Goose Creek, SC Drunk Driving Crash Injury Lawyers

Goose Creek, SC Drunk Driving Crash Injury Lawyers

South Carolina Attorneys For Car Wrecks Caused by DUI in Berkeley County

On average, 32 people in the US die in a drunk driving crash every day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2020, 11,654 people lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes nationwide, and thousands more were injured. Drunk driving deaths increased by 14 percent nationwide in 2020, even though the total number of vehicle miles traveled dropped by 11 percent.

Drunk driving deaths and injuries are preventable. When another driver makes the choice to drive drunk, that driver can be held liable for the harm they have caused. Injured victims and their families may file a personal injury or wrongful death claim. In addition, the driver may also be facing criminal charges. To learn more, talk to the experienced drunk driving crash injury lawyers at the Steinberg Law Firm today. 

South Carolina DUI Crash Statistics

According to the NHTSA and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), drunk driving-related deaths in South Carolina increased by 14 percent between 2019 and 2020. In 2020, South Carolina ranked tenth in the U.S. for total DUI-related deaths一despite ranking 23rd in total population. 

South Carolina has one of the highest rates of drunk driving deaths in the United States. Data analysis by reveals that South Carolina’s rate of 6.23 alcohol-related crash deaths for every 100,000 people is the second highest in the nation after Wyoming. By contrast, Texas has only 0.63 deaths per 100,000 residents一the lowest rate in the US.

Most information on drunk driving focuses on deaths caused by drunk drivers. Yet thousands of people in the US are injured in these collisions each year as well. Those injured in DUI-related crashes may suffer catastrophic permanent injuries. 

Drunk driving crashes cause serious injuries and fatalities across the state. Our experienced car accident attorneys can help you if you were injured by a drunk driver, holding them and any other liable parties accountable.

Common Injuries in a Goose Creek Drunk Driving Accident

When an impaired driver causes a car crash, the risk of serious injury is higher than in crashes caused by sober drivers. Drunk drivers tend to cause more severe crashes, which result in more serious injuries to those involved in the collision.

Several factors contribute to more severe injuries in drunk driving crashes. For instance, a drunk driver may not brake or swerve before impact when a sober driver would do so. Braking or swerving often reduce the force with which one vehicle strikes another. Without these maneuvers, the resulting collision involves higher forces, which result in more severe injuries. 

Common injuries reported in drunk driving collisions include the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries may occur if a person’s head strikes something or is struck by an object during a crash. Even a mild traumatic brain injury may cause lingering problems with attention, mood, and memory. Symptoms like dizziness, nausea, or vomiting may persist. Severe traumatic brain injuries can cause permanent disabilities or be fatal. 
  • Soft tissue injuries. The body’s soft tissues include the skin and muscles. Damage to soft tissues can range from a mild bruise to severe damage. “Whiplash,” or damage to the soft tissues of the neck, is a common type of crash injury一and can occur in a drunk driving collision. 
  • Neck and back injuries. Whiplash is one type of injury that can affect the neck and back. Other injuries may include compressed vertebrae in the spine, disc herniation, and nerve damage. These injuries may be difficult to treat. They may cause ongoing problems with pain and mobility.
  • Spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries are often expensive and difficult to treat. Damage to the spinal cord can result in paralysis or difficulties with sensation and controlling movement. If the spinal cord is severed, the resulting paralysis is often permanent. 
  • Broken bones. Broken bones are common in drunk driving crashes due to the forces generated by the crash. Some broken bones require surgery to treat. Broken bones may leave permanent scars, cause chronic pain, and lead to other long-term medical issues. 
  • Amputations and crush injuries. If a body part is trapped or pinned during a crash, amputations or crush injuries may result. Amputation may also be medically necessary if the damage to a limb is severe. After an amputation, the injured person must relearn the daily tasks of living without a limb they’ve relied upon their entire lives.

Not all drunk driving crash injuries are immediately apparent. Whiplash injuries, for instance, may take hours or days to become obvious. Seek prompt medical treatment after any type of traffic crash. 

Once you’re receiving appropriate medical care, consider speaking to an experienced injury attorney. At the Steinberg Law Firm, we have served Goose Creek, Charleston, and other surrounding areas for over 95 years. Our team of personal injury attorneys brings years of experience and knowledge in navigating these cases. Each case is unique, and we take extra care in understanding the finer details.

Bringing a Personal Injury Claim in a Goose Creek Drunk Driving Accident

If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, there may be a criminal case pending against that driver. Or the criminal case may already be over. The driver may have been convicted of a crime and currently be in jail, on probation, or serving other penalties.

Criminal cases and civil personal injury cases are different types of legal claims. These two cases have different goals. South Carolina law allows an injured person to bring a civil claim even if the state is pursuing a criminal case or is preparing to do so.

Even if a criminal case is ongoing or has concluded, you may have a civil personal injury claim against the driver who injured you. The goal of a personal injury claim is to seek compensation for the losses you are facing as a result of another driver’s negligence. 

Time Limits in Drunk Driving Personal Injury Claims

South Carolina courts limit the time an injured person has to file their claim. In South Carolina, the time limit to file personal injury claims is three years. If the case isn’t filed within the time limit, it cannot be heard in court.

The existence of a criminal case against the driver who injured you may not affect the three-year time limit. However, the outcome of a criminal case can affect how your personal injury claim proceeds. For this reason, it’s important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you strategize to build a strong personal injury claim.

Several factors affect how this three-year time limit is calculated. Even if you suspect that the time limit has expired, speak to an experienced South Carolina injury lawyer. An attorney can help you determine if you still have time to file. 

Damages in Drunk Driving Personal Injury Claims

Compensation in personal injury claims is typically expressed in terms of monetary damages. This money is intended to compensate you for losses related to the crash一losses you wouldn’t have suffered if you’d never been hit by the drunk driver. 

Several damages may be available to you, such as prior and current long-term health care damages, past and future lost wages, suffering, property damages, and emotional and psychological stress. Typical damages include the following:

Economic damages. This can include property damage to your car, pending medical bills and expenses related to your treatment and recovery, and future lost wages due to a long-term disability affecting your future earnings. 

Another way to think about economic damages is as “financial” damages. These damages focus on compensating you for the money you’ve had to pay out of pocket as a result of the crash. 

Non-economic damages. Non-economic damages account for pain and suffering,  reputation damage, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They may also include compensation for the emotional impact of scarring, disfigurement, or the loss of the ability to do things you once enjoyed.

Non-economic damages don’t often come with a bill or invoice calculating their exact cost. Yet this does not mean these losses aren’t real. The pain and suffering, scarring, disfigurement, or loss of the enjoyment of hobbies and other activities are all real. They are all costly. And they can be compensated through a civil personal injury claim. 

Punitive damages: A Goose Creek drunk driving accident can be costly. In some cases, you may also be able to seek punitive damages in addition to the above, which are intended to penalize the drunk driver’s behavior and act as a deterrent to future similar behaviors. 

Contact Steinberg Law Firm Today to Discuss Your Case

Despite drunk driving education campaigns highlighting how dangerous driving under the influence can be, drivers still make poor decisions and leave devastating results for many families in our community. Many drunk driving collisions result in serious injuries that require hospitalization and, other times, wrongful death. If you or a loved one has been a victim in a Goose Creek drunk-driving car accident, our drunk-driving accident lawyers can help you recover the compensation you deserve for any damage and injuries. Contact the car accident lawyers at Steinberg Law Firm today at 843-720-2800.

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