Drunk Driving Car Accidents: Does a Victim Need Their Own Lawyer?

Maryland Car Accident Attorney Seeks Compensation for Injuries

Video Transcript:

Gwen-Marie Davis Hicks: 

That's really important. To call right away and to get us on your side early on so that we can help you to get the best outcome and best recovery for your case.

Rob Rosenthal: 

So, if you're injured in a crash with a drunk driver, do you count on the District Attorney to look out for you? We're gonna find out the answer to that question and a bunch more right now, because that's what we're going to ask the lawyer. Hi again everybody. I'm Rob Rosenthal with askthelawyers.com. My guest is Maryland attorney Gwen-Marie Davis Hicks. Remember, I wanna remind you right off the top, if you wanna ask Gwen-Marie questions about your own situation, it's easy. You can go to askthelawyers.com, click the button up at the top that says Ask a Lawyer. It doesn't cost you anything to ask your question, or you can just call the phone number that you'll see on the screen during our conversation. Gwen-Marie, good to see you again. Thank you for making some time for us.

Gwen-Marie Davis Hicks: 

Absolutely, it's always a pleasure to see you.

Rob Rosenthal: 

So, let's talk about someone who's injured in a crash with a drunk driver. Can the injured person rely on the DA to help them recover any damages and that sort of thing?

Gwen-Marie Davis Hicks: 

No, the DA or in Maryland, we call it the Prosecutor's Office, is simply there for criminal charges. And here in Maryland, if you are injured by a drunk driver, you need to call a personal injury attorney to assist you, to help you to recover for damages that may occur under an event like that.

Rob Rosenthal: 

So, let's say someone's gonna do that. Let's say they're gonna contact you to help them. When do they do that, Gwen-Marie? Do they need to wait till after the criminal case is over and how that's been decided? What's the timing?

Gwen-Marie Davis Hicks: 

No, call right away. Oftentimes, there's critical evidence that is needed. And the sooner you call a competent attorney, the faster, and the better, and the more information and details that we can have to help to prove your case, and to help you recover. I mean, there's probably witnesses. All types of information that we need to get early on. So don't delay.

Rob Rosenthal: 

And let's say for some reason, the criminal case, the drunk driver for whatever reason isn't found guilty of drunk driving, does that have any basis on the civil case?

Gwen-Marie Davis Hicks: 

Not at all. Not at all. You could still go forward and pursue your civil case. I mean it separate and apart from. If the driving was negligent, you should be able to still recover for the damages involved in the case. There's also different evidence that you could talk about. For example, okay, so he did not get a guilty conviction, but a witness may say he smelled like alcohol, or the way he was driving seemed erratic or different adjectives to where the jury could infer different things from it. So either way, if there's negligence there, we want to help you to recover what you deserve.

Rob Rosenthal: 

Let's say, maybe, sort of the opposite. Let's say the other person was driving drunk, and they're convicted of drunk driving in the criminal court. Could that possibly increase the damages that would be available to the person injured?

Gwen-Marie Davis Hicks: 

Yes, it could. There's obviously a way to go about it because Defense Attorney's gonna try to keep all of that stuff out from evidence, but there's a lot of ways and factors that you could use for it to help your case. So again, it's really important to call right away and to get us on your side early on, so that we can help you to get the best outcome and best recover for your case. Period.

Rob Rosenthal: 

So, let's talk about that a little bit. Why is that so important? Why is it important to get somebody like yourself as early as possible, and what sort of things can you do for them?

Gwen-Marie Davis Hicks: 

Well, if you call one, we can get an investigator on the case right away. Often times, too, did you get witness statements? Sometimes you didn't, because often times you're taken right away to the ambulance before witnesses memories are typically fresh earliest immediately following a car collision, as you're describing here. So, it's good to be able to have an investigator or have a law firm to be able to talk to them, to be able to put stories together, to be able to talk to the police officer that investigated the scene. There's so many different factors. To be able to inspect the vehicle. Things like that early on, helps to make or break your case.

Gwen-Marie Davis Hicks: 

And sometimes, there may not be witnesses. I've had it in different scenarios where there was no witness. So, we're having to put different evidence together. And stuff like that is crucial. Was there video footage? Is our cameras nearby? Things like that are very important. And if you wait, for example, lawyer requests, it could be too late to get it, to get the video footage. It could be too late if the gas station nearby destroys their evidence after 30 days, but right away, you get on the case. You have... You could build your case so that you can obviously get the burden of proof to be able to prove your case. And we wanna gather all the evidence possible so that we can give you the best recovery possible.

Rob Rosenthal: 

Let's talk about... Sometimes unfortunately, drunk drivers will do... They'll leave the scene, hit and run. And maybe they aren't caught by the police. Could someone still have a case? Do they still need someone like yourself to help them in that sort of situation?

Gwen-Marie Davis Hicks: 

Yes, absolutely. Obviously, again, we would still try to investigate and see if you can find them. Also, too we would check to see if you have under-insured motorist coverage, or uninsured motorist coverage in this case. Uninsured... Of course, doesn't have insurance 'cause we don't know who hit you. So, you would be able to file a claim against your own insurance company early on. And they had an interest too, to help to see whether or not we can help locate the at-fault driver as well. Did somebody get a picture of a plate? Again, the video footage comes into play. You have so many factors. The earlier... The early bird gets the worm. And in this case. If you don't, for example, if you're hearing this and, "Oh man, it's been 30 days, or it's been a few days after, can I still call?" Absolutely, we can do what we can to help, but it's best if you call early on.

Rob Rosenthal: 

Lots of great, helpful information as always Gwen-Marie. Thank you for making some time to answer our questions.

Gwen-Marie Davis Hicks: 

Thank you for having me.

Rob Rosenthal: 

That's gonna do it for this episode of Ask The Lawyer. My guest has been attorney Gwen-Marie Davis Hicks from Maryland. Remember, if you wanna ask her questions of your own, it's easy to just go to askthelawyers.com, click the button up at the top that says Ask a Lawyer. It will walk you right through the process. And it doesn't cost anything to ask your questions. Thanks for watching, everybody. I'm Rob Rosenthal with Ask The Lawyers.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.


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