Were you hit by a drunk driver in South Carolina? You should consider hiring a drunk driving accident lawyer.
Feel confident that your case is in good hands. Contact us today to talk to a drunk driving accident lawyer at Bringardner Injury Law Firm. We’re taking new cases for DUI accident victims throughout South Carolina.
Why You Need an Attorney After a Crash With a Drunk Driver
If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, it’s smart to have a DUI accident lawyer to represent you. You deserve justice, and compensation is a form of it. There are several reasons that it’s important to have legal representation:
The criminal case isn’t about you.
The solicitor (or prosecutor) isn’t there to be your voice or even make sure you have justice. They represent the public, not you specifically. They decide whether to file charges, whether to extend a plea agreement and how to pursue every aspect of the criminal case. They might ask for your input, but ultimately they do as they see fit.
When you have a South Carolina drunk driving accident lawyer, their one and only job is advocating for your rights. They develop case goals with you. You direct the course of your case with representation from a professional who is focused only on your interests.
Damages are limited in criminal cases.
You might expect criminal charges against the drunk driver to fully address your damages. After all, that would be justice. Unfortunately, restitution is very limited in criminal cases. The Department of Crime Victim Compensation (DCVC) may reimburse some expenses, but there are significant limitations. There are maximums, and pain and suffering aren’t recognized.
Having your own drunk driving accident lawyer is the answer. With the help of lawyer, you can claim all types of damages that are available to you under the law – financial losses, non-economic losses and punitive damages. A lawyer will deal with the insurance companies and help provide compensation that the criminal justice system cannot and will not provide.
They might be found not guilty.
In a criminal case, the solicitor must prove the charges against the offender beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s a higher burden of proof than is used in civil cases. To the solicitor, the case is just one more file that goes in a win or loss column. They may make mistakes that unravel the case or agree to a plea offer that is far too lenient.
When you have a drunk driving accident lawyer represents you in a civil case, you must prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. You control everything with your lawyer – filing the case, how to present evidence and whether to agree to any potential settlement.
Insurance companies don’t want to pay.
Insurance companies like to collect premiums. They don’t like to pay compensation, even to deserving DUI accident victims. You need a lawyer to fight the insurance company. Bringardner Injury Law Firm will work to protect your rights through the entire legal process.
How Can Drunk Driving Contribute to an Accident?
Drunk driving may cause an accident in several ways:
- Departing from the lane of travel
- Failing to correctly judge stopping distance
- Going too fast or slow
- Poor maneuvering including lane changes
- Right of way violations, entering an intersection without the right of way
- Losing focus, passing out at the wheel
- Not seeing other vehicles, pedestrians or bicyclists
Let us investigate and prove your right to compensation.
Compensation for Drunk Driving Accident Victims
If you are hit by a drunk driver, you may deserve monetary compensation, and our drunk driving accident lawyers in South Carolina can pursue your compensation in full. We understand how to advocate effectively for DUI accident victims and the maximum value of their case.
To make your case for compensation, you must prove the following:
- The defendant was a drunk driver. Drunk driving is an example of reckless behavior – conduct that is obviously dangerous.
- A collision occurred. They’re called accidents, but really, they aren’t accidents. Drunk driving is completely preventable behavior.
- The accident is the result of the defendant’s drunk driving. This is called causation. Drunk driving must be the cause of the accident in whole or in part.
- You’re harmed as a result. You have physical injuries, property damage and other losses.
What does it mean to be driving drunk in South Carolina?
South Carolina law defines drunk driving in two ways – influence of alcohol and bodily alcohol concentration.
Drunk driving by bodily alcohol concentration
S.C. Code § 56-5-2933 prohibits driving with an alcohol concentration of .08% or more. If you rely on unlawful bodily alcohol concentration to prove your case, it’s important to focus on the element of causation, proving that the driver’s alcohol content contributed to the events that caused the collision.
Drunk driving by driving under the influence
S.C. Code § 56-5-2930 prohibits driving under the influence of alcohol to the extent a person’s faculties to drive are materially and appreciably impaired. There are many ways to prove influence of alcohol, like performance on field sobriety tests, weaving from the lane, abnormal or varying speeds and driving errors that cause an accident.
While criminal law creates a general standard of .08% for driving with an unlawful bodily alcohol content, driving under the influence may be proven with a lower content. A person’s ability to drive can be materially impaired when they have a bodily alcohol content of .07%, .06%, .05% or even lower.
Even though drunk driving laws are criminal, the violation of a criminal statute constitutes negligence per se. When there’s no excuse, violating a law is automatically considered negligent.
Can a drunk driving accident claim be based on drugs?
Yes. A person can be a drunk driver because of alcohol, drugs or a combination of alcohol or drugs.
Talk to a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in South Carolina
When a drunk driver harms you, you deserve justice. When you hire Bringardner Injury Law Firm, justice is what we fight for.
Talk to our drunk driving accident lawyers in South Carolina today. See how we achieve results through hard work, experience, grit and determination.