I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver! Now What?

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Sharing South Carolina’s roads and highways with other motorists means that you may cross paths with a drunk driver. This is a rising trend in the state. According to news station WCSC, alcohol-related crashes rose sharply between 2020-2021, with a 26% percent increase in incidents. When an accident occurs, you may ask yourself, I was hit by a drunk driver, so what do I do now?

Acting appropriately following the collision can protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. If you were hit by an individual who decided to drive drunk or intoxicated, our Charleston drunk driving accident attorneys at Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney can answer your questions regarding how to move forward and help you make informed decisions about your legal options following the accident.

I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver: What Happens Next?

Once you realize a drunk driver caused your accident, gathering information is often crucial if you plan to file a criminal case against the offender or if you believe the driver’s insurance company is not offering you fair compensation for your injuries. After a drunk driving accident, the insurance company that covers the other driver may try to coax you into accepting a settlement offer, which may seem like the right choice to cover your losses, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • The cost of treatment, such as medication and physical therapy

While you may just want the whole ordeal to be over and done with, it is typically in your best interest to avoid settling your case too early or signing anything without having it reviewed by an attorney.

Because drunk driving is illegal in South Carolina, your local prosecutor will likely file criminal charges.

However, if the driver has no insurance or the insurance company refuses to cover your losses, you must file civil charges against the drunk driver directly. Our attorneys can take the confusion of this process out of your hands and file the charges for you. Remember that you have multiple options, and our attorneys can guide you to choose the best option for you and your family.

Am I Covered if I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver With Insurance?

Because South Carolina operates under at-fault car accident laws, drivers are not required to carry personal injury protection. While this leaves you with more options for recovering compensation, it also means struggling to make yourself whole by battling the other driver’s insurance company. This is stressful at any time, but doing so while recovering from serious injuries caused by a drunk-driving wreck can make it feel like an insurmountable task.

When you bring your case to us, our attorneys can represent you regarding any communication with insurance agents and representatives working to settle your case out of court. This safeguards you from aggressive phone calls and letters, giving you more time to focus on healing while our attorneys build your case.

What if I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver With No Insurance?

In South Carolina, every car insurance policy comes with uninsured motorist coverage, which protects you against drivers who do not have insurance. However, if the cost of your medical bills and other losses eclipse your coverage, this may leave you with out-of-pocket expenses, such as the cost of medication or future surgeries you may need to repair injuries you suffered during the crash.

Uninsured drunk drivers are particularly dangerous when they get behind the wheel. Not only do they cause car wrecks that cause serious injury, but they also leave those injured with fewer avenues of compensation. While a lack of insurance can affect how you proceed, our attorneys can review your case and assist you with filing a criminal case against the drunk driver who caused your injuries.

What Are the DUI Laws in South Carolina?

Drunk drivers in South Carolina will receive a DUI charge if their blood alcohol content is 0.08% or higher.

Commercial drivers must remain under 0.04%, and any drivers below the legal drinking age of 21 receive a DUI charge, no matter their BAC. Drivers who register under the 0.08% limit may still find themselves charged with a DUI if their behavior or driving suggests they are drunk behind the wheel. This may include rapid lane changes, failing to signal, swerving or drifting repeatedly into the oncoming traffic lane.

The state of South Carolina allows you to file a civil case against a private host who provided alcohol to an underage or intoxicated individual. Certain states have these laws to discourage serving alcohol to already drunk guests and to hold them accountable if their intoxicated guests leave and cause an accident. Our attorneys can help guide you concerning South Carolina state laws regarding drinking and driving so you understand your options for filing a case.

What Are My DUI Crash Injuries Worth?

Our attorneys build the foundation of your case by reviewing the value of your losses. Other than your physical injuries, our attorneys can add other types of compensation as well, including:

  • Loss of future earnings
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Punitive damages

When DUI crashes happen and cause injury, they also result in pain and suffering. These are punitive damages, which the court may grant if the judge believes the other driver acted recklessly or without regard for others. Since drunk driving is a criminal act and the action caused you injuries, especially permanent or life-altering physical trauma, our attorneys can seek such damages as a part of your court case.

If individuals served alcohol to an underage driver or handed over car keys to someone who was visibly intoxicated, their actions may be grounds for naming them in your case. While no two DUI car crash causes are alike, our attorneys will review the circumstances and ensure that all allegedly responsible parties face the choices they made.

What Benefits Does Hiring an Attorney Offer Me?

Having our attorneys on your side after a South Carolina DUI wreck can provide you complete peace of mind. If your injuries are so serious that you must remain in the hospital, our attorneys can provide you with representation, speaking with insurance agents and collecting vital evidence so you can avoid stress that might affect your healing.

Because most insurance companies want to avoid court cases against the individuals they insure, one popular tactic is to offer a settlement. However, if the total amount of the offer will not cover existing medical bills or ones you may have in the future, having our attorneys review any offer helps protect you against financial instability in the wake of the crash.

Injured In a DUI Wreck? Contact Our Charleston Attorneys Today

Experiencing the trauma of a South Carolina car wreck caused by a drunk driver is usually compounded by a stream of medical bills and pressure from insurance companies to settle for a deal outside of court.

If you need the answer to what happens after you were hit by a drunk driver, focus on healing instead and let our attorneys at Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney handle your case.

Contact us for further information and assistance after getting hit by a drunk driver. Trey Helps.

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