Car accidents involving a drunk driver in Charleston differ from other accidents in several ways, and they are serious accidents. Accidents involving drunk drivers are different because they usually result in the immediate arrest of the person who has been drinking and is drunk. Cases can be complex.
If you have been involved in an accident due to a drunk driver’s negligent behavior, you may be entitled to damages to help with your recovery following the accident. These cases can be unique, so it is important to work with a skilled Charleston drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced accident attorney can work hard to fight for your right to compensation.
Unique Aspects of Cases
The only time that that negligent parties in Charleston drunk driving accident cases are not arrested is if the driver – the drunk driver – is killed or in such a serious condition that they require immediate hospitalization and even, in that case, they are arrested after they have had a chance to become physically able to go to jail. What that means is that there is an additional documentation that is not present in other car accidents including breathalyzers, or sometimes a blood sample is taken and there are video interviews and video footage of the drunk driver at the scene before any field sobriety test, which does not typically happen in an average accident.
Also, the arresting officer is required to video the drunk driver at the jail for a period of time after they have been booked. A drunk driving accident also differs from other accidents in that a drunk driving accident typically involves a claim for punitive damages. Those are in excess and over and above average damages or pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment or of life, medical bills, and lost wages. But on top of that, punitive exposure can increase the value of the claim. An average automobile accident, for example, simply involves inattention and does not involve a drunk driver and is much different in that respect.
The types of damages sought by a plaintiff in a drunk driving accident in Charleston are the same as in any other accident with one exception. The damages that the injured plaintiff are entitled to are pain and suffering, past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, if any, loss of enjoyment of life. If the person is married, then the spouse will have cause of action for loss of consortium, which is the loss of the affection and assistance of a spouse during the period of disability. The one difference between drunk driving accidents and an average accident is the exposure of the drunk driver to punitive damages.
Common patterns seen by Charleston drunk driving accident attorneys that occur, although there are plenty of exceptions, are accidents often at night, because that is when the average bars are most busy, but they can occur at any time of day or night.
The drunk driver who was injured virtually without exception has no claim. If a person causes an accident, and it was caused in part by the person’s intoxication, there is a presumption of intoxication with a blood alcohol level of 0.08. Virtually without exception, a drunk driver will not have a viable personal injury claim for causing a drunk driving accident in Charleston.
Contacting a Charleston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in an accident due to a drunk driver’s negligence or recklessness, you should be entitled to damages to help with your recovery. In order to have the best understanding of the available damages and the best understanding of liability in your drunk driving accident case, it is important to work with a compassionate Charleston drunk driving accident attorney who can begin working on your case as soon as possible.