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Driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is illegal for a reason. Alcohol impairs a person’s judgment, reaction time, and ability to control their vehicle. Drunk drivers cause some of the most life-altering, and many times fatal, injuries to others on the road. If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, you do not have to wait for criminal action to be taken against them to pursue your own claims. Charleston DUI injury attorney Lindsay Blanks of E. Lindsay Blanks PA Law Firm can help you file the appropriate suit to ensure you are rightly compensated for losses caused by a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Mr. Blanks and his team are dedicated to making sure victims and those who have lost loved ones in a devastating accident have the financial support they need from those responsible for their harm. For over three decades, Lindsay Blanks has represented clients throughout South Carolina in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Our firm offers compassionate and zealous legal advocacy with a commitment in obtaining the best possible outcome in every case we handle. If you have questions regarding your legal rights after an accident involving a drunk driver, contact our office to schedule a no-fee consultation with an attorney today.
Unfortunately, South Carolina is among the top three states with the highest rate of drunk driving fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported as much as 44 percent of all traffic-related fatalities statewide were caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol. In South Carolina, drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, or those who are shown to be unable to safely operate their vehicle due to drugs or alcohol can be found guilty of DUI.
Intoxicated drivers can, and should, be held criminally liable for DUI, but sometimes evidence does not allow prosecutors to pursue charges. However, lack of criminal charges does not preclude victims injured by a drunk driver from filing civil claims to recover damages they suffered from an accident. A knowledgeable DUI injury attorney at E. Lindsay Blanks PA Law Firm can make sure your legal rights are protected if you’ve been injured in a collision in Charleston involving a drunk driver.
A driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs and causes injuries to another can be held liable for their negligent actions. To show negligence in these cases, evidence including results of a field sobriety test as well as a breathalyzer or blood tests done at the scene can be used. Police testimony and any video footage as well as witnesses and passenger statements may also be vital to establishing a driver was intoxicated at the time of an accident. If criminal charges were filed, those offenses can also be used in a claim.
Unlike some other states, South Carolina does not have formal “dram shop laws” – which hold bars or restaurants legally liable for knowingly allowing a patron to drive who was noticeably intoxicated when leaving the premises. However, these establishments could still be held responsible under other state law – such as if the bar sold alcohol to an overtly intoxicated person who subsequently caused an accident. If you’ve been injured or loved one has died as a result of a drunk driver in Charleston, a seasoned DUI injury attorney can help determine the proper parties at fault.
Once liability is shown, a victim or family can recover compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include any past or anticipated medical costs, loss of income or earning capacity, properly loss, as well as pain and suffering. Punitive damages are available for circumstances where the defendant-driver has acted in a reckless way or violated the law. Certain factors such as a driver’s high BAC level or if they had previous DUI convictions are considered when awarding punitive damages.
Serious injuries such as broken bones, internal bleeding, head and brain trauma, and others often result in a DUI accident. Drivers who decide to get behind the wheel while intoxicated should be held accountable for the harm they cause. Charleston DUI injury attorney Lindsay Blanks is committed to making sure these victims receive the compensation they need, and are entitled to, in the aftermath of a serious collision. Our firm represents clients throughout Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville, Goose Creek, Ladson, Hanahan, Moncks Corner, Mt. Pleasant, Kingstree as well as elsewhere in South Carolina. Call our office today at (843) 863-1800 or contact us online to find out more about how we can help.