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Is A Drunk Driver Automatically Responsible For The Accident?

Best & Flatt, P.A. - Friday, January 25, 2019

Accidents happen on the road, but it can be tricky to determine who’s at fault for the accident when drinking is involved. Driving while intoxicated is a crime and anyone who’s caught will face criminal consequences.

However, a drunk driver who’s involved in a collision may not automatically be responsible for the other driver’s damages. Although a driver’s intoxication increases their chances of being held responsible for the accident, the other driver involved in the crash may also have been negligent.

Who’s at fault for the accident?

One of the main concerns in a car accident case is figuring out who’s at fault for the accident. In terms of legal responsibility, fault is divided into three parts:

  • Causation. Causation is when the plaintiff needs to prove there’s a direct link between the defendant’s breach of care and the damage in the accident.
  • Breach. Breach is when a person breaks their duty of care by being negligent or failing to act as a responsible person.
  • Duty of Care. Duty of care refers to a person’s duty to take reasonable measures and to causing harm to property and to other people.
How does drunk driving factor in with fault?

Drunk driving directly breaches the duty of care factor when determining who’s at fault for the car accident, but it doesn’t automatically indicate causation.

For instance, if an intoxicated driver is hit in the rear while waiting on a red light to change, the accident is 100% the fault of the other driver, even though the first driver was impaired. In that case, the impairment did not contribute to the accident.

Because it can be tricky to determine who was at fault when someone was hurt by a car involving DUI/DWI, it’s a good idea to hire a car accident attorney.

Do you need a car accident attorney?

South Carolina has a 62% higher fatal car accident rate compared to the rest of the nation. In fact, there was a car accident every four minutes in South Carolina in 2015.

If you’ve been hurt by another driver due to negligence including possible DUI, it may be in your best interest to contact the car accident lawyers of Best and Flatt.

For a consultation with an auto accident attorney, contact Best and Flatt today.

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