The consequences of a truck accident caused by a drunk driver can be life-altering, leaving you injured, in debt, and unable to work. While there is no way to undo the trauma you experienced, you could recover financial compensation from the at-fault trucker and other liable parties.
The North Myrtle Beach truck accident lawyers at the Jebaily Law Firm stand ready to help you seek the total compensation you deserve. We have spent the last half-century helping accident victims rebuild their lives. We know how to help you claim maximum compensation for your losses.
Contact us today for a free case review with a compassionate attorney and find out what we can do for you.
South Carolina Drunk Driving Laws for Commercial Drivers
South Carolina’s drunk driving laws are the same for commercial drivers as they are for other drivers. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, it is illegal for someone to operate a vehicle if they have consumed alcohol to the point that it affects their ability to drive, regardless of how much they drank. Any driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 is presumed to be drunk and can be arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). However, a BAC of at least 0.08 is not a mandatory component of a drunk driving arrest.
Furthermore, interstate commercial truck drivers are subject to federal regulations under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA establishes a BAC limit of 0.04 percent for truck drivers holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Violation of this regulation can lead to the revocation of the driver’s CDL and other serious consequences. The federal regulations are distinct from state-level drunk driving laws.
DUI Truck Accident Statistics
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety reports nearly 2,500 commercial vehicle accidents happened in one recent year. These accidents led to 109 deaths, 133 serious injuries, and 1,858 other injuries. Furthermore, commercial vehicle drivers contributed to about 39 percent of these accidents, including about 32 percent of crashes involving serious injuries.
State data does not indicate how many drunk truck drivers contributed to accidents. But the FMCSA reports that, in one recent year, 5.2 percent of truck drivers involved in fatal accidents received a citation for impairment of some kind.
Liability for a Drunk Driving Truck Accident in North Myrtle Beach
Depending on the circumstances, several different parties could be liable for a drunk-driving truck accident, including the following:
- The truck driver – Truck drivers must follow drunk driving regulations to protect themselves and others. A truck driver who ignores drunk driving laws can be held liable for your injuries.
- The trucking company – Trucking companies can be liable for crashes caused by their employees. They can also be directly responsible when they fail to vet applicants properly or monitor their drivers sufficiently.
- Liquor stores and other alcohol vendors – South Carolina law holds that liquor stores and other alcohol vendors cannot sell alcohol to anyone who is visibly intoxicated. If someone sold alcohol to an already intoxicated truck driver, they might be liable for any injuries the truck driver caused.
Ways to Spot a Drunk Truck Driver
The following behaviors are signs that a truck driver might be drunk:
- Following too closely
- Making wide turns
- Slowing down or accelerating erratically
- Weaving through traffic
- Straddling lane markers
- Driving without headlights at night
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Lingering at red lights or stop signs
- Making other erratic maneuvers
If you see a truck driver behaving in a way that suggests they might be intoxicated, drop back and alert the authorities if possible.
What Should I Do If Injured in an Accident with a Drunk Truck Driver?
The first step after any serious traffic accident is to call 911. After you have done so, you can protect yourself and your right to compensation by taking the following steps:
- Seek emergency medical treatment for any potential injuries.
- Write down everything you can remember about the crash as soon as possible. You can use these notes later on to support your case.
- Save all your medical records and receipts. These records are crucial to substantiating your injuries from a crash.
- Do not make any social media posts about the crash. Insurance companies can find anything you post and use it against you to deny or minimize your claim.
- Do not give any recorded statements to insurance companies. Let your lawyer handle all correspondence with the insurer to protect yourself from making mistakes.
- Hire a truck accident attorney. State law gives you three years from the date of a crash to file a lawsuit, so it is in your interest to act quickly. Hiring an attorney immediately after a collision means they can protect critical evidence and help you avoid any issues with the statute of limitations.
How Can a North Myrtle Beach Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?
Compared to other traffic accidents, truck crashes – particularly those involving a drunk driver – often involve more severe injuries, more expensive medical bills, and more potentially liable parties. Those factors all add up to a more complicated case.
Because the stakes are so high, you need to work with an experienced truck accident lawyer to improve your chances of a full financial recovery. At Jebaily Law Firm, our North Myrtle Beach truck accident attorneys can help with your case by:
- Investigating the accident to identify the liable parties and gather evidence
- Documenting all the ways the accident harmed you
- Filing an insurance claim or lawsuit promptly and correctly
- Handling settlement negotiations with the insurance companies
- Preparing your case for trial if the insurance company will not agree to a settlement
Get Help from Our North Myrtle Beach DUI Truck Accident Lawyers
The Jebaily Law Firm wants to help you recover the money you need to pay for a truck accident that was not your fault. We can fight to secure fair compensation and hold the liable parties accountable. Contact us today for a free consultation with our North Myrtle Beach DUI truck accident lawyers.