Driving while intoxicated is a serious crime that can cause devastating physical and emotional trauma. If a drunk driver harmed you or a loved one, you could be owed compensation from that individual. Their violation of the law and breach in duty of care may prove they were to blame for the accident and the injuries you have suffered.
For help with drunk driving car accidents in Walterboro, seek assistance from a knowledgeable car accident attorney. At Whetstone Perkins & Fulda, our team knows how to pursue the compensation you need to put your life back together.
The Definition of Drunk Driving
State criminal law often sets the definition of drunk driving. Pursuant to South Carolina Code § 56-5-2930, a person is considered intoxicated if they operate a motor vehicle while under the effects of alcohol to the extent that their ability to drive is “materially and appreciably” impaired.
Further, the law presumes a person is drunk behind the wheel if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or more. A lower-level BAC can as also label someone as driving while intoxicated if their motor skills are compromised and the individual fails a field sobriety test. In Walterboro, this may result in fines and other penalties such as jail time, especially if driving drunk was the cause of a collision.
Signs of Drunk Driving
Certain indicators might help prove that the other driver was intoxicated when they caused the accident. These signs often include, but are not limited to:
- Inability to maintain lane consistency on the road
- Being unable to walk in a straight line
- Failure of field sobriety tests
- Slurred and incomprehensible speech
- Failure to follow traffic laws
These details could be invaluable to a qualified attorney in their pursuit of proving liability in a personal injury claim.
Using a Criminal Case to Help Prove Liability
A criminal conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) can be useful when pursuing monetary damages for a motor vehicle accident in Walterboro. A civil case requires proving that the other driver displayed a breach in the standard of care while behind the wheel. Anytime an individual is driving, they assume a duty of care to not act carelessly towards the other persons on the road. Being intoxicated while operating a car, truck, or motorcycle automatically breaches this duty.
While a DUI is incredibly helpful in establishing the first two components of negligence – duty and breach – it is not an immediate guarantee of fault. The injured party must still prove that the drunk driver caused the accident and that it resulted in injuries or wrongful death.
It is important to note that even if the driver was not convicted of any criminal charges, the injured person is still allowed to pursue a claim for monetary damages. Just because a person was not convicted does not mean they were not intoxicated and caused the accident. The proper evidence may still prove that the inebriated driver owes the injured party compensation.
Seek Help From an Attorney in Walterboro if You Were Injured in a Drunk Driving Auto Collision
Auto accidents can cause a number of serious consequences. Medical bills, loss of present or future wages, catastrophic injuries, and emotional damage could all weigh heavily on you following your incident. If you were in a drunk driving car accident in Walterboro, these losses and more could be compensable with the help of the compassionate attorneys at Whetstone Perkins & Fulda.
With skilled guidance, you could seek to hold the drunk driver financially responsible for what you have been through. Contact our office today to learn more.