Maryland Highway Fatalities Caused by Alcohol- or Drug-Impaired Truck Drivers
The sudden and pointless death of any person is indeed a tragic event, not just because of the extreme grief endured by the victim’s friends and family, but also in terms of the vacuum left behind in that person’s community. The loss of a productive and vibrant member of our society is a blow to everyone. This is why fatal traffic wrecks are often heartrending events that leave everyone wondering how such a tragic incident could occur.
As Maryland personal injury lawyers, members of the skilled legal team at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, know that many fatal traffic accidents, including those involving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), could be avoided if the person responsible for the crash had taken time to be more cautious or curtailed one or more distracting activities that may have led to the incident. At the very least, had the individual at fault been more careful, thoughtful or focused on the task of driving, the consequences for the victims may also have been lessened or eliminated altogether.
The legal staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen feels quite strongly about the frequent and senseless loss of life that takes place on Maryland roadways each year. Serious injury-related accidents and fatal collisions are no less tragic when they happen between two passenger cars than when they occur between an 18-wheeler and a minivan or sport utility vehicle. However, we believe that, of all people, professional truck drivers should feel a much greater level of responsibility toward the driving public at large.
There is no arguing that driving errors and honest mistakes on Maryland roadways take the lives of hundreds of people every year in this state. Whether these awful events occur on the beltway, rural highway, expressway or city street makes little difference to the families affected, but the fact that some commercial trucking accidents are caused by drinking and driving should make everyone think long and hard about the reasons for these kinds of senseless events. The tragedy, in many ways, is that impaired driving collisions that lead to someone else’s injury or death are still referred to as “accidents” by some.
While human nature is sometimes difficult to predict, much less control, as automobile and commercial trucking accident lawyers, we know that there is a certain amount of choice involved in the act of drinking and driving. Yet, even with the statistics that show Maryland drunk driving wrecks claim dozens of lives every year, the incidence of impaired driving is arguably still too high.
Anyone who considers DWI or DUI as a worthwhile diversion is bound to, sooner or later, wind up in trouble with the law. Unfortunately, many drinkers who habitually get behind the wheel of a passenger car or commercial truck hardly know how to stop their destructive course until it is often too late. Traffic safety experts and police departments nationwide have warned of the negative effects of driving while impaired, but it is the victims of drunk or drug-impaired drivers who quite often end up paying the ultimate price.
As Baltimore personal injury experts, the commercial truck accident lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen believe that when a professional truck driver decides to climb into his or her cab while intoxicated by alcohol or some other controlled substance, it no longer becomes a personal problem; it becomes everyone’s problem. As motorists ourselves, with families and friends to be concerned about, we fully grasp the extreme anguish felt by families of those victims killed or severely injured in senseless drunk driving wrecks, a percentage of which involve truckers.
As with any fatal accident, an alcohol- or drug-related traffic wreck can cause severe injury or even kill one or more victims. Depending on the number and types of vehicles involved, a Maryland personal injury expert can assist the victims and their families to recover damages after an impaired driving accident.
In the aftermath of a fatal commercial trucking wreck caused by the negligence of a drunken or drug-impaired truck driver, the victim’s family will not always consider pursuing a claim against the driver or his employer; however, this is something that should be considered when the responsible party has taken the life of a loved one through negligent or careless actions. We understand that it can be very difficult for the family of a person lost to a drunk driving accident, but we also know that there are stiff penalties for commercial truckers who cause a fatality while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
For a commercial vehicle driver to be operating a large CMV on Maryland roadways while intoxicated is inexcusable. As professionals, every trucker should be aware of the consequences of drinking and driving and certainly should know better than to expose other motorists to the potential dangers of a commercial trucking accident caused by impaired driving. For these individuals, a conviction for DUI can result in revocation of their commercial driver’s license (CDL). More importantly, a conviction for DUI following a bad injury accident or fatal collision can result in the trucker being held liable for any and all property damage as well as personal injury or wrongful death.
In Maryland, anyone who holds a commercial driver’s license is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle on the road when his or her blood-alcohol content (BAC) is 0.04 percent or more. This is one-half the BAC that makes a passenger car driver legally drunk. Fortunately, the law makes recovering damages resulting from a drunk driving accident much easier than a typical automobile or trucking-related injury accident or wrongful death claim.
When a commercial trucker is involved in a DUI-related crash, the victim’s attorney can point to the fact that the driver was in violation of state and federal law when he or she was involved in the accident. This can make it easier for the victim or his family to make their case for driver negligence (under the legal theory of “negligence per se”).
If someone you love has been severely injured or killed in a drug- or alcohol-related commercial trucking accident, the victim’s estate could very well be entitled to substantial monetary damages. The skilled legal team at Lebowitz & Mzhen can provide assistance with the filing of a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death claim. Because of “negligence per se,” an experienced Maryland trucking accident attorney can often make a case for negligence by pointing to the prohibition against drunk driving.
In situations where a loved one has been killed or maimed by a drunken commercial trucker, we often recommend that the victim’s family consult with a qualified Maryland personal injury attorney who has experience in litigating commercial motor vehicle accident lawsuits. The legal staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen is ready to sit down with potential clients in order to discuss the merits of a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Feel free to contact our law offices toll-free at (800) 654-1949; or send us an email, either to Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen so that we may arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.