Pursuing Legal Action After a Drunk Driving AccidentDecember 20, 2018
Despite what we all know about the dangers of drunk driving, too many people continue to get behind the wheel after they had too much to drink. As a result, thousands of innocent people are seriously injured in drunk driving accidents every year. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 10,500 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents in the United States in 2016. What makes each of these fatalities so tragic is that they could have been prevented. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, an experienced car accident lawyer will protect your legal rights and aggressively pursue the compensation you are entitled to receive.
In a drunk driving case, there are some important factors that can have an impact on your case. For example, if the driver admits to being at fault for the accident, and the case goes to trial, your lawyer may not offer evidence to the jury that the driver was intoxicated. An exception to this rule is if the drunk driver was in a work vehicle, like a commercial truck or a bus. In this case, the evidence would fall under a negligent entrustment claim, which occurs when someone is held liable for negligently giving someone a dangerous instrument, and that person causes injury to a third party.
Responsibility of the Passenger
Some drunk driving claims involve the passenger who was in the vehicle with the intoxicated driver. Oftentimes, the driver’s insurance company will argue that the passenger should have known that the driver was drunk and should have refrained from getting in the car. However, this depends on a few factors, including how obvious it was that the driver was drunk, whether the passenger was aware of how much the driver had to drink, and how this would impact the driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. While there are cases where getting into a car knowing that the driver is intoxicated constitutes contributory negligence, too often, insurance companies try to hold the passenger accountable for information he or she could not possibly have.
If you live in Maryland, it is important to understand that you cannot sue a restaurant, bar, or other establishment for serving someone too much alcohol, even if the intoxicated person proceeded to get behind the wheel and cause an accident. Even if the person working at the establishment was aware that the patron was visibly drunk, there are no dram shop laws that hold the seller accountable.
Fortunately, in the state of Maryland, every drunk driving accident is covered by insurance. It is against the law for insurance companies to include any exclusions that would protect the drunk driver. Ultimately, if you are injured by a drunk driver, you have a claim.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We take drunk driving cases very seriously and will take every step necessary to hold the negligent party responsible for their actions. Our skilled legal team will obtain the maximum financial compensation you deserve. We will not stop fighting for you until justice has been served. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.