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    Can you sue if the drunk driver wasn't convicted

    Drinking and driving is a reckless choice that puts everyone on the road at risk. In South Carolina, there were 401 alcohol-impaired driving deaths in 2021, making up 33% of the state’s total fatal crashes. In Charleston County, there were 26 fatalities involving a driver with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit (.08%) and 330 non-fatal collisions.

    If you’re involved in an accident with a drunk driver, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Speak with our Lowcountry personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm today. We can investigate the crash, prove liability, and help you get financial support to help you recover.

    Joye Law Firm North Charleston Office Location

    5861 Rivers Ave
    North Charleston, SC 29406
    (843) 508-9015

    How Joye Law Firm Helps Drunk Driving Victims

    At Joye Law Firm, we understand the tremendous impact drunk driving accidents have on victims. We are dedicated to making at-fault parties answer for their dangerous behavior.

    In a recent case, a drunk driver in Berkeley County ran a red light at the intersection of Bridgetown Road and Old Monck’s Corner Road. Failing to yield, the driver T-boned the car of a young mother and her son as they were leaving church. The collision caused the mother serious injuries, including a herniated disc requiring surgery. Her recovery was not only physically demanding but also emotionally taxing as she battled anxiety and PTSD. Brent Arant Circle

    Attorney Brent Arant of our North Charleston office took charge of the case. He conducted an in-depth investigation and engaged in negotiations with the insurance companies. His efforts culminated in securing a settlement of $1.18 million for our client, allowing her to pay her extensive medical bills and move forward with her life.

    View More Results in Drunk Driving Cases

    Injuries Caused by Drunk Drivers in Charleston

    An impaired driver has a reduced capacity to control their vehicle safely. This often leads to more severe accidents compared to those involving a sober driver who can act to lessen the impact of the crash.

    Injuries frequently resulting from drunk driving accidents:

    • Head and Brain Injuries: Impact with steering wheels or windows can cause concussions or more severe brain damage, impairing cognitive functions. This can lead to long-term cognitive impairments and the need for ongoing therapy.Contact Joye Law Firm
    • Broken bones: The force of a collision often results in fractured arms, legs, or ribs, especially in high-speed impacts typical of drunk driving crashes. These injuries may require surgeries and lengthy periods of rehabilitation.
    • Spinal Cord Injuries: Accidents caused by drunk driving often result in serious spinal injuries, which can lead to permanent paralysis due to sudden and violent impacts. These injuries can be life-altering, requiring ongoing care for a lifetime.
    • Contact Joye Law FirmInternal Injuries: The violent jolts in a crash can cause internal bleeding or organ damage, a common result of high-speed collisions caused by impaired drivers. These injuries can be life-threatening and often require emergency medical intervention.
    • Emotional Trauma: Survivors may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression stemming from the traumatic and often chaotic nature of drunk driving incidents. The psychological impact can affect relationships, employment, and well-being, requiring professional mental health support.

    What Financial Compensation Can Drunk Driving Victims Receive?

    Victims of drunk driving accidents often face severe physical and financial challenges. At Joye Law Firm, we can help you seek compensation that covers these losses. Our team can pursue the following damages on your behalf:

    Medical Expenses:
    This covers everything from immediate emergency attention to any medical needs you might have in the future because of the accident. Severe accidents may cause injuries that require surgeries, rehab, and other ongoing treatment.
    Lost Wages:
    Compensation for lost wages includes the paychecks you’ve missed while recovering. Our attorneys will calculate any lost future earnings if you’re unable to return to work due to your injuries. We will also investigate the potential that you must switch to a lower-paying job due to a change in your abilities.
    Pain and Suffering:
    This compensates you for the physical pain and emotional distress experienced as a result of the accident. It recognizes the non-economic impact of your injuries on your quality of life.
    Punitive Damages:
    In South Carolina, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the offender for reckless behavior and serve as a deterrent. These are limited to $500,000 or three times the compensatory damages awarded in your case.
    Property Damage:
    Due to the severe nature of crashes caused by impaired drivers, property is often damaged to the point of needing repair or replacement. This can include your car, the contents of your car, and even buildings. Even if you are not injured, if you experienced property damage caused by a drunk driver, we can help you recover compensation.

    Holding a Drunk Driving Liable for Injuries

    To secure compensation in a drunk driving case, you must demonstrate that the drunk driver’s negligence led to your injuries. It doesn’t matter if they’re criminally charged for DUI or not; you’ll need to prove their reckless behavior led to the crash and your injuries.

    This means you have to prove that it’s more likely than not that the defendant is at fault for your injuries. This is what’s called a preponderance of the evidence. At Joye Law Firm, our seasoned attorneys will investigate the specifics of your accident, identify who’s at fault, and work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. Here’s our approach:

    • Collect Police Reports: We get the official police report to confirm the details of the accident and the driver’s condition at the time.
    • Talk to Witnesses: We speak with witnesses to determine what happened based on their recollections of the crash.
    • Analyze Traffic and Dash Camera Footage: We secure footage from any nearby cameras to visually document the moments leading up to the crash.
    • Obtain Receipts for Alcohol Purchases: We gather receipts to prove the driver’s alcohol consumption at bars or restaurants before driving.
    • Review BAC Test Results: We examine the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test results to determine their level of impairment. If the driver was charged or convicted of DUI, this information can strengthen your case.
    • Examine Medical Records: We examine your medical records to connect your injuries to the accident.
    • Engage Experts for Analysis: We enlist experts to provide authoritative insights into how the accident happened and its effects. These experts can include accident reconstructionists, economists, vocational experts, and medical professionals with expertise in injuries like yours.

    Steps to Take Immediately After a Drunk Driving Accident

    Following a drunk driving accident, the steps you take can protect your right to compensation and your health. Here are the actions to take after an accident:

    • Ensure Safety: If you are able, move to a safe spot away from traffic to avoid any additional injuries.
    • Seek Medical Attention: Seek medical attention immediately, even if your injuries seem minor. Some internal injuries might not show symptoms right away. Getting checked out ensures you receive the necessary care and links your injuries directly to the accident.
    • Document the Scene: Capture photos and videos of the accident site, vehicles, and any visible injuries. This visual evidence can be crucial in building a solid case for compensation.
    • Contact Law Enforcement: Call the police so they can file a report on the accident. This report is vital to your case, and reporting an injury accident is also required by law.
    • Gather Witness Information: Collect the contact details of any witnesses to the accident. Their accounts can later be used to strengthen your claim through testimonies.

    You Have the Right to Be Compensated for Your Injuries

    If a drunk driver in Berkley, Colleton, Beaufort, and other surrounding counties has injured you or someone you care about, you’re entitled to compensation. At Joye Law Firm, we’ve been defending the rights of accident victims since 1968. With our extensive experience and legal expertise, we can help ensure you receive a fair settlement following an accident with a drunk driver.

    Choosing a law firm to represent you after a major accident is an important decision. Our consultations are always free, allowing you to receive legal advice without making a commitment. If you decide to hire us to represent you, we offer a No Fee Guarantee meaning we never charge a legal fee unless we recover money for you.

    Our team has garnered accolades from esteemed merit and peer-reviewed organizations. Multiple Joye Law Firm attorneys receive recognition from entities including Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers each year. Our attorneys actively contribute to local and state boards, exemplifying our dedication to improving outcomes for victims of negligence state-wide. Notably, Partner Mark Joye leads as President of the Charleston County Bar Association, while Attorney Sydney Lynn presides over the South Carolina Advocates for Justice.

    Schedule your free case evaluation now! Discover your legal options and take the first step toward securing the compensation you deserve. Act now – your rights matter!

    Originally published January 20, 2021, revised May 23, 2024.

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