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Injured In A DUI Accident In Greenville, South Carolina?
If you’ve been injured as a result of a drunk driving accident, you need an experienced Greenville DUI lawyer on your side to get you the compensation you deserve and help you stand up against the drunk driver who injured you.
The Clardy Law Firm is the local personal injury firm Greenville residents trust. If you’ve been injured in a DUI accident, our South Carolina personal injury lawyers can help you obtain the medical treatment you need and secure compensation to support your recovery. Contact our drunk driver accident lawyers today to start the process with a free, no-obligation case review.
How Our DUI Accident Lawyers Can Help
The most tragic part about DUI accidents is that they’re entirely avoidable. If more drunk drivers decided to catch a cab instead of getting behind the wheel after a night on the town, many DUI accidents wouldn’t happen. And while cars and other motor vehicles continue to get safer and our local South Carolina law enforcement officers work hard to raise awareness of the catastrophic impact drunk driving accidents have, they still happen. These drunk driving accidents often occur throughout the year in South Carolina, with spikes in DUI accidents common during the holidays. As a victim, being in a DUI accident can result in severe and life-changing or even life-ending injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk-driving or drug-driving accident, don’t hesitate to contact our DUI accident lawyers in Greenville, SC, to discuss your case and get the compensation you and your family deserve.
Who's Responsible For Your DUI Accident?
While you might assume that the only person responsible for your DUI accident is the intoxicated driver, there may be other liable parties. It’s crucial to investigate how the driver who caused your accident came to be intoxicated and found themselves behind the wheel while impaired. Our experienced Greenville DUI lawyers at The Clardy Law Firm will explore all potentially liable parties and sources of compensation.
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Claiming Compensation After Your DUI Accident
South Carolina is a fault state, meaning you have the right to claim compensation from the party (or parties) responsible if you’re in a motor vehicle accident. Sometimes, this is just the drunk driver, but often, others are also responsible. This might be another driver involved in the accident, a social host or establishment that served alcohol or allowed them to drive while intoxicated, or even you.
If you’re partly responsible for your accident with an intoxicated driver, it doesn’t mean you can’t claim compensation. South Carolina has comparative negligence laws, which means you can still claim compensation if you are not 51% or more at fault for your accident. If you’re in a drunk-driving accident, speak to our South Carolina DUI lawyers — even if you think you may have caused your accident. You might still be entitled to claim.
You could be entitled to various types of compensation — or damages — as part of your DUI claim. These fall into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
The first type of economic damages — tangible, definitive costs you can prove you’ve incurred — that you can claim are your medical bills. These include emergency room fees, immediate tests and treatment, and transport to and from the hospital.
However, if you sustain severe injuries in your DUI accident, you may need ongoing treatment, and you’re entitled to recover the cost.
Your Greenville DUI lawyer can claim the cost of past and future surgery, follow-up appointments, medication, physical therapy, speech and language therapy, and any other treatment or mobility aids you need, such as prosthetics.
The second type of economic damages you can recover is your lost wages. After an accident, you’ll likely need time off work to recover. If your injuries are severe, you may not be able to work for several months, a year, or longer, or you may have to seek a new job because you can no longer perform your responsibilities.
You can claim your lost wages for the period you cannot work due to your injury.
As with your medical bills, you can recover past and future lost wages. If you’re unable to work again, the amount of compensation you receive can be substantial.
A DUI accident doesn’t just result in financial costs. If a drunk driver crashes into you, causing you to sustain a traumatic brain injury, you’ll likely suffer considerable physical and emotional pain. You might have depression or problems with your memory or even struggle to communicate with your loved ones, causing you to become withdrawn.
Pain and suffering are types of non-economic damages you may be entitled to. These are subjective — unlike with medical bills, you can’t produce a receipt that puts a price on your pain — but they can be substantial. Your DUI accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
A DUI accident can cause severe injuries that leave you out of work or sky-high medical bills. But you don’t have to struggle to make ends meet. A DUI accident claim can help you manage your financial burden and compensate you for your pain.
Our experienced Greenville DUI lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve and handle your claim so you can focus on your recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions Our South Carolina DUI Accident Lawyers Receive
Legally, you don’t need to hire an attorney to file a DUI claim — you’re well within your rights to negotiate with the insurance company yourself. However, hiring a DUI accident lawyer offers you many benefits.
To successfully claim compensation, you need to meet a burden of proof — that the drunk driver owed you a duty of care and breached that duty through reckless or negligent conduct and that this conduct resulted in damages. You need strong evidence, which our DUI lawyers in Greenville, SC, can help you collect.
Many Greenville residents think they can keep more compensation by going it alone, but hiring an experienced attorney often results in a much higher settlement, even after paying legal fees.
Insurance companies are shrewd and stubborn, resorting to many tactics to encourage accident victims to settle for less than their claim is worth. Our drunk driver accident lawyers are wise to these tactics and will negotiate a fair offer. We’re also not afraid to take your case to trial if you have a strong case and are entitled to more compensation.
You’re entitled to multiple damages as part of your DUI claim.
These include economic damages, including your past and future medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. For example, suppose a DUI accident causes considerable damage to your car and results in injuries that require surgery and prevent you from working for several months. In that case, you’re entitled to recover the wages you’ve lost during that time, the cost of your surgery and other treatment, and how much it costs to repair your vehicle.
You may also be entitled to additional damages for your pain, suffering, and mental anguish. These are typically calculated by applying a multiplier — a number between one and five — to your total economic damages. The more severe your injuries and their impact on your life, the higher the multiplier and the more compensation you will receive.
Most cases result in a settlement between parties and avoid going to court, but there is a third type of damages you may receive if you go to trial.
Punitive damages are at the discretion of a jury and may be awarded to punish the defendant for their behavior. Because a DUI is a particularly egregious offense and entirely preventable, punitive damages may be awarded to signal that such conduct won’t be tolerated and deter other drivers from getting behind the wheel after a drink.
If you wish to claim compensation after a DUI accident, you must do so within a specific time limit. This is called the statute of limitations, which differs by state. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years, which means you must start the legal process within three years from the date of your accident.
If you do not claim within this time, you release the responsible party from liability and cannot pursue compensation. However, there are exceptions, so it’s recommended to speak to a Greenville DUI lawyer to see if they apply to you.
Unfortunately, DUI accidents are common in South Carolina. Of course, many of these accidents are also avoidable.
According to the 2020 South Carolina Traffic Collision Fact Book, one person was killed in a DUI collision every 27.9 hours. More non-fatal DUI collisions also happened in Greenville than in any other county in the state. In 2020, 620 non-fatal incidents occurred in Greenville. To put that into context, the average number of DUI collisions across all counties was just 116.5 (based on 5,362 total collisions across 46 counties).
If you’re relying on a compensation payout to cover your bills, especially if you’re unable to work, you may wonder how long it takes to settle a DUI claim.
Unfortunately, the answer to that question depends on several factors.
If you have a strong case with clear evidence proving the other party was responsible, you may come to an agreement fairly quickly. However, waiting a little longer to negotiate a better settlement can be worthwhile, as insurance companies will often lowball you early in exchange for a faster outcome.
Your injuries can also impact how long your claim will take. If you have severe injuries, your DUI accident lawyer will likely recommend waiting until you reach what is called maximum medical improvement. This is when you have either fully recovered or when any additional treatment is unlikely to improve your condition further. For example, if you are partially paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury, you will never fully recover, but you may be able to recover some function after extensive rehabilitation. Your South Carolina DUI accident lawyer will recommend waiting until this point to settle, so they understand how severe your injuries are and can recover a settlement that will fairly compensate you. If you settle early and your injuries get worse, or if you need additional treatment not accounted for in your settlement, you will not be able to recover more compensation, as you’ll have already signed the paperwork and released the party from liability.
Your DUI lawyer in Greenville, SC, can advise you on how long it may take to settle your claim based on the specifics of your case. If you’re worried about paying your medical bills in the meantime, speak to your attorney — they can arrange for your medical costs to come out of your settlement once agreed upon.