Earlier this month in the DC area, an Annapolis woman was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after she crashed into two bicyclists, seriously injuring one of them. According to a report by CBC DC, the accident occurred back in June 28 on the Governor Ritchie Highway.
Evidently, for an unknown reason the woman veered out of her lane and drove onto the right shoulder, which is designated as the Baltimore & Annapolis trail. Once she crossed into the right shoulder, she hit two bicyclists who were riding on the trail, a 28-year-old and a 27-year-old. Both of the victims were flown to Shock Trauma.
One of the victims was released shortly after she was admitted. However, the other victim was held in the hospital for almost a month before staff felt that she was in good enough condition to return home.
The driver recently pleaded guilty to the offense of causing a life-threatening injury while driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of alcohol while transporting a minor. She has yet to be sentenced for the offenses.
Drunk Driving in DC
Drunk driving is taken very seriously in Washington DC and the surrounding areas. In DC, Maryland, and Virginia, the legal limit for blood-alcohol content is .08. Any time a driver operates a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content over that amount, he or she is legally intoxicated and can be found in violation of the DUI law.
However, the criminal liability involved is only half the story when it comes to a DUI accident. The innocent victim of the DUI accident may wish to get compensated for any injuries that were caused by the drunk driver. Thankfully, the law allows this kind of lawsuit, which is based on the theory of negligence.
Essentially, a claim by a drunk driving accident victim is a negligence lawsuit, but it is slightly tweaked. Rather than needing to prove all elements of a traditional negligence action, an accident victim of a drunk driving crash gets to take a shortcut called “negligence per se.”
Negligence per se applies whenever a defendant’s allegedly negligent conduct is prohibited by law, as drunk driving is. Moreover, the law must be designed to protect against the kind of harm that the plaintiff suffered. Thus, in the case of a drunk-driving accident, this would cover almost any type of car accident.
Have You Been Injured in a DC Drunk Driving Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a Maryland, Virginia, or DC drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to monetary damages to help compensate you for your injuries. However, keep in mind that insurance companies will likely get involved, and they are reluctant to pay out settlements until they absolutely have to. To make sure that you stand a good chance of securing a favorable settlement or jury verdict, call 410-654-3600 to set up a free initial consultation with an attorney today.
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