer will make sure your interests are represented, and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto wreck with an impaired driver, the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt may be able to help. Recovery from a crash with a drunk driver can take time, especially if the impaired driver had to go through a criminal trial. Your insurance company may not be interested in actively pursuing your claim, leaving you waiting as medical bills continue to mount.

Hiring an attorney to represent you will ensure that you have someone to advocate on your behalf, to get you the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with automobile accident cases throughout Maryland. Contact us today for a free consultation.

What Is Considered Drunk Driving in Maryland?

The legal limit in Maryland, according to state law, is 0.08%. This means if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, you are breaking the law. However, chances, are you may not know if the other driver has been drinking or not. For this reason, it is best to call the local police department and let them decide.

What Should I Do if I Am Involved in an Accident With a Drunk Driver?

One of the first things you should do if you are in an accident is to call the police. This can get you any medical help you need. It also brings the police to your location so they can make an official police report. If you believe that the other driver has been drinking, notify the police when calling. When they arrive, they will assess the situation and they may require the other driver to complete a breathalyzer test.

If the other driver has been drinking, it may be worth it to reach out to a lawyer to consider your next options. The damages from a car crash can be expensive and can extend beyond that of property damages. A car collision can also lead to pain and suffering and psychological impairment. If your injuries prevent you from working, you may lose income.

Because driving while under the influence is illegal, this can be considered negligence. If another driver caused you pain and suffering, you may be able to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. The police will decide if they want to pursue criminal charges against the driver, which can lead to expensive fines and in some case, jail time.

I Am the Victim of a DUI or DWI Accident, What Do I Do?

In the aftermath of a collision with a drunk driver, you should take immediate steps to protect yourself. You should:

  • Call the police. You will want to make sure that law enforcement arrives on the scene to secure it and perform an initial investigation. If the driver was drunk, the police could administer a breathalyzer test, arrest, them and charge them with DUI or DWI. Any citations or arrests made will be vital evidence for your injury claim. However, the driver could still be held civilly liable for your injuries even if they do not face criminal charges or the charges do not result in a conviction.
  • Seek medical treatment. After a car crash, getting immediate medical treatment is crucial. You will want to have your injuries treated, and a medical record created right away. Be sure to get a thorough medical exam even if you do not feel immediate symptoms. The trauma of a collision can mask pain, and some potentially severe injuries do not show signs at first.
  • Collect evidence. If you can, take pictures at the scene of the vehicles, your visible injuries, and anything else you can document. Get the contact information of any witnesses. If you are to hurt to do any of this, have a friend or family member try to do this for you.
  • Keep everything. Make sure to hold onto all medical bills and reports, vehicle repair estimates, travel receipts, pay stubs, and anything related to your auto accident and injuries. These documents will help account for all the expenses you have incurred and the financial losses you have suffered.
  • Keep a recovery journal. While bills, lost wages, and other financial losses are easy to document, pain and suffering are often harder to quantify. By keeping a journal about treatment, recovery, and mental state, it will be easier to account for what you have endured.
  • Contact a lawyer. Hiring an injury lawyer to represent you is something that should be done as soon as possible after an auto wreck. You will want to have someone on your side who will fight to get you what you deserve.

What Kind of Compensation May I Be Entitled to After a Drunk Driving Car Crash?

Negligence and drunk driving car accident victims can pursue compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Hospital stays
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Emotional distress

Even if you do not feel you are seriously hurt after your car crash, you should see a doctor right away. Your symptoms might take days to present, but a medical exam and diagnostic tests can reveal injuries you do not know you have, allowing you to begin treatment soon and increasing the likelihood of the quickest possible recovery. A doctor’s visit right after the auto accident also proves the injuries were caused by your accident. This proof is important evidence necessary for your insurance claim or lawsuit after a Maryland drunk driving accident.

Maryland Drunk Driving Laws

Maryland laws include DUI and DWI as separate offenses.

Maryland Driving Under the Influence Law (DUI)

A DUI is more severe than a DWI in Maryland. You can be charged with a DUI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. Maryland law calls this “under the influence per se.”

If you are convicted of a DUI, you will receive 12 points on your license, which makes you eligible for license revocation.

Maryland Driving While Impaired (DWI)

Driving while impaired, or DWI, is a lesser charge than DUI. You can be charged with a DWI if your BAC is 0.07% and you are presumed to be impaired. The prosecutor is required to present less evidence for a DWI conviction than for a DUI. In order to be convicted of a DWI, the prosecutor must only demonstrate that the driver’s normal coordination was somewhat impaired by alcohol or drugs.

If you are convicted of a DWI in Maryland, you will receive 8 points on your license and could have your license suspended.

Noah’s Law

Maryland’s Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016, also known as “Noah’s Law,” requires that any driver who is convicted of an alcohol-related driving offense must install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their car.

The law is named for police officer Noah Leotta, who was killed by a drunk driver at a sobriety checkpoint. This device requires a driver to blow into it so that the device and register the driver’s BAC before the car will start. The length of time an IID will be required depends on the offense.

Criminal Drunk Driving Accidents

Driving while impaired is against the law in Maryland. A first offense is generally a misdemeanor, resulting in a suspended license, possible jail time, and heavy fines. However, if the driver was in an accident while impaired, the penalties can be more severe.

Under Maryland law, if a driver causes a life-threatening injury to another person while under the influence of alcohol, they are guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to imprisonment of up to 3 years in prison, and $5,000 in fines.

In the event, that a drunk driver causes a car collision resulting in someone’s death, they may be charged with homicide by motor vehicle. Homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is a felony. Penalties include imprisonment of up to 5 years and fines of up to $5,000.

In some cases, a drunk driver may try and leave the scene of an accident, which could result in additional criminal charges. Leaving the scene of an auto wreck that might result in serious bodily injury, is a felony, with up to 5 years in jail. If the driver leaves the scene of an auto accident involving death, they may be imprisoned for up to 10 years in jail.

A car crash with an impaired driver may involve a criminal charge for the driver, and a civil claim for the injured individuals trying to recover damages. In most cases, the criminal case will have to be completed before the civil lawsuit can be taken to trial. (If the case does not settle out of court) This can cause additional delays to the injured victim seeking to recover damages for their injuries.

How Can You Recognize Drunk Driving on the Highway?

Impaired motorists can not make good judgment calls on the road due to alcohol’s adverse effects on their brains. From dangerously flaunting traffic rules and regulations to erratic driving, here are some ways to spot a drunk driver:

  • Tailgating
  • Unnecessary swerving and abrupt lane changes
  • Reckless speeding or driving too slowly
  • Sudden and unexpected stops
  • Driving zigzaggedly
  • Disregarding traffic signals or responding to them slowly
  • Making weird signals
  • Driving on curbs and other places prohibited for motorists
  • Nearly hitting pedestrians, and objects on the road
  • Engaging in any other form of reckless driving

Contact Our Experienced Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys Today

At The Law Offices of Larry B. Litt, we take an aggressive stance when handling car accident claims involving drunk drivers. That is because we have seen firsthand the devastation and heartbreak these types of collisions can cause. Every year, alcohol-related auto accidents result in more than $40 billion worth of damage and kill at least 10,000 people while thousands of others are seriously injured. Among the leading causes of car accidents, drunk driving is a nationwide problem.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, our personal injury lawyers are here to assist you. We have dedicated our careers to helping people like you fight to recover the compensation they deserve for both physical and emotional injuries, while also working to hold the drunken drivers responsible for the devastation they have caused. Contact us right away at 443-844-1528 so schedule a free, no-obligations consultation to discuss your options after a drunk driving car accident in Maryland. We serve all of Baltimore County, Baltimore City, and Harford County, Maryland, including Baltimore, Hunt Valley, Towson, Lutherville, Reisterstown, Essex, Abingdon, Glen Burnie, Edgewood, Hagerstown, Greenbelt, Columbia, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, Hyattsville, and Cambridge, Maryland.