One headline that has been recurring in the news lately is that of the South Carolina woman who is pursuing a lawsuit against the bar that served her alcohol, while she was underage, prior to the accident that caused her to be paralyzed.
Twenty-two-year-old Chelsea Hess was 20 when she went to Jock’s Sports Grill in Beaumont, S.C. on the night of August 8th, 2009 and was served alcohol. She claims that she was not asked for identification and was still served alcohol even though the legal drinking age is twenty-one in South Carolina.
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After consuming the alcoholic beverages, Hess drove her car from the bar at about 1:05 a.m. and was involved in an accident. Hess was traveling on Alljoy Road, when the wheels of her vehicle allegedly dropped off into a large unmaintained area on the shoulder of the road. This caused her vehicle to roll over off the side of the road. Hess was not wearing a seat belt and was over the legal limit for drinking while driving. Hess was ejected from the vehicle and sustained injuries that caused her to be paraplegic.
Hess is suing the bar because she feels as though they were being negligent because they did not check her proof of identification, served alcohol to a minor, and served her alcohol even though she was already impaired by the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Not only is Hess suing the bar, but she is also suing the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the town of Bluffton and Beaufort County for neglecting to maintain the shoulder of the road that she had her accident on. Hess stated that the South Carolina Department of Transportation knew the condition of the road and failed to fix it, which made it dangerous for drivers.
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The attorneys for both the South Carolina Department of Transportation and the bar deny all allegations and claim that injuries sustained in the accident are the sole responsibility of Hess and her negligent actions. Hess’ negligent actions include driving under the influence, losing control of her vehicle, driving too fast for conditions, and not acting in a reasonable manner.
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While the Jock’s Sports Grill should have asked for Hess’ proof of identification, Hess was being far more negligent in her actions involving driving under the influence and choosing to drink underage. The fact of the matter is that if she had not chosen to drink underage and then drive after she had consumed a large amount of alcohol, then she would not be in the situation that she is in now. Thankfully, no other drivers were on the road when this accident occurred because this news story would be about Hess facing charges for felony DUI as opposed to suing the bar.
If you have been involved in an accident where the other driver was driving under the influence, then you should consider speaking with an attorney about your case. Most South Carolina personal injury attorneys offer free consultations to evaluate your case. Call Shelly Leeke Law Firm today at 1-888-690-0211 to set up an appointment!
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