Recently, a woman who was convicted following a Maryland drunk driving accident was sentenced to a prison term of 20 years, with all but six years of the sentence being suspended. As a result, the woman will serve six years in jail for killing two people in a March 27, 2021, DUI accident.
The accident occurred near the intersection of Darnestown Road and Blackberry Drive, in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Evidently, the woman was speeding and under the influence of alcohol when she crashed her BMW into the couple’s Toyota RAV 4, killing the couple and their dog, who was also in the vehicle. The woman accepted responsibility, pleading guilty to several serious felonies and, in early February of this year, was sentenced. The sentencing judge accepted the prosecutor’s recommended sentence of 20 years in prison with all but six years suspended followed by five years of probation.
Criminal Cases Following a Fatal DUI Accident
After a fatal drunk driving accident, grieving family members may not know where to turn for answers. However, it is important that families understand their options, because a criminal case against the driver does not necessarily mean that they will obtain the justice they are seeking.
Following a DUI accident, the driver responsible for the collision will often be arrested on criminal charges. Criminal charges are brought by local prosecutors on behalf of the residents of the state. The focus of a criminal investigation is to punish a person for violating the law. If a person is found guilty of causing a fatal accident, they may be sentenced to jail; however, criminal judges lack the ability to award any meaningful compensation the victims of a fatal Maryland DUI accident.
While this is a step in the right direction, many families who lost a loved one in a DUI accident encounter pressing financial needs that are unmet by a criminal case. In these situations, family members should not rely solely on a criminal case for justice—they should consider pursuing a Maryland wrongful death lawsuit.
What Is a Maryland Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case brought by the surviving loved ones of a deceased accident victim. Rather than punishing the drunk driver, a wrongful death case is focused on providing grieving family members with financial compensation in the wake of their loss. In most cases, it isn’t the drunk driver who is financially responsible for satisfying an award, but their insurance company. This ensures that there are adequate resources to pay a damages award in the result of a favorable verdict.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Maryland DUI Accident?
If you recently lost a family member in a drunk driving accident, reach out to the Maryland car accident lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, our compassionate team of drunk driving accident lawyers has decades of experience successfully pursuing claims on behalf of our many clients. We also offer free consultations to all prospective clients, during which we will answer all of your questions and explain the process in clear and understandable terms. To learn more, and to schedule your free consultation today call 800-654-4900, or contact us through our online form.