If you suspect drunk driving caused the crash, your first step should be to call 911. A police response means that a trained investigator will be able to determine if the other driver was under the influence. If he or she tests positive with law enforcement, not only does it help your legal case later, but you are helping to take a dangerous driver off the road.
While you wait for the authorities to arrive, keep your eyes open and look for the signs of impairment. If it’s safe to do so, you should do the following:
- Use your phone to take multiple pictures or videos of the scene [obviously do not approach the intoxicated driver].
- If you see any open alcohol containers or drug paraphernalia, report it to the police immediately.
- Report the use of mouthwash, breath spray, or eye drops immediately after the accident since the driver could be attempting to conceal intoxication.
- Make sure the driver does not attempt to switch seats with someone else in the car, tell the police what you saw, as it could lead to serious charges.
- Contact Attorney Trey Harrell at the Trey Harrell Law Office, LLC or another personal injury attorney who helps DUI victims as soon as possible.
What You Need to Know After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver in South Carolina…
Remember the state is responsible for pursuing criminal charges.
After being hit by a drunk driver, many injured people and their families want to know how to hold the drunk driver criminally responsible for their reckless actions. Since driving under the influence is against the law in Charleston as well as the rest of the State of South Carolina, if the individual is suspected of intoxication, they will most likely be arrested at the scene so the State can pursue criminal charges against the driver. You are able to be involved and can do so by contacting the prosecutor’s office or a victim’s advocate to request to speak at the drunk driver’s sentencing. Attorney Trey Harrell is a former prosecutor that has been involved in significant number of these types of cases who is extremely capable of assisting you in being involved in the prosecution of the drunk driver that caused your injuries.
You can file a claim against the drunk driver to hold them financially responsible for your injuries.
In addition to the state’s criminal proceedings, you can pursue a claim against the intoxicated driver to hold them accountable for the harm you and your loved ones have experienced. This process is begun by contacting the intoxicated driver’s insurance company and filing a claim for your damages. The insurance provider will then open an investigation and will attempt to close your case by offering to pay you in the form of a settlement. At that point, you may choose to accept their offer or negotiate a larger settlement. Keep in mind that insurance companies make money by paying claimants as little as possible, so many people choose to hire drunk driving injury lawyers, like Attorney Trey Harrell, to handle negotiations with the insurance company and help ensure they receive the settlement they deserve.
When determining if the insurance company has offered you a fair settlement, consider the costs associated with the below damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Future medical treatment
- Punitive Damages
If the offer from the insurance company won’t cover your medical bills, your inability to continue making the same wages, or the medical treatment you’ll need in the future, I’d encourage you to consider scheduling a free consultation with an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer in South Carolina, like Attorney Trey Harrell, to ensure your rights are protected.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Trey Harrell Law Office, LLC at 843.636.TREY 8436368739 for a free consultation.
The Drunk Driver Didn’t Have Insurance
Even if the drunk driver who caused the wreck does not have insurance, you may still be able to seek recovery from your own insurance company. In South Carolina, every car insurance policy comes with “uninsured motorist coverage”, which is designed to protect you against drivers who do not have insurance.
Getting A Lawyer to Help After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver
DUI accidents can cause permanent injuries and even death, but you only get one shot at the settlement you deserve. Once you sign a release, you no longer have the right to seek additional recovery, even if you later discover that you’ll need additional medical treatment as a result of the accident. That’s why it’s incredibly important to consider speaking with an attorney before settling your case. An experienced DUI lawyer can help ensure your legal rights are protected after being hit by a drunk driver in South Carolina. A drunk driving accident lawyer will effectively investigate your DUI crash, identify additional sources of recovery, negotiate with the adjusters, and take your case to trial if the insurance company refuses to offer the settlement you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car wreck caused by a drunk driver, do not hesitate to reach out to Attorney Trey Harrell because he and his team will do everything in their power to hold the drunk driver accountable for their extremely reckless conduct on your behalf. Simply call our office at 843.636.8739 or fill out this simple form to schedule a FREE consultation to have your rights thoroughly explained to better allow you to figure out the next steps.
Disclaimer: Information in this blog is intended for informative purposes only and not legal advice. Please consult with a licensed attorney before you make any decisions on legal matters. Further, viewing of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship with the Trey Harrell Law Office, LLC. Matters will be handled by an attorney who primarily practice out of our office in Charleston County located at 2000 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. Charleston, SC 29407. Robert W. "Trey" Harrell, III is the attorney responsible for this posting.