In South Carolina, grief turns to anger for families who learn that the dangerous drivers responsible for the wrecks that fatally injured their loved ones escape serious charges for their negligence. With careless drivers receiving nothing more than a legal slap on the wrist, many South Carolina residents are calling for changes in what they perceive as weak legislation regarding negligence in fatal wrecks.
Some of the more notable fatal accidents resulting in minor consequences include:
- A 23-year-old man was fatally injured riding his motorcycle after a motorist pulled out in front of him. The police said the motorcyclist’s headlight was off at the time of the crash, but this was never proven to be the case. No charges were brought against the driver, who eventually came to a six-figure settlement with the victim’s family.
- Another South Carolina motorcyclist was fatally injured when his bike collided with a pickup truck at an intersection. While the state Highway Patrol initially charged the driver with failure to yield, the charges were later dropped after his attorney claimed he never received necessary evidence from the police. The pickup driver received a traffic ticket.
- In a third incident, a South Carolina Highway Patrolman was fatally injured after a driver slammed his pickup truck into the officer’s stopped patrol car in the emergency lane. The pickup driver received a ticket for improper lane change and was ordered to pay fines and fees totaling less than $300.
These are just a few of the many fatal crashes in South Carolina resulting in little more than traffic citations and fines for the negligent drivers.
Gap in South Carolina Law
While advocates for change in South Carolina traffic law acknowledge these accidents occur often, they also believe changes are needed to address wrecks that involve some amount of driver negligence. Currently, law enforcement officials have limited options for enforcing these types of accidents and accommodating various degrees of negligence. Drivers can be charged with reckless vehicular homicide if they fatally injure another person after driving dangerously. When alcohol is a factor in a fatal crash, drivers can be charged with driving under the influence. However, there is no real option for driving behaviors that fall somewhere in between.
There seems to be a one-size-fits-all approach to penalizing drivers involved in fatal accidents and victims’ families do not think it is working. An advocate for the South Carolina Victim Assistance Network says that people are frustrated when a loved one is fatally injured and the other driver gets a $200 traffic ticket. She calls the issue a major problem in the state.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Victims of Driver Negligence
If your loved one was seriously injured in car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, we can help you obtain the justice you deserve. The Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. believe dangerous drivers should be held accountable for their actions. To learn about your legal options after an auto accident, schedule a free consultation by calling 866-881-8623 or contact us online.
We represent clients throughout South Carolina, including the areas of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.