North Charleston Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
Over the past decades, North Charleston has seen massive numbers of new residents move into the city. North Charleston is a great place to live, work and raise a family. For the most part, this growth is welcome, as it brings in more jobs. However, with the increase in population comes a corresponding increase in the number of cars on the road. In part, this is why the number of fatal North Charleston car accidents has been on the rise.
Losing a loved one in a preventable car accident is a tragedy that no one should ever experience. Every year, more than 1,000 families have a loved one ripped away from them due to another driver’s carelessness. The North Charleston personal injury lawyers at the Steinberg Law Firm are here to help. We have over 95 years of experience helping families recover financial compensation for their losses by holding negligent drivers responsible for their actions. We understand that nothing can bring a loved one back; however, with our help, you may not need to deal with the financial burdens of your loss.
Car Accident Statistics
According to the most recent data compiled by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, a car accident occurs every 3.7 minutes, with someone losing their life every 8.5 hours.
In the year 2018 alone, there were 1,036 people killed in South Carolina car accidents.
• One motorcyclist is killed every 3.3 days
• One pedestrian is killed every 2.2 days
• Someone is killed in a drunk driving accident every 30 hours
The number of fatal South Carolina car accidents seems to be increasing. For example, the 2017 data shows:
• 989 total traffic-related fatalities
• 158 pedestrian fatalities
• 17 bicyclist fatalities
In 2018, the number of people killed in each type of accident increased, as follows:
• 1,036 total traffic-related fatalities
• 168 pedestrian fatalities
• 22 bicyclist fatalities
Below is the data for the number of fatal South Carolina car accidents per year.
• 2018: 969 fatal collisions
• 2017: 925 fatal collisions
• 2016: 941 fatal collisions
• 2015: 911 fatal collisions
• 2014: 756 fatal collisions
Between 2014 and 2018, the total number of fatal car accidents increased by 213, representing over 28 percent.
The South Department of Public Safety documents the causes of all fatal accidents in the state. The most common causes of fatal South Carolina car accidents in 2018 were, as follows:
• Driving too fast for the condition – 218 fatal collisions
• Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol – 191 fatal collisions
• Failed to yield the right-of-way – 91 fatal collisions
• Driving on the wrong side of the road – 74 fatal collisions
• Disregarding traffic signs or signals – 35 fatal collisions
• Speeding – 32 fatal collisions
• Running off the road – 32 fatal collisions
• Aggressive driving – 30 fatal collisions
The most dangerous holiday for driving is New Years’ Eve, during which there was one fatality every 6.4 hours.
Friday and Saturday are the most dangerous days to drive, with each day accounting for nearly 20 percent of all traffic accidents.
The most dangerous hours to drive are:
• Between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.
• Between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.
• Between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
The following South Carolina highways saw the largest number of fatal traffic accidents:
• Interstate 26 – 37 fatalities
• Interstate 95 – 28 fatalities
• Interstate 20 – 19 fatalities
• Interstate 85 – 17 fatalities
• Interstate 77 – 12 fatalities
North Charleston is located primarily in Charleston County, but also reaches into Dorchester and Berkeley County. Below is that accident data pertaining to those three counties, and on which roads the accidents occurred:
• Charleston County – 60 fatal traffic collisions (4th overall in the state)
◦ U.S. Route 17: 10 fatalities
◦ U.S. Route 52: 6 fatalities
◦ Interstate 26: 4 fatalities
◦ Interstate 526: 3 fatalities
◦ State Road S.C. 61: 3 fatalities
• Dorchester County – 24 fatal traffic collisions (10th overall in the state)
◦ State Road S.C. 642: 2 fatalities
◦ U.S. Route 17: 2 fatalities
◦ U.S. Route 78: 1 fatality
◦ State Road S.C. 165: 1 fatality
◦ State Road S.C. 13: 1 fatality
• Berkeley County – 34 fatal traffic collisions (14th overall in the state)
◦ U.S. Route 17: 5 fatalities
◦ U.S. Route 17: 4 fatalities
◦ Interstate 26: 4 fatalities
◦ U.S. Route 52: 3 fatalities
◦ State Road S.C. 61: 3 fatalities
Causes of North Charleston Fatal Car Accidents
Fatal traffic accidents can occur on any type of road; however, these accidents tend to happen more frequently on large highways and state roads. Due to its location between Charleston and Summerville, North Charleston sees a lot of pass-through traffic. Two of the area’s major highways, Interstate 26 and Interstate 526, pass right through North Charleston. People who work in Charleston and live in Summerville, Sangaree, Lincolnville and other nearby cities, use these highways to commute. Thus, North Charleston sees more than typical traffic than any other city experiences.
North Charleston’s location heavily impacts the most common causes of accidents in the city. For example, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, the top reasons for fatal car accidents in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties include:
• Failure to yield the right-of-way
• Running off the road
• Improper lane change
• Driving too fast for the conditions
• Distracted Driving
• Following too closely
After losing a loved one in a fatal North Charleston traffic accident, it may not be apparent what caused the collision. Although this is normal, it can also put additional stress on an already grieving family. While a police investigation may shed some light on what contributed to the accident and may result in criminal charges being filed against the at-fault driver, this will do little to help the deceased accident victim’s family. However, surviving loved ones can pursue a South Carolina wrongful death claim.
What Is a South Carolina Wrongful Death Claim?
When a driver’s negligence causes another’s death, they may face criminal charges. Often, this involves situations where the at-fault driver was intoxicated or driving aggressively. Criminal charges are filed against the driver based on their alleged violation of a state statute. If convicted, the driver may face incarceration, and can be ordered to pay court costs and fines. However, a criminal conviction in a criminal case will do little to nothing to help the family of an accident victim. Instead, they can file their own North Charleston wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury lawsuit brought by the surviving loved ones of a deceased accident victim. The goal of a wrongful death claim is to compensate the victim for the damages they suffered due to the defendant’s negligence. In this way, these claims are similar to traditional North Charleston car accident lawsuits.
To successfully bring a wrongful death case, a plaintiff must prove that the other driver was legally negligent. To do so, they must be able to establish that another person’s “wrongful act, neglect, or default” caused the death of their loved one.
At the Steinberg Law Firm, we help families affected by the tragedy of a North Charleston fatal car accident. We are here to answer your questions about the process and offer you well-reasoned advice about your options. If you decide to pursue a wrongful death claim, we will be there with you every step of the way. With our help, you may be able to recover significant monetary compensation for the loss of your loved one.
Damages in a North Charleston Fatal Car Accident
After a fatal car accident, the grief a family experiences cannot be measured, certainly by any dollar amount. Indeed, few families who have lost a loved one in a fatal North Charleston car accident initially think to file a wrongful death claim. However, once the realization of their loss sets in, many families realize that they not only suffered an emotional loss, but a financial one, too. A wrongful death claim can help families deal with the many costs associated with a fatal car accident, including:
• The expenses related to any medical care provided to their loved one before they died;
• Any funeral and burial costs;
• Lost wages, including the loss of future earnings that the accident victim would reasonably have been expected to earn throughout their lifetime;
These are referred to as “economic damages,” because they pertain to a family’s financial losses related to the accident. Families may also be able to obtain “non-economic damages,” which provide compensation for the less tangible – but equally as important – losses. Non-economic damages in a South Carolina wrongful death claim can include:
• Emotional distress
• Loss of consortium (involving a spousal relationship)
• Loss of society and companionship (involving a relationship with others)
• Mental anguish
• Pain and suffering
Notably, while some states limit the amount of non-economic damages that a family can receive in a wrongful death claim arising from a fatal car accident, South Carolina imposes no such limits.
However, many families encounter hurdles when bringing a North Charleston wrongful death claim after a fatal traffic accident. For example, the at-fault driver will often argue that the deceased accident victim was wholly or partially responsible for causing the collision. Under South Carolina’s modified comparative negligence laws, a family can recover against other parties as long as their loved one’s negligence did not exceed the total negligence of the other parties combined. Family members can still bring a claim against another party if their loved one was less than 51 percent at fault. However, if a judge or jury determines that an accident victim was partially at fault, the court will reduce that party’s damages award by their percentage of fault.
For example, assume a driver is struck and killed in a North Charleston car accident. The jury determines that the family’s damages were $1,000,000, and that their loved one was 15 percent responsible for the accident. In this case, the family’s total recovery amount would be $850,000 ($1,000,000 less 15 percent). Thus, it is crucial families work with an experienced North Charleston car accident attorney who knows how to refute defendants’ claims that their loved one shared blame for causing the accident.
Reach Out to a Dedicated North Charleston Wrongful Death Attorney for Immediate Assistance
If you recently lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, contact the North Charleston wrongful death attorneys at the Steinberg Law Firm. Our compassionate team of personal injury attorneys understands that this is a challenging time for you and your family. We are here for you. When you give us a call to discuss your case, we begin by getting to know you and your family. We will then describe the personal injury process, answering any questions you have. We will never pressure you to make a decision. If you choose to allow us to file a claim on your behalf, we will strategically pursue maximum compensation for your losses.
With over 95 years of experience helping families obtain the compensation they need and deserve after senselessly losing a loved one, we can confidently guide your family through the recovery process. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call us at 843-720-2800 to speak with one of our experienced team members. You can also reach us through our online form.
WE HAVE RECOVERED OVER $500 MILLION FOR CLIENTS IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, INCLUDING:
Car Accident Settlement
Fatal Car Accident
Leaders in the Legal Industry
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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