How Dangerous Is Highway 17 in Myrtle Beach?

How Dangerous Is Highway 17 in Myrtle Beach?

U.S. Highway 17, which passes through Myrtle Beach in two branches, is one of the most dangerous roads in the South. Deadly traffic accidents happen frequently on both sections: the U.S. 17 Business, or Kings Highway, which passes through Myrtle Beach's shoreside commercial district, and the U.S. Highway 17 Bypass further inland.

If you or a loved one recently sustained injuries in a Myrtle Beach accident on Highway 17, you may receive significant compensation for your losses. Contact an experienced Myrtle Beach car accident lawyer today to learn more.

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The Data on U.S. Highway 17 Accidents in Myrtle Beach

The data on U.S. Highway 17's dangers are alarming. One study ranked the highway as the most dangerous road in South Carolina for summertime travel. Here's a summary of statistics showing how treacherous U.S. Highway 17 is for Myrtle Beach motorists.

How Dangerous Is Highway 17 in Myrtle Beach

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), Horry County, which encompasses Myrtle Beach and some of U.S. Highway 17's most dangerous stretches, reports consistently high traffic accident rates. In a recent year, Horry County ranked third in the Palmetto State for traffic collisions that resulted in fatalities (73 collisions) and injuries (3,150 collisions) and fourth in the state for total collisions (11,594).

SCDPS estimates that these crashes inflicted economic losses of more than $412 million. These figures are shocking, but even they don't tell the whole story of the human suffering from each accident.

Within Horry County, U.S. Highway 17 was the most dangerous road. In a single year, the stretch of highway traversing Horry County witnessed 2,181 motor vehicle accidents, nearly 30 percent more than the second-worst road.

According to SCDPS, U.S. Highway 17's crashes killed 20 people that year, severely injuring 45, and left 935 more with lesser injuries. Perhaps unsurprisingly, SCDPS has designated portions of the highway in Myrtle Beach as high crash corridors warranting special attention from law enforcement and policymakers.

U.S. Highway 17 in Myrtle Beach was also the site of one of the most dangerous intersections in Horry County in that recent year. The U.S. Highway 17/South Carolina Highway 544 interchange in Myrtle Beach saw 75 accidents in 12 months, injuring 22 motorists.

Common Causes of Accidents on U.S. Highway 17 in Myrtle Beach

SCDPS accident data reveals trends and patterns related to common causes of accidents on U.S. Highway 17 in and around Myrtle Beach.

Frequently cited causes of crashes on the highway include:

  • Driving too fast for conditions, which includes exceeding speed limits and driving at speeds that don't consider hazards like inclement weather, heavy traffic, or reduced visibility.
  • Failing to yield the right of way, which frequently occurs at intersections and merges.
  • Changing or using lanes improperly, which is a common cause of accidents on the U.S. Highway 17 Bypass during periods of increased traffic volume, such as peak tourist season.
  • Following too closely, or tailgating, which leads to many rear-end collisions in heavy traffic on the Bypass and at intersections on the Business route.
  • Distracted or inattentive driving, including cell phone use, fiddling with the radio, and eating or drinking.

Certain features of U.S. Highway 17 in Myrtle Beach may contribute to its high accident rates. The multitude of intersections on the Business section through tourist-heavy areas increases the likelihood of failure-to-yield accidents, rear-end crashes, and vehicle collisions with pedestrians and cyclists.

The Bypass also diverts a significant traffic flow around Myrtle Beach, and the sheer volume of vehicles often leads to gridlock and accidents.

Accident Victims' Rights to Compensation

Accident victims in Myrtle Beach have legal rights to potentially valuable compensation. Multiple parties could face liability for causing a crash on the highway. Victims can seek payment for a diverse range of damages.

Who Can You Hold Liable for a Crash on U.S. Highway 17 in Myrtle Beach?

Anyone whose careless, reckless, or intentionally harmful conduct contributes to the cause of a crash on the highway can owe damages to injured crash victims and the loved ones of those killed in fatal collisions.

Multiple parties may face liability, and victims can typically pursue them all, including:

  • A driver who engaged in reckless or negligent behavior that caused the accident, such as speeding, distracted driving, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • An at-fault driver's employer if the crash happened while the driver was on the job.
  • A vehicle manufacturer if a system malfunction or a defective part contributed to causing the accident.
  • Local government entities responsible for creating or failing to fix unreasonably dangerous road conditions that triggered the collision.
  • A bar, restaurant, or social host that served alcohol to an intoxicated or underage drunk driver.

These examples illustrate the various parties who could owe damages for a crash on U.S. Highway 17 in Myrtle Beach. Victims of those accidents should never assume that another driver is the only party who might owe them compensation.

Others can, and frequently do, face liability. The most reliable way to discover who might owe you monetary damages is to speak with an experienced Myrtle Beach accident injury lawyer.  

What Compensation Can a Crash Victim Seek?

Victims of road accidents in Myrtle Beach have the legal right to seek compensation for all physical, emotional, and financial harm.

This can include:

  • Medical expenses, including costs for hospitalization, follow-up care, rehabilitation, and any future medical needs related to the accident.
  • Lost income and job benefits if they had to miss work due to the accident.
  • Loss of earning capacity if the accident resulted in long-term disability.
  • Property damage, such as the cost of repairing or replacing a vehicle and other personal property.
  • Physical pain due to the injuries the accidents caused or any medical treatments.
  • Emotional suffering from the trauma of the accident.
  • Diminished quality of or enjoyment of life because of their injuries.
  • Scarring, disfigurement, or loss of bodily function.

In the tragic case of a fatal car accident, the victim's surviving spouse or family members may have the right to pursue a claim for wrongful death under South Carolina law. The compensation recoverable in such a case can include payment for the loss of the deceased victim's financial support, companionship, guidance, and consortium.

The surviving loved ones can also claim for emotional anguish, medical expenses incurred before death, and funeral and burial costs.

A crash victim can sometimes claim punitive (or exemplary) damages, which punish outrageous or malicious misconduct from the at-fault party.

The types and amount of compensation recoverable for losses suffered in accidents vary based on numerous factors. These may include the severity and consequences of the victim's injuries, the amount and quality of evidence, the skill and reputation of the victim's attorney, and the financial resources—including liability insurance coverage—at-fault parties can draw upon to pay the victim's losses.

Connect with an experienced accident injury attorney in Myrtle Beach today to find out what compensation you could claim after a crash on U.S. Highway 17 harms you or a loved one.

Services a Skilled Accident Injury Lawyer Can Provide

When you've suffered harm in a traffic accident on U.S. Highway 17, a skilled accident injury lawyer in Myrtle Beach can handle seeking compensation from at-fault parties and their insurers on your behalf. A lawyer takes the burden of worrying about insurance and legal matters from you, so you can focus on recuperating.

The steps a lawyer takes to obtain money for your losses vary depending on your needs and priorities, but they often include:

  • Managing your case: Accident injury lawyers handle virtually every aspect of your claim, such as investigating the accident scene, gathering all the necessary evidence, liaising with healthcare providers, negotiating with insurance companies, and even taking your case to court.
  • Providing legal counsel: Lawyers can explain complicated legal jargon, provide critical advice, advise you when making important personal decisions, and inform you about your case's progress.
  • Protecting your rights: An accident injury lawyer understands the law and can ensure that no one violates your rights or avoids their legal responsibilities to you.
  • Evaluating your claim: Lawyers can accurately estimate your claim's value, considering economic and non-economic damages and ensuring that any legal action they take on your behalf seeks the maximum possible compensation.
  • Advocating for your interests: A lawyer can stand up to the at-fault parties and their insurance companies, working tirelessly to ensure they treat you fairly and pay you what they owe.

Hiring a lawyer to handle your accident case in Myrtle Beach is affordable. Most attorneys who represent accident victims offer free consultations so that you can understand your rights, legal options, and what a lawyer can do for you.

Lawyers for crash victims also routinely represent their clients on a contingent fee basis, which means you only pay if your lawyers secure compensation. This arrangement allows accident victims to pursue justice and compensation without worrying about upfront or out-of-pocket costs.

Tips for Protecting Your Rights After an Accident on U.S. Highway 17 in Myrtle Beach

Your actions after an accident can influence your claim's outcome. Here are three ways you can protect your rights:

Focus on Healing From Your Injuries

The priority after an accident is to take care of yourself. Seek immediate medical attention and follow through with all prescribed treatments. It's essential not just for your health but also for safeguarding your claim's viability and value. Medical records provide crucial evidence of your injuries and their repercussions, and your efforts to get better protect you from accusations that you deserve some of the blame for your health challenges.

Don't Accept a Quick Insurance Settlement

After an accident, an at-fault party's liability insurance company will often offer a quick settlement. While just taking the money and moving on may be tempting, that can be a costly mistake. Insurance companies rarely provide fair compensation to victims, instead proposing lowball settlements to avoid paying the full amount you deserve. Your safest bet is to ask an attorney to respond to any offer and negotiate with the insurer on your behalf.

Hire an Attorney Right Away

Retaining a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident can significantly improve your claim's outcome. A skilled accident injury attorney can collect evidence when it's fresh, communicate with insurance companies on your behalf, and avoid common mistakes, such as missing critical legal deadlines or saying the wrong thing to an insurance adjuster.

Contact a Skilled Myrtle Beach Accident Injury Lawyer Today

Jeff Morris, Car Accident Lawyer in Myrtle Beach
Jeff Morris, Myrtle Beach Car Accident Attorney

Did you or someone close to you recently sustain injuries in a crash on U.S. Highway 17 in Myrtle Beach? If so, you may deserve valuable compensation from the at-fault parties and their insurance companies.

An experienced Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer can handle your claim and pursue the maximum payment possible for your losses. Contact a knowledgeable Myrtle Beach car accident attorney today to learn more in a free case evaluation.


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At Morris Law Accident Injury Lawyers, we have provided compassionate and aggressive counsel to personal injury victims in Horry County, Aiken County, and throughout South Carolina since 2016. We are available 24/7/365 days of the year. Reach out and get your case evaluated at no cost.