When a person drinks and drives, they become a danger to themselves and other road users. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol inhibits cognitive functions, lowers one’s reaction time, and slows one’s reflexes. Although drunk driving is a crime in the state of South Carolina, this does not stop many people from engaging in this type of reckless behavior.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a drunk driving accident, a drunk driving accident lawyer in North Charleston can explain the process of recovering fair compensation. After an accident, consider calling George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers. We can start protecting your rights and legal interests once we learn more about the details of your situation.
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Injuries Caused by Drunk Driving in South Carolina
According to the NHTSA, in 2018, drunk driving caused one traffic fatality every 50 minutes, accounting for nearly 30 deaths each day. Whether you were injured as a driver, bicyclist, pedestrian, or otherwise, you may be dealing with serious life-altering injuries.
Some common injuries that result from drunk driving car accidents include:
- Spinal cord injuries that may lead to a temporary or permanent disability
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) may lead to the loss of certain functions, like memory and speech
- Head and face injuries that may lead to permanent scarring
- Broken bones that impede your ability to provide for yourself and live independently
- Cuts and lacerations that may be caused by shrapnel or broken glass
- Psychological trauma, such as anxiety, depression, or the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
You may be dealing with other injuries than those listed here. We encourage you to talk to a doctor regarding your condition. Not only does this work to promote your health, but the documents you collect during your treatment can work to benefit your case.
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Liability and Evidence for Drunk Driving Accidents
A drunk driver who causes a crash in South Carolina may face civil and criminal charges for their actions. Criminal and civil cases work differently. To secure a conviction in a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed a crime.
Conversely, to recover compensation in a civil case, your legal team must prove that because the at-fault motorist violated their duty of care, they caused your financial losses. Most personal injury cases do not go to court, even those that include drunk drivers. Your lawyer will work to settle your case with the liable insurance company before deciding to file a lawsuit.
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How a North Charleston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help
Your North Charleston drunk driving accident attorney will present the insurance company with the following forms of evidence:
- The official police report
- Eyewitness accounts
- Photos of the accident scene
- Accident reconstruction expert testimony
- The at-fault motorist’s driving history
- Any pending charges against the other driver
- Traffic camera footage, if available
- Your medical records
Speak with a North Charleston drunk driving accident attorney to learn more about how your lawyer will fight for the compensation you deserve. A member of our legal team can address your concerns and questions.
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South Carolina’s Comparative Negligence Laws
You may be entitled to compensation if a drunk driver has injured you. South Carolina Code of Laws § 15-38-15 allows you to recover damages even if you were partially responsible for the accident. In that case, your recoverable damages will be reduced proportionally to your degree of responsibility. Just because the other driver was drunk at the time of the crash does not automatically make them one hundred percent responsible for your damages.
For instance, let’s say that you were given 10% fault for the accident and the other driver 90% fault. Perhaps your damages totaled $10,000. In this situation, you would be able to recover $9,000 because you were also responsible for the collision in some capacity.
Depending on the details of your case, it is also possible to sue more than one party whose negligence contributed to the crash. For instance, if the drunk driver was a minor, the person who gave them alcohol may be liable under South Carolina’s dram shop liability laws.
There may be many complexities surrounding your personal injury case. Still, our drunk driving accident attorneys in North Charleston can guide you through the financial recovery process.
Recoverable Damages in a North Charleston Accident Case
The types of economic and non-economic damages you can recover will rest on the specifics of your case. The cost of your medical bills, the extent of your vehicle’s damage, and the amount of time you missed from work will factor into the value of your case.
You may be able to recover the cost of the following damages:
- Medical expenses, both present and future
- Rehabilitative care
- Loss of income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish or emotional distress
- Property damage
Your lawyer can explain what other damages you may be entitled to. They can also review the details of your health care and auto insurance policies to see if you have any coverage options. This could work to reduce the cost of your collision-related damages.
Explore Your Financial Recovery Options Today
If you or a loved one has been injured because of a drunk driving accident, it is normal to be angry and overwhelmed. Right now, you have the chance to partner with our North Charleston drunk driving accident attorneys at no out-of-pocket cost to you. At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we work on a contingency-fee basis.
You do not have to worry about the cost of representation when you team up with us. We only get paid our attorney’s fees if we successfully resolve your drunk driving-related accident case.
As personal injury lawyers, we have the resources on hand to pursue justice and fair compensation on your behalf. Call us today to begin a free case evaluation.
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