One Death, Two Injuries In Greenville County Crash
Observers believe that driver fatigue may have caused a serious crash that killed one person and injured two others, including a 3-year-old child.
Troopers said a 2005 Toyota Sedan crossed the centerline, left the road, and smacked into a tree on an isolated stretch of Gum Tree Road. The 25-year-old driver was injured and taken to the hospital. A passenger was killed in the crash and a 3-year-old was injured and taken to the hospital, according to the report.
No other details were available.
Injured passengers have the same legal and financial rights as injured drivers. However, before proceeding to the merits of the case, passenger injuries often involve some emotional issues that a Columbia car accident attorney must deal with.
Injured passengers in single-car collisions almost always know the tortfeasor (negligent driver). Because of this relationship, they often don’t want to “blame” the tortfeasor for the “accident.” They also don’t want the tortfeasor to suffer financially because of the crash.
These feelings are especially strong if a government or private health insurance company might pay most or all of the victim’s medical bills.
Right off the bat, personal injury claims don’t blame anyone for anything. These claims simply compel people to take responsibility for the mistakes they make. We all make mistakes, and we should all face the music in these situations.
Additionally, most car wrecks aren’t accidents. Driver error, like severe fatigue, causes about 98 percent of the car wrecks in South Carolina.
Furthermore, tortfeasors aren’t financially responsible for crashes, at least in most cases. Typically, an auto insurance company pays all crash-related expenses, such as legal fees and compensation to injured parties.
More than likely, the insurance company will raise the tortfeasor’s premiums or even cancel coverage. However, these things probably would have happened whether or not anyone filed a legal action.
Once these emotional issues are dealt with, a Columbia personal injury attorney can focus on the legal nuts and bolts of an injury claim.
Driver fatigue is one of the most common kinds of driver impairment. Drivers have a duty of care to be well-rested and otherwise fit to drive before they get behind the wheel. Drowsiness clearly breaches this duty of care.
Biologically, driving while fatigued is a lot like driving while intoxicated. Both conditions impair motor skills and cloud judgment ability. Furthermore, there’s no quick fix for either kind of driver impairment. Only time cures intoxication, and only sleep cures fatigue.
Shortcuts, like drinking coffee, don’t address issues like poor judgment and slow reactions. They just help people feel more alert for a little while.
Direct evidence is admissible in these claims. For example, many tortfeasors tell witnesses and/or first responders that they were sleepy, or even that they fell asleep behind the wheel.
These claims often have plentiful circumstantial evidence, such as the time of day or night and the tortfeasor’s medical history. Many people are naturally drowsy late at night or early in the morning. Additionally, if the tortfeasor has a medical condition like sleep apnea (snoring), the tortfeasor was probably fatigued even if s/he had a full night’s rest.
Circumstantial evidence is often compelling in civil court. The burden of proof is only a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). Therefore, a little proof goes a long way.
Count on a Thorough 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. You have a limited amount of time to act.