In this tragic incident which as gained National attention, 34-year-old Samantha Miller from Charlotte, NC was killed only a handful of hours after getting married to Aric Hutchinson in Folly Beach, South Carolina, just down the road from Charleston. The deadly collision occurred on April 28, 2023.
According to sources, the bride and groom left their wedding reception in a golf cart adorned with “just married” signs and strings of cans, as is traditional. While riding down the road in the golf cart, a road with a posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour, they were struck by Jamie Lee Komorosky, a 25-year-old driver who was traveling 65 miles per hour in the 25 mile per hour zone.
There were 2 other passengers on the golf cart besides Miller and Hutchinson, and everyone on board suffered critical injuries. Komorosky has been charged with one count of reckless homicide and 3 counts of felony DUI resulting in bodily harm.
What To Do After Getting Hit By A Drunk Driver In South Carolina
Being hit by a drunk driver is a traumatic experience. If you've found yourself in such a situation in South Carolina, there are steps you should take to protect your legal rights and interests. Here is a list of actions you should consider following:
Prioritize Your Safety
After the accident, assess your condition and the condition of others involved. If you can, move to a safe location to avoid any additional harm from traffic or other risks.
Contact the police immediately. They will document the scene and generate a report which will become a crucial piece of evidence for your case. Let them know if you suspect the other driver is under the influence of alcohol.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Even if you don't think you're seriously injured, seek medical attention immediately. Some injuries may not be apparent immediately following the accident, and having medical records documenting any injuries can be crucial for potential legal proceedings.
If possible, take pictures or videos of the scene, including the vehicles involved, any visible injuries, skid marks, damaged property, or anything else that seems relevant. If there were witnesses, ask for their contact information.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Provide factual information, but avoid speculation about fault or unnecessary details.
Keep track of any medical treatments, days of work missed, vehicle repairs, and any other expenses related to the accident. Also, keep a personal journal about your physical and emotional recovery.
Consult with an Attorney
It's important to get legal advice after being hit by a drunk driver. A lawyer can guide you through the legal process, help you understand your rights, and represent your interests when dealing with insurance companies or in court.
Don’t Discuss the Accident
Refrain from discussing the details of the accident publicly, including on social media. This could potentially impact your case negatively.
Report the Drunk Driver
In South Carolina, you can report drunk drivers to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. This action could potentially save others from being victims of drunk driving in the future.
Legal processes take time. Being patient and adhering to your attorney's advice throughout the process is key.
Remember, a drunk driving accident is a serious matter with legal and personal implications. Taking the right steps after the accident can help to protect your rights and allow for the possibility of compensation for any harm you've suffered. Stay calm, follow these steps, and seek professional legal help to navigate the process.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Drunk Driving Incident Like This in South Carolina
In South Carolina, when a drunk driving incident occurs, there are several entities that could potentially be held liable. Here are some possibilities:
This is the most obvious one. The driver who was under the influence of alcohol can be held liable for the accident. This is based on the legal principle of negligence, which holds individuals responsible for causing harm when they fail to act reasonably or violate a specific duty, such as the duty to not operate a vehicle while intoxicated. However, drivers may not have sufficient insurance coverage to cover a injured person’s loss or the loss of a family who lost a loved one. That’s why your attorney might find other potential defendants with more insurance coverage, as we’ll discuss below.
The Establishment Serving Alcohol (Dram Shop Liability)
South Carolina's Dram Shop Laws may also apply to drunk driving cases. These laws allow for a business (like a bar, restaurant, or liquor store) to be held liable if they serve alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated or to a minor, and that individual then causes harm to others while under the influence. The business can be sued for damages if it can be demonstrated that they continued to serve alcohol to the person who caused the accident, even when they should have known the person was already significantly impaired or underage.
The Employer (Employer Liability)
If an employer holds a function or event where alcohol is served, and an employee becomes intoxicated and subsequently causes a drunk driving accident, there may be circumstances under which the employer could be held liable. This is particularly true if the employer was aware of the employee's intoxication and did not take steps to prevent them from driving. However, the specifics of such cases can be complex and often depend on a variety of factors, such as whether the event was mandatory, whether the employer provided transportation alternatives, or if the employer was actively involved in encouraging excessive alcohol consumption.
In all these cases, the application of liability can be complex and may require in-depth examination of the incident details, parties involved, and their actions leading up to the accident. This is why it is critical to seek legal counsel if you're involved in a drunk driving incident in South Carolina. An experienced attorney can help you understand who may be held liable and guide you through the legal process to ensure your rights are protected.
Contact a South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer
If your loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation. We offer free legal consultations, and we’re happy to help you however we can. You can call us at (843) 638-6590 to set up a free consultation with Charles Buist, a South Carolina personal injury lawyer at our office. Also, you can contact us on our website and set your consultation up by email.
Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is meant to be a guarantee of results. Past case results do not guarantee future case results. Each case is unique. The information in this article has been gathered from various sources on Google. Thus, we cannot guarantee there are no inaccuracies herein. We can and will correct or remove this post upon request. You can email us at [email protected]. Finally, the information contained in this article is not meant to be legal advice in any way. If you have legal questions, you should contact an attorney.