Seeking Answers for Your Injury or Accident Claim? Look No Further
After an accident occurs or an injury is suffered, you may feel lost and confused. Few people who have suffered an accident or incurred an injury have an extensive background in this area. Without this knowledge, they are left wondering how best to proceed in order to protect their legal rights. Fortunately, we are here to provide you with the answers that you are looking for. Check out our many frequently asked questions and their accompanying answers for more information.
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I was in an accident that was the fault of another driver. I didn't have insurance at the time of the accident. Can I still be compensated for my injuries?
It is always important to have car insurance at all times and whether or not your insurance was in affect at the time of an accident will impact you ability to recover damages against the at-fault party for your injuries. If the accident was the fault of another driver, you are able to file a claim with his or her car insurance company for your injuries and property damage.
You are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and other damages associated with the accident. Be aware that the process may be more difficult because you were not insured at the time of the accident and you may receive a traffic citation for driving an uninsured vehicle.
I was involved in an accident where the other driver was on drugs. Is this considered driving under the influence?
Yes, driving under the influence means alcohol or any illegal substance such as drugs. To learn more about the standard used to determine if they were driving under the influence., read "Driving Under the Influence: Don't Even Think About It."
How long do I have to bring my case against a person who was driving under the influence?
In South Carolina, in most cases, you have three years to file a lawsuit against someone for injuries sustained in an accident when they were driving under the influence. This is known as the statute of limitations.
Drunk driving accident cases may also involve claims against the bars and nightclubs where the person became intoxicated. The statute of limitations for cases against the bar or nightclub is typically three years. However, in some cases, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is less than three years, so you should always consult with an attorney to find out the statute of limitations for your particular case.
What damages can I recover in an accident case that was caused by a person who was driving under the influence?
If you are injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, you are entitled to recover your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damages and other expenses directly associated with the accident. Because the driver who hit you was intoxicated, which is illegal, you may also be able to obtain punitive damages.
Punitive Damages are damages which may be awarded to the Plaintiff by a judge or jury in certain cases where the negligence is more severe than simple negligence. Punitive damages are meant to deter the conduct which caused the accident, in this case, drunk driving.
I was hit by a drunk driver. Do I have to go to court?
Unless you are subpoenaed, you are not required to be in court during the adverse driver’s hearing or trial. However, you should cooperate with the solicitor's office who is prosecuting the defendant for the DUI. Your cooperation may help with the conviction of the drunk driver for the criminal portion of the case.
Your civil case for damages against the defendant is a separate case, and you have the right to purse a settlement from the drunk driver's auto insurance company or the driver himself.
My wife was involved in a car accident with a drunk driver who had just left a bar. Is there any way to sue the bar?
Yes, in South Carolina, a person, a bar or a restaurant is not allowed to sell alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person. If a bar serves an intoxicated person and that person then causes injury to someone else, the bar may be sued for liability as a result of the damages caused by the intoxicated person. This is referred to as Dram Shop Liability. If you are injured by a drunk driver, it is important that you speak with a qualified personal injury attorney immediately. An experienced accident attorney will be able to assess and evaluate all the potential claims you may have against the drunk driver and possibly the business or person that served him alcohol.
When is someone considered to be driving under the influence (DUI)?
A person is considered to be driving under the influence (DUI) when they operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any other controlled substance, such as marijuana and other illegal drugs, to the point that the person's normal faculties are impaired.
For alcohol, a person's normal faculties are considered impaired when their blood alcohol level (BAC) is 0.08 or higher. Some people may find themselves charged with a DUI when their BAC is below 0.08. This is because a impairment can affect a person at different consumption levels.
A person's impairment is not as easily determined when they have consumed a controlled substance, but if the substance is impairing the driver's faculties, they will be considered driving while under the influence.
I was released to work by my doctor, but with restrictions of light-duty.Will I still receive weekly checks?
If you return to work light duty, and your wages are less than the amount you normally receive (your average weekly wage), you are entitled to compensation of 2/3's of the difference between your average weekly wage and teh amount you receive while working light-duty. Your checks should continue at this rate until you are released back to work without restrictions, or at maximum medical improvement (MMI).
What is Average Weekly Wage?
Average weekly wage is the injured workers' average gross wages for a week. Average weekly wage is based on the gross amount earned before taxes or deductions. It includes overtime, bonuses and any other benefits received. In South Carolina, the average weekly wage is calculated by taking the total amount you earned during the last fifty-two weeks and dividing this amount of money by the number of weeks you actually worked.
If I let a friend borrow my car and he gets in an accident in South Carolina, does my insurance company pay for any damages?
Yes, your insurance will cover your vehicle and pay damages if your friend is involved in an accident while driving your car. However, your insurance company will not pay for any damages unless your friend had your permission to use your car.