Columbia Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys
Drunk Driving Accident Claims in South Carolina
The dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol are well documented. Drunk driving accidents are extremely damaging. The consequences of one person’s bad decision can leave a victim with significant injuries, financial damages, and strain on every area of their life.
The Columbia drunk driving accident lawyers of Woron and Dhillon, LLC are committed to representing people who have been injured because of the careless actions of others. We can assist you with filing a claim and will help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Drunk Driving Accident Statistics
Although most people know that drunk driving is dangerous, the behavior is surprisingly common. Despite the facts, many people feel that they will not be another statistic. Statistics, however, show just how many people make the decision to drive, illegally, while under the influence of alcohol.
Approximately 10,511 people died in drunk driving accidents in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The equates to about 30 people dying every single day, or one death every 50 minutes. The impact of losing a loved one because of the carelessness and recklessness of a drunk driver can be devastating. Holding drunk drivers accountable is a difficult but important journey to undertake,
What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident
Following a drunk driving accident, you must follow the same steps you should follow after any collision: Get medical care as soon as possible, report the accident, speak to witnesses, and take photos of the accident scene if you are able to do so. However, it may be more difficult to complete some of these necessary steps if the other driver was under the influence.
Can You Report a Drunk Driver After They’ve Left?
The simple answer is yes. The drunk driver may drive away after the collision, could be incoherent, or they may be unwilling to give you their insurance information. This can complicate the claims process. If you report the accident, the police may be able to recover this information. Or, you could be contacted by the insurance company if the at-fault driver does eventually speak to them.
How Does the Insurance Process Work?
South Carolina is a fault-based state. Therefore, people who are injured in car accidents must file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company in order to recover compensation.
Typically, the people who were involved in a collision will exchange information. If you were not at fault for the accident, you will contact the other driver’s insurance company or wait for them to contact you. Filing a claim will involve providing information about the events of the accident and your injuries.
If you were injured by a drunk driver, you may not receive the other driver’s information right away. Again, it is possible that their insurance company will contact you later on. If not, you may need to rely on the police to recover this information. Your own insurance policy could potentially cover the damages if you have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection, or another plan that accounts for your own losses. If you do not receive insurance coverage, you may be able to pursue legal action.
How Do Criminal Charges Affect a Drunk Driving Accident Case?
Drunk driving is against the law, and it is possible that the person who is at fault for your injuries is also facing criminal charges. It is important to remember that any criminal charges will be completely separate from your civil case. It is possible that criminal charges will not impact your claim at all. However, criminal charges can substantiate your claim that the other driver caused your injuries.
In criminal cases there is the opportunity for punitive damages to be awarded to the victim or the victims family. A punitive award is designed as a punishment for the defendant to deter them from committing similar actions again in the future. Punitive damages can be complex to get. In South Carolina, the plaintiff must prove through “clear and convincing evidence” that the defendant's behavior was reckless or negligent and caused the injury. When determining if punitive damages can be awarded, the judge will look at:
The severity of the victims injuries
The defendants level of intoxication
The defendants liability for the accident
The defendants history and past convictions, if any
Drunk Driving Limit
In South Carolina you are considered under the influence if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. However, if your BAC is between 0.05% to 0.08%, you could still be considered under the influence. Different types of alcohol have various effects, and alcohol affects everyone differently. This means “just having a couple beers” could very well increase a person’s BAC to higher than 0.08%.
Contact Us to Schedule a Free Consultation
We are available to discuss the details of your case. We understand how damaging drunk driving collisions can be, and are dedicated to helping you recover the compensation you deserve and getting the help you need.
“I highly recommend Brett Woron. He goes above and beyond for his clients. If you are seeking an attorney, he is the one.”- Philip T.
“Best Experience I’ve had with a lawyer! He was very professional and cares about his clients. I highly recommend him to my family and friends. If you are looking for representation, he’s your man!”- Chelsea B.
“Brett Woron is a very amazing attorney. I wouldn't choose anyone else. He truly made us feel like he was on our side, the entire time. Thank you Brett for making this process as easy as possible.”- Kimberly R.