Another alcohol-related car crash has taken the lives of two people in Montgomery County, MD — barely a day into the New Year, according to news reports. As Baltimore automobile and motorcycle accident attorneys, I and my colleagues understand the anguish that victims families go through following a fatal traffic wreck. Most unfortunate, from the standpoint of these grieving relatives, is the possibility that accidents of this sort may have been avoided (or the severity of the collision significantly reduced) had the driver been more thoughtful.
As a Maryland personal injury lawyer, I and my colleagues have had the opportunity to represent numerous individuals injured as a result of another person’s negligence. In the case of fatal accidents, the victim’s family may sometimes bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the person they believe caused the crash, or at least played a significant part in the tragic event.
Naturally, whenever an individual is killed or dies in an untimely fashion, the entire episode becomes an emotional experience for the victim’s family and relatives. Even under the best circumstances — for example, when a person passes away due to natural causes – that individual’s wife or husband, their children can be facing an uncertain future, especially in cases where financial hardship has become a way of life.
However, when a life is lose as a result of possible negligence on the part of another party — such as sometimes occurs in fatal traffic collisions — the tragedy is amplified many times over. A car, motorcycle or trucking-related wreck can many times be the catalyst for additional hardships for the family of the deceased.
Having worked for years as personal injury attorneys in Washington, D.C., and Maryland, and I and my legal staff understand the difficult emotional and financial times that a family may be facing following the tragic loss of a parent and breadwinner. This is why, in cases where a family member is killed as a result of the negligent or thoughtless actions of another party, it may be appropriate to file a wrongful death claim.
The accident that prompted this message today occurred in the Bethesda area early on a Sunday morning. According to news reports, a single-vehicle traffic accident took place near the intersection of Lancaster Dr. and Jones Bridge Rd. just a little before 3am. Based on information from the Montgomery County police department, an ‘07 Chevrolet SUV carrying five individuals was traveling west along Jones Bridge Rd. when it left the road for some reason.
After leaving the roadway, the vehicle crossed a sidewalk and then went through a nearby fence before hitting a tree on the property of the Bethesda Naval Medical Center. According to police reports, a 20-year-old front-seat passenger, Nicholas Clayton, and 18-year-old back-seat occupant, Kaitlin Gallagher, both died from their injuries at the scene.
The driver, however, reportedly survived the crash. A police spokesman told reporters that 22-year-old Roderick E. Brice II was transported to Shock Trauma with serious injuries. Two other occupants — a man from Rockville, MD, and another male from Chevy Chase — both survived the crash, having received non-life-threatening injuries; the two were taken to Suburban Hospital for treatment.
At the time of the news article, sources indicated that alcohol looked to be a factor in the wreck. Taking this under consideration, in cases of single-car crashes there is always a possibility that some type of mechanical problem made it difficult for the driver (drunk or otherwise) to maintain control of the vehicle; in such cases where police determine that a failed mechanical component contributed to an accident, the victims may also decide to file a product liability against the manufacturer of that defective part.
Victims Identified In Bethesda, Md. Car Crash, WUSA9.com, January 2, 2012