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Charleston Personal Injury Lawyers / South Carolina Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

South Carolina Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

Drunk driving crashes are not “accidents.” They involve a decision by a person to drive drunk and to ignore the safety and lives of others. They also involve a decision by a bar, nightclub, restaurant, convenience store, or other business to over-serve alcohol to an already intoxicated person.

On average, every 52 minutes a person is killed in a preventable drunk-driving crash, and many more suffer debilitating catastrophic injuries. If you suffered life-changing injuries or lost a loved one in a drunk driving crash, our goal is to help you secure a brighter, more stable financial future through securing the full compensation that you and your family deserve from all those responsible.

At Mickelson Dalton LLC, our South Carolina car accident lawyers tenaciously fight to hold all responsible parties accountable and pursue maximum compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of companionship, funeral and burial expenses, and other losses caused by drunk drivers.

Why Hire Mickelsen Dalton LLC After A Drunk Driving Accident

As drunk driving injury lawyers, we represent those who have suffered catastrophic injuries and their families, as well as the families who have lost a loved one in a drunk driving crash. We help our clients file lawsuits against not only the drunk drivers who cause crashes, but also bars and restaurants that may be responsible for over-serving intoxicated drivers, employers (if a crash occurred during the course of employment), and others who may be liable for the crash. Drunk driving is the most common form of

DUI crashes are not accidents. Our goal is to secure full compensation for victims and families. Every drunk-driving crash is unique. The injuries, devastation, and aftermath of a drunk driving crash will similarly be unique. Our role is first and foremost to secure full compensation for all those who have been damaged – not one penny less.

Call our offices to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn how we can help you seek justice and full monetary compensation.

Why You Need an Attorney After Being Involved in Drunk Driving Accident

Nobody should ever have to face a lawsuit on their own. This could be a challenging situation with unforeseen problems, and your injuries may make you more vulnerable. An attorney who has handled claims similar to yours before understands the process and what it takes to win your case.

In the aftermath of the collision, a lawyer experienced in drunk driving accidents can advise you on how to proceed legally.

They will leverage their knowledge of the statute of limitations and the wide range of drunk driving statutes to increase the chances of a successful lawsuit.

Furthermore, your attorney will ensure that your claim is properly submitted and will assist you in receiving the amount you are entitled to.

How Much Does an Experienced Drunk Driving Attorney Cost?

Debilitating drunk-driving injuries can be stressful and costly enough without having to worry about covering exorbitant legal fees. We understand.

At our law firm, we represent injured victims on contingency, meaning we only charge a fee if we successfully secure a settlement or trial award. We also will advance all litigation costs, such as filing fees and the costs to retain experts to help prove a case. Therefore, you will not have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for quality legal representation. Specific information about our fees and costs is set forth in our client retention agreement, which solely governs the terms and conditions of our representation.

How Does Alcohol Affect Driving Ability?

As alcohol levels rise in the body, it is absorbed directly through the walls of the stomach and small intestine, passing into the bloodstream, where it accumulates until the liver metabolizes it. During this process, the central nervous system is significantly affected, leading to impairments such as:

  • Blurred Vision
  • Lack of Coordination (e.g., poor balance, vision, reaction time, and hearing)
  • Loss of Judgment
  • Deterioration of Reaction Time
  • Slurred Speech
  • Slowed Thinking
  • Decreased Muscle Control

The more alcohol that is consumed, the greater the impairment.

Distracted driving can include many tasks such as texting, talking, eating, and drinking while driving. All acts of distracted driving should be completely avoided in order to prevent an accident.

What Blood Alcohol Level is Considered Illegal for Driving?

In all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 of alcohol per deciliter or higher, except in Utah, where the limit is .05. However, nearly 2,000 people are still killed each year in alcohol-related crashes where drivers had lower alcohol levels (i.e., BACs of .01 to .07). As such, a BAC does not always accurately reflect an impairment level.

Does a Person Need to Exceed a State BAC Limit in Order to be Considered Drunk?

It is important to understand that in a drunk driving case, there may be two separate legal matters – a criminal matter brought by the state for criminal drunk driving, and a civil matter brought by those injured and the families who have lost a loved one. If a person does not exceed the criminal BAC, this does not prevent the introduction into evidence that a person had been drinking, as well as experts to provide an opinion about the extent to which the person may have been impaired when the crash occurred.

Regardless of an individual’s BAC level, if the negligence of an alcohol-impaired driver significantly injured you or a loved one, you deserve justice and full and fair compensation for your injuries and losses. At Mickelsen Dalton LLC, we are committed to helping those severely injured (and family members who have lost a loved one in a drunk driving crash seek the maximum compensation to which they are rightfully entitled.

What Are Dram Shop Laws, and How Do They Apply?

Dram shop laws are laws that allow a person or family to bring a lawsuit against a bar, restaurant, or any other establishment serving alcohol if such place continues to serve patrons who are already intoxicated, and that person causes injury as the result of such intoxication. The law takes its name from a revolutionary-era name for bars, which were often referred to as “dram shops” after the small measurement (referred to as a “dram”) in which liquor was sold.

Specific dram shop laws can vary from state to state. In general, they have been enacted to try to stop bars, restaurants, and other establishments from overserving patrons by making them liable in part for the damages and injuries caused by drunk drivers. Today, these laws help those injured and the families who have lost a loved one as they often serve as a “deep pocket” for helping to secure compensation.

Do you believe your accident involved another party? Contact our South Carolina dram shop attorney today.

Can Other People Be Liable for Serving Alcohol to a Drunk Driver Beyond a Bar or Restaurant?

Maybe. The laws for the liability of non-commercial establishments (such as an individual serving alcohol at a house party) vary from state to state. In some states, for example, an individual who has a party at their house will only be liable if they serve alcohol to a minor who then causes a crash.

What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Drunk Driving Injury Lawsuit?

After a severe drunk driving crash, individuals often face life-long medical bills and other costly expenses. If an accident was caused by another person’s negligence, a victim might be entitled to monetary compensation for some (or all) of the following damages:

  • Healthcare Bills
  • Rehabilitation and Therapy
  • Loss of Income
  • Loss of Future Earnings
  • Disfigurement, Paralysis, or Amputation
  • Permanent Disability
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life
  • Punitive Damages (in particularly egregious cases)

Furthermore, if a loved one died as the result of a drunk driving crash, surviving family members may be entitled to damages for funeral and burial costs, loss of the decedent’s income, and loss of consortium or companionship. As drunk driving accident lawyers, we will identify all liable parties and aggressively pursue everything to which you and your family are entitled by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

How Long Do I Have to File a Drunk Driving Lawsuit?

It is critical to reaching out to Mickelsen Dalton LLC as soon as possible, as you only have a limited time to file a claim.
Each state sets a deadline, known as the statute of limitations, specifying how long a person has to file a personal injury claim for damages.

In South Carolina, for instance, a victim or family will generally have three years from a car crash to file a personal injury claim against another person. However, if a governmental entity is involved, this time period may be much shorter, so it is critical to contact a drunk driving injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are preserved.

Drunk Driving in South Carolina

Based on a review of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Centers for Disease Control, and FBI, South Carolina has earned the unpleasant distinction of being the fifth highest-ranking state for drunk driving problems per capita.

To rank the states, the research examined statistics on DUI crash deaths and arrests. South Carolina’s rate of drunk driving deaths (5.7 per 100,000 inhabitants) earned it a place among the top five states with the drunkest driving problems.

In the most recent findings reported by responsibility.org, they found that:

  • There were 291 total fatalities due to alcohol-impaired driving, which is responsible for 28.1 percent of all fatalities in the state.
  • There were 27 alcohol-impaired fatalities in those under 21.
  • There were 15,188 people arrested for driving under the influence.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety, reported in a four-year span, that there was a combined 28,235 driving under the influence of alcohol-related collisions.

Ignition Interlock Devices and Surrounding Laws

A breath-testing device connected to a vehicle’s ignition system is known as an ignition interlock. The driver must give a breath sample that registers a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) below a particular preset limit on the device before the gadget will allow the car to start. To differing degrees, all states have installed ignition interlock devices.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ignition interlock devices lower the likelihood of repeat drunk driving by 70 percent.

The Prevention of Underage Drinking and Access to Alcohol Act was signed into law in June of 2007. This statute established the conditions for constructing the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Program, which was to be administered by the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Service (SCDPPPS). Governor Haley signed Emma’s Law in April 2014, and it went into effect on October 1, 2014. The existing IID Program is considerably enhanced by this statute, which includes that:

  • DUI first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or higher must complete the program.
  • A camera IID is required.
  • The rigorous suspension period for DUI second and subsequent offenders has been eliminated.
  • Non-participation in the IID Program is no longer an option; completion of the program is now required before obtaining a non-restrictive license.
  • Driving a vehicle without an IID carries severe penalties.

The service center providers must inspect and download the data from the participants’ breath alcohol ignition interlock devices (BAIID) at least once every 60 days.

Call a South Carolina Drunk Driving Attorney Today

There is no fee for this consultation. And, as we represent clients in injury matters on a contingency fee basis, you will not need to pay any up-front costs, as we are only paid out of compensation that is secured. We also advance all litigation costs and expenses while a case is ongoing.

We understand that an accident can have a tolling experience on the victim and their family, even more so when someone else caused the collision. The South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Mickelsen Dalton LLC will handle your case with the utmost care and confidence. We strive to win.

If you or a loved one has been injured through the negligence of someone else, contact our attorneys today by giving us a call at (843) 804-0428 (South Carolina) or (678) 641-9054 (Georgia) or email us at help@mickelsendalton.com. You can also contact us via online messaging found on our website. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.