Reckless Driver Rear-Ends Bride And Groom On Wedding Night
Investigators state that a driver was traveling over 65mph when she struck a golf cart from behind, killing a new bride and seriously injuring her new husband and two other people.
The wreck happened in the 1200 block of E. Ashley Avenue of Folly Beach. According to a GoFundMe page started by survivors, the force of the rear-end wreck propelled the golf cart “over 100 yards” and caused it to roll over “several times.” The driver of the car, a 25-year-old woman, was arrested and charged with three counts of DUI involving great bodily injury or death and reckless homicide, according to the Charleston County Detention Center website. She is being held with no bond.
“Her blood draw results are pending. An investigation into the crash determined she was going 65mph at the time she struck the cart,” police said.
First Party Liability
Excessive speed and alcohol consumption clearly breach a driver’s duty of care. If a Columbia car accident lawyer proves the breach of care caused injury, substantial compensation is available. This compensation normally includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
High speed is an example of aggressive driving. Velocity reduces reaction time. At 30mph, after a driver sees a hazard and applies the brakes, most cars move forward another three car lengths. At 60mph, stopping distance multiplies to eighteen car lengths. Slick roads, vehicle weight, and other factors increase stopping distance.
Furthermore, speed multiplies the force in a collision between two objects. Parking lot wrecks are usually fender-benders. Freeway wrecks almost always cause catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Alcohol consumption is an example of driver impairment. This depressant clouds judgment and slows motor skills. Therefore, much like excessive speed, alcohol increases the risk of a wreck and the force in a collision. The difference is one of degree. A few ticks on the speedometer don’t make much of a difference. But the impairing effects of alcohol begin with the first drink.
Aggressive driving, driving impairment, and other driver errors cause about 98 percent of the vehicle collisions in South Carolina.
Excessive speed and excessive alcohol consumption both violate safety laws. So, a Columbia personal injury lawyer might be able to use the negligence per se doctrine, which establishes first party liability as a matter of law. More than likely, a victim/plaintiff must use circumstantial evidence to prove ordinary negligence, or a lack of care.
Evidence in a car crash claim usually includes physical driver symptoms (bloodshot eyes, etc.), medical bills, the police accident report, and witness statements.
Third Party Liability
If alcohol impairment caused a wreck, intoxication at the point of sale could establish dram shop liability. A Columbia personal injury lawyer typically uses the aforementioned physical symptoms to establish this point. The tortfeasor’s statements are usually admissible in court as well.
When bars, restaurants, and other commercial providers illegally sell alcohol, they are on the hook for car crash damages. Illegal sales include not only sales to intoxicated people, but also underage, unlicensed, and after-hours sales.
Vicarious liability is especially important in fatal crash claims. Most individual tortfeasors (negligent drivers) don’t have enough insurance to fully compensate survivors for all their losses. Dram shop liability and other third-party liability claims give victims additional recovery sources.
These other vicarious liability theories include respondeat superior employer liability and negligent entrustment owner liability.
Work With a Dedicated Richland County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbia, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we start fighting for you.