Aiken DUI Lawyer

Aiken DUI Attorneys

After a victim is involved in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, they should seek medical attention first and foremost as well as have the accident documented.  Generally, in South Carolina, law enforcement officers will reveal on the accident report whether the at fault motorist was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.

If the person whom caused your car accident was under the influence of alcohol at the time they caused your accident, you should seek the advice a South Carolina car accident attorney as soon as possible.

As with other types of civil cases, there is a statute of limitations for a car accident claim against a drunk driver.  In South Carolina, the time to file a claim for your drunk driving accident could be two years or three years depending on the type of Defendant (at-fault party) in your claim.

If you decide to hire a lawyer for your auto accident with a drunk driver, Morris Law will begin your case by reviewing the initial medical treatment and assess the severity of your injuries, as well as the injuries of any passengers you may have had in your vehicle.  Additionally, the attorney will review all of the information they can regarding the accident such as insurance information, the traffic report, any videos and or photos from the scene of the accident, including the videos from the responding law enforcement officer’s cameras, if available.  As a general rule, if a Defendant (at-fault driver) broke the law and injured someone as a result, the injured party’s case becomes much stronger.

After the attorney’s completion of the initial case review, the lawyer will measure the value of the case with the client and put a demand package together to send to the insurance company.  In some cases, your lawyer may need the assistance of an expert to help evaluate the value of your case. These experts can range from medical doctors to highway engineers and accident reconstructionist.

If the lawyer is unable to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf with the drunk driver’s auto insurance carrier, then he or she may choose to file a lawsuit in the matter.  After filing a lawsuit, you can expect the case to enter into a lengthy discovery and deposition phase.  During this period of the case, your lawyer will exchange information with the Defendant’s lawyer and it can be timely.  In addition, you will most likely be deposed by the at-fault drunk driver’s lawyer.  Generally, it up to both the client and the lawyer to choose and agree to move forward with a lawsuit.  A lawsuit is not always in the best interest of an injured client, but when it is necessary, a lawsuit will generally result in a better settlement for an injured client.

Lawsuits against the bar who served the drunk at fault driver

South Carolina does not have specific “Dram Shop Act.” However, it is illegal to “knowingly” serve alcohol to any person who is intoxicated in South Carolina. In order to pursue a dram shop action, an injured party must apply the criminal statutes governing alcohol control.

If you have been injured in a car accident or as a pedestrian by a drunk driver, you should contact a lawyer quickly about the legal rights you may have against that bar who overserved the drunk driver.  It is important to preserve all of the potential evidence against a bar quickly and timely.  Most bars in South Carolina have video recordings through security cameras.  Those recorders do not last but so long before new video footage begins to record over the old footage.  An experienced dram shop lawyer knows how to preserve this evidence for its future use in your injury case.  In addition to preserving the evidence against the bar, it is equally important not to settle your case with the at-fault drunk driver before the bar.  By settling your case too early against the at-fault drunk driver, you could make that at fault driver a “sham” defendant under South Carolina law.

Fortunately, South Carolina requires liquor liability insurance coverage for on premises consumption.

  • C. Code Ann. § 61-2-145(A) says that a person licensed or permitted to sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, which remains open after five o’clock p.m. to sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, is required to maintain a liquor liability insurance policy or a general liability insurance policy with a liquor liability endorsement for a total coverage of at least one million dollars during the period of the biennial permit or license. Failure to maintain this coverage constitutes grounds for suspension or revocation of the permit of license.

While Dram Shop cases in South Carolina can provide much needed insurance coverage to severely injured parties, they are not easy cases to win.  Bartenders commonly deny that a patron was ever in the bar or that if the patron was in the bar, they appeared intoxicated.  That is why is it very important to hire a dram shop lawyer quickly after your injury so we can do the investigation and get you on the path to recovery.

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