I was hit by a Drunk Driver, what can I do?

 

photo of drunk driver after accidentOne of the types of cases the Goings Law Firm handles the most involves drunk driving car collisions.  We are offended by drunk drivers, and we fight hard to make sure those drink drivers stay off the road and pay our clients a lot of money for the harm they cause.

Injuries caused by drunk driving are often times result in civil lawsuits.  Drunk drivers can face serious criminal charges, with penalties including suspend licenses, fines, and jail time, but in order for you to be compensated for your injuries or the death of a family member, you will need to bring a civil claim.  Because of the egregious nature of alcohol related collision, juries can award large verdicts to punish and deter the drunk driver from doing this again to others. Because of this, the most important thing you can do if you were hit by an intoxicated drive is call an experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney.  In order to be fully compensated from a DUI collision, an aggressive team of attorneys with the Goings Law Firm will answer all of your questions.

Our firm take an aggressive approach to prosecuting the drunk driver in civil court for the needless harm that they cause our clients.  In the legal profession, our firm is best known for fighting against drunk drivers.  Drunk drivers kill.  Every day, almost 30 people in the United States are killed in drunk-driving crashes—that’s one person every 48 minutes.  South Carolina ranks as the 2nd worst in DUI related fatalities in the nation based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Drunk drivers also cause serious bodily injury.  We understand the devastating effects that drunk drivers can cause and that is why we are one of South Carolina’s leading litigation firms aimed at protecting injury victims that result from DUIs or other alcohol related collision. Because the actions of the drunk driver are illegal and reckless, we believe that you should be paid much more.  We fight drunk driving cases hard so you receive the best results in not only fully recovering all for your medical expenses, disability, pain and suffering, but also “punitive damages” design to punish and deter this reckless conduct.

The Case Against the Drunk Driver

The legal claims against the drunk driver is based on negligence and violations of statutory laws that prohibit impaired or intoxicated driving.  In South Carolina, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in South Carolina with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.  Often times the drunk driver will refuse to take a breathalyzer test or provide a blood sample to legally establish blood alcohol content when they are arrested.  The failure to administer these tests does not prevent our firm from proving the driver was drunk.  Even in these cases, we have the tools to find the evidence to prove that the drunk driver was intoxicated through assembling strong fact and expert witnesses to testify against the driver.  Also, under the rules of civil discovery, we routinely subpoena phone records, bank records, medical records, and other relevant documents of the at-fault driver that would aid in proving that the driver was drunk.  We will also put the driver under oath in a deposition or a court proceeding.  If the driver pleas the Fifth Amendment in the deposition, we ask the court to give an ‘adverse inference’ that if the driver did answer the question he would admit that he was intoxicated.  We will fight  to ensure that you get the full amount of recovery against the drunk driver.

The Case Against Who Illegally Served Alcohol to the Drunk Driver

The efforts of our firm to collect money for our clients does not stop with the intoxicated driver.  We investigate thoroughly to determine who served alcohol to the driver or those that enabled the illegal conduct prior to the driver getting behind the wheel. The State of South Carolina allows you to file a civil case against the private host who provided alcohol to an underage or obviously intoxicated guest. This state has laws in order to discourage serving alcohol to already drunk guests and to hold party hosts accountable if their intoxicated guests leave and cause an accident.  We pursue claims against the party host, and regularly bring legal claims against the convenient stores, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and businesses that may have illegally served alcohol to them as permitted under South Carolina’s dram shop and alcohol liability laws.

The Case Against the Owner of the Vehicle

Additionally, we will explore if a “negligent entrustment” claim exists against the owner of the vehicle.  If the drunk driver is operating a vehicle he does not own, you may have the option to sue the vehicle owner for negligent entrustment.  In the past, we often successfully argued that if the owner gave the drunk person the keys to their vehicle, it is likely that they were aware of the intoxication and unable to drive.  If a negligent entrustment claim is successfully proven, the vehicle’s owner is also liable for the vehicle accident.

Workers Compensation Claim if the Drunk Driver Hit You On the Job

Another consideration is whether workers’ compensation applies.  If you were hit by a drunk driver while working or on the job, then you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.  Many of the DUI related collisions that we handle involve a workers’ compensation claim because the collision occurred while driving for work.  The workers’ compensation carrier would have a “lien” on any civil court recovery but it is important to handle these cases through an experienced attorney so that you do not waive any rights to recovery.  Because the Goings Law Firm handles both workers compensation and civil litigation claims, so we have the knowledge and expertise to successfully manage both cases in order to maximize your total recovery.

Contact an Highly Rated Drunk Driving Injury Attorney in South Carolina

The best advice is to contact today a highly-rated law firm that handles DUI injury and wrongful deaths to request a free consultation.  Our proven track record of success in South Carolina against drunk drivers is what we are known for.  The Goings Law Firm has the reputation of representing victims of serious injuries or deaths throughout South Carolina, and is ready to help you get the answers you deserve and the compensation you are entitled to receive.  It is important to contact our firm before you speak with an insurance company or provide a statement to an insurance adjuster.  Even if the insurance company representative tells you that you that your claim will be processed, it is our experience that you may not get the benefits that you are entitled to receive without the best legal representation. In order to be fully compensated from a DUI collision, an aggressive team of attorneys with the Goings Law Firm will help you today.  Call us at 803-350-9230 for a free, no obligation, consultation.

 


Drunk Driver Collision – Can I Sue the Bar?

beer on a bar
We often are asked by clients if they can sue a bar, restaurant, or business for over-serving a person that caused a drunk driving related accident.
The answer is “YES”.

South Carolina does not have a statutory law known as a “dram stop statute” like many states have enacted governing civil liability for alcohol sales. Rather, through common law, the South Carolina Supreme Court has established legal precedent that allows injured victims to pursue recovery from alcohol-related accidents by creating a duty of care based on statutory laws that govern the sale of alcohol. For example, S.C. Code Ann. §61-4-580(1) prohibits the sale of alcohol persons under the age of 21 and S.C. Code Ann. § 61-4-580(2) prohibits the sale of the sale alcohol to an intoxicated person.

Most lawsuits filed against bars, taverns, and restaurants assert a theory of negligence that relate to selling alcohol to intoxicated persons. These lawsuits are based on the fact that it is illegal to sell alcohol to a patron if a server knows, or should have known, that the patron is intoxicated. Likewise, a convenience store may be liable if it sells beer to someone underage, and that underage person gets behind the wheel after drinking, causing a serious collision resulting in injury or death.

While South Carolina does not have a specific “dram shop” statute, in July 2017, a new law came into effect in that requires all bars and restaurants that serve alcohol past 5:00 p.m. to carry at least $1 million ($1,000,000) in liquor liability insurance. This statute amends current state alcohol licensing and permit laws by noting that businesses seeking a new permit or to renew an existing one will be affected by the law. The important consideration of this new law is to allow victims to recover due to liability caused by the wrongful serving, consumption, or use of alcoholic beverages. This is especially true because many drunk drivers do not have enough insurance coverage or personal assets that are collectable to pay for the serious harm. Often times, the only way to fully recover for the harm of a drunk driver is to bring a legal claim against the businesses that profit and promote this illegal behavior.

Attorneys that Sue Bars and Drinking Establishments in South Carolina

The Goings Law Firm is known in the legal community for successfully winning lawsuits against bars, restaurants, convenience stores, and drinking establishments. We seek justice against the businesses that profit and promote intoxicated behavior. If you or a family member have been injured or killed by a drunk driver in an automobile accident, call us to explore a legal action against the businesses that enabled that wrongful conduct. Contacting us today is important so that we can begin our investigation and gather critical evidence to help establish liability before it gets lost or destroyed. Contact the attorneys at the Goings Law Firm by calling us at (803) 350-9230 or through our contact page immediately for a FREE consultation.


Nearly Half of All Fatal Crashes in SC Result from Drunk Driving


South Carolina Ranks #2 Worst Drivers in United States as a Result of Drunk Driving Statistics

Car crashes are a leading cause of death in the US and were expected to cause around 40,000 deaths by the end of 2018.

To put it plainly, America’s roads are dangerous. Texting behind the wheel is a major reason for many traffic fatalities, and it’s only getting worse. In 2016, 3,450 people were killed by distracted driving. Plus, cheap gas and a strong economy means America’s 222 million licensed drivers are driving more than ever. More people on the road leads to more accidents and citations.

South Carolina was ranked No. 2 on QuoteWizard’s list for “Best and Worst Drivers” across the United States. Last year, the State of South Carolina came in at No. 4, but an increase in DUIs brought it up in the rankings. Nearly half of all fatal crashes in South Carolina are because of drunk driving, according to the study. Drivers can blame an increase in DUIs for the jump from last year’s rank as the fourth worst drivers to the second worst drivers this year.

However, South Carolina didn’t nab the top spot when it comes to bad drivers — that was Maine; with Nebraska, California and North Dakota rounding out the Top 5.

Rankings for this study by QuoteWizard was determined by accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, citations and fatalities in each state throughout the year.

The Goings Law Firm is committed to fighting drunk drivers in Court for the harm their cause to innocent people on the roads.  We have been awarded large verdicts and settlements for our clients against drunk drivers, and if you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation.  Call us today at (803) 350-9230 for a Free Consultation to see if we can help you.


Drunk Driver Kills Man from Cayce, SC

Authorities have reported that 75-year-old Roger Wayne Johnson of Cayce, South Carolina was killed in a car crash in Lexington on Thursday night. They believe Nicole Marie Wilson, the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident, was driving while drunk and failed to stop at a red light, causing her vehicle to crash into Johnson’s. Wilson has been arrested and charged.

The personal injury attorneys at the Goings Law Firm, LLC have experience in bringing claims against drunk drivers and the bars who over-serve them. If you or a loved one have suffered injury or even wrongful death at the hands of a drunk driver, the Goings Law Firm, LLC may be able to help. Contact us at (803) 350-9230.


Richland County Council Member Charged with Felony DUI after Causing Rear End Auto Accident

Richland County Councilman Kelvin Washington (Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center)

Kelvin Washington, an elected member of the Richland County Council, was arrested on Saturday, February 27 for driving under the influence. The charges were made in connection with a Hopkins, South Carolina auto accident. The accident occurred when Councilman Washington rear-ended another car at the corner of Bluff Road and Martin Luther King Boulevard in Hopkins, S.C. The South Carolina Highway Patrol reported that the accident happened around 7:45 P.M.

WIS News reports that Councilman Washington’s vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when the accident occurred. After Councilman Washington hit the car, witnesses report the victim’s vehicle slammed into a utility pole. The driver of the vehicle was a 22-year-old male, who was taken to the hospital in critical condition. He is currently still in ICU. There was also a passenger in the car. Troopers report the passenger is still in the hospital with minor injuries.

This is also not Councilman Washington’s 1st encounter with the law. He recently just pled guilty in a Richland County Court to three counts of tax fraud. To read more about this story, click here.

Contact a Columbia Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

When public officials are elected, we trust them to uphold and follow the laws as regular citizens. When a public official violates that trust by driving drunk, we believe they should be held accountable to the fullest extent that the law allows. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as the result of a drunk driver in South Carolina, then the Goings Law Firm, LLC is here for you. Call our Columbia office at (803) 350-9230.

Contact a Dram Shop and Alcohol Liability Lawyer in Columbia

While it is not clear in the facts of this case, sometimes in a drunk driving accident, the driver has been drinking at a public restaurant or bar. Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and other establishments have a legal responsibility not to serve alcohol to patrons who may be intoxicated. In order to hold these businesses responsible, South Carolina has dram shop or social host liability statutes in place to allow the victims of drunk drivers to hold drinking establishments responsible for their negligence. Nevertheless, far too many bars and restaurants continue to over-serve patrons.

Contact the Columbia Legal Team at the Goings Law Firm, LLC Today!

Though nothing can undo the pain that you have already faced in a drunk driving accident, with the help of the Columbia legal team at the Goings Law Firm, LLC, LLC, you may be able to secure compensation that will help you move forward. Our drunk driving accidents lawyers are ready to hear about your specific situation today. Contact our Columbia offices at (803) 350-9230.


Intoxicated driver arrested in Rock Hill

A driver in Rock Hill was recently arrested after authorities noticed him driving above the speed limit and displaying signs of distraction or intoxication. Information coming from the Rock Hill Police Department said several charges were filed against Jason Dale Naulder, including driving while under the influence (DUI), after he was arrested on January 9.

Naulder, who was driving a pickup, was tailed by a police vehicle on Interstate 77 after he was seen driving 80 miles per hour in a 60 mile per hour zone. The officer also witnessed the driver swerving on the road and almost strike a concrete divider and another vehicle. Upon stopping Naulder, the officer noticed a strong smell of alcohol as well as an unrestrained 2-year-old girl inside his vehicle. Naulder was taken into custody and a bail of $2,000 was imposed to him.

Fortunately, no one suffered injuries in this recent DUI incident; however, the same cannot be said for far too many drivers. If you have been harmed by a drunk driver in Columbia, the attorneys at the Goings Law Firm, LLC want to help you fight for compensation. We will work to hold the negligent individual who caused your accident responsible for his o her bad choices. Call (803) 350-9230 now to learn more.


Richland County Man Killed by Drunk Driver in Motorcycle Accident

On Saturday evening, June 20, 2015, a Richland County man was killed while riding his motorcycle on Leesburg Road. Another Columbia area driver, who was driving under the influence, caused the crash. Reports state that the at-fault driver has been arrested for felony DUI involving a death. The victim of this motorcycle accident leaves behind a wife and two children. To read more on this story from WIS TV, please click the link here.

The Goings Law Firm, LLC is deeply saddened by this truly terrible accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family during this difficult time. In South Carolina, when a driver causes an accident resulting in wrongful death, there can be major criminal consequences. But, the driver can also be held responsible in civil court for the irreparable damages they have caused. At the Goings Law Firm, LLC we understand the significant suffering that a wrongful death accident can cause. Our Columbia Personal Injury Lawyers help prevent injuries as a result of tragic drunk driving accidents like this by seeking punitive damages for the gross reckless and negligent conduct of other drivers. Please contact the Goings Law Firm, LLC in Columbia today at (803) 350-9230 to discuss your case with us for free!


Felony DUI charges filed against man involved in deadly wreck

The driver responsible for the accident that left three people dead was recently charged with several counts of felony intoxicated driving, News 13 reported on November 10.
Anderson Police Lieutenant Mike Aikens stated that on November 8 the vehicle of 24-year-old Riley Christopher McDermott went to the opposite lane and slammed to an oncoming vehicle containing five people. Driver Cory Simmonds and passenger Amber Perkins reportedly died in the crash scene while Jessica Ann Roberts, another passenger, died in the hospital, the deputy coroner stated. The two other passengers were listed in critical condition. McDermott, who was intoxicated before the accident, and his passenger were also treated.
People are always devastated after an unfortunate event that kills a loved one in a drunk driving accident. If you are in such a situation, the lawyers of Goings Law Firm, LLC may lessen your burden by pursuing damage claims against irresponsible drivers. Call us today at (803) 350-9230 to find out how we may help you.


S.C. National Guardsman killed during tragic DUI accident

On October 29 around 5:00 in the morning, Vincent Omear Thomas, 33, was killed when another car drove off of the road and slammed into two other cars. The car that ran off the road was driven by Kyeon Glover, 19, who was charged with DUI involving death.

The accident happened near McLeod Hospital at East Cheves and South Church Streets in Florence, S.C. Authorities report that when the accident occurred, Glover was in a high-speed chase with police because Glover fled the scene of a domestic dispute. In addition to his felony DUI charge, Glover was charged with simple possession of marijuana, failure to stop for blue lights, burglary first degree, assault and battery first degree, assault and battery second degree, possession of a weapon in a violent crime and discharging of a firearm in city limits.

The victim, Thomas has served in the S.C. National Guard since 1998, including one tour of duty in Afghanistan.

This is truly a tragic incident, and our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to all friends and family members affected by this accident. While the law imposes criminal penalties against utterly reckless and avoidable acts like drinking and driving, there are sometimes civil remedies available to victims and their families. Though nothing can undo the pain that you have already faced in a drunk driving accident, with the help of the Columbia legal team at the Goings Law Firm, LLC, you may be able to secure compensation that will help you move forward. Our drunk driving accidents lawyers are ready to handle your specific situation today. Call our Columbia offices at (803) 350-9230.


Jennefier Lopez and Leah Remini Involved in Hit-and-Run with Drunk Driver

450770946On September 29, actresses Leah Remini and Jennifer Lopez were hit by a drunk driver while driving along Pacific Coast Highway in California. The two celebrities were stopped at a red light when a small pick-up truck hit them from behind and then sped off. They called police and provided a description of the car. Authorities located and apprehend the driver shortly after the incident. The driver of the pick-up truck was under the influence and arrested for DUI and hit-and-run.

Lopez and Remini had two children with them in the back seat of the car. Thankfully, in this case, no one was injured. Yet, oftentimes injuries resulting from accidents caused by drunk drivers can be very severe and oftentimes can even result in wrongful death. Further, this case is an example that anyone can be the victim of an accident caused by a drunk driver.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, our legal team at the Goings Law Firm, LLC, believes that you may be owed financial compensation. To find out how we may be able to help you take action in order to get the compensation you are seeking, call (803) 350-9230 today.


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