Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) is even more dangerous when the driver is operating a large truck. Due to the size of a commercial truck, DUI accidents can lead to severe, multi-vehicle injuries on a busy road. When truck drivers cause a DUI accident, they may face both criminal and civil liability for their actions.
According to a recent news article, an intoxicated semi-truck driver killed one person in tragic DUI accident. The accident occurred at a busy intersection when the driver, who was also speeding, crashed into three cars stopped at a red light. The impact of the crash sent two of the vehicles flying into a nearby parking lot. The truck and one of the vehicles then caught on fire. Another vehicle crashed into a boulder. Sadly, one person died at the scene. Several others suffered serious injuries. Police believe the semi-truck driver was driving under the influence during the crash.
What Are the Differences Between Civil and Criminal DUI Cases?
Truck drivers who operate their vehicle under the influence may face criminal and civil cases against them. If they are convicted in a criminal case, they may serve time in prison or pay a fine. They may also be liable for damages in a civil negligence lawsuit. Victims of a DUI truck accident should know that a criminal case against the driver does not bar them from pursuing monetary damages. Criminal and civil cases are separate proceedings, and the outcome of one case does not bear on the other.
Even if a driver is found not guilty in a criminal case, they may still be liable for damages in a civil case. This is not uncommon given the lower standard of proof in a civil case. To prevail on a negligence claim, a plaintiff only needs to prove the defendant is liable by a “preponderance of the evidence.” This standard means that the plaintiff has shown it is more likely than not that the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries. On the other hand, the standard to impose a criminal conviction is much higher. The prosecution must prove the defendant is guilty of the DUI charge “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Unlike civil cases, a 51% likelihood of guilt will not suffice. Instead, every member of the jury must be certain that the defendant committed the crime. An experienced Maryland personal injury attorney can answer your questions about the standard of proof required to recover compensation for your harm.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland DUI Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or died in a Maryland DUI truck accident, contact the dedicated personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today. Our attorneys understand the physical and emotional harm that can result from a senseless DUI accident. Through our skilled and compassionate representation, we will fight to hold intoxicated drivers accountable for their harm. Our attorneys have recovered significant compensation on our clients’ behalf. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today, call (800) 654-1949 or use our online contact form.