Drunk Driving Accidents and the Presumption of Negligence

Drunk drivers present a danger to all motorists on the road, but motorcyclists are likely those who are the most at risk of serious injury or death when a drunk driver gets behind the wheel. It seems that drivers of cars and trucks have a difficult enough time keeping an eye out for motorcyclists when they are sober. Add alcohol or drugs to the mix, and the chances of a serious or fatal accident skyrocket.

Highway at NightWhen a motorcycle accident is caused by a suspected drunk driver, the injured party may pursue a negligence lawsuit against the at-fault party. Thankfully, the law allows for the injured party to take a “short cut” when it comes to proving their claim against the drunk driver through the doctrine of negligence per se.

Negligence per se is a legal doctrine that has been in effect in the United States for many years. It stands for the idea that if a defendant is found to have violated a law that was in place to protect the public from a certain danger or harm, a plaintiff who suffered the kind of harm the law was designed to prevent does not need to present evidence of the defendant’s negligence at a civil trial for damages. In the drunk driving context, this means that if a driver causes a serious or fatal motorcycle accident, and he was drunk at the time, the injured party doesn’t need to prove that the drunk driver was legally negligent. This may seem obvious, but the doctrine of negligence per se can make establishing liability in a case much easier and faster.

Drunk Driver Kills Motorcyclist in Late-Night Accident

Earlier this month, a Lexus SUV struck a Harley Davidson motorcycle on Interstate 15 in Las Vegas, killing the motorcyclist and sending one other to a hospital with serious injuries. According to one local news source, the accident took place at around 4 a.m., and alcohol is suspected to be involved.

Evidently, the Lexus was traveling at a high rate of speed when the driver lost control, sending the vehicle into a series of spins. While the Lexus was spinning out of control, it struck a Harley Davidson motorcycle. After the collision with the motorcycle, the Lexus then slammed into a retaining wall.

The rider of the motorcycle was thrown off the bike. Emergency responders arrived at the scene and transported the motorcyclist to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The passenger in the Lexus was also taken to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. The driver of the SUV did not sustain serious injuries but was arrested under the suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

Have You Been Involved in a Maryland Motorcycle Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been involved in any kind of Maryland motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a negligence or wrongful death lawsuit. In either case, it is incredibly important for you to discuss your case with a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The skilled personal injury lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have decades of experience bringing cases against negligent drivers, including drunk drivers. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up your free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Driver and Passenger Involved in Fatal Motorcycle Crash Apprehended After Attempting to Flee the Scene on Foot, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published September 8, 2016.

Drunk Driving Accidents and Negligence Per Se, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published September 22, 2016.

Contact Information