Earlier this month, a Maryland man was arrested and charged with murder for his role in the drunk driving death of a passenger after he was involved in a DUI accident. According to a recent Washington Post article, the driver admitted to police that he had consumed at least two beers and a shot of cognac before getting behind the wheel that fateful night.
Evidently, the accident occurred on a road with a speed limit of just 25 miles per hour, but police claim that the driver was traveling well in excess of that speed when he slammed into a parked tractor-trailer. After crashing into the parked truck, the driver got out of his vehicle and pulled out his unconscious passenger by her arms. He began to shake her until another passenger in his car told him to stop. At this point, he dropped her, and she hit her head on the pavement.
The woman was taken to the hospital, where she died about a half-hour later. Prosecutors charged the driver with second-degree murder, claiming that the driver acted “with the intent to kill another . . . and with a conscious disregard of an extreme risk of death or serious bodily injury to another.”
The other passenger in the car told police that it seemed as though the driver had been drinking all night. He also told police that after they met up, the driver took both passengers to a club where they stayed and drank until just before the accident. Police also independently noticed several signs of intoxication when they were interacting with the driver, who told them that he thought that the tractor-trailer was moving at the time he ran into it.
Driver Liability for Passenger Injuries
Most often, a personal injury case is brought by a driver or passenger in one car against the driver of another car. However, nothing prevents a passenger who is injured in an accident caused by the driver of the vehicle from naming the driver in a negligence lawsuit. This can be the case in single-vehicle accidents or in multi-vehicle accidents where the passenger’s driver is found to be at fault.
When a passenger names a driver as a defendant in a Maryland personal injury lawsuit, in order to succeed he or she must show that the driver’s negligence was the cause of his or her injuries. In some accidents, the passenger may also have to overcome the fact that they willingly got into the vehicle with the driver. This is most often relevant in cases involving drunk drivers.
Have You Been Injured While Riding as a Passenger in a Single-Vehicle Accident?
If you have recently been injured in a Maryland single-vehicle accident while you were a passenger, you may be entitled to monetary compensation from the driver of the vehicle. It is important to realize that these types of accidents are exactly why drivers are required to carry insurance: to pay for injuries they cause but may not have the money to pay for. To learn more about recovering compensation after being involved in a single-vehicle accident, call 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation with a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney.
More Blog Posts:
Silver Springs DUI Accident Results in One Woman’s Death, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published March 3, 2015.
One Man Dead after Fatal Howard County Accident Involving Snow Plow and Icy Roads, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published February 24, 2015.