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Wrongful Death Caused by a Drunk Driver?

Last week a Columbia, SC, man was charged with felony DUI after he struck and killed a USC student on a moped.

According to police, David Newell was riding his moped on Rosewood Drive in Columbia when a drunk driver crashed into him from behind and dragged his moped down the road until they crashed into a tree. The DUI suspect was treated and released from the hospital, but Newell died the following day from his injuries.

How can you make sense of a tragedy like this?

The suspect surely did not set out to kill someone, but, if the allegations are true, he made the choice to drink and then get behind the wheel which ended a young man's life.

As in most felony DUI cases, the driver will have a difficult journey ahead of him as he attempts to defend against the criminal charges. Newell's family is most likely reeling.

What can a DUI victim's family do to find justice after something like this happens?

Wrongful Death Lawsuits in SC

There is no justice when your family member's life has been cut short by a drunk driver. Justice would be returning Newell to his family, which is not possible.

The defendant may be punished severely in the criminal court, or they may not. Felony DUIs are by far more difficult to defend than a run-of-the-mill misdemeanor DUI case, and the police, prosecutor, and court will take it much more seriously because the victim was killed.

In addition to the criminal consequences that the driver faces, they or their insurance company are also responsible for the financial harm caused by their actions. Following a fatal accident, the victim's family should always immediately contact a personal injury attorney with experience handling DUI accidents to begin the process of investigating and filing a wrongful death action against the defendant.

It's just one more thing on a long list of things that a victim's family must do as they stumble through one of the most difficult times in their lives.

It's also an important step that will take some of the stress and pressure off the family - once your attorney takes over the case, you can leave the financial recovery in their hands.

What can I Recover in a Wrongful Death Action?

A wrongful death lawsuit in SC can be filed any time a person's death is caused by another person or company's negligence, recklessness, or intentional act.

The survivors, or family, of the victim can file suit against the defendant for both economic and emotional damages such as medical costs, burial and funeral expenses, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and any other compensable expenses or injuries that were a result of the defendant's actions.

When the victim's death was caused by a drunk driver, the family can also seek punitive damages to hold the defendant accountable and to punish them for their actions. What's more, there is no cap on punitive damages in SC when the defendant was driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.

Insurance companies know this, and they are more likely to settle a DUI accident case when they can to avoid exposure to punitive damages following a trial.

South Carolina Wrongful Death and DUI Accident Lawyers

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car crash with a drunk driver, we want to help. If the drunk driving accident resulted in death, we will seek maximum compensation for your family in a wrongful death action.

Schedule a free consultation with a Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer on the Axelrod team. Call us at (843) 916-9300 or fill out our contact form today.

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