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Can I Sue the Drunk Driver Who Hit Me?

Can I Sue the Drunk Driver Who Hit Me?

Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is illegal in all states and South Carolina is no exception. As a matter of fact, a person’s ability to drive can be impaired by more than alcohol. It can be impaired by illegal drugs, certain chemical substances, such as nitrous, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medications like allergy and sleeping medications – all of which can lead to DUI charges.

If you were hit by a drunk or drugged driver, the impaired driver is probably facing DUI charges as we speak. If the drunk driver is being prosecuted in criminal court, where does that leave you? Is that the end of the road, or do you have legal recourse? Does a criminal case bar you from filing a personal injury case through the civil court system?

What Are My Legal Rights?

When a drunk driver causes a crash, he or she will almost certainly be arrested on the spot, taken down to the station and booked. It’s virtually guaranteed that the drunk driver will face DUI charges in this scenario. And as for the other driver, he or she hit? The victim of the drunk driving crash has every right to file a personal injury claim against the drunk driver via the civil court system.

“But what about the criminal case?” Fortunately, a criminal case does not bar or preclude the drunk driving accident victims from filing a claim for damages against the drunk driver. Generally, the types of damages a drunk driving accident victim can pursue include:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering

If the drunk driving accident victim died as a result of their injuries, the decedent’s surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one. To learn more, check out our article, “Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Columbia, SC.”

Next: Loss of Consortium Claims in South Carolina

Injured in a drunk driving accident in or around Columbia? Contact our firm immediately to schedule a free case evaluation.


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