Fatalities Caused by Impaired Drivers
The death of any individual is a tragic occurrence, not only in terms of the grief felt by the victim’s family and friends, but also in the loss of talent and contributions within the victim’s local community and society in general. Fatal traffic accidents by their very nature are heartrending in that many of these incidents could possibly have been avoided altogether; at the very least, the consequences may have been less severe had precautions been taken.
The staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, feels very strongly about the senseless loss of life that occurs on our nation’s roadways every year. Here in Maryland, fatal car, truck and motorcycle accidents are no less tragic than anywhere else in the U.S. While mistakes happen that kill and injury thousands of innocent victims every year on our highways, beltways and city streets, a drinking and driving collision should hardly be considered in the same category as the typical car or truck crash.
We understand that human nature is a difficult thing to control, yet Maryland drunk driving accidents claim the lives of dozens upon dozens of people each year in this state. It is difficult for anyone, much less the families and friends of those lost to drunk driving collisions, to consider that these fatal traffic wrecks are an inevitable consequence of daily life. People make choices every day that impact their personal lives either positively or otherwise. However, when those choices made poorly by others negatively affect the well-being of another individual, we must ask ourselves whether the victims should be content to live with a stranger’s poor decision.
You will get no argument from traffic safety advocates and police agencies that opting to drink and drive is a very poor choice. When a motorist decides to climb behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and drive that car or truck on a public roadway while impaired by alcohol, prescription drugs or other substances, it is a decision that can affect anyone in their path. The personal injury lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen understand the anguish felt by families left incomplete in the aftermath of a fatal drunk driving wreck. We know that someone must be held responsible for those broken lives.
Just like any fatal accident, a DWI- or DUI-related traffic collision can injure, kill and maim any number of victims depending on the number of vehicles involved, the location and the conditions at the time of the wreck. As Baltimore personal injury specialists, we can help victims and their families to recover damages following a senseless alcohol- or drug-related automobile accident.
Sadly, nothing we or anyone else can do will bring back a mother, father, sister or brother who has been killed by a drunk driver. We can only work to ease the pain of loss and help the survivors to carry on, if not emotionally, perhaps financially. As experienced auto injury lawyers, our legal team knows that there is no reasonable excuse for getting behind the wheel of motor vehicle while drunk. Yet this happens time and time again on Maryland roadways day in and day out all through the year.
According to the anti-drunk driving organization, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), approximately one-third of all motorists arrested by police or convicted of DWI-DUI in a court of law are repeat offenders. One could argue that a first-time drunk driver may have made a mistake by thinking that he or she could operate a motor vehicle safely after consuming alcohol, but a second- or third-time offender arguably knows the risks he takes when getting behind the wheel in a drunken state.
How prevalent is driving under the influence of alcohol? The researchers at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) found that in 2011 more than 1.2 million motorists were arrested for impaired driving by state and local police officers all across the U.S. And these were the individuals who were caught in the act, it does not include those who avoided arrest, of which there must be many more. What should be remembered is that while society as a whole holds a dim view of drinking and driving, the practice is still quite common and the consequences of this become all too real for those who are affected by a drunk driver.
When it comes to drunken driving, the age group with the highest incidence of DWI were those drivers 21 to 25 years of age, or about 23.4 percent of drunk drivers according to 2010 statistics. A little under six percent of teens aged 16 to 17, and about 15 percent of 18- to 20-year-olds reported having driven a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Data from 2011 collected by the Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that 32 percent of fatal car accidents involving alcohol were caused by drivers aged 21 to 24 years old. Another 30 percent of fatal collisions were caused by 25- to 34-year-old motorists; while 35- to 44-year-olds contributed to 24 percent of the fatal DWI-related traffic wrecks.
Any person who chooses to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of beer, wine or hard liquor is, quite simply speaking, an accident looking for a place to happen. The legal professionals at Lebowitz & Mzhen sympathize with the families of victims killed by drunken drivers. As Maryland personal injury attorneys, we have the skills and experience to represent those families of victims who have died at the hands of a drunk driver. Our legal team has the knowledge and trial experience to represent victims and to fight for their rights to recover damages under the laws of our state.
As skilled injury lawyers, we understand that proving negligence can be difficult without the proper research and case preparation. Our skilled attorneys know that a case which prepared to go to trial also has a chance at influencing an out-of-court settlement. In many instances, a settlement can be better for the victim’s family as it helps loved ones avoid the stress of a trial and allows them to more quickly get on with their lives following such a devastating loss.
In situations where a loved one has been killed or permanently injured in a drunken driving accident, we recommend that the victim or his family consult a qualified Maryland personal injury attorney who is proficient in automobile accident lawsuits. The professional staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen are ready to discuss the details of your case. Contact our offices toll-free at (800) 654-1949; or send an email to either Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen to arrange for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are here to help.