Four people narrowly escaped serious injuries in a fiery, wrong way crash that occurred on October 13, 2018 in Dunkirk, MD. The Southern Maryland Chronicle reported on the story, then published a follow up article on October 16, 2018 regarding potential charges for one of the drivers. At around 10:30 p.m., police were dispatched to the area of Route 4 and Route 260 in Calvert County. Upon arrival, they observed two vehicles engulfed in flames, and Good Samaritans assisting with removal of the occupants. From witness descriptions, a minivan had been traveling the wrong way on northbound Route 4 when it came upon another vehicle traveling southbound in the same lane. Charges are pending against the driver of the minivan, who had her 1-year old child with her.
Wrong way crashes are among the most serious motor vehicle incidents because of the massive force involved upon impact. If you were hurt under similar circumstances, it is critical to consult with a Baltimore County, MD auto accident attorney about your rights.
How Wrong Way Crashes Happen
The fact that charges are pending in the recent Maryland wrong way collision indicates that alcohol may be a factor. In fact, at least one motorist is legally drunk in 58% of all wrong way crashes. Other notable statistics include:
- Most wrong way driving incidents occur during the weekend from midnight to 5 a.m.;
- Around 80% of these crashes happen in urban areas;
- Passenger cars are the most common vehicles to be involved in wrong way crashes, at almost 70%; and,
- When physical conditions are the primary cause of a wrong way collision, highway interchanges are the deadliest. Diamond and cloverleaf structure can be difficult to navigate, as are freeway on-ramps.
Your Rights as an Injured Victim
Maryland law protects your interests as a victim of any type of crash, including wrong way collisions. You may be entitled to recover:
- Economic damages, including medical bills, lost income, and out-of-pocket costs;
- Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other subjective losses.
When drunk driving, reckless conduct, or other outrageous acts are a factor in a car crash, it may be possible to recover exemplary damages. These amounts are in addition to your economic and non-economic damages. Instead of compensating you for your losses, exemplary damages are punitive in nature. They are intended to penalize the other motorist for bad behavior. Exemplary damages also serve to discourage other drivers from engaging in horrible misconduct.
Maryland law is very restrictive on this category of damages, so they are only available in extreme cases. A jury is responsible for deciding whether you can receive punitive damages.
Set Up a Free Consultation with a Baltimore County, MD Auto Accidents Lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in any type of car crash, an attorney can help get the compensation you deserve. Filing a claim with an insurance company is complex and going to court is even more complicated. For more information, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman to schedule a no-cost case review at our offices in Owings Mills, MD.