If a drunk driver caused your collision and injuries, South Carolina law has several options to hold them legally responsible. An insurance claim or civil lawsuit allows victims to recover compensation for their related costs and losses. A Charleston DUI accidents lawyer from Louthian Law Firm, P.A. represents victims in these cases.
Our injury law firm provides free consultations for traffic accident victims in Charleston County and nearby areas. Contact us today to discuss your legal options following a crash. You can pursue a civil case against the drunk driver in addition to any criminal charges they face. We can explain these cases and answer questions about your rights during your free case evaluation.
Louthian Law Firm, P.A. Fights for Charleston DUI Accident Victims
In 1959, attorney Herb Louthian founded Louthian Law Firm, P.A. to help regular people in South Carolina get the justice and compensation they need and deserve after an injury accident. The firm is family-run to this day. Herb and his son, attorney Bert Louthian, are Charleston DUI accident attorneys who might handle your case.
Our lawyers have 80+ years of experience among our attorneys. We know how to navigate cases like yours, whether through an insurance claim settlement or a lawsuit against the at-fault driver at a jury trial. We understand what it takes to get justice after a DUI crash and fight for you.
We follow our Client Bill of Rights, listening to every client’s concerns, providing sound advice, and working on their behalf. We approach every interaction with courtesy and compassion. We also handle cases based on contingency fees. We never charge upfront for anything, and you only pay fees if we recover money damages for you.
Our Results for Past Clients
Louthian Law Firm, P.A. is proud of our consistent track record of winning cases and securing settlements for our clients hurt in traffic accidents. This includes many DUI crash victims. We seek compensation by developing a strong car accident claim and demanding just compensation based on a case’s evidence.
Our recent car accident case results include:
- $800,000 in a negotiated insurance settlement based on a car accident claim
- $525,000 for a victim of a South Carolina motor vehicle crash
- $150,000 settlement agreement for a client hurt in a collision
We can work just as hard to go after the results you need and deserve.
DUIs and Drunk Driving Car Accidents Are Common in Charleston
With beautiful weather for many months of the year, Charleston always hosts plenty of activities, nightlife, and social gatherings. Many involve alcohol. Unfortunately, not everyone drinks responsibly.
According to Live 5 (WCSC) reports, the Charleston Police Department (CPD) revamped how they manage DUI enforcement following a record-breaking number of DUI deaths in 2021. The 24 traffic fatalities in the City of Charleston in 2021 set a new, heart-breaking record for the city. Even more concerning, six out of every ten fatal accidents involved drunk or drugged drivers.
In 2021, CPD reported 356 DUI arrests. Since then, the Charleston Police Department added more officers on evening shifts, offered more advanced training certifications related to impaired driving enforcement, and employed at least one Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) on the city’s streets.
Why Are There so Many Drunk Drivers in Charleston?
For most people, Charleston requires a car to get around, whether as a student, another local resident, or a vacationer. At the same time, nightlife abounds on The Peninsula. From music venues and dance clubs to neighborhood bars, Charleston offers everything from sophisticated cocktail lounges to college town bars.
Some of the most dangerous places to encounter a drunk driver are the same areas where you might find people drinking.
- North Market Street
- South Market Street
- East Bay Street
- Upper King, along King Street north of Calhoun
Most drunk driving crashes occur in the evening and overnight hours, although they can happen any time of day. They also occur in areas outside of The Peninsula, including local interstates, more rural areas of the Lowcountry, and nearby suburbs.
Holding the Drunk Driver Legally Responsible for a Charleston Car Accident
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) outlines the many laws related to alcohol use and abuse on the roads. You probably think of these laws first when you hear “DUI accident.”
Many of these laws can help bring a criminal case against the drunk or drugged motorist.
If the court convicts the driver, that individual faces penalties such as:
- Jail time
- A license suspension
- Other consequences
This conviction brings some feeling of justice to many crash victims hurt by drunk drivers. However, it does not financially compensate them for their accident-related expenses and losses. Instead, a civil case against the driver could provide this opportunity.
How Our Attorneys Can Bring a Civil Case
When Louthian Law Firm, P.A. attorneys represent a Charleston DUI collision victim, we manage their civil case.
If you hire our team, we can:
- Protect your rights
- Meet all applicable deadlines
- Handle all conversations with the insurer and other involved parties
- Answer questions and address concerns about your case
- Provide regular case updates
- Investigate the crash and gather evidence
- Develop a strong case for compensation
- Identify the available insurance coverage
- File an insurance claim or sue the at-fault driver
- Seek a successful outcome in the case
Our lawyers represent our clients’ best interests throughout the legal process. We fight to secure appropriate compensation and justice for our clients—regardless of the outcome of the DUI case against the at-fault driver. The evidence from the criminal case supports our civil case, but it is not necessary to prove drunk driving to get a successful recovery for our client.
These cases often settle through a negotiated insurance settlement agreement. To reach this goal, we demand compensation from the drunk driver’s insurance company. We present strong support for the claim and work to reach a fair settlement. However, we can also sue the at-fault driver in a Charleston County civil court if necessary. This prompts an increased settlement offer in many cases. If not, we can take the case to a jury trial and offer a solid argument for awarding our client damages.
South Carolina law allows motor vehicle accident victims up to three years to file a lawsuit per South Carolina law. The court bars victims who miss this deadline from going to court and recovering compensation in their case.
Recovering Damages in an SC DUI Accident Case
At Louthian Law Firm, P.A., we seek fair and just compensation for our clients in every case we handle. We determine the potential settlement range of their case based on their costs and losses and other relevant factors. We use this to demand appropriate compensation from the insurer or present the evidence in court.
Common recoverable damages in these cases include:
Medical Care and Related Expenses
All medical assessment, care, treatment, and support expenses are recoverable in a car accident case. This care may begin with the on-the-scene medical assessment and ambulance transportation. It could continue with an emergency department evaluation, hospitalization, treatment and care, medications, assistive and mobility devices, and more. Compensation also covers rehabilitation and therapy costs.
Future Treatment and Ongoing Care
If you suffered catastrophic, long-term, or permanent injuries, you could have care costs beyond the date of your settlement or court verdict. When this occurs, our team needs to estimate the cost of your future treatment and ongoing care. This process relies on doctors, specialists, and others who offer their expert opinions.
Injuries cause time away from work, even if your injuries were more moderate. If you suffered income losses, we can help you recover these losses. Our team documents your missed income from every source.
- Hourly pay
- Salary pay
- Pay covered by sick leave or PTO
- Gig work
Reduced Earning Capacity
Your injuries could prevent you from returning to your old job, reduce your ability to work full-time, or stop you from working at all. This is essentially long-term lost income caused by serious injuries from your crash.
When injuries last longer than a few weeks or are unlikely to improve, we can help you seek reduced earning capacity damages.
Property damages include the repair or replacement of your crashed car. These collisions also damage other personal property. The cost of any item you must replace may be recoverable. Examples include broken eyeglasses, a lost smartphone, or a damaged laptop.
Any additional costs incurred because of the crash fall into this category. For example, you could pay to park at your doctor’s office, need to rent a car, or could need home renovations because of your wheelchair use.
Pain and Suffering
Accident victims endure many intangible damages in a car accident, especially a senseless, preventable crash caused by a drunk driver.
Our attorneys seek compensation for these losses, including:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Disability and loss of enjoyment
We know how to calculate the value of these intangible damages. We seek compensation for our clients’ non-economic damages based on accepted practices in the industry, our experience, and our knowledge of similar cases.
The personal representative of a deceased DUI accident victim can seek wrongful death damages under South Carolina law. This statute allows the victim’s personal representative to file a claim or lawsuit and pursue damages for the surviving immediate family members. These damages could include medical care costs, funeral and burial expenses, loss of income, loss of services, and other losses experienced by the surviving family members.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Charleston DUI Accidents
Below are answers to some of the questions our team hears the most from DUI accident victims. If you have additional concerns or want to learn more, we encourage a free consultation. We can address your questions based on our knowledge of your unique case during this no-obligation consultation.
What if the Driver Never Faces DUI Charges?
Civil criminal cases are separate legal matters. It is possible to pursue compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit—whether the driver wins their DUI case or never faces charges for drunk driving. We seek compensation for clients every day hurt by drivers who did not face criminal charges. We win cases regularly against drivers who did not even receive a traffic ticket.
If a driver acts negligently and a crash occurs, they could be legally liable for the damages. A DUI conviction makes it easier to prove negligence if strong evidence shows the driver was drinking.
Can I Recover Punitive Damages?
When a drunk driver causes a collision, punitive damages are sometimes available. The jury awards these damages based on the circumstances of the accident. Punitive damages penalize the at-fault party for particularly reckless or malicious behavior.
Juries rarely award them in car accident trials, but DUI crashes represent one situation where they might. Our team can explain this in more detail based on the facts of our client’s case.
What if the Driver Was Uninsured?
Uninsured drivers make recovering compensation more complex. However, there are still options. We file uninsured motorist claims or sue these drivers to pursue compensation for our clients. If necessary, we identify other options for covering expenses and help victims seek all financial support available.
How Do I Know If I Have a Case?
Talking with our car accident team about your legal options presents one of the best ways to discern if you have a viable claim. We can evaluate these cases and help potential clients understand their next steps. We can also explain how our attorneys manage these cases and secure compensation for our clients.
Talk to a Charleston DUI Accidents Lawyer’s Team for Free Today
Speak with a representative from Louthian Law Firm, P.A. at no cost to you today. Our team provides free case assessments and helps crash victims understand their rights. We can outline your options and answer any questions you have about your case.
Contact us now at (843) 544-7272 to get started. We can discuss the specifics of your case and how we help clients like you.