Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is always dangerous, for both the drunk driver as well as for others on the road. And, unfortunately, it can be especially dangerous for Maryland motorcyclists. Sharing the road with an intoxicated driver is never safe, but for Maryland motorcyclists, crashes can be more serious or even fatal than those in cars. Additionally, they may be more likely to be hit by intoxicated drivers in a Maryland motorcycle accident than cars or trucks, because motorcyclists take up less space and are less visible, particularly to drivers operating their vehicle under the influence at night.
There’s a reason that operating a vehicle under the influence is against the law. When driving drunk or otherwise intoxicated, a driver is less likely to be aware of their surroundings or to know what is going on. Additionally, intoxicated drivers have slower reflexes to respond to other drivers—or motorcyclists—and are also more likely to drive recklessly by not following traffic rules or speed limits. All of these things can result in incredibly serious accidents, including one that happened in Maryland last month.
According to a local news article covering the incident, a 37-year-old man from Temple Hills was driving, presumably under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, when he crossed over the yellow line on Route 54 in Nesquehoning. He hit a motorcycle driven by a 30-year-old Landford man, tragically throwing the cyclist from the motorcycle and killing him. When police arrived on the scene, they reported a strong smell of marijuana and paraphernalia in the intoxicated driver’s car.
This tragic accident is an example of a potential Maryland wrongful death case arising from an intoxicated driver. Wrongful death cases are a type of personal injury case that arises when someone is killed due to someone else’s negligence and their surviving family members or estate decide to file suit against the person responsible. Typically, to succeed in these cases, a plaintiff needs to prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased, the defendant breached that duty of care (by driving intoxicated, in this case), the defendant’s breach caused the accident, and that real damages were suffered as a result. If the plaintiffs are successful at proving these four elements, they can obtain monetary damages to cover medical expenses, lost wages, funeral and burial costs, pain and suffering, and more. In rare cases, they may be able to get extra damages, called punitive damages, to serve as a deterrent and punishment for the defendant.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Maryland Motorcycle Accident?
If your family has recently suffered the tragic loss of a loved one in a Maryland motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation from the driver responsible for their death. Call Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, today to learn about how experienced attorneys can help you pursue a case to hold the negligent driver responsible and help your family recover financial compensation. Set up a risk-free consultation by calling 800-654-1949, or filling out our online form.