In 2016, 523 people died in traffic crashes on the Maryland highways. If you’ve lost a loved in an accident, contact our Baltimore fatal car accident lawyer today. That’s an increase from 2015 when the state saw 521 deaths on the roads. Car accidents are expensive both physically and emotionally for the victims and their families. Drunk driving accidents as well as distracted driving are the main causes of fatal crashes throughout Maryland.
Throughout Maryland in 2015, there were 107, 789 total crashes. Of that, 30,655 resulted in injuries. In 2015, Baltimore saw 40 fatal crashes and Baltimore County recorded 65 fatal crashes. Other counties with significant victims of fatal accidents were Prince George’s County with 86 fatal crashes, Montgomery County recorded 46 fatal crashes and Anne Arundel suffered 33 fatal crashes in 2015.
Common Causes of Fatal Accidents in Maryland
There are many causes for fatal car accidents in Maryland, including:
- Drunk driving or drugged driving
- Distracted driving, which can include the use of a handheld device
- Excessive speed or driving too fast
- Operator error such as falling asleep or losing control of the vehicle
All fatal car accidents have a devastating effect on the family members of the victim. If a loved one has been killed in a car accident, it is imperative that you contact a Baltimore fatal car accident lawyer today. A knowledgeable and skilled Baltimore car accident attorney can help determine the cause of the accident and determine if there is an at-fault driver. In addition, an investigation into the cause of the accident is easier and more productive if it’s done closer to the time of the car accident.
Who Can Sue for Damages in a Baltimore Car Accident Death Case?
If you’ve lost a loved one to a fatal car accident you may have the right to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings Section 3-904 defines who can bring an action for wrongful death in Maryland. A wrongful death claim can be brought against the driver of the other vehicle by the victims:
- Child of the deceased individual
- A person related to the deceased by blood or marriage who is substantially dependent upon the deceased
How to Win a Fatal Car Accident Case
To be successful in a wrongful death case, a Baltimore wrongful death lawyer must prove that the death was the result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. Damages they can be recovered after a wrongful death action include economic and non-economic losses. Including the loss of income that was being earned by the deceased individual to care for the family. In addition, mental or emotional pain that is suffered by a family member. Also a claim for loss of Consortium can be filed in a wrongful death action.
Causes of Car Accident Deaths in Baltimore
Like any major city, Baltimore has its share of crashes and accidents, many of which cause significant pain and suffering. The causes of these accidents are often quite ordinary, but the effects they have on the people of the city can be devastating. Below are some of the most common causes of accidents in Baltimore.
The list of factors that lead to distracted driving is long, but the most likely cause these days is using the phone while driving. Even just a simple text message can bring about the loss of a family member, a fact too often lost on drivers. Tuning the radio, turning on the air conditioning, and even adjusting the rear-view mirror — the most mundane actions can cause motorists to take their eyes off the road, leading to disaster.
Driving Under the Influence
One of the deadliest things a person can do is get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated. Between the impaired judgement and slowed reaction time, the odds of a drunk driver causing an accident are significantly higher than those with a sober driver. Add in the fact that each of these irresponsible individuals has control over a massive machine traveling at dozens of miles an hour, and the danger becomes readily apparent.
While the majority of car accidents are caused by human error, there is always a chance that outside factors can lead to an accident. Uneven road surfaces, debris and potholes, improper signage or faulty traffic lights — each of these could potentially cause a deadly accident.
Finding Fault After a Car Accident Fatality in Maryland
Like many states, Maryland uses an insurance system based on “fault,” wherein the driver who was injured or who suffered losses is entitled to pursue a claim directly against the responsible parties without having to exhaust all insurance options first.
This is good news for anyone who has been the victim of a careless driver, as Maryland only requires a paltry $30,000 in coverage for those who have been injured or killed. Because this amount is almost certainly insufficient to address the losses that accompany the death of someone close to you, a lawsuit will probably be required.
However, determining fault is often a tricky endeavor. The blame rarely falls entirely on a single individual, forcing attorneys and judges to take into account a wide variety of causes, including:
- Traffic conditions in the area at the time of the accident
- The condition of the roadway
- Whether any mechanical failure occurred
Figuring out who or what contributed to the accident requires meticulous reviews of the details surrounding the incident, reviews best handled by a professional. Ultimately, the extent to which another party is at fault will determine the portion of damages for which they are responsible under Maryland law.
The responsible parties may not be what you expect, either. If an accident occurred because of a faulty brake line or some other defective car part, chances are that the manufacturer could be held liable for the result of that part’s malfunction. Similarly, if there was an issue with the roadway — if there was damage to the surface or some other issue — the local municipality could be held responsible for failing to properly maintain the area.
How a Baltimore Fatal Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you lost a loved one in a car accident, contact the Baltimore fatal car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today. Attorney Randolph Rice has successfully represented families who have lost a family member in a car accident since 2006. He understands what his clients are going through and the emotional toll a loss takes on them.
Contact the Baltimore wrongful death lawyers at the Law Office of Randolph Rice today at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation and learn how they can help. The consultation is free and there is no fee or charge to investigate the loss of your loved one.