The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) refers to the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the 100 Deadly Days of Summer. This is a period, “during which traffic fatalities historically increase,” and this is primarily due to an increase in drunk driving accidents.
To cap off its efforts to target drunk drivers during the 100 Deadly Days of Summer, SCDPS conducts an annual “Sober or Slammer” campaign over Labor Day weekend. As SCDPS explains:
“Too many people are still taking risks that lead to their own death or the loss of an innocent life nearly every day right here in our state. Sober or Slammer? It’s not just a campaign slogan. It’s life or death. Before you make that choice, think about this: Who would you leave behind if you were killed in a drunk driving collision? Whose life would you selfishly take if you lived through the crash? If you survive, you’ll have plenty of time to think about your choice behind bars.”
Unfortunately, despite SCDPS’s efforts to keep South Carolina motorists safe, drunk driving accidents are still prevalent. According to SCDPS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Drunk driving is a factor in approximately 30% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents.
- Almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk driving accidents every single day.
- Each year, hundreds of children die in drunk driving accidents.
- Each year, there are approximately 5,600 drunk driving accidents in South Carolina.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE BEEN INJURED OR LOST A LOVED ONE IN A SOUTH CAROLINA DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident during Labor Day weekend (or any other time of year)in South Carolina, dealing with your situation can be extremely challenging. There is a lot you need to know, and there are a lot of steps you will need to take to make sure your family receives the financial compensation it deserves. Here are some tips from our attorneys:
TIP #1: MAKE SURE THERE IS A POLICE REPORT FOR THE ACCIDENT
Hopefully, someone called 911 from the accident scene, and hopefully, an officer responded and prepared a report. If you have a copy of the police report, there is nothing you need to do further with regard to contacting the police at this time. However, if you don’t have a copy of the police report, you will want to make sure that a report gets filed.
You can do this by contacting the local precinct in the city or county where the accident occurred. Or, you can have one of our attorneys contact the police for you. Either way, you will want to make sure there is a police report for the accident, as this will be important for your claim for financial compensation.
TIP #2: CONTACT YOUR AUTO INSURANCE COMPANY
Even though a drunk driver caused the accident, you will still need to report the accident to your auto insurance company. Most policies require drivers to report all accidents regardless of fault. When you contact your insurance company, stick to the basics—where and when the accident occurred. Don’t make any assumptions or say anything that may or may not be true, and don’t let your adjuster talk you into saying something your insurance company might try to use against you.
TIP #3: TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH NEEDS
Whether you were injured in a drunk driving accident or you have tragically lost a loved one, you have health needs—and you should make tending to these needs your priority. Go to the doctor, follow your doctor’s advice, and focus on doing what you need to do in order to recover. After a serious or fatal accident, the recovery process can take a very long time. But, you will get through it, and tending to your needs now will help ensure that you recover as fully and quickly as possible.
TIP #4: KEEP EVERYTHING YOU HAVE FROM THE DAY OF THE ACCIDENT
For the time being, you should keep everything you have from the day of the accident. From the police report and the drunk driver’s insurance information to your damaged clothing and any pieces of your vehicle, everything you have in your possession could possibly be relevant to your claim. This goes for photos and videos on your phone as well. Do not delete anything until you give copies to your attorney.
TIP #5: DOCUMENT THE ACCIDENT’S COSTS AND EFFECTS
As you begin accumulating records related to the accident, be sure to keep everything in a safe place. Start a file where you keep all letters, bills, receipts, and other paper records. Create an email folder where you put all communications related to the accident (i.e., emails from your health care provider and insurance adjuster).
It is also a good idea to take notes. Write down everything you can remember from the day of the collision, and keep track of the day-to-day costs (i.e., your transportation costs) and effects (i.e., your daily pain levels) of the accident on an ongoing basis.
TIP #6: TALK TO A SOUTH CAROLINA DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT LAWYER
It would help if you talked to a South Carolina drunk driving accident lawyer sooner rather than later. Even though South Carolina has a three-year statute of limitations in most cases, it will be important to get started on your claim as soon as possible. Your attorney can deal with the police and insurance companies on your behalf, and you can rely on your attorney to help ensure that you and your family receive the financial compensation you deserve.
DO YOU NEED HELP AFTER A DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT IN SOUTH CAROLINA?
If you need help recovering after a drunk driving accident in South Carolina, we encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys. Call (803) 327-1103 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.