DUI Accidents Lawyers
There’s no excuse for getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while impaired. But people still do it with alarming regularity. Each day in this country, about 37 people lose their lives in drunk driving crashes. That’s one person every 39 minutes. And these collisions are entirely preventable.
If you or someone you love has been hit by an impaired driver, your life has probably changed in the blink of an eye. As the victim of a DUI accident, you have the right to pursue just compensation and closure. We can help.
At Johannesmeyer & Sawyer, PLLC, our South Carolina DUI accident lawyers understand how devastating these crashes and what comes after them can be. We will diligently fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Drunk Driving Accidents and South Carolina Law
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, nearly 22,000 DUI arrests are made in this state annually. South Carolina law prohibits a person from driving while under the influence of alcohol. If a person has a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher, it’s assumed that they are driving under the influence.
A person convicted of DUI is likely to face fines, imprisonment, and loss of their driving privileges. If a DUI leads to an accident with injuries or death, the penalties are elevated substantially.
As an innocent victim in one of these accidents, you’re likely angry and frustrated. While you might achieve some justice knowing the driver was charged with a crime, this does little to make up for the fact that you are injured and facing months or years of expenses.
Fortunately, you have another way to achieve justice after one of these tragedies. The law also allows accident victims to file a personal injury claim. The party responsible for the accident and your injuries should be held financially accountable for your damages.
Proving Liability in South Carolina DUI Accident Cases
The most challenging aspect of any impaired driving case is proving liability. As the injured party, you have the burden of proof, which doesn’t seem fair. It will be up to you and your legal counsel to offer evidence showing your damages were suffered due to the actions of another party. Specifically, you’ll need to demonstrate that your damages were caused by a drunk driver’s negligence. There are two different types of liabilities in DUI accident cases.
Driving after consuming alcohol, even in moderation, is a poor choice. Alcohol has been proven to slow motor skills and impair judgment. These effects, which begin with the first drink, can be dangerous when a person is behind the wheel of a vehicle or operating any type of heavy equipment. Evidence of alcohol impairment in a drunk driving accident case might include:
- Photographic or video evidence of alcohol consumption
- Witness statements about alcohol consumption
- Erratic pre-crash behavior and driving
- Display of physical symptoms, such as bloodshot eyes
- Lab tests showing elevated blood alcohol content (BAC)
- Arrest for driving under the influence (DUI)
What about the restaurant, bar, or liquor store that overserved alcohol to the defendant and then knowingly allowed them to drive away? Some states have dram shop laws addressing this. While South Carolina doesn’t specifically have these laws, you can still file a third-party liability case against these parties citing South Carolina’s common law of negligence or criminal code, which prohibits the sale of alcohol to an intoxicated person.
Unfortunately, many individual drivers in South Carolina only carry minimum auto insurance coverage limits. But establishments that sell and serve alcoholic beverages must carry a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance. If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, our firm will always investigate whether third-party liability played a role in your accident.
Getting the Compensation You Deserve After a South Carolina DUI Accident
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to the negligence of an impaired driver, you have the right to file a personal injury claim. In the aftermath of one of these accidents, you may be struggling with ongoing pain and medical treatment and facing a pile of unpaid bills. You shouldn’t have to deal with these burdens on your own. The types of compensation you can seek in a DUI accident case include:
- Medical bills — This includes past, present, and future medical costs related to your injury, such as doctor visits, hospital stays, surgery, physical therapy, medication, counseling, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages — If you had to miss work due to your injury, you can claim lost wages as well as any diminished future earning capacity.
- Property damage — You have the right to reimbursement for property damage resulting from the accident.
- Pain and suffering — DUI accident victims can claim compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by the accident.
- Wrongful death — If the accident resulted in the death of a loved one, the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit in South Carolina.
- Punitive damages — If the defendant’s actions were particularly reckless, you may be able to receive punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant.
In addition to providing liability, you will also need to justify damages in this type of case. Our seasoned DUI accident attorneys will build a compelling case on your behalf and will diligently advocate for your interests.
Contact an Experienced South Carolina DUI Accident Lawyer
The hard-working South Carolina DUI accident lawyers at Johannesmeyer & Sawyer, PLLC, are standing by to evaluate your case and outline your legal options. When you partner with us, we will conduct an independent investigation of your accident, collect evidence, and build a compelling damages claim. We won’t stop fighting for your interests.
We take DUI accident cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay us any attorney fees unless we win your case. We serve clients throughout the greater York County area from our offices in Fort Mill, Baxter Village, Lake Wylie, and Rock Hill. Please call (844) 843-1589 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.