Georgetown Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys
We all know that too many families have to suffer the tragic aftermath of accidents caused by drunk drivers. There is no negligence as blatant as getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. Drunk drivers take a calculated risk by driving under the influence, leaving the health and safety of others on the road up to chance. These accidents change countless lives in an instant, making them especially troubling to deal with alone.
At Evans Moore, LLC, our Georgetown drunk driving accident lawyers have witnessed firsthand the devastation that these tragedies force on families, and we are prepared to fight for the restitution you deserve. While we regret you have had to endure such terrible circumstances, our legal team is committed to obtaining the financial restitution that will make it easier for you to heal. We can fight for compensation for your medical bills, recovery treatment, unearned wages, pain and suffering, and emotional anguish.
Call us today at (843) 995-5000 for a free consultation if you were the victim of a drunk driving car crash.
Drunk Driving Car Accident Statistics
In the United States, around 30 people die every day because of a drunk driver. Although the numbers have dropped over the last several decades, drunk driving accidents cause more than 10,000 fatalities each year. It’s an unfortunate statistic considering how easy it is to prevent this type of tragedy. In 2018 alone, 10,511 people lost their lives in a drunk driving accident. Additionally, of all traffic-related fatalities, 29% involved someone who was impaired by alcohol.
According to data collected by The Zebra:
- People between 25 and 39 years of age were the most likely to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. They came in at 35.8%, while only 14.1% of baby boomers (aged 55 to 75) admitted to drinking and driving.
- 20.1% of people between the ages of 35 and 44 know someone who died in a drunk driving accident.
- In a survey of college students, 37.4% believed they could drive safely after consuming three or four alcoholic beverages.
- In 2017, individuals with a blood alcohol content (BAC) lower than the legal limit caused car crashes that resulted in 2,000 fatalities.
Although everyone knows the dangers of driving under the influence, people continue to do it. If you encounter a drunk driver on the road, maintain a safe distance, and call 911. Don’t engage and try to get them to pull over. You could end up putting yourself at risk of harm. Stay away from their vehicle and let law enforcement handle it.
Common Injuries Associated With Drunk Driving Accidents
People impaired by alcohol typically exhibit other dangerous behaviors while operating their vehicles. They might speed, weave in and out of traffic, or become distracted by their cell phone. Some even fall asleep at the wheel. When they lose control and cause an accident, they could collide with the front, side, or rear of your car. This often results in severe injuries and fatalities.
The most common injuries victims of drunk driving crashes sustain include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Psychological damage, such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Loss of limb
- Broken bones
- Lacerations and wounds
You shouldn’t bear the responsibility for the suffering you had to endure. Evans Moore, LLC will help you hold the drunk driver accountable for their actions. Whether you want to file an insurance claim or lawsuit, we’ll fight for the justice and financial compensation you deserve.
How to Seek An Insurance Settlement After a Drunk Driving Accident
In terms of car accidents, South Carolina follows a traditional fault system. That means the at-fault party automatically becomes financially liable for the injured victim’s losses. You can pursue a settlement by filing an insurance claim with their auto insurance company.
All motorists must carry auto insurance with minimum liability limits. Those limits include:
- Bodily injury: Minimum of $25,000 to cover losses associated with the injury or death of an individual
- Property damage: Minimum of $25,000 to cover damage to the victim’s vehicle and personal property
Damages refer to the expenses and losses suffered after an accident or injury. When you file a liability claim, you can pursue the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Out of pocket costs
- Lost wages
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
Unfortunately, there are times when the at-fault driver doesn’t carry insurance even though it’s a legal requirement. If you discover that the drunk driver doesn’t have liability coverage, you can file a claim with your auto insurance company.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) is another type of required insurance that provides compensation to an accident victim if:
- The at-fault party doesn’t hold liability insurance;
- The liability limits aren’t high enough to cover all losses; or
- A hit-and-run driver caused the accident.
When you file a UM claim, you can attempt to recover the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Out of pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Car repair or replacement costs
Another form of coverage you might have on your auto insurance policy is known as MedPay (medical payments). Coverage isn’t mandatory, but all insurance companies must offer it to their policyholders. If it’s included in your policy, you could file a claim for reimbursement of the costs associated with medical treatment.
The limits are typically between $1,000 and $5,000. Your doctors will submit your bills to the insurance company for the upfront payment of your treatment. Coverage will cease once you reach the limit you chose to purchase.
While it is unquestionable that the intoxicated driver is fully responsible for any injuries they cause on the road, there may be a third party from whom you are entitled to claim additional restitution. In South Carolina, bartenders and party hosts are prohibited from serving alcohol to patrons who were previously intoxicated, meaning these third parties may be found negligent if they served alcohol to the person who caused your injuries. Third party claims include:
- Dram Shop Liability
- Social Host Liability
Because there is no fixed statute in South Carolina addressing third party claims, they are decided on a case-by-case basis. Knowing the full scope of your legal options can be confusing, but a well-versed Georgetown drunk driving accident attorney at Evans Moore, LLC can fight aggressively for every avenue of restitution you to which you are entitled.
Pursuing Compensation in a Civil Lawsuit
Filing an insurance claim isn’t your only option for seeking a monetary award after a drunk driving accident. You could choose to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault motorist. Their actions were entirely reckless and caused significant harm. You shouldn’t suffer the consequences of their decision to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.
If you want to sue the other driver for damages, there’s a strict deadline you must follow known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations in South Carolina is three years. That means you have three years from the accident date to file; otherwise, you’ll lose your right to financial compensation in this legal matter.
Besides pursuing economic damages, such as medical bills, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, you can also seek punitive damages. Instead of compensating you for your losses, it’s a form of punishment against the at-fault party and aims to deter similar behavior in the future.
Claiming punitive damages in a lawsuit is a complicated process. Your Georgetown drunk driving accident lawyer from Evans Moore, LLC can help you with this aspect of your case. A jury will only consider this financial award if:
- You won compensation for economic and non-economic damages earlier in the trial;
- You can provide clear and convincing evidence of the at-fault driver’s wanton, willful, or reckless conduct; and
- The drunk driver should be held liable for the harm they caused.
Contact a Georgetown Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
Drunk driving accidents are completely preventable, so reckless individuals who put the safety of others at risk deserve to be held accountable for the injuries they cause. At Evans Moore, LLC, our resourceful legal team can prove a negligent driver caused your injuries and aggressively pursue compensation for the many losses you have suffered. This accident is burdensome, but you don’t have to go through it alone.
Our Georgetown drunk driving accident lawyers grew up in South Carolina. We have a strong connection to our community and care about the people who hire us. Since opening our practice in 2010, we’ve built a solid reputation for advocating for our clients and winning their cases. We’ve received awards and recognition from prestigious legal organizations, including Super Lawyers, the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, and American Society of Legal Advocates Top 40 Lawyers Under 40.
If you sustained injuries in a drunk driving accident, contact our Georgetown offices at (843) 995-5000 for compassionate and effective representation in your case.