Orangeburg Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Drunk driving accidents kill one person in South Carolina every 28 hours. Those who survive DUI crashes can suffer serious injuries that leave them in pain, out of work, and facing a mountain of medical bills due to no fault of their own. If you were injured or a loved one was killed by a drunk driver in Orangeburg, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses.
Talk to the knowledgeable Orangeburg car accident attorneys at Wilson Law Group, LLC, today. Our compassionate legal team has represented South Carolinians in personal injury claims for more than 30 years. We’ll listen to your story, discuss your legal options, and fight for you to receive maximum compensation from the at-fault driver.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
Is Drunk Driving a Big Problem in South Carolina?
South Carolina is a deadly place for drunk driving accidents. The state ranks third in the nation for alcohol-impaired fatality rates per 100,000 people, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
According to the state Department of Public Safety, driving under the influence was listed as a primary contributing factor in 214 traffic deaths and 3,553 injuries in a recent year. There are 10 to 11 DUI-related traffic fatalities each year in Orangeburg County alone. There are also over 100 non-fatal collisions each year involving an intoxicated driver in Orangeburg County.
When a drunk driver causes an accident that injures or kills another, he or she could be held both criminally and civilly liable. At Wilson Law Group, LLC, we represent clients in civil cases. Our drunk driving accident attorneys focus on helping victims and their families secure compensation for their losses and prepare for the future.
Drunk Driving Car Accident Facts
The frequency of drunk driving accidents in America is staggering. Consider these facts:
- About 1 in three traffic deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver.
- Every 2 minutes, someone is injured by a drunk driver.
- Someone dies every 51 minutes in a DUI crash.
- Around 1.6 percent of South Carolinians admit to driving after drinking too much, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Male drivers are more often involved in fatal DUI accidents than female drivers.
- 69 percent of fatal crashes involving alcohol occur at night.
- Drivers ages 21-24 who were involved in fatal accidents tested with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.08 more often than any other age group.
- Only 13 percent of fatal accidents involving drunk drivers occur on interstate roads. The rest are on city streets, neighborhood roads, and in rural areas.
- More drunk driving accidents occur in May, June, and July than in other months.
Sadly, being convicted of drunk driving often does little to deter someone from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated in the future. One NHTSA study on impaired driving showed that about one-third of people arrested for DUI had already been arrested for the same reason before. To make matters worse, many drivers who were involved in fatal drunk driving accidents had already been arrested for DUI in the past.
South Carolina is taking steps to address these issues. In 2014, the state passed Emma’s Law, which requires that any driver who is arrested with a BAC above 0.15 use an ignition interlock device for six months following their arrest. This requires drivers to breathe into a breathalyzer in their vehicle before they can start the car.
While much of the focus on impaired driving targets alcohol consumption, other drugs could play a role in impaired driving as well. Methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and many prescription drugs can also impair judgement and reaction time. It is illegal to drive while under the influence of any of these substances in South Carolina as well.
Common Injuries from Drunk Driving Accidents
Alcohol impairment affects the body in many ways. Drunk drivers have slower reflexes, which can prevent them from stopping in time to avoid collisions. Impaired drivers also lack critical judgment skills that can prevent them from driving at a safe speed or changing lanes carefully. Alcohol can also have sedating effects, causing some drivers to nod off behind the wheel.
All of these impairments can cause life-changing injuries to accident victims. Common injuries in drunk driving crashes include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury
- Back injury
- Neck injury
- Broken bones
- Chest injuries
- Facial injuries
- Sprains, strains, and tears
- Internal organ damage
Drunk driving accident victims can face a long road to recovery. They may need rehabilitation, such as physical therapy and occupational therapy, to regain physical mobility. Some never fully heal. DUI crashes also take an enormous emotional toll on victims, who may suffer from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) afterwards. Compensation can help cover the expensive medical treatments associated with drunk driving accidents.
Proving Liability for an Orangeburg, South Carolina DUI Car Crash
The key to proving liability in a drunk driving case is by proving negligence. There are four main elements to negligence:
- Duty: You must show that the driver owed you a duty of care. All drivers are expected to operate a motor vehicle safely to protect other drivers.
- Breach: You must prove that the driver violated, or breached, that duty. The average person knows that drunk driving puts others at risk of injury, so getting behind the wheel while intoxicated constitutes a breach of duty.
- Causation: You must establish that the drunk driver’s negligence caused your injuries. Showing that a person had a BAC of over 0.08 isn’t necessarily enough. You will need evidence that the impaired driver’s actions directly caused your injuries, such as a red-light camera capturing the driver running through an intersection.
- Damages: Finally, you need to show that you suffered measurable harm as a result of the driver’s actions. This is proven through evidence such as medical bills, prescription receipts, co-pays, proof of lost wages, and property damages. DUI lawyers can also provide evidence of non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
There are many other factors that can affect liability in the case of an accident involving alcohol.
For example, although 0.08 is the legal limit in South Carolina, the driver could be prosecuted even if they are were below the limit since driving under the influence of alcohol is considered “unreasonably dangerous.” Even a small amount of alcohol can impair judgment, vision, and coordination.
Not only could a drunk driver be held liable for an accident, it may be possible to seek compensation from the establishment where the driver purchased the alcohol. South Carolina law prohibits employees from knowingly selling alcohol to a minor under the age of 21 or to someone who is already visibly intoxicated.
At Wilson Law Group, LLC, our attorneys have extensive experience investigating and preparing Orangeburg drunk driving accident claims. We will thoroughly investigate the accident, obtain evidence, interview witnesses, and seek expert opinions to build a strong claim for maximum compensation for you.
Types of Compensation Accident Victims Can Receive
In South Carolina, victims of drunk driving accidents can obtain compensation for:
- Past, current, and future medical care
- Costs of assistive medical devices, home health aides, and/or home renovations to accommodate your new disability
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages (in certain cases)
If your loved one was killed in a drunk driving accident, you may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This would allow you to receive compensation for final medical bills, funeral and burial costs, loss of financial and emotional support, and other damages.
How Wilson Law Group, LLC, Can Help
At Wilson Law Group, LLC, our Orangeburg drunk driving accident lawyers understand that being injured in a DUI crash is a traumatic experience that can have life-changing consequences. If you or someone you love was hurt by an intoxicated driver, you can — and should — hold the at-fault party(s) accountable for their negligence. We can help.
Our attorneys have 40 years of collective legal experience helping people who’ve been hurt in accidents in South Carolina. We know what it takes to build a successful case for compensation. You can rest assured that we’ll leave no stone unturned in investigating your claim to determine what happened and who should be held liable.
When you work with us, you’ll get a legal team that is committed to building a customized case for compensation for you. We’ll do all the legwork for you, represent you before the insurance company in all negotiations, and take your case to trial if a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached.
There’s no need to worry about how to pay for your legal fees. At Wilson Law Group, LLC, we take cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that we collect no upfront expenses to work on your case. We only get paid if we obtain compensation for you.
Ready to learn more? Call or contact us now for a free consultation.