Charleston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been in a drunk driving accident, navigating the subsequent legal process can be both complex and emotionally taxing. Securing an experienced Charleston drunk driving accident lawyer ensures that someone with knowledge of civil claims as well as South Carolina’s DUI laws. We understand how devastating an accident like this can be; let us help you. Contact Mickelsen Dalton to schedule a free consultation.
Why Hire Mickelsen Dalton For Your Drunk Driving Accident Case?
In the aftermath of a drunk driving accident, you deserve an advocate who prioritizes your case and stands by you every step of the way. Here’s why you should work with Mickelsen Dalton:
Over five decades of legal experience behind us speaks volumes about our commitment and proficiency in navigating complex legal claims.
Civil Trial Litigators
While most personal injury cases will settle before they go to trial, not all do, making it absolutely critical to find a lawyer who isn’t afraid to fight for you in court. As civil trial litigators, we have developed the acumen needed to confront any challenges that arise throughout trial proceedings.
Earning more than $40 million in compensation for our clients, we have a strong track record of securing substantial financial outcomes through verdicts and settlements.
When seeking representation for your drunk driving accident case, Mickelsen Dalton is the right choice. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
How an Attorney Can Help You With a Drunk Driving Accident Case
When you’re the victim of a drunk driving accident, enlisting an attorney can make all the difference in your pursuit of justice and compensation. Here are some examples of how they can help:
Initial Advice: An attorney will typically begin by thoroughly evaluating your case and advising you on the best possible course of action. If both you and the attorney feel like it’s a good fit, they can begin to represent you.
Investigation: Proving liability is critical; your lawyer will investigate every detail relating to the accident, from toxicology reports to eyewitness statements, to show that the other driver was responsible for the accident.
Skilled Negotiation With Insurance Companies: Dealing with the aftermath of a drunk driving accident includes communication and negotiations with insurance companies—a task which can be complex and frustrating. An attorney will handle these negotiations on your behalf, advocating for you to receive the full compensation you’re entitled to.
While you can technically handle an accident claim on your own, you’re always better off getting advice from an experienced lawyer.
Proving Liability in a Drunk Driving Accident
Proving liability in a drunk driving accident extends beyond establishing that the other driver was under the influence at the time of an accident. For any civil claim for damages to be successful, there must be clear evidence linking their negligence directly to your injury and resulting harm. Evidence that can be helpful in these scenarios include:
After an accident, law enforcement officers play a critical role in documenting objective signs of intoxication through sobriety tests or chemical testing such as breathalyzer and blood tests. These results, if they indicate a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit, are powerful indicators of potentially impaired driving that contribute to establishing liability.
Body and dashboard camera footage from police officers on the scene provides first-hand insight into other signs of impairment or erratic behavior.
Additionally, accounts from witnesses and passengers can offer corroboration that helps build your case against negligent parties.
Recoverable Damages After a Drunk Driving Accident
If you’ve been a victim of a drunk driving accident, the law entitles you to seek compensation for losses incurred as a result. This form of legal relief is broadly categorized into two types: compensatory and punitive damages.
These aim to financially restore you to your status before the accident and to make up for the actual costs and suffering associated with your harm. This includes:
Economic damages can be quantified in monetary terms – items such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, earnings lost during recovery (including potential future income), funeral expenses for a family member if applicable, and repair or replacement costs of property.
Non-economic damages cover the more intangible aspects like physical trauma, disfigurement, permanent disability, emotional distress, and loss of companionship.
Separate from compensation for your losses, punitive damages serve as a penalty to the offender. Their purpose is twofold: to punish the drunk driver specifically for their reckless behavior and deter similar reckless conduct by others.
To secure punitive damages after a drunk driving accident, you are required to present clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s behavior was willful, wanton, or with reckless disregard for your rights and safety. This requires more than demonstrating mere negligence.
“Punitive damages may be awarded only if the plaintiff proves by clear and convincing evidence that his harm was the result of the defendant’s wilful, wanton, or reckless conduct.”
Will the Drunk Driver’s Criminal DUI Case Impact My Civil Claim?
The outcome of a drunk driver’s DUI case in criminal court doesn’t dictate your ability to seek compensation through a civil claim. The objectives and burdens of proof for criminal cases are significantly different from those in civil lawsuits.
Civil Liabilities Regardless of Criminal Findings
A defendant can still be held accountable for damages arising out of an accident they caused while driving under the influence, even if they were acquitted or their charges were dropped in their criminal trial.
It’s crucial to understand that despite two courts both potentially considering the same evidence of intoxication, each operates independently with its own legal standards to evaluate culpability and consequences.
Contact Mickelsen Dalton To Schedule a Free Consultation
If you are dealing with the aftermath of a drunk driving accident, remember that you do not have to act alone. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today, where we’ll assess the specifics of your case and provide you with guidance on how to move forward towards fair compensation.