Rockville, MD DWI lawyers have the answers you may need to know
If you have been injured in an accident involving an impaired driver, it may be in your best interest to discuss your situation with reputable DWI lawyers Rockville, MD DWI accident victims can rely on.
In Maryland, when someone is injured or becomes ill because of another party or parties’ negligence, malice or reckless behavior, the injured person may be entitled to compensation for expenses related to their injury or illness.
DWI and DUI
When someone drives while under the influence of alcohol or other altering substances, including illegal drugs, and prescription and over the counter medications, they may be charged with driving while impaired (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI). A DWI is a lesser charge than a DUI but both are considered crimes that are punishable by the state. If a person is convicted of a DWI or a DUI, the penalties often include jail time, fines, driver’s license suspension, losing security clearances, and for insurance premiums to rise or for the policy to be dropped completely. The negative repercussions for getting charged with a DWI or DUI do not stop there. There can be other repercussions, as well as the social stigma and shame that often comes with having a criminal record.
Regardless of whether or not the person who caused the Rockville accident you were in was charged or convicted of a DWI or DUI, you may be entitled to compensation through a civil claim that DWI lawyers who are licensed to protect victims of DWI/DUIs throughout the state of MD, may be able to help you pursue.
Criminal Charges and Convictions Compared to Civil Lawsuits
A criminal DWI charge can only be brought about by the state, often in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies. An individual cannot charge a person or entity with a crime but they can go to authorities to make complaints about a person or entity that committed a crime against them. But unless authorities actually witnessed the crime or have gathered sufficient evidence to prove that the crime was committed, they will not typically charge someone with a crime.
If you have been injured in a Rockville accident involving a DWI charge against a driver that was involved in it, MD injury lawyers may be able to help you seek the compensation you are entitled to.
A person who is charged or convicted of a crime can also be sued for the same crime in a civil lawsuit. When this happens, the victim of a crime often seeks monetary reparations for the damages and injuries they incurred because of the crime, as well as for things such as their pain and suffering. Typically when criminal charges are involved, the criminal case is tried before any civil claims that Rockville, MD DWI lawyers can try can be pursued. The outcome of the criminal case is not supposed to have any bearing on the outcome of a civil case. For example, even if the accused in your DWI accident is found innocent, you may still be able to win a settlement or award from your civil case.
Rockville, MD DWI Lawyers
Rockville, MD DWI lawyers know all too well that many people enjoy going out either after work or on the weekends to have a few drinks. They may want to release tension by chatting with loved ones and indulging in a glass or two of their favorite alcoholic drink. But, at the end of a night drinking, some people may be tempted to get behind the wheel of a car to drive home. This is not only legally risky, but could be putting themselves and others at risk for harm.
Perhaps a person decides they are only going to have a drink or two to play it safe, then head home when the night is over. However, a person who drives tipsy may still be arrested even if their blood alcohol content (BAC) level is under the legal limit of 0.08 percent. There is a charge called “driving while impaired or intoxicated” (DWI), which refers to people who have either alcohol or another drug in their system which has flawed their ability to drive.
What signs should I look out for that may mean someone is driving while impaired?
If you see someone driving their vehicle in an odd manner that is putting others at risk, do not hesitate to call the police or highway patrol. Even if this person was not actually impaired due to alcohol or a drug, it may be best to hold them accountable for their reckless behavior anyways. Signs that someone may be impaired while behind the wheel can include:
- Gently swerving between lanes either on a street or highway
- Slowly heading towards oncoming traffic, but pulling back at the last second
- Suddenly braking or accelerating without any visible reason to do so
- Tailgating, speeding or otherwise driving erratically
- The person is exhibiting road rage and yelling with slurred speech at others
What can I do to seek compensation if I was hit by an impaired driver?
Rockville, MD DWI lawyers will likely inform you that car accidents in which a driver was intoxicated or impaired can quickly lead to a life-threatening situation for the victim. It is unfortunate that many times innocent drivers suffer the consequences of another person’s poor decision to drive while not sober. By talking with an attorney, you can find out more information about how to seek compensation for your medical expenses, vehicle repairs, loss of wages from missing work, and more.
What information does my attorney need to know about the crash?
The more details and proof regarding the crash that you have, the better Rockville, MD DWI lawyers can evaluate your situation and offer legal advice. Examples of information to bring with you to your consultation include:
- Photographs of the scene, injuries and vehicle damages
- Driver’s information and insurance company name
- Medical evaluation of your injuries performed by a doctor
- Emergency care charges including hospitalization and ambulance ride
- Witnesses who saw the crash happen or were in the car with you
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury from an accident caused by an intoxicated driver, it may be in your best interest to reach out to Cohen & Cohen, P.C. to set up a free consultation with trusted and experienced Rockville, MD DWI lawyers.