Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, P.A.

Baltimore Law Blog

When Maryland drivers do not take their responsibilities on the road seriously, it can have devastating consequences to others. Inattentive driving, careless decisions or texting while driving are just the tip of the iceberg in the types of decisions that can lead to accidents causing serious injury to others on the road.

Perhaps the most serious flaw is when an individual takes to the road while under the influence of alcohol, causing a drunk driving accident. These incidents can be life-changing for all involved, particularly those who are hurt because of the actions of the drunk driver.

For instance, a Maryland man was recently sent to the hospital with injuries suffered in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. The auto accident occurred when a drunk driver speeded down the road the wrong way, leading him to hit a 33-year-old man and four parked vehicles. As a result of the accident, the driver is now facing DUI charges and charges for DUI refusal. Fortunately, the victim's injuries were said to be non-life-threatening.

As shown above, after a drunk driving accident, criminal charges are likely against the driver. However, this is a separate legal proceeding from the civil case that may follow from those injured in the accident, who can directly sue the drunk driver to recover compensation for their injuries.

There is likely to be some overlap between the two actions, such as the drunk driver's level of intoxication being a key part of both matters. However, the civil case brought by the injured person has a lower legal threshold that must be proven in order for the person to be successful, as compared to the higher burden of proof in criminal cases. The result is different as well, as the criminal case can lead to jail time, fines or other punishment, while a successful plaintiff in the civil case can recover money for his or her injuries.

Source: CSN Baltimore, "Man charged in wrong-way crash that injured one," Jan. 14, 2014

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