Baltimore, MD – Intoxicated drivers who cause collisions will likely face both criminal charges and a civil lawsuit from anyone who was harmed by their actions. The government attempts to punish drunk drivers through criminal charges that include fines, jail time, and a driver’s license suspension, while the civil case is brought by the victim so that they can receive payment for all of the damage caused by the driver. The civil case is also governed by the principles of negligence, which is an important system of liability that is used in many kinds of accident and injury cases. People who need advice after being hit by a drunk driver in the Baltimore area can speak with an attorney to get a more thorough explanation of how negligence laws will affect their situation.
Suing drunk drivers who cause collisions
Car accident lawsuits in Maryland are always similar in the sense that the victim must prove negligent behavior by the defendant. In many cases, things like evidence of distracted driving, speeding, or other traffic violations are used. However, it is also possible to introduce evidence of a drunk driving offense when relevant. If the victim can prove negligence by a preponderance of evidence, they will be compensated for their losses. The defendant normally has to pay for medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, along with future losses related to the victim’s lost earning capacity due to a disability and inability to perform in their career field. These amounts are substantial if the victim was seriously hurt.
Maryland’s negligence laws
All accident lawsuits in Baltimore and the rest of Maryland are governed by the state’s negligence laws. There are four elements to negligence and they are a relevant duty of care, a breach of this duty, actual causation, and damages. All of these elements must be shown by the plaintiff in order to win the lawsuit. Maryland also uses a strict standard of contributory negligence, which means if a plaintiff is even partially at fault for their own losses, they cannot collect any money at all from the defendant. Most states have abolished the doctrine of contributory negligence and replaced it with a system of comparative negligence, where fault can be divided between everyone involved when necessary, and the plaintiff can still receive money even when partially at fault for their own injuries.
A negligence case is usually concluded with a settlement agreement, so it is important for the victim to retain an attorney who understands how to negotiate aggressively for a fair settlement amount.
Advice from an accident lawyer in Baltimore
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