If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver, you might be owed compensation for your injuries. Every day, drivers hit the road with the hope that everyone around them will drive safely and follow the rules of the road. When someone chooses to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking alcohol, they are putting the lives of everyone around them at risk.
In South Carolina, there were 309 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in one recent year, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). Many additional people were injured in drunk driving crashes. This is unacceptable, and at Evans Moore, LLC, we are committed to seeking justice for injured victims.
Contact the Georgetown car accident lawyers of Evans Moore, LLC today at (843) 995-5000 for a consultation about your case.
Why You Need a Lawyer
The damage from a drunk driving car accident can be extensive. When the crash doesn’t result in a fatality, victims may sustain severe injuries that change their lives forever. Even if your injuries were relatively minor, the psychological trauma of surviving a drunk driving accident could be challenging to overcome.
When you file an insurance claim, the insurance company will try to give you the smallest settlement possible to maximize their own profits. This means they may overlook some of the impacts of an accident that are harder to quantify, such as emotional distress or a lower quality of life.
Our attorneys can analyze your case in detail to ensure that we include all aspects of your suffering as we calculate the value of your case. With the big picture in mind, we will negotiate with the insurance company, and if they do not agree to a fair settlement, we will take them to court and demand compensation during a trial.
Common Injuries from Drunk Driving Accidents
There are many factors that can affect the severity of injuries that someone sustains from a drunk driving accident, including the speed of the vehicles at the time of impact, the size and type of vehicles, and whether or not the occupants were wearing seatbelts, along with several other factors. Some potential injuries include:
- Facial injuries
- Broken bones
- Organ damage and internal bleeding
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
Unfortunately, many alcohol-related accidents involve at least one fatality because impaired drivers make poor decisions that are uncommon among non-impaired drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37 percent of traffic fatalities were caused by a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. Additionally, even though .08 percent is the legal limit, drivers with a BAC between .01 percent and .08 percent still caused many accidents, demonstrating that even one drink before driving can put lives in danger.
What Compensation Can I Receive?
We cannot guarantee that you will receive a specific amount of compensation, but in general, some people receive compensation for:
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Lowered quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
In the case of a drunk driving accident, you may also be awarded punitive damages under certain circumstances. This additional payment is a way to punish drunk drivers for their actions in addition to any criminal charges they may face. The goal of punitive damages is to deter the individual from driving while intoxicated again and to send the message to others that drunk driving comes with hefty consequences.
If your loved one was killed in a drunk driving accident, the executor of their estate might file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover additional compensation to cover funeral and burial expenses, the lost financial support of the deceased person, and the loss of companionship of the deceased person, as well as the pain and suffering that surviving family members must now face.
South Carolina Dram Shop Laws
In some situations, the restaurant, bar, or store that sold alcohol to the drunk driver may also be held liable for your injuries. Establishments that serve alcohol have a certain responsibility to not sell alcohol to minors or to someone who is already intoxicated. When a business breaches this responsibility, you may be able to file a dram shop claim against them to recover compensation.
South Carolina does not have a statute regarding dram shop laws, but the South Carolina Supreme Court has authorized dram shop claims in the past in certain situations. While not all drunk driving accidents will be eligible for a dram shop claim, our attorneys can help you assess whether this may be an option in your situation.
The Statute of Limitations in South Carolina
When filing a personal injury claim in Georgetown, it is important to be aware of the statute of limitations. In general, those who were injured by the negligence of others are allowed three years after the time of the accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. However, we recommend that you begin the legal process as soon as possible to avoid delays and because it will be more difficult to gather sufficient evidence as time passes. Our attorneys can help you understand all deadlines pertaining to your case to help you stay on track and avoid small yet costly mistakes.
Contact a Georgetown Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Today
While you are recovering from a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you are probably feeling a range of emotions in addition to your physical pain. The thought of beginning the legal process may be daunting and overwhelming.
Our team at Evans Moore, LLC has been serving the people in Georgetown and surrounding areas for over a decade. The two founding partners handle each case as a team to provide the best legal representation possible. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars for our injured clients, and we will do our best to serve you.
In this time of great financial stress, you may be wondering how you will possibly afford an attorney. We operate on a contingency basis, which means you will not owe us anything until we successfully secure compensation on your behalf.
Contact us today at (843) 995-5000 for a free consultation.