Maryland MVA Lawyer
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Maryland MVA Lawyer
Anyone charged with a DUI or a DWI always has the right to hire a Maryland MVA lawyer. But what about those injured in such accidents? Who do they turn to? Who will fight for their right to compensation for their injuries? That's where Morgan and Morgan, America's largest injury firm, comes in. Fill out our free case evaluation form today to learn more about your rights and options.
How a Morgan and Morgan Lawyer Can Help
More than 800 people have died due to drunk driving accidents in Maryland within the past five years alone. This demonstrates how important it is to hold the liable party responsible for their negligence on our roads.
If your case is valid, we may be able to perform the following tasks:
- Provide the legal guidance and advice you need to navigate the complexities of personal injury cases involving drunk drivers.
- Conduct an investigation and gather evidence to support your claim for compensation for the injuries you or a loved one sustained in the accident.
- Determine the parties that may be held responsible for your injuries and damages.
- Calculate damages you may be entitled to, whether economic or non-economic.
- Negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement on your behalf.
- Handle litigation processes and court representation, if necessary.
- Provide the legal, mental, and emotional support you need throughout this process.
Maryland's Complex Car Accident Laws You Should Know
Maryland is well-known for having one of the most defendant-friendly laws when it comes to car accidents. That makes it even more critical to hire a personal injury attorney to fight for the rights of the injured..
To provide some perspective, in contrast to other states, Maryland lacks a dram shop law, which is meant to hold businesses accountable, like bars or restaurants, if a customer causes an accident while intoxicated after leaving the establishment.
One might argue that, as an alternative or replacement, the state does have a social host liability law in place, but when you look at the details, you'll realize it leaves a lot to be desired.
For instance, if an adult serves alcohol to a minor at a party, they may face criminal penalties. However, in the context of a drunk driving accident, the injured party cannot sue the host for damages resulting from the minor's actions. Similarly, Maryland does not allow a plaintiff to file a lawsuit against a host who served alcohol to an intoxicated guest that caused an injury.
So, basically, when you get injured by a drunk driver who was served alcohol at a local bar, you need someone who can navigate these complicated laws and ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries despite the state's unfriendly environment for plaintiffs in such accidents.
Even worse, Maryland follows the pure contributory negligence legal doctrine, a law that has sparked criticism for many years. Here's why:
Under the pure contributory negligence system, if you are found to have contributed to the accident in any way, you may be completely barred from seeking compensation. Say the court finds that you were partly at fault for the accident, even by as little as 1%; you may not be entitled to any compensation for your injuries or losses. The saddest thing about this rule is that it doesn't matter how negligent the other party was. Just as long as you contributed to the accident, you won't recover any damages from the at-fault party.
The biggest issue with these laws is that defendants can exploit them to their benefit. If they can prove that you contributed even the slightest amount of fault to the accident, they can use this as a defense to avoid any liability for your injuries or losses.
They will also use various tactics to undermine your claim, including examining every little detail, such as your driving behavior, whether you adhered to traffic laws, and even your vehicle's maintenance record.
Damages a Lawyer Can Help You Recover After An Accident Caused By a Drunk Driver
The damages you may be able to recover with the help of an attorney vary on a case-by-case basis. That said, depending on the particularities of your case, you may be able to recover the following damages:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses related to your injuries.
- Lost wages and future lost income.
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress endured as a result of the accident.
- Costs of repairing or replacing your property damaged in the accident, such as a totaled car.
- Wrongful death damages, such as funeral expenses, medical expenses your loved one incurred before succumbing to their injuries, loss of financial support, and loss of companionship.
To fully understand the damages you or a loved one may be entitled to after a car accident caused by a drunk driver, contact Morgan and Morgan for a free case evaluation.
Choosing a Lawyer to Represent You in a Drunk Driving Injury Case
Given Maryland's defendant-friendly laws, such as pure contributory negligence and many others we've highlighted above, it is crucial to find a lawyer who will improve your chances of obtaining a favorable verdict. One of the key factors to consider is whether they have powerful legal resources to build a strong case on your behalf.
That's because Maryland's pure contributory negligence law makes it challenging to recover damages if you are found even slightly at fault for the accident. You need someone with the resources and expertise to gather strong evidence, hire experts whenever needed, interview witnesses, and challenge any claims of contributory negligence.
You also need a car accident lawyer with a proven track record of winning cases involving injuries or deaths caused by drunk driving. You don't want to trust any lawyer with your case; choose someone with proven results. For example, Morgan and Morgan has recovered over $15 billion for the injured since 1988.
Look for an attorney with a positive reputation. One way to do this is by checking their online reviews.
As you've seen, Maryland's car accident laws can be complex and hostile to plaintiffs. For this reason, you need a lawyer who can navigate these legal hurdles in the fight for compensation.
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Can You Be Awarded Punitive Damages in a Car Accident Case in Maryland?
Maryland clearly isn't a safe haven for victims of car accidents. While it is possible to recover punitive damages in other personal injury cases, the proof ceiling is too high in car accident cases.
In fact, it is almost impossible to recover punitive damages even if the defendant was drunk at the time the accident occurred. This is because while most states require plaintiffs to prove that the defendant was grossly negligent (in order to be awarded punitive damages), Maryland requires proof of willful conduct. In other words, you must prove that the defendant's intention was to harm you or a loved one and not just being reckless.
While your chances of being awarded punitive damages in Maryland may be low, a Morgan and Morgan lawyer can still help you maximize your claim and pursue the compensation you need and deserve from all parties responsible.
What Should I Do if I Was Injured in a Car Accident Caused by a Drunk Driver in Maryland?
Because Maryland's personal injury laws in general are not so pro-plaintiff, it is extremely important that you understand the steps to take if you or a loved one falls victim to a car accident caused by a drunk driver.
The first and most crucial step is to immediately contact emergency services by dialing 911. The police and paramedics will arrive at the scene, assess the situation, provide the required emergency medical services, and document important information about the accident. If possible, ask for a copy of the police report. If you can't, no problem–your attorney will obtain it later.
It is critical that you get checked by a car accident doctor, even if you don't believe you have suffered severe injuries. That's because some injuries may not be immediately noticeable, giving you a false sense of good health. It is only after conducting a comprehensive checkup that you will fully understand the extent of your injuries and the kind of treatment you may need.
Do not admit liability for the accident, even if you believe you may have contributed to it in some way. Remember what we discussed about Maryland's pure contributory negligence laws? Admitting fault or apologizing could be the one percent the defendant needs to prove your contribution to the accident, effectively ruling you out of possible compensation for your injuries or losses.
If circumstances allow, collect as much evidence as you can at the accident scene. Evidence such as photos of the vehicles involved, any visible injuries and damages, and the overall scene can help provide more insight into what actually happened and who might have been at fault.
Lastly, contact Morgan and Morgan for a free case evaluation. If you have a viable claim and you hire us to represent you, your case will be assigned to an attorney who specializes in handling cases involving drunk driving accidents in Maryland. They will work closely with other legal experts to build a strong case for you.
What if I Do Not Have Any Evidence From the Accident Scene?
Not having any form of evidence should not stop you from contacting an attorney to fight for your rights. However, the key rule here is to ensure that you contact an attorney with powerful legal resources. Such an attorney can build a strong case from scratch and gather vital evidence to prove your case. Some of these cases may require traveling hundreds of miles to gather evidence, interviewing witnesses, consulting accident reconstruction experts, and more.
That also explains why size matters when looking for an attorney or law firm to represent you. At Morgan and Morgan, our power is in our size. Because we are the country's largest injury firm and the most powerful when it comes to handling these kinds of cases, we do not leave any stone unturned in the fight for compensation for our clients.
How Do You Prove Liability In a Drunk Driving Case in Maryland?
To prove liability in a drunk driving case in Maryland, the case itself must satisfy several essential elements.
The first element is establishing that the defendant — the drunk driver in this case — owed you a duty of care. Here's a simple rule to avoid overcomplicating things: just as long as they were behind the wheel, they automatically owed you a duty of care.
Next, you must demonstrate that the defendant breached their duty of care. In other words, they were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Because drivers in Maryland and throughout the country have a legal obligation to ensure that other drivers on the road and their passengers are safe, you can prove a 'breach of duty' by establishing that they were drunk when driving. Your attorney may obtain a copy of the police report to prove this element.
You'll also need to prove that you sustained actual injuries as a result of the car accident. Your medical records, documentation from healthcare professionals, and expert testimonies will play a significant role in proving this element.
The final element involves establishing the damages you have suffered as a direct result of the accident. As discussed earlier, the damages can include both economic and non-economic losses.
Contact a Maryland Drunk Driving Lawsuit Attorney
Maryland's car accident laws are already complex and quite unfair to the injured. For example,, the drunk driver can easily hire a Maryland MVA lawyer and regain their license. But if you lose your loved one in such an accident, no lawyer will ever bring them back.
The good news is that an experienced drunk driving lawsuit lawyer can help you receive the kind of compensation that will make you feel whole again after such an accident. Contact Morgan and Morgan today to learn more about how our attorneys may be able to help in such a situation.