With the invention of rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber, there’s really no excuse for drunk driving. Between rideshares and designated drivers, the number of drunk driving accidents should be zero. But that isn’t the case. If you’re the victim in a drunk driving accident, you need to call a car accident lawyer in Columbia, South Carolina.
Everyone looks forward to the summertime. We go to barbeques and concerts. It’s when we all go on vacation with friends and family. It’s also the time of year when people drink a lot more than they should.
If you think about all the baseball games and concerts that are held in the summer, this makes sense. People tend to drink at events like this. Then they get behind the wheel. This means that innocent drivers are at risk of being hurt.
The most dangerous time of year for car accidents is the spring and summer. People are out and about a whole lot more than they are in the winter time. This means that not only are there more cars on the road, but there are more drunk drivers on the road.
What is the Drunk Driving Law in South Carolina?
Unless you’re a commercial driver, the drunk driving laws in most states are pretty similar. Anyone caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher can be arrested and charged with drunk driving.
In South Carolina, the penalties for first offense drunk driving are as follows:
- Anywhere from 48 hours to 30 days in jail
- The judge will probably allow community service instead of actual jail time
- If your BAC is higher than .10, the jail time goes up
- Fines from $400-$1,000. The fine is higher if your BAC is above .10
- Must complete the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program
- License suspension of at least 6 months
- If your BAC is higher than .15, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device
The DUI laws apply to people intoxicated by either alcohol or drugs.
If you get hit by a drunk driver, they’ll face the above criminal charges. However, they’re also going to face the civil consequences of a personal injury lawsuit.
Can Your Car Accident Attorney in Columbia Use Proof of DUI in Court?
If someone is convicted of DUI at the time of your accident, your Columbia car accident lawyer can use this as evidence of liability. He can introduce evidence of the conviction in your personal injury lawsuit.
The defendant’s insurance company will also be made aware of the DUI conviction. They know that your lawyer intends to use this as evidence in court. This will make the insurance company more willing to settle your claim.
The insurance company understands that if a jury hears their client was convicted of DUI, they’re probably going to lose in court. This means that you’ll receive the damages requested in your lawsuit.
Generally speaking, a personal injury lawsuit is going to demand more than an insurance claim. You can demand pain and suffering. Your attorney can also request that you receive punitive damages and attorney fees. The insurance adjuster knows this.
What Kinds of Damages Can My Car Accident Attorney Demand?
If your Columbia car accident attorney does have to file suit, he’s going to demand compensation. Some of the damages he’ll request include:
- Medical bills – You’re entitled to be reimbursed for all medical bills related to your drunk driving accident. This includes both current and future medical expenses.
- Lost Wages – You’ll probably miss weeks or months from work due to your injuries. You can demand that you be compensated for all of this time. You can also demand compensation for any future lost earnings.
- Property Damage – You will probably need to repair or replace your vehicle. The defendant may be required to pay for these repairs.
- Pain and Suffering – If your injuries are serious enough, you can demand pain and suffering. These damages are intended to compensate you for the mental and physical anguish caused by the accident.
- Permanent Disability – If you are unable to work as a result of the accident, you can demand permanent disability damages. This is the money you’ll lose as a result of being on disability as opposed to earning your regular wages.
Contact a Columbia, South Carolina Car Accident Attorney Today
If you’re a victim in a drunk driving accident this summer, you need to call a Columbia car accident lawyer. He can review your case and let you know what it’s worth. He can also answer any questions you may have.
Call and schedule your free initial consultation. And remember – you pay nothing until you settle your case.