Hurt By A Drunk Driver?
The experienced car accident attorney of Stewart Law Offices represent people who have been hurt by drunk drivers in South Carolina. If a drunk driver causes a car accident, we are prepared to seek full and fair compensation on behalf of the victims.
Drunk driving accidents are one of the leading causes of motorist fatalities. Deaths, injury and property damage due to drunk driving are estimated to cost more than $44 billion per year.
South Carolina holds the dubious distinction of having the second and third highest DUI related fatalities in the country. With these types of statistics, it is important that everyone is aware of their rights and their legal responsibilities.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 44% of all traffic fatalities in South Carolina in one recent year were caused by alcohol-impaired driving.
Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
The team at Stewart Law Offices, has the resources and experience to help you pursue compensation and justice if a drunk driver hurt you. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team, call us or contact us online today.
How Do I Prove a Drunk Driver Caused My Accident?
When involved in a car accident with a drunk driver, one of the first questions many individuals ask is, “How can I prove the driver who caused the accident was drunk?”
If law enforcement arrives on the scene of the accident, they will want to interview all parties involved. If one of the drivers has been drinking the officers will not only document the signs of intoxication but will also gather the necessary evidence to prove intoxication for a potential criminal case. This might include performing a field sobriety test, a breathalyzer test and even a blood test to measure the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver.
In addition to these tests and the police testimony, the police body and dashcam videos can be used as evidence, as well as statements from witnesses and passengers who may have observed signs of intoxication.
Lastly, if the driver is charged with DUI or another drunk driving offense, this can also serve as evidence to bolster a liability case against the driver. It’s important to remember that the criminal and civil aspects of drunk driving are separate matters. Even if the driver is never charged with drunk driving or is found not guilty, you may still be able to establish that the driver’s negligence caused the crash.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
When an intoxicated individual causes a car accident, not only could they be held liable for the accident, but there are liability laws that can be extended to a number of other individuals. These laws are known as dram shop and social host liability laws.
Dram Shop and Social Host Liability Statutes
Many states have what are known as dram shop and social host liability statutes. These laws provide that a bar, restaurant, or even a private individual hosting a party where alcohol was being served, can be held legally liable if they knowingly allowed someone to drive who was noticeably drunk or was under the legal drinking age. These individuals can be sued for any accidents or injuries that subsequently occur.
South Carolina does not have either dram shop or social host laws on the books, but state law does allow individuals who have been injured by a drunk driver to seek compensation from both establishments and individuals who served alcohol to motorists who subsequently caused a drunk driving accident.
South Carolina also provides a social host liability claim for private individuals, but only if the guest was under the legal drinking age.
Compensation for Drunk Driving Accident Claims
Most states, including South Carolina, entitle those injured in an automobile accident caused by a drunk driver to recover compensatory damages. This type of award is designed to compensate the injured party to recover for medical expenses, lost wages, permanent injuries and scarring, as well as pain and suffering and other losses.
Punitive damages may be available in certain cases. Punitive damages are designed to punish the individual who caused the accident.
Contact a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Now
Were you hurt in an accident with a driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Did you lose a loved one in a crash with an intoxicated driver? If so, the attorneys of Stewart Law Offices may be able to help you pursue full and fair compensation for your losses.
Don’t wait to get legal representation. Call us or fill out a contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights and legal options today.