There was a terrible car accident in Wheaton, Maryland on Monday May 23, 2011. A married couple was crossing the street when they were struck by a BMW believed to have been driven by Pierre Michel who lives in Silver Spring. Our thoughts and prayers go to the families of those involved.
The families of the persons involved in this Maryland car crash should know that they are likely entitled to personal injury protection benefits (PIP Benefits) from the insurance policy that covered the BMW that struck the people, and that this benefit covers at least up to $2,500.00 in funeral expenses (PIP benefits also cover medical expenses and lost wages). For more information about Maryland PIP benefits see the PIP page of our website. PIP benefits are generally available immediately and are obviously in addition to compensation the families may be entitied to as a result of the driver's negligence.
Christopher Forker was apparently also in the striking vehicle. As a result of the car striking the pedestrians, the wife was killed and the husband has terrible injuries for which he his being treated at Suburban Hospital (which-by the way-has an excellent trauma team). The driver of the BMW is said to have left the scene of the crash without stopping and will likely be arrested. When a crash like this happens, the families of those involved should consider taking immediate steps to have the accident investigated by an accident reconstructionist, and gathering evidence (such as photos of skid marks at the scene etc?). Skid marks fade and evidence can disappear. While it is true that the State of Maryland does its own accident reconstruction in most fatal car accident incidents, the quality and focus of their reconstruction often leaves a lot to be desired (some of the accident reconstructionists are very experienced but some are relative rookies and have not had adequate training to do a serious reconstruction in a wrongful death car accident case in Maryland). The bottom line is that the accident reconstruction efforts by the Maryland State Police are not focused on gathering evidence and preserving evidence that will be necessary to win a civil lawsuit if that becomes necessary.
It is disgraceful that the driver of the BMW left the scene of the crash without stopping. Of course it is possible that the driver was either intoxicated or under the influence of drugs and by not stopping, the police will never be able to prove that. Unfortunately, in Maryland, even if someone is intoxicated and totally drunk, they cannot be sued for punitive damages (unless they literally intentionally struck the pedestrian). This law needs to be changed. If someone leaves the scene of a serious car crash in Maryland without even stopping to see if the victims are ok then that person should indeed be exposed to punitive damages in a civil lawsuit.