At Ayers, Smithdeal & Bettis, we have a long history of representing victims in automobile accidents with drunk drivers. We fight to ensure that these clients are paid for their suffering and are compensated properly for any financial losses. There’s no risk involved with picking up the phone and calling our Laurens drunk driving accident lawyers.
Your case review is completely free and you have no obligation to continue with our services. Take a moment to contact our trained attorneys today at 855-213-4405 for a free legal consultation.
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Drunk Driving Statistics in South Carolina
Nearly 1/3rd of all automobile-related deaths in the country involve a drunk driver. In 2019, South Carolina was ranked as the 3rd most dangerous state in the country in terms of drunk driving fatalities. There were roughly 5.89 drunk driving deaths per 100,000 motorists.
Only the states of Wyoming and Montana were ranked as more dangerous. In 2020, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety claimed that 885 automobile fatalities in South Carolina alone, though not all of these involved a drunk driver.
What Are the BAC Limits in South Carolina?
A state’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit is intended to prevent drivers from operating a motor vehicle when impaired by alcohol. In South Carolina, the BAC limit is a standard of 0.08. Any driver found operating a vehicle with a BAC above 0.08 will be considered operating under the influence.
However, any BAC between 0.05 and 0.08 may still be considered in a civil case to determine if a driver was under the influence.
What to Do After an Accident With a Drunk Driver?
Taking the right steps after an accident with a drunk driver in Newberry, SC is important for both your health and your case.
Contact The Police
Contacting the police will ensure that medical professionals arrive on the scene as well to assist with any injured parties. It also guarantees that a trained investigator will arrive who can determine if any driver is operating under the influence of alcohol.
Having this physical record available from the very beginning will be extremely helpful for the remainder of the case. It will also help ensure that this dangerous driver is taken off of the road and receives criminal punishment for their actions.
If possible, you should attempt to collect evidence of the scene while waiting for the police and ambulance to arrive. That includes taking pictures or videos of the accident, the vehicles, visible alcohol containers, and any injuries.
Pay Attention to the Other Driver
We do not advise attempting to communicate with the other driver if they are clearly intoxicated. It could only escalate the situation and cause more harm. However, you should still pay attention to their actions.
It is not uncommon for drunk drivers to do anything possible to attempt and hide their crimes. This can include chewing gum, drinking mouthwash, or switching seats with another passenger. Report any of these actions to the police when they arrive.
Speak With Witnesses
If there are any witnesses, you should take a moment and speak with them if possible. Gather their name and contact information if they are willing to provide it. Your attorney can visit them at a later time for an official statement regarding the accident. The information they provide can help paint a clear picture of the events and prove liability.
Visit the Hospital
Even if you did not require immediate medical attention you should still visit your doctor or the ER immediately after. A trained professional may be able to recognize signs of injury that are not immediately visible.
Some accident victims do not realize they have been injured for several hours or even days. This gives the pain time to become more severe and allows the injury to cause lasting damage.
Visiting a hospital will also create a clear financial record that can be used when pursuing compensation.
Call an Attorney
The final step is picking up the phone to call a personal injury attorney. You should not be responsible for the damage to yourself or to your vehicle. A trained legal team can help to ensure that the insurance company offers you an acceptable settlement rather than a minimum amount possible.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Drunk Driving Accident in South Carolina?
Our Laurens drunk driving accident lawyers will push for the maximum compensation. Depending on the accident, you may be able to claim compensatory and punitive damages.
This includes economic and non-economic damages. Some common examples are lost wages, repair damages, medical bills, and mental anguish.
These types of damages are awarded as a form of punishment in specific cases. They may be awarded if a driver was acting with extreme recklessness or with a willful intent to cause harm. Punitive damages are not traditionally awarded in cases that only involve simple negligence.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim in South Carolina?
Every state operates with a statute of limitation for personal injury claims. This statute indicates how long an injured party has to begin the process of filing a claim following the accident. In South Carolina, the statute of limitation is exactly three years from the date of the accident.
How Much Will an Attorney Cost?
There are absolutely no fees associated with picking up the phone and calling an attorney. Nor are you expected to pay any fees if you ultimately do not win your case. Our legal team operates on a contingency fee basis. This means that we are paid a small percentage of the final settlement you receive.
Contact Our Laurens Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Now
Even an experienced and trained driver can find themselves a victim of an unfortunate accident. In the majority of these cases, there is a drunk driver behind the wheel who is responsible for the accident. If you have been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, then you may be owed compensation for your damages.
Drunk driving accidents are far too common in the state of South Carolina. Our team at Ayers, Smithdeal & Bettis are here to represent the victims of these accidents so that they can return to their lives and focus on healing their injuries. You only ever pay if you are awarded a settlement. There’s no risk and no obligation.
Call us today at 855-213-4405 for a completely free case evaluation.