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    Highway sign for i-526 North Charleston East

    Dillon Wright’s small passenger vehicle didn’t stand a chance when a commercial truck hauling heavy machinery barreled across the grass median on I-526, causing a head-on crash. What should’ve been a routine trip down I-526 East instead resulted in a traumatic brain injury and numerous broken bones. While lucky to have survived, his injuries required a prolonged hospital stay, multiple surgeries, and extensive physical therapy, resulting not only in medical expenses, but also costly time away from work.

    Fortunately, Dillon’s family knew who they could turn to for justice. Joye Law Firm fought to preserve evidence that would’ve been destroyed and used it to build the strongest case possible. Ultimately, we secured a multi-million dollar settlement for Dillon. Formerly the family breadwinner, we ensured Dillon’s settlement was enough to cover his past and future medical expenses, and allowed him to forge a new future.

    Unfortunately, crashes like Dillon’s are too common on Interstate 526, the partial beltway around Charleston, South Carolina. The “Mark Clark Expressway,” or simply the “Mark Clark” as it is commonly called, currently runs from the Savannah Highway in West Ashley to Johnnie Dodds Blvd in Mt. Pleasant, with discussions to extend it west to Johns Island and across to the James Island Connector. Despite being a vital transportation hub, it has earned a grim reputation for being a dangerous road. In 2021 alone, I-526 saw 735 collisions, including 169 with injuries and one tragic fatality.

    Since 1968, Joye Law Firm has been a champion for auto accident victims throughout South Carolina. Our experienced car accident attorneys fight tirelessly to protect the rights of those injured in collisions on I-526 and the state’s other dangerous highways and roads. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial burdens an auto accident can cause. Our team is dedicated to holding negligent parties accountable, navigating complex insurance negotiations, and securing the compensation our clients deserve.

    Key Factors Contributing to I-526 Accidents

    I-526 is a vital transportation artery of the state. It’s essential for commuters, visitors, the movement of freight, and access to the busy Port of Charleston terminals alike. The corridor is notorious for congestion, with the I-526/I-26 interchange being an especially frustrating chokepoint for drivers.A steady flow of semis lead the way down a busy interstate highway

    In May of 2024, the Port of Charleston was closed for two days due to a software malfunction. The abrupt halt in access to the port wreaked havoc on this vital road as 18-wheelers lined the shoulders, creating dangerous conditions for all drivers.

    Some portions of I-526, such as the section from W. Montague Avenue to I-26, receive more than 80,000 vehicles per day, according to SCDOT Annual Average Daily Traffic calculations. As the demand for capacity grows, driven by both the increase in daily traffic and the commercial needs of the port terminals, so too do the risks of motor vehicle accidents.

    The high number of accidents on I-526 isn’t due to a single factor, however. A complex mix of elements contributes to the dangers that drivers face, including the road’s design, traffic patterns, and even the weather.

    • Design and Infrastructure: On I-526, factors like the road’s slope, curve visibility, and the inadequacy of signs and lane markings can make navigation challenging. Roads designed decades ago for less traffic struggle to cope with today’s volumes, leading to dangerous conditions. Poor road maintenance and potholes further decrease safety on the interstate.
    • Traffic Volume and Patterns: Heavy traffic and changing traffic patterns contribute significantly to accidents on I-526. The route sees a mix of slow-moving jams and fast-paced flows, especially during peak hours, making it prone to collisions. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, the majority of traffic collisions occur Monday – Friday between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., when individuals are commuting home. Additionally, driver behavior in traffic, ranging from distraction to aggression, exacerbates risks.
    • Environmental and Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions, like rain and fog, greatly impact the safety of I-526. Rain slickens surfaces and reduces traction, while fog severely limits visibility. These conditions are especially dangerous on routes like I-526 with high traffic volumes and speed limits, where some drivers may fail to adjust their speed appropriately.
    • Construction: The SCDOT has identified the 23-mile corridor as one of the state’s most congested interstates and a top priority for improvement. While long-term improvements might help reduce accidents, short-term changes can actually create more dangerous situations for motorists. In addition to a possible expansion, other fixes are currently being studied. The corridor is divided into two projects: I-526 Lowcountry Corridor West and East. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is underway for the West project, from Paul Cantrell Boulevard in West Ashley to Virginia Avenue in North Charleston. The East project, currently in a Planning & Environment Linkages (PEL) study, extends from Virginia Avenue in North Charleston to U.S. Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant.

    Legal Considerations After an I-526 Collision

    The aftermath of a crash on I-526 can feel overwhelming and chaotic. However, taking the steps below can protect you both physically and legally:

    Ensure Safety and Call 911:
    If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road, out of the flow of traffic. Check yourself and others for injuries. Call 911 immediately so that injuries can be treated and a police report generated to document the accident.
    Document the Scene and Exchange Information:
    Take photos and video of the vehicles involved, any injuries, damage to property, road conditions, and relevant signage. Exchange information with others involved in the accident, including names, contact information, and license and insurance details. Obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses.
    Seek Medical Attention:
    Even if your injuries seem minor, get a medical evaluation. Some injuries don't manifest right away, and a medical report creates a link between the accident and any health issues that may crop up.
    Contact an Attorney:
    An experienced car accident attorney can help determine liability, navigate the complexities of insurance claims, and fight for the compensation you deserve.

    It’s important to note that South Carolina follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still be eligible for compensation.

    Compensation for I-526 Accident Victims

    Victims of accidents on I-526 may be entitled to various types of compensation, each addressing different types of losses they may suffer:

    • Medical Expenses: This covers all your healthcare-related costs stemming from the accident. Medical expenses include hospital stays, medications, rehabilitation, and any future medical care related to your injury.
    • Lost Wages: If the injury prevents you from working, you can claim compensation for lost wages. This includes lost future earning capacity if you can’t return to the same level of work as before the accident.
    • Pain and Suffering: Unlike tangible economic losses, pain and suffering compensation acknowledges the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident. This can include mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life, especially if you are unable to participate in the hobbies you once enjoyed due to your injury.
    • Property Damage: If the accident resulted in damage to personal property, such as your vehicle or personal belongings, compensation can cover repair or replacement costs.

    Compensation calculations aim to restore the victim to the financial position they would have been in if the accident had not occurred, or to the closest extent possible.

    The amount of compensation you are entitled to typically increases with more severe injuries, greater medical bills, more income lost, and a greater impact on quality of life.

    Contact Joye Law Firm Today

    Navigating the claims process and understanding the ins and outs of compensation can be incredibly challenging after a car crash. If you’ve been the victim of an accident on I-526 or another road around Charleston, choosing the right law firm is crucial. At Joye Law Firm, our consultations are always free, so you can get legal advice without commitment. If you hire us, our No Fee Guarantee means we won’t charge you any legal fees unless we recover money for you.

    Since opening our doors in North Charleston in 1968, we have recovered over half a billion in compensation for our clients. We’re ready to put that collective experience to work for you.

    Don’t pay for someone else’s negligence on the interstate. Reach out to Joye Law Firm today for a free consultation, and let us take the burden off your shoulders.

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    Gathering evidence in a claim