South Carolina is one of the worst states for drunk driving fatalities, with 315 deaths due to drunk drivers in a single year, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
As much as 38 percent of all car accident deaths in South Carolina are related to drunk driving, and more than 1,900 people have died over the last five years due to impaired driving.
Victims injured in drunk driving accidents in South Carolina need a team of personal injury attorneys who will treat them with respect and handle their case with thoroughness to make sure they get all the compensation they are entitled to.
Drunk Driving Accident Claims in South Carolina
Driving while under the influence of alcohol is against the law in South Carolina if the motorist’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher, or if the motorist is impaired and unable to drive safely due to drugs or alcohol.
Driving under the influence is considered unreasonably dangerous. This means that a drunk driver may be held legally liable for accidents that result from the drunk driving, regardless of whether he or she is above the legal limit.
Drunk Drivers Can Be Held Liable for Injuries
If an injured accident victim or the close relative of someone who was killed can prove the drunk driver was to blame, the intoxicated motorist who caused the accident may be held responsible for:
- Medical bills resulting from the accident, including future treatments for any lasting injuries.
- Compensation for pain and suffering, which includes payment for any reduction in the accident victim’s quality of life.
- Compensation for emotional distress resulting from the accident or injuries.
- Payment of lost wages, including compensation for any future reduction in income or earning potential that the accident caused.
In some cases, drunk drivers may also have to pay additional damages, called “punitive damages.” These are not available in all car accident claims, but may be appropriate when the defendant’s behavior was egregiously reckless and likely to cause serious harm, and when the judge or jury believes that punitive damages are appropriate as a means to deter future wrongdoing and punish the defendant.
In some cases, motorists do not have any insurance or not enough insurance to cover the total losses that arise from the drunk driving crash they caused. Those who have been injured or lost a close relative may have other options for recovering compensation in these situations.
South Carolina Dram Shop Laws
One option may be a dram shop liability claim. Dram shop laws in South Carolina may allow bars, restaurants, and stores that serve or provide alcohol to intoxicated patrons to be held responsible for car accident losses under certain circumstances.
Joye Law Firm has handled dram shop actions, including a case that resulted in a $3.5 million settlement for a young woman who sustained severe head injuries in a car crash caused by a minor who had been improperly sold alcohol by a convenience store.
Uninsured Drunk Driver? File a UM/UIM Claim
Another potential option is to make an uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) claim with your own insurer if the drunk driver had insufficient insurance or no insurance at all.
Your policy may allow your insurance company to stand in for the drunk driver and pay for losses the intoxicated motorist should have covered but did not have the money or coverage to pay.
Hurt By A Drunk Driver In South Carolina? We Can Help.
At Joye Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys are committed to our clients. With nearly 250 years of combined litigation experience, some of our car accident attorneys have received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and several have been recognized as Super Lawyers.
Results our attorneys have secured for previous clients include a $5.9 million settlement for a client who suffered brain injuries in a wreck, a $1.15 million settlement for the family of a man killed in a car accident, and a $500,000 verdict for a man whose back was injured in a collision.
While every case is different, and past results are in no way intended to guarantee that a similar result can be obtained in another case, past results obtained by a law firm are an indication of the firm’s experience when it comes to serious injury and wrongful death cases.
For more details about the results obtained for previous Joye Law Firm clients, please click on the Results tab on our home page.
Contact Our Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys
At Joye Law Firm, we are ready to put our legal experience to work on your case. If you’ve been seriously injured in a South Carolina DUI accident, you can count on our car accident lawyers to give you the respect you deserve and work to get the money and benefits you are entitled to.