Late last month, one woman was killed in a Maryland car accident that occurred on the side of Highway 50 near Route 410 in Prince George’s County. According to a local news report, the victim pulled over and got out of her car to assist another motorist who had lost control of their vehicle and crashed into a wall.
Evidently, shortly after the woman exited her car and was approaching the disabled vehicle, another car struck her. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency workers. The driver of the car that hit the victim was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Drunk Driving Accidents in Maryland
Despite countless government campaigns, motorists routinely get behind the wheel after having consumed too much to drink. In fact, in Maryland alone, there are approximately 170 people killed each year due to drunk driving. While the government often prosecutes drunk drivers, there is little that the criminal justice system can do to provide compensation to those who have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a Maryland DUI accident.
Of course, victims of a Maryland drunk driving accident can pursue a claim for compensation through a civil lawsuit. To succeed in a Maryland personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant violated a duty of care that was owed to them, and that this breach of a duty was the cause of their injuries. In short, a Maryland negligence lawsuit has four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
Drunk Driving Accidents and the Doctrine Negligence Per Se
Under the doctrine of negligence per se, an accident victim may be able to prove their case against a drunk driver more easily. The doctrine allows a plaintiff to meet the first to elements of a negligence lawsuit, duty and breach, by showing that the defendant violated a statute, law, or traffic regulation. For the doctrine to apply, a plaintiff must be able to show that the statute or regulation was enacted to protect against the kind of harm suffered by the plaintiff.
It is beyond question that Maryland DUI laws were enacted to protect against traffic accidents. Thus, courts will apply the doctrine when a defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Other traffic violations that may give rise to negligence per se are running a red traffic signal and reckless driving.
Have You Been injured in a Maryland Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Maryland personal injury lawsuit. At the Maryland car accident law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, we represent injury victims and their families in all types of Maryland car accidents, as well as truck and bus accidents. To learn more about how we can help you with your case, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Maryland Lawmakers Expand the State’s “Move Over” Law, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published November 2, 2018.
Can an Accident Victim’s Failure to Wear a Seatbelt Be Used Against Them in a Maryland Car Accident Case?, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published October 16, 2018.