Drunk Driving Injury Lawyers

Mt. Pleasant Drunk Driving Injury Lawyers

Car Accident Attorneys Serving Mt. Pleasant, SC DUI Victims

Most car accidents are preventable. However, when talking about drunk driving crashes, a motorist’s “mistake” is anything but innocent. When someone gets behind the wheel of a vehicle after having too much to drink, they know they are putting the safety of everyone else on the road in jeopardy. Yet, Mt. Pleasant drivers continue to make reckless decisions when it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol. 

At the Steinberg Law Firm, our dedicated team of Mt. Pleasant DUI accident lawyers regularly represent accident victims in personal injury cases, helping them obtain meaningful compensation for what they’ve been through. We take an individual approach to each case we handle, ensuring your needs are put first, your input is valued, and your questions are answered promptly. 

Drunk Driving in Mt. Pleasant

Situated to the northeast of Charleston, just across the Wando River, Mt. Pleasant is a popular suburban alternative to the busier way of life in Charleston. At the same time, Mt. Pleasant is a short 25-minute drive to downtown Charleston, making it easy for those to commute into the city for work or play. Despite the benefits of living in Mt. Pleasant, visitors who come to local bars and restaurants continue to make poor decisions and place others at a high risk of being involved in a serious car crash

According to Forbes Advisors Worst States for Drunk Driving 2022 Analysis, South Carolina ranked 7th in the nation, with approximately 7 drunk drivers being involved in a fatal car crash for every 100,000 drivers. On average, 5 people are killed due to drunk driving for every 100,000 residents.

Since 2022, a total of 243 DUI-related incidents occurred in Mt. Pleasant. The Mt. Pleasant Police Department MapCitizen Service Portal revealed that since last year, 16 DUI incidents occurred on Highway 17 and 19 DUI-related incidents near the Mt. Pleasant Town Centre. On Chuck Dawley Blvd, there were 7 DUI-related incidents reported, and 10 DUI-related incidents occurred near the Queensborough Shopping Center.

Common Drunk Driving Injuries

The injuries that can occur as a result of a drunk driving accident tend to result in more serious injuries. These types of collisions often involve high speeds, direct impacts with another vehicle or object, or both. Some of the most common injuries in drunk driving accidents include the following:

Although these injuries may heal over time, unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Even after months of follow-up appointments, physical therapy, and surgeries, car crash victims may continue to suffer long-term limitations and disabilities. Additionally, many drunk driving accident victims experience emotional distress, which can further limit their ability to work and engage in the activities they once previously enjoyed. 

Mt. Pleasant Drunk Driving Personal Injury Cases Offer Victims a Road to Recovery

Those who have been injured in a Mt. Pleasant drunk-driving accident deserve justice. And, while the criminal justice system is designed to dole out punishment to those convicted of violating the state’s DUI laws, these cases provide little aid to victims and their families. By filing a personal injury claim, accident victims can hold negligent drunk drivers financially accountable for the harm and damages they caused. 

Personal injury lawsuits are civil cases brought by an accident victim against another party. Most personal injury cases are based on the legal theory of negligence, and DUI accidents are no exception. In a negligence case, a victim must prove the following: 

  1. That the defendant owed them a duty of care.
  2. The defendant violated that duty.
  3. The victim’s injuries were a result of the defendant’s actions.
  4. That the victim experienced economic or non-economic damages as a result of the accident. 

In some cases, accident victims can benefit from negligence per se. Negligence per se applies when the duty, as well as the expectations of what is required to meet that duty, are provided by statute. When a defendant violates a statutory duty owed to the accident victim, the first two elements of a negligence case are met. 

For example, the South Carolina DUI law provides, “It is unlawful for a person to drive a motor vehicle within this State while under the influence of alcohol to the extent that the person’s faculties to drive a motor vehicle are materially and appreciably impaired.” This law creates a duty all motorists must follow. Thus, if a driver violates DUI law, they’ve breached a duty. 

For negligence per se to apply, the accident victim must prove that:

  1. The purpose of the statute is to protect from the kind of harm the accident victim has suffered; and
  2. The accident victim is a member of the class of persons the statute is intended to protect. 

When negligence per se applies, all that is left for the accident victim to prove is that the drunk driver’s actions were the cause of the victim’s injuries and that the victim experienced damages as a result of the accident. 

Fatal DUI Accidents in Mt. Pleasant

Drunk driving accidents are much more likely to end with one or more people involved suffering fatal injuries. In fact, nearly 30 percent of all South Carolina traffic fatalities in 2020 involved a drunk driver. While this figure is generally in line with other states, far more South Carolinians are killed in drunk driving accidents when considering the state’s population. For example, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are 5.6 alcohol-related traffic deaths per 100,000 people in South Carolina, whereas there are an average of 3.1 alcohol-related traffic deaths in the United States. That means South Carolina residents are nearly twice as likely to be killed in a DUI accident than residents of other states. 

In large part, this is due to the number of South Carolina under-age DUIs. For example, in 2019, the rate of underage alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in South Carolina was twice the rate of the national average. 

Mt. Pleasant Wrongful Death Cases Following Fatal DUI Accidents

Families who lost a loved one in a Mt. Pleasant DUI accident may be able to obtain compensation for their loss through a wrongful death claim. In South Carolina, only the administrators or executors of a deceased accident victim’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. Often, people name an executor or administrator in their will; however, if that was not the case, the court will appoint one.

While the executor/administrator must bring a Mt. Pleasant wrongful death claim, the proceeds of the lawsuit are intended to benefit the surviving loved ones. Those eligible to recover damages in a DUI accident wrongful death case include the following:

  • The spouse and children of the deceased;
  • The car accident victim’s surviving parents (if there is no spouse or children); or
  • The heirs of the deceased person (if there is no spouse, children, or parents).

Grieving families may be able to recover significant compensation through a wrongful death claim. Of course, the damages in these cases vary depending on many factors, but those damages that may be recovered in a Mt. Pleasant DUI wrongful death claim generally include the following:

  • Lost income that the deceased would have contributed to the household.
  • Loss of victim’s care, protection, and companionship.
  • Mental anguish experienced by the victim’s surviving loved ones.
  • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • Punitive damages.

South Carolina families may also pursue a survival action, seeking compensation for the harm a victim suffered prior to their death. Like wrongful death cases, survival actions can only be filed by the executor or administrator of the victim’s estate. Any damages recovered go to the victim’s estate and may include the following:

  • The victim’s pain and suffering prior to their death.
  • Medical treatment the victim received.
  • Any accident-related out-of-pocket expenses the victim incurred prior to their death.
  • Punitive damages.

Speak with an Experienced Mt. Pleasant Personal Injury Attorney About Your Recent DUI Accident Today

If you or a loved one was recently injured in a drunk driving accident, the Charleston car accident lawyers at the Steinberg Law Firm are here to help. With over 95 years of experience aggressively advocating on behalf of accident victims and their families, we understand what you are going through and what it takes to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. We also accept all drunk driving lawsuits on a contingency basis, meaning you will not be responsible for any legal fees unless and until we can recover compensation on your behalf. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, feel free to give us a call 24/7 at 843-720-2800. You can also reach us through our online contact form.

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Steinberg attorneys have been awarded numerous distinctions, such as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America by U.S. News & World Report, Gedney M. Howe, Jr. Award for Outstanding Public Service, the SC Leadership in Law award, and has been voted Best Workers’ Comp Firm in SC, among other distinctions.

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