Early this month, a 23-year-old woman caused a crash on Interstate 26 that killed one and injured three more. She was arrested and has been charged with a felony DUI for her role in the collision that blocked the eastbound lane of traffic for five hours. Shortly after the incident, she was denied release on bond.
The crash took place at about 2 a.m. on a Tuesday when an SUV driven by Destiny Mills struck another SUV from the rear. The SUV that she struck then ran off the road and overturned. Its passenger, 21-year-old Olivia K. Johnson, was not wearing a seat belt. According to the Lexington County Coroner, Johnson was thrown from the SUV and later died at the hospital from her injuries.
Nearly half of all SC traffic deaths related to DUI
Drunk driving accidents are a problem across the country but they are an especially serious problem in South Carolina. Earlier this year, a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) South Carolina report ranked South Carolina at the top of the list of the country’s highest rate of drunk driving-related traffic deaths. It found that in SC, 44% of all traffic deaths were caused by drunk driving.
Injuries caused by drunk drivers tend to be serious and life-altering. From wrongful death to paralysis, brain injuries, broken bones, back injuries, a wide array of other impairments, a DUI-related accident can cause devastation in an instant.
Victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. Some of the types of compensation available can include payment for past and future medical expenses, emotional distress, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of the relationship of a loved one, and loss of the ability to participate in hobbies.
Seeking compensation through the courts requires that a plaintiff prove certain elements:
- Breach of a duty – There must be evidence that the defendant drunk driver acted unsafely toward others on the road
- Damages – Evidence must prove that the injuries at issue are a type that the law recognizes as compensable
- Proximate cause – There must be a showing that the breach of duty caused the damages
The right advocate can make a difference
Unfortunately, there are drunk drivers taking the road every day, putting other motorists at risk. When tragedy does strike, victims do have legal options. A South Carolina DUI accident lawyer can discuss paths to recovery from submitting an insurance claim to filing a personal injury lawsuit. The physical injuries cannot be undone, but compensation may be available to take care of medical bills – past and future – while holding those responsible accountable.
If you have been the victim of a DUI accident, put experience on your side. The Jeffcoat Firm fights aggressively for accident victims throughout Richland, Columbia, and Lexington while respecting the difficult circumstances they are going through. Protect your legal rights by contacting The Jeffcoat Firm at (803) 200-2000