Investigators believe that a man who was traveling the wrong way in Southern Maryland slammed into another vehicle, killing the driver.
Upper Marlboro, MD -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/02/2019 -- The accident occurred on Route 5 near the Huckleberry Drive exit. According to police and witnesses, 47-year-old Driver, of Silver Spring, was on the southbound side of Route 5 in a Mercedes Benz. A Toyota Camry, which was northbound on the southbound side, hit the Mercedes Benz head-on. The Driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The other driver, whose name was not released, was rushed to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.
Local police investigators are still looking into the crash.
"Car crashes cost most victims tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and emotional distress," observed Maryland personal injury attorney Rick Jaklitsch. "In alcohol-related crashes, victims basically have two legal options. So, the money they need to put their lives back together need not come out of their own pockets."
Generally, non-fatal alcohol-related crashes involve low levels of alcohol impairment. These tortfeasors (negligent drivers) are not legally intoxicated, but could be impaired. Their motor and judgement skills may not be fast or sharp. So, it could be dangerous for them to operate motor vehicles. Drivers under the influence of alcohol do things like misjudge the space between two vehicles and take unnecessary risks behind the wheel.
Scientifically, impairment begins with the first drink. So, if a victim/plaintiff can establish consumption, the jury can presume impairment. Evidence of consumption includes:
Unsteady balance, and
Statements the tortfeasor makes to other motorists at the scene.
Alcohol consumption and impairment is clearly a breach of the duty of reasonable care. If that breach substantially caused injury, the tortfeasor is liable for damages.
Fatal crashes, like the one described above, usually involve a higher level of alcohol impairment. If the tortfeasor was legally intoxicated, the tortfeasor may be liable for damages as a matter of law. The negligence per se shortcut applies if:
The tortfeasor violated a safety law, like the DUI law, and that violation substantially caused the victim/plaintiff's injuries.
In Maryland, the tortfeasor is generally responsible for both economic damages, such as medical bills, as well as noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages may be available as well, in situations like an extremely high BAC level.
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