Myrtle Beach Drunk Driving Car Accident Lawyers

Myrtle Beach Car Accident Lawyers: Defending Victims of Drunk Driving

Experienced South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Fight for the Compensation Our Clients Deserve After a Drunk Driving Collision

Many laws and regulations seek to deter drivers from driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances. These include criminal penalties for drunk driving, tools for monitoring drivers convicted of drunk driving in the past, and laws that hold alcohol servers accountable to stop serving visibly intoxicated patrons.

These laws have done much to reduce drunk driving rates in the United States over the past fifty years. Yet, they haven’t eliminated the problem. Every day, drivers take to the roads in Myrtle Beach and surrounding areas while under the influence of alcohol. Their impairment makes them more likely to cause a crash 一 and when they do, others may pay the price. 

If you’re dealing with serious injuries in the aftermath of a drunk driving crash, talk to the dedicated injury lawyers at the Steinberg Law Firm today. We’re here to help our clients in Myrtle Beach, Horry County, Surfside, Conway, and surrounding areas. 

Drunk Driving Statistics in South Carolina

South Carolina’s drunk driving statistics paint a sobering picture. 

South Carolina ranks as the 8th worst state for drunk driving in 2024. In a Forbes study, South Carolina ranked eighth among the worst drunk-driving states. The study incorporated factors like the rate of people killed in drunk driving crashes and the rate of drunk drivers under the legal drinking age of 21. Montana ranked worst in the nation in 2024. 

South Carolina’s rate of people killed in drunk driving accidents is the third highest nationwide, at 6.02 deaths per 100,000 residents. 

According to the CDC, 1.5 percent of adults in South Carolina report driving after drinking too much in the past 30 days.

Drunk driving cases rose during the early months of the pandemic 一 even as overall driving decreased. While total vehicle miles traveled in South Carolina dropped 11 percent during 2020, alcohol-related road deaths rose 14 percent, from 276 deaths in 2019 to 315 in 2020.

Drunk driving deaths continued to rise after the pandemic. Between 2020 and 2021, alcohol-related deaths on South Carolina roads rose 26 percent, reaching 401 deaths in 2021.

36 percent of all fatal South Carolina car accidents involve alcohol. More than one in three car accident deaths involved at least one person who had been drinking when the crash occurred.

Horry County saw ten drunk driving crashes in 2022, an increase of 4.29 percent over the previous year. The county’s drunk driving rates continued to rise even as incidents of hospitalization due to drinking and cases of binge and heavy drinking decreased.

Thousands of drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians are injured by drunk drivers in South Carolina each year as well. 

Common Types of Injuries From Drunk-Driving Collisions

A drunk-driving crash can cause serious injuries. Injuries may occur if you are a driver or passenger in another vehicle, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian. Common drunk driving crash injuries include:

Mental and emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress, can result from a drunk-driving collision. These conditions may not leave physical marks, but they can be debilitating and require ongoing medical treatment from qualified professionals. 

Pursuing a Civil Case After a Myrtle Beach Car Crash Involving a Drunk Driver

Criminal and civil cases serve two different purposes. In a criminal case, the goal is to identify criminal behavior, determine who broke the law, and punish that person. A driver found guilty of breaking South Carolina’s drunk driving laws may be sentenced to jail time, receive fines, lose driving privileges, and other penalties. 

However, a criminal conviction will not require the driver to fully compensate you or anyone else for their injuries. The criminal case seeks to ensure that a driver convicted of a DUI repays their debt to society, not to the victims directly. To obtain compensation for your injuries, you may file a civil claim. 

In your civil claim, you pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, damaged property, and other losses you suffered because of the crash. You and your attorney work to get the compensation you need for the harm you suffered. 

Compensation After a Drunk Driver Causes a Collision In Myrtle Beach

After a drunk driving crash, you likely experienced a wide range of losses. Some of these losses have dollar amounts attached; others are harder to put a number on. Both types of losses can be compensated in a South Carolina drunk driving injury lawsuit

Economic damages are typically financial. They can be demonstrated by providing the court with evidence from bills, receipts, invoices, or pay stubs. Common types of economic damages in drunk driving lawsuits include:

  • Repair or replacement costs for your vehicle.
  • Medical expenses, including ambulance costs, emergency room bills, surgery costs, hospital stays, doctor’s visits, medical devices and medications, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost wages, if you couldn’t work and lost future wages if your injuries prevent you from ever working again. 

Non-economic damages don’t typically come with a price tag attached. They are real, and injured persons can seek compensation for them. Non-economic damages that may appear in drunk driving injury lawsuits in South Carolina include:

  • Pain and suffering caused by your injuries, including ongoing or chronic pain.
  • Mental suffering, anguish, and emotional distress. 
  • Loss of enjoyment of activities you previously engaged in, like hobbies or raising your family.
  • Damage to your reputation. 

Each drunk driving injury case is unique. You may have losses that aren’t listed here. Speak to an experienced Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer to learn more about how the law applies to your situation. 

How a Myrtle Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

It’s smart to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can after an accident. Even if you decide not to file a lawsuit against the driver who injured you, having a skilled attorney on your side can be highly valuable. 

As soon as you hire a personal injury lawyer, your attorney can: 

  • Issue requests to preserve and obtain valuable evidence in your case.
  • Advise you on what to expect as the attorney investigates your claim, gathers evidence, and works to protect your legal rights. 
  • Provide a valuable perspective on your options and the possible consequences of pursuing each path.
  • Advocate for you at every step of the process, ensuring you get the consideration and compensation you deserve.
  • Handle insurance company communications, protecting your rights and freeing you to focus on healing from your injuries. 
  • Protect your rights and provide guidance as a criminal case proceeds so you can help bring a drunk driver to justice without impairing your ability to seek compensation in the future.
  • Fight for your right to compensation regardless of the outcome of a drunk driving case. 

While those injured in drunk driving crashes have the right to file an injury claim, few such claims ever go to trial. Most claims are settled in negotiations. An experienced attorney will work to reach a full and fair resolution in your case while preparing to go to court if necessary. At Steinberg Law Firm, our attorneys take on each case and prepare as if they are going to trial, even if settlement negotiations seem promising. 

Seeking Assistance After a Myrtle Beach Drunk Driving Crash

A drunk driving crash turns your life upside down in an instant. One moment, you’re traveling down the road, the next, someone else’s decision to drive drunk has left you with a damaged vehicle and life-altering injuries. You may spend the following weeks and months wondering how you’ll pay the bills, fearing you’ll never get back to work, or despairing of returning to the household tasks and hobbies you once enjoyed.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. The experienced personal injury attorneys at the Steinberg Law Firm can help. If you’ve been injured in Surfside, Conway, Myrtle Beach, or anywhere in Horry County by a drunk driver, contact us today for a free, confidential case evaluation.

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