Drunk Driving/ DUI Accident Lawyers in Myrtle Beach, SC
With over 100 years of combined experience, the Myrtle Beach DUI accident lawyers at Axelrod & Associates are here for you if you or a family member have been hurt by a drunk driver.
DUI accidents and drunk driving fatalities continue to be a serious problem on SC highways. For example, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 291 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2018, and there were 3,299 deaths caused by drunk drivers in the ten years from 2009-2018 in SC.
3,299 deaths that were avoidable, and 3,299 people who would be with their families today but for someone’s decision to drive after drinking too much. Those are just the deaths caused by drunk drivers in SC – how many people have been left seriously injured or permanently disabled due to DUI accidents?
The DUI accident lawyers on the Axelrod team work hard to hold drunk drivers accountable for their actions.
If you have been injured in a DUI accident, call Axelrod & Associates at 843-353-3449 or complete our contact form to talk with an attorney who has experience handling DUI lawsuits, who cares about your case, and who will do everything possible to recover maximum compensation for you.
How a Myrtle Beach DUI Accident Attorney can Help You
If you or a family member has been hurt in a drunk driving accident, your attorney on the Axelrod team will:
- Investigate the crash, hiring accident reconstructionists and other experts when needed,
- Gather the evidence that we will need to prove liability and damages, including evidence of intoxication and evidence to prove dram shop liability against bars or restaurants that served the drunk driver,
- Identify all possible sources of recovery including insurance policies, third parties that may have contributed to the crash, and establishments that served the drunk driver,
- Help you to get all medical treatment that you need,
- Retain any experts that are needed to prove future medical expenses, lost earning potential, or other elements of damages in your case,
- Demand full and fair compensation from the drunk driver, any bars or restaurants that contributed to your DUI accident, and their insurers,
- File a lawsuit and prepare your case for trial, and
- Try your case to a jury if the drunk driver’s insurance company and any establishments subject to dram shop liability do not agree to pay the full compensation that you are entitled to under the law.
FAQ’s for Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Myrtle Beach, SC
If you have been involved in a DUI accident, you may have questions.
Below, we provide some general information, but you should contact a Myrtle Beach drunk driving accident attorney immediately to discuss the specifics of your case and to find out what your options are.
What is a Dram Shop Lawsuit?
Although SC technically does not have “dram shop laws,” it is illegal for any establishment to serve alcohol to 1) minors or 2) a person who is already intoxicated.
If a bar or restaurant served alcohol to a minor or to someone who was already visibly intoxicated, the establishment is just as responsible for your car crash as the drunk driver. Because it is against the law to serve alcohol to someone who is intoxicated, they are per se negligent and liable for the damage caused by the drunk driver.
Can I Get Punitive Damages in a DUI Accident Case?
SC law permits a jury to award punitive damages when you can prove gross negligence or intentional conduct. Driving a car while intoxicated is gross negligence, juries do not care for drunk drivers, and there is a good chance that you will get punitive damages if your case goes to trial.
Because insurance companies, bars, and restaurants know that punitive damages are likely, this must be factored into any settlement you accept in a drunk driving accident case.
There are caps on punitive damages in SC, but there are no caps on punitive damages when:
- The defendant intended to harm the plaintiff,
- The defendant was convicted of a felony related to the accident (felony DUI, for example), or
- The defendant’s judgment was substantially impaired by alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident.
What Damages Can I Expect in a Drunk Driving Accident Case?
When a drunk driver causes a crash or hurts someone, you may be entitled to damages including:
- Property damage,
- Current and future medical expenses,
- Long-term care if needed,
- Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of consortium and loss of companionship,
- Scarring or disfigurement,
- Mental anguish and emotional distress,
- Damages for wrongful death, and
- Punitive damages.
How Do I Prove the Other Driver was Drunk?
In most cases, if the other driver was drunk, the responding officer will notice, investigate, and arrest them for DUI or felony DUI.
Felony DUI charges are investigated and prosecuted vigorously – if the drunk driver has been charged with DUI or felony DUI, your attorney on the Axelrod team will communicate with the solicitor’s office to stay abreast of any developments in the criminal case and keep you informed.
At trial, the defendant’s conviction for felony DUI is sufficient evidence to prove intoxication. If there is no conviction, however, we may still be able to prove substantial impairment through any tests that were conducted by law enforcement and through witness testimony.
If I was a Passenger in a Drunk Driving Accident, Can I Sue?
If you are riding in a car with a drunk driver who crashes, the drunk driver is responsible for your damages, and you can file a lawsuit just as a victim in another vehicle could file a lawsuit.
If you have been injured in a DUI accident in South Carolina, the Myrtle Beach drunk driving accident attorneys at Axelrod & Associates may be able to help you to get maximum compensation for your injuries.