Drunk driving car accidents in Marion cause serious injuries and fatalities all too often. People’s lives change in a moment because of someone else’s reckless and irresponsible actions.
Although nothing can turn back the clock, you could receive compensation for your injuries after being hit by an intoxicated driver. A seasoned auto collision attorney at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda could help prove you are entitled to financial recovery for your out-of-pocket losses plus money for your physical pain, suffering, and any other negative impacts the accident had on your quality of life.
Negligence in Drunk Driving Cases
Anyone who suffers losses in an automobile wreck could sue the at-fault driver for their losses. The injured person (plaintiff) must prove the at-fault driver (defendant) was negligent. Negligence occurs when someone fails to use reasonable care to protect someone else from a foreseeable hazard.
Drivers are negligent when they:
- Fail to obey traffic laws
- Fail to maintain their vehicles properly
- Are inattentive to their surroundings
- Do not adjust their driving to reflect current conditions
If a driver was intoxicated when they got into an accident, the driver is usually at fault. However, if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was above the legal limit of .08, they were driving while intoxicated and are negligent per se.
Negligent per se means a plaintiff’s attorney does not have to prove any other unreasonable conduct. The driver was negligent because they drove while drunk, and they are liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. If the driver’s BAC was below the legal limit, but the Marion police charged them with drunk driving due to other indicators of impairment, the driver still might be liable for a crash; however, the plaintiff would need to prove they were negligent.
Recoverable Damages in Drunk Driving Wrecks
Drunk driving crashes often occur at high speeds, making them extremely dangerous. An injured party who survives a drunk driving collision in Marion deserves fair financial recovery for all their losses.
A plaintiff’s economic damages, sometimes called special damages, are the costs of responding to and managing the injury and typically include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Damaged or lost property
- Diminished future earning potential
Incidental expenses may also be compensated such as parking and babysitting costs for medical appointments as well as renovation costs if the injured person must adapt their home for a wheelchair.
Non-economic damages—sometimes called general damages—cover emotional, psychological, or social losses. Pursuant to South Carolina Statutes § 15-32-200(9) a plaintiff may seek general damages for their:
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Mental anguish
- Physical pain
Identifying Potentially Responsible Parties in a Drunk Driving Crash
It might seem obvious that the person responsible for a drunk driving car wreck in Marion is the drunk driver. However, other parties might have contributed to the incident and could be liable for some or all of the injured party’s damages.
A diligent attorney from Whetstone Perkins & Fulda could investigate whether a plaintiff might have a claim under a dram shop liability theory. Bars, restaurants, and other establishments that sell liquor by the drink must not serve someone underage or someone who is clearly intoxicated. Social hosts must not serve alcohol to anyone underage. If a business or host serves someone they should not have, they could be liable for the injuries the drunk driver causes in a collision.
Other parties also could contribute to the plaintiff’s damages. Mechanical failures often contribute to crashes, and in that case, the manufacturer could be liable. Other drivers could have partial responsibility. If any involved driver was a commercial driver, their employer could be liable. Bringing claims against as many responsible parties as possible helps ensure the injured party receives an adequate settlement following a drunk driving auto collision in Marion.
Work with a Proactive Marion Attorney After a Drunk Driving Car Accident
If you were hurt in a drunk driving car accident in Marion, the last thing you should be doing is fighting with insurance companies. A dedicated injury lawyer at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda could handle the entire legal process while you focus on your recovery.