Drunk driving accidents happen far too often in Maryland. An average of 159 people were killed and 3,190 were injured in impaired driving crashes over the last five years, according to statistics from the state Department of Transportation (MDOT).
Victims of drunk driving accidents need a personal injury attorney who is compassionate and will push for the maximum amount of compensation that they are owed. Turn to Trollinger Law LLC. You can count on Waldorf DUI injury lawyer Matt Trollinger to stand up for you and demand justice for your suffering.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
Maryland Drunk Driving Car Accident Facts and Statistics
Despite longtime efforts to deter drunk driving, Maryland still sees too many impaired motorists on the roads. The U.S. Drug Test Centers recently published a comprehensive ranking of the states according to the rates of DUI arrests. Maryland ranked No. 27, with 308.7 arrests per 100,000 people in a single year. The one encouraging spot of news is that overall, DUI arrests have declined steadily over the last several years.
Other facts about drunk driving crashes in Maryland:
- There was an average of 6,779 DUI accidents in Maryland over a recent five-year period.
- Charles County saw an average of 274 drunk driving collisions during that timeframe. Of that number, 78 crashes resulted in injuries and 7 accidents were fatal.
- Most drunk driving accidents occur on state or county roads.
- The majority of DUI crashes occur on the weekends in Maryland.
- Drunk driving accidents most often happen between the hours of 8 and 11 p.m.
Nationally, the statistics are also disturbing. One person dies in a drunk driving crash every 50 minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While drunk driving deaths have dropped by a third over the last 30 years, these crashes still claim over 10,000 lives nationwide per year.
Common Injuries from Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving injuries range in severity from minor to catastrophic. Some of the most common include:
- Whiplash: A painful neck injury, whiplash is often the result of a rear-end accident. When a drunk driver slams into the back of another driver, the victim’s head can snap back and forth in a whip-like motion. This can cause soft tissue damage, neck fractures, and slipped discs. Whiplash is often considered a minor injury, but victims with severe whiplash can suffer long-term pain.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): One of the more catastrophic injuries, a drunk driving accident can cause brain damage in a variety of ways. The head could collide with the steering wheel, dashboard, or other objects in the car. Flying debris during the crash can also penetrate the skull and cause a TBI. No matter how a TBI occurs, it can result in motor, cognitive, physical and emotional impairments that last a lifetime.
- Spinal cord injuries: Damage to the spinal cord can lead to temporary and permanent paralysis in the worst cases.
- Broken bones: Fractures to the arms, legs, and ribs can be painful and expensive to repair. Victims of drunk driving accidents may find themselves off work for extended periods of time as they heal.
- Knee injuries: Although they can happen in any type of crash, knee injuries are most common in side-impact collisions. The common treatment protocol for knee damage is rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery — all of which are time consuming and costly to treat.
- Psychological injuries: A car accident injury can have more than physical consequences. Victims may suffer from depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the wake of a wreck.
- Wrongful Death: Many drunk driving accidents result in death because the impaired driver makes little to no attempt to slow down. Impacts that occur at high speeds are more likely to be fatal to other motorists.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Hit by a Drunk Driver?
- Check for injuries: Look at yourself and any passengers, as well as the driver of the other vehicle. If someone needs emergency help, call 911 immediately.
- Call the police: Get law enforcement involved right away. This ensures that the accident will be documented, which is critical for any future injury claim that you choose to file. The police report will indicate the names of everyone involved and possibly the officer’s assessment of who is to blame. Be polite when speaking with the officer and never admit fault for the crash, even if you believe you are partly responsible. If you are asked if you are injured, do not say no. It’s OK to say to that you don’t know.
- Take pictures of the accident scene: Make sure to get photos from a variety of angles and distances. Include pictures of the position of the vehicles, the surrounding area, traffic signs, skid marks, and any open containers of alcohol or signs of drunk driving that you see.
- Get insurance information: Gather the names, addresses, license plate numbers, and insurance information of everyone involved in the wreck.
- Identify witnesses: Get their names and contact information. Statements from people who were not involved in the crash can go a long way when you’re negotiating a settlement with the insurance company.
- Seek medical attention: Some serious injuries, including brain injuries and internal bleeding, may not be detectable at the accident scene. A doctor’s exam will identify unseen injuries and prevent existing ones from getting worse. Also, seeking medical care right away will connect your injuries directly to the accident, which will make filing your Maryland drunk driving accident claim easier.
- Contact a drunk driving lawyer in Waldorf, MD: At Trollinger Law LLC, we offer free and confidential consultations to accident victims. Even though a drunk driving case seems straightforward, there’s no guarantee that the insurance company will give you a fair settlement offer. Attorney Matt Trollinger will place a value on your case and negotiate aggressively for the best possible result.
Proving Liability for a DUI Car Crash
If a driver in Maryland has a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, he/she will be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Drivers under 21 with a .02 BAC or higher face suspension of their driver’s licenses. The legal limit for commercial drivers such as truck drivers is a BAC of .04.
Drunk drivers may face civil charges. In order to obtain compensation, you will need to pursue a civil personal injury claim against the drunk driver. That’s where Trollinger Law LLC can step in.
Recovering money in any civil case means proving that the at-fault party was negligent, or reckless, and that his/her recklessness caused your injuries. A Waldorf drunk driving accident attorney at Trollinger Law LLC can use the driver’s DUI charges and breathalyzer results to help establish liability. However, there’s more work to be done in order to obtain compensation.
Even if a motorist is charged with DUI, the victim has to prove that the other driver’s intoxication caused the accident. For instance, if you run a red light and crash into an impaired driver who is subsequently charged with DUI, that doesn’t automatically make the drunk driver negligent. You would also be responsible for the crash since you ran the light. In Maryland, that means that you won’t be able to receive any compensation at all. Under the state’s contributory negligence law, a person who is even one percent responsible for an accident is barred from recovering any money. With so much on the line, you need to get an attorney’s help right away.
How a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Waldorf Can Help
There’s never an excuse for drunk driving. But if you were hurt in a drunk driving crash, don’t assume that the insurance company will give you a fair settlement just because the other driver was impaired. Get the advice of a lawyer who knows how to maximize your case value and fight for the compensation you deserve.
An attorney can:
- Listen to your story
- Conduct an independent investigation of your case to determine what happened and who should be held liable
- Gather evidence to support your claim, including the police report, witness statements, lab results, medical records, and documentation of your other losses
- Talk to the insurance company for you
- Advise you on whether a settlement offer is fair
- File a lawsuit and represent you in court if the insurance company won’t pay
At Trollinger Law LLC, our lawyer works on a contingency fee basis. That means that you do not owe us a dime unless we recover financial compensation in your DUI accident case.
Call a Drunk Driving Lawyer in Maryland Now
Our legal team is standing by to help. Call Trollinger Law LLC now to get started.