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Maryland Car Accident Law And The Holidays

Posted on: December 23, 2013

The holiday season is a time for celebration and for being with family and friends, and certainly not a time when anyone wants to be involved in a car accident. However, the holidays can be a dangerous time to be on the roads, particularly as a result of the number of drunk drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 38 percent of fatal accidents involve drunk driving, and 32 percent involve a blood alcohol level of above the legal limit (0.08%).

A Few Tips for Safe Holiday Travel

1)Minimize the amount of time you spend on the roads. Even if you have not been drinking, other drivers may have been;

2)Avoiding peak travel times and inclement weather;

3)Don’t drink and drive. Or if you are drinking, choose a designated driver who will not;

4)Keep a cab number in your phone or in your wallet, just in case;

5)Leave the party early. Most drunk driving accidents occur between midnight and 3 AM.

Maryland Car Accident Law and Drunk Driving

Many people are aware that driving after having been served alcohol can be negligent, and if you are involved in an accident you may be liable under Maryland Car Accident Law. However, you may not be aware that being a passenger in a vehicle in which the driver has been drinking may limit what you can recover in a Maryland personal injury lawsuit. The defendant (who in these cases is frequently the drunk driver) can argue that the passenger assumed the risk of riding with them, or even that they had been contributorily negligent if, for example, the passenger had been serving the driver drinks at a party.

If you have been in an accident with another drunk driver or if you were a passenger in a drunk driving accident, you will need an experienced Maryland Car Accident Attorney to assist you with your case.

Bliss v. Wiatrowski
A Maryland Court of Special Appeals case from 1999 is very good reminder of the dangers of being a passenger in a drunk driving accident. In Bliss v. Wiatrowski, the court tackled the issue of whether a passenger who rides in a car with a drunk driver can recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Coincidently, this case resulted from an accident that occurred during the holiday season on December 14, 1990.

The driver, Wiatrowski, had spent most of the evening with three of his friends, one of which being his girlfriend. They had been drinking beer and hanging out at the mall, after which they went to a friend’s house and continued to drink beer. Around 11 PM, they decided to visit an abandoned church. On their way back, they veered out of their lane and ran into a tree. One of the passengers was killed, and two others were seriously injured. One of the passengers, Bliss, sued Wiatrowski. At the trial court, the jury held that she assumed the risk of riding with Wiatrowski.

On appeal, the court held that it is well established that Maryland Car Accident Law can bar recovery in a car driven by a drunk driver if the passenger knew or should have known of the driver’s condition. As a result, Bliss was unable to recover any damages from Wiatrowski.

Justin Katz is a personal injury lawyer who represents injury victims in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC
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The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
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My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
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I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
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TheOfficalCeeandDee
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My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
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They were very polite, professional. and informed current status of the case time to time. Great Job !!!
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If you ever need any assistance with an accident or injury-related claim this is the firm you need hands down. These are the most professional and caring people I have ever met in my life. Two people you should contact are Rebecca Slattery who was actually my paralegal and also Allan Serrano. You will be in good hands.
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00:52 06 Dec 17
Attorney MR Bob Katz outstanding Human being, went beyond and above to help me during my accident, he showed me tremendous kindness and support.Thank you so much will highly recommend him to anyone who needs help with their auto accident
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Rebecca Slattery the paralegal She took care my case and she was very helpful throughout the whole process. I highly recommend to my family and friend the services of Attorney Bob Kats and there team .
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I am grateful to Bob and Justin Katz and their team for working hard to get me the most money. They were very professional and easy to work with in Korean. I will recommend them to friends and family any chance I have.
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