Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys in Salisbury
Trust Your Case to Hearne & Bailey, P.A.
Every year, the United States sees thousands of vehicle-related accidental deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drunk driving is responsible for nearly one-third of vehicular deaths across the country. In Maryland alone, there were 6,266 impaired driving accidents that resulted in 1,920 injuries and 160 deaths just in the year 2015.* And unfortunately, the problem doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon either. While drunk driving is extremely illegal and can result in serious consequences, thousands of people across the country find themselves arrested and facing charges for this offense every year.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, our Salisbury drunk driving accident lawyers are here to assist you. At Hearne & Bailey, P.A., we have dedicated our careers to helping people like you fight to recover the compensation you deserve for both physical and emotional injuries. We work to hold the drunk drivers responsible for the devastation they’ve caused and get you the just and fair compensation you need in order to continue to live your life. We have years of experience and a history of substantial success fighting for our clients both in and out of the courtroom.
The Science Behind Drunk Driving
Alcohol has a number of different effects on the human brain, including impairing the brain’s ability to process information. To put it simply, our brains lose the ability to process the information our different sensory organs are sending it as fast as it does when sober, and that means increased reaction times as well as decreased reaction precision. When you’re behind the wheel of a car, those reduced and imprecise responses significantly increase the odds of an accident due to a lapse of focus or judgment.
Some of the effects of alcohol include:
- Seemingly blurry or otherwise compromised vision
- Impaired balance or ability to stand or walk normally
- Inhibited reasoning, meaning worse or less reliable decision making
- Reduced muscle coordination, thereby limiting precision and increasing response time
When alcohol enters the body through the stomach small intestine, it reaches the bloodstream, where it accumulates and remains until the liver metabolizes it. Alcohol in your bloodstream is what creates the intoxicating effects that you feel, and the more alcohol in your bloodstream, the greater the level of intoxication. The volume of alcohol in the blood is referred to as blood alcohol concentration (BAC), and it’s this measurement that determines whether or not someone is actually drunk.
- A BAC of 0.02 causes reduced visual function and difficulty in performing more than one task at a time. Drunk drivers who are distracted by texting have a 90% higher chance of being involved in an accident.
- A BAC of 0.05 causes a decline in coordination and ability to track objects that are moving, thereby reducing the driver’s response time to sudden hazardous driving scenarios
- A BAC of 0.08 causes reduced concentration, speed control and information processing, as well as the loss of short-term memory
- A BAC of 0.10 causes a combination of all previous adverse effects, and further prevents the driver from braking and staying in their lane properly
- A BAC of 0.15 causes obvious impairment of control over the vehicle and is extraordinarily dangerous to both themselves and other drivers around them
If you have been injured by a drunk driver, call Hearne & Bailey, P.A. today at (410) 618-0903 to schedule a consultation and discuss your legal options.
What Happens if You’re Hit by a Drunk Driver?
If you or a loved one happen to be victims of a drunk driving accident, it is critical to know what steps to take next. As in other vehicular accidents, a drunk driving accident will rely on the insurance coverage of both parties involved (i.e., the victim and the drunken driver). The first step is to determine liability for both parties and determine whose fault the incident was.
A drunk driver is usually considered at-fault for an accident because more often than not their actions mean they are. However, this does not stop the driver’s insurance company from bringing out their own lawyers in order to ensure they pay as little as possible for your injuries, if anything at all. That’s why it’s so important to retain an experienced car accident attorney to help you with your case.
Settlement After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver
Even though the insurance company of the drunk driver would rather not have to pay any compensation, the truth is that most car accident cases will settle. In fact, 90% of accident claims are settled without having to file a lawsuit, saving you time and money. To settle means the insurance company for the party deemed at-fault is willing to compensate the victim financially without the case going to court.
To ensure you receive a settlement, your lawyer must immediately begin the process of proving who was at fault—or, who caused the accident—as a result of being impaired by alcohol. Keep in mind that the presence of alcohol or narcotics doesn’t immediately establish liability; however, if the driver’s BAC is over the legal limit, it is safe to say that liability can be proven in most instances. A skilled and experienced attorney should be able to do this and present their findings to the insurance company in order to establish liability and determine the amount that the insurance company is financially liable for.
If your car is totaled as a part of the accident, your attorney will also factor in the value of your vehicle as a part of your demanded compensation. A total loss of your vehicle usually entitles you to compensation for the vehicle’s value at the time of the accident in addition to the cost of injuries, treatment, and other expenses incurred as a result of the injuries you sustain in your drunk driving accident. As mentioned above, contacting an attorney and discussing your options should be your first action following an accident.