South Carolina ranks as one of the worst states for drunk driving in the United States. In fact, according to some reports, it has the second-highest number of annual drunk driving fatalities in the United States.
Drunk driving is considered a serious offense in all states, and despite tough penalties and various measures being implemented, drunk driving is still a leading cause of injuries and deaths in the country.
Drivers who choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated need to be held accountable for their wrongful actions. If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one as a result of an accident caused by a drunk driver in McCormick, South Carolina, you deserve justice and full and fair financial compensation.
Our team of compassionate and aggressive McCormick drunk driving accident lawyers at Ayers, Smithdeal & Bettis are fully prepared to fight for you and help you get the justice and financial compensation that you deserve.
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Drunk Driving Statistics in South Carolina
According to multiple reports, South Carolina has one of the most rampant drunk driving problems in the country. According to the most recent data from NHTSA, in 2018, there were a total of 291 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in the state of South Carolina.
Drunk driving accounted for more than 28% of all fatal car accidents in the states that year. In total, more than 1900 people have lost their lives as a result of drunk driving in South Carolina over the past 5 years, which is a substantial loss of life.
While the rate of drunk driving fatalities in the country is 3.2 per 100k population, South Carolina has a much higher rate of fatality standing at 5.7 per 100k population. Given these statistics, it is clear that something needs to change in order to avoid these unnecessary and preventable deaths.
What Are the BAC Limits in South Carolina?
For drivers aged 21 and above, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or above. For drivers holding a commercial driver’s license, it is illegal to operate any vehicle, regardless of whether it is a commercial vehicle or not, with a blood alcohol content of 0.04% or above.
Minors or drivers below the age of 21 years are prohibited from operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.02% or above.
Drivers who violate South Carolina’s laws regarding drunk driving can potentially face criminal penalties depending on the case.
It is also important to note that a driver can be legally liable for injuries and damages caused as a result of drunk driving, regardless of whether or not they were within the legal limits.
What to Do After an Accident With a Drunk Driver?
Here are some of the most important steps that you should take immediately after a drunk driving accident so as to protect your rights as well as your wellbeing:
Call the Police
This step is particularly important if you have been involved in a drunk driving accident as criminal elements might be involved. The other driver may try to convince you not to, but you should always report the accident to authorities. You will also most likely need an official later on when filing your claim.
Assess Your Surroundings
Check on others involved in the accident and also be on the lookout for any safety risks. If necessary, move your vehicle to a safer spot near the accident scene.
Document the Scene
Use your smartphone to record the scene of the accident. Take as many photos and videos as you can. Remember to capture any visible injuries, the damages inflicted on the vehicles, alcohol bottles, etc. Also, note down important details about the accident such as the smell of drugs and alcohol.
Seek Medical Attention
This is perhaps the most important step. Ensure that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. This will not only help in your recovery, but will also ensure that your injuries are documented by a medical professional.
Contact a McCormick Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
After seeking medical attention, the next important step is consulting an attorney. An experienced McCormick drunk driving accident lawyer will help you get started with the process of seeking compensation and ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Drunk Driving Accident in South Carolina?
If you have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of an accident caused by an intoxicated driver, the driver can be held liable for:
- Past and future medical expenses resulting from the accident
- Lost income including loss of earning capacity as a result of your injuries
- House modification costs
- Pain and suffering caused by the accident
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- And more.
Depending on the specific details of your case, you can also recover punitive damages. These types of damages are usually only awarded in cases where the defendant is found to have behaved in an egregiously reckless, unreasonably dangerous, intentional, or if the judge deems it appropriate so as to discourage future such behavior.
Punitive damages in South Carolina are normally capped at $500,000 or three times the compensatory damages, whichever will be greater. However, this limit does not apply if the person was substantially impaired by alcohol at the time of the incident.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim in South Carolina?
In the state of South Carolina, victims of drunk driving accidents have until three years from the date of the accident to file a claim against the at-fault party, according to the state’s statute of limitations.
How Much Will a McCormick Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Cost?
One of the best things about hiring a McCormick drunk driving accident lawyer is that you don’t have to worry about making any upfront payments to retain the professional services of an attorney. We handle cases on a contingency basis, which means that you don’t have to pay us until we recover suitable compensation for you and your family.
Contact Our McCormick Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
Drivers who decide to get behind the wheel while intoxicated can lead to serious injuries and, in some cases, loss of lives. It is our firm belief that such drivers should be held accountable and that the victims and their families shouldn’t have to bear the burden of someone else’s wrongful acts on their own.
At Ayers Smithdeal & Bettis, we have vast experience fighting for the rights of drunk driving accident victims and we can do the same for you. Call our McCormick drunk driving accident lawyers today at 855-213-4405 to schedule your free initial consultation.