Serious injuries or even death can occur any time an automobile driver makes an error in judgment. South Carolina recognizes this fact, and under South Carolina Code 56-5-1210, drivers have certain responsibilities if a collision results in death or personal injury.

All drivers must immediately stop their vehicles after an accident. Sometimes it isn’t feasible to halt the car right at the scene. So South Carolina allows drivers to park as close to the accident as possible without hindering traffic.

Once the driver who caused the accident has come to a stop, leaving the scene is prohibited until all requirements of the code have been met. However, there is one exception to this rule. If it is necessary to exit the area in order to inform authorities of the car crash, the driver is allowed to take this action.

Law enforcement officials who arrive at the accident are authorized to move the vehicles and any debris to make sure the area is safe for traffic. But it should be noted that if an accident has caused severe injuries or death, nothing may be removed from the scene until the investigating officer has approved the removal.

If the driver who instigated a collision ignores this code, different kinds of penalties apply, depending on the nature of the accident.

A driver who is found guilty of a misdemeanor may face:

  • Imprisonment of no less than 30 days and no more than 1 year;
  • Fines of no less than $100.00 and no more than $5,000.00;
  • Or both prison time and fines, if resulting injuries are not considered severe.

A driver who is found guilty of a felony due to causing great bodily injury may face:

  • Imprisonment of no less than 30 days and no more than 10 years; and
  • Fines of no less than $5,000.00 and no more than $10,000.00.

A driver who is found guilty of a felony due to causing any fatalities may face:

  • Imprisonment of no less than 1 year and no more than 25 years; and
  • Fines of no less than $10,000.00 and no more than $25,000.00.

Car accidents can cause devastating injuries and mounting medical bills. But our attorneys at the Joye Law Firm are here to help. Please contact us for a free consultation at 877-941-2615 to discuss the details of your car accident or fill out our convenient online form today.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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