A 28-year-old South Carolina man was charged with felony driving under the influence after a head on collision with another car on New Years Day. The accident resulted in the death of the other driver. The accident occurred at around 7:10 a.m. in the morning.
The alleged drunk driver suffered only minor injuries in the wreck, but the accident proved fatal for the other driver. Drunken driving accidents cause entirely too many injuries on South Carolina roads. While the state of South Carolina will seek criminal justice on behalf of state interests, an accident victim, or their family can seek further justice through civil court.
In order for a driver to be responsible for an injury in South Carolina, it has to be proven that they were negligent in some way. The elements of negligence in South Carolina are as follows: (1) a duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff; (2) a breach of that duty by a negligent act or omission; and (3) damages proximately caused by the breach.
A duty of care is the standard of conduct the law requires of an actor in order to protect others against the risk of harm from his actions. It adheres to the principle that the plaintiff should not be called to suffer harm to his person or property which is foreseeable and which can be avoided by the defendant’s exercise of reasonable care. The duty to act may arise from statute, contract, relationship, status, property interest, or some other special circumstance.
The plaintiff must also show that the defendant did not use the amount of care one ordinarily would have under the circumstances. If the plaintiff shows a duty arising from a statute and the defendant violated a statute, the element is met by proof of negligence per se. In a medical malpractice action, the plaintiff must show that the defendant departed from the recognized and generally accepted standards, practices and procedures.
Next, the plaintiff must show the breach of duty was the proximate cause of the injury. The South Carolina Supreme Court has said that causation requires proof of (a) causation in fact, and (b) legal cause. Causation in fact is proved by establishing the injury would not have occurred but for the defendant’s negligence. Legal cause is proven by establishing foreseeability.
Therefore, if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident come to the law offices of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower, LLP for a consultation. We can make the determination as to whether there has been negligence in your recent car accident. Call us at our Baxter Village office located in Fort Mill, South Carolina at 803-548-4444, or toll free at 877-374-5999.