A fiery car accident took the life of one driver last week in Beckley, WV. Just before 7:30 p.m. on Monday, police were called to the scene of an accident in the eastbound lanes of I-64, where two cars were on fire. The driver of one car was able to escape. It turned out he was impaired and had been speeding, and he was at fault for the car accident.
Unfortunately, the driver of the other car was trapped in his vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other driver was charged with DUI Resulting in Death. This investigation is still ongoing.
Impaired Driving in Maryland
Though this deadly accident took place in West Virginia, Maryland drivers cause thousands of DUI crashes every year. In fact, Baltimore drunk driving statistics show that drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more are 4 times more likely than sober drivers to crash. And those with a BAC of 0.15% or more are 12 times more likely than others to cause a collision!
Additionally, in one year alone, accidents caused by impaired drivers killed over 10,000 people across the US. That adds up to one death about every 51 minutes. Clearly, that's too many deaths due to a preventable cause. This is why serious charges usually follow after a DUI accident in Maryland.
When it's the driver's first offense, driving while impaired is a misdemeanor that leads to a suspended license, fines, and possibly some jail time. But if driving impaired causes a car accident that seriously injures someone, the drunk driver could be sentenced to 3 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. And if the driver's choice to drive impaired kills someone, it's a felony that often leads to up to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.
These are just the criminal penalties. There are also civil penalties involved when an impaired driver injures or kills someone. After all, the driver will be held liable for any costs that result from the accident he or she caused. So if you were hurt in a DUI crash in Maryland, it's important to hire a lawyer who can direct you through your personal injury case from start to finish.
What To Do After a DUI Crash in Maryland
If you were involved in an accident caused by an impaired driver in Maryland, your expenses will typically be covered by the at-fault driver. However, note that you might have to wait until the criminal case is complete before you can bring a civil suit against him or her. When you have medical bills to pay and a damaged car to fix, this can feel unfair and unjust.
This is why you need to contact a Maryland personal injury lawyer after your car accident. Your legal representative can let you know which damages you may be able to get, approximately how long the case will take, and any other information you'll need as you work on getting compensation. If you're ready to find out more about your legal options, contact a Maryland personal injury lawyer today for a free consultation.