Charleston, SC – Certain reckless drivers can be charged with criminal cases, and they may face civil lawsuits for the injury or death of those affected by their actions.
The Post and Courier article reports on a fatal crash that occurred in Charleston, South Carolina on July 10, 2022, which resulted in the death of the owner of the popular Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts shop, Allison Smith, and another man, Joshua Stone .
Local business owners killed in motor vehicle accident
The article notes that the driver of the other vehicle, later identified as 33-year-old Edward Bonilla, was charged with two counts of felony DUI resulting in death.
According to the article, Bonilla was driving a 2019 Ford Mustang when he allegedly ran a red light at the intersection of Cannon and St. Philip streets, colliding with Smith’s vehicle. The impact caused Smith’s car to spin and strike Stone, who was walking on the sidewalk. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene, while Stone later died at a nearby hospital.
The article notes that Bonilla attempted to flee the scene on foot, but was apprehended by police. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of his injuries, and his blood was drawn for a toxicology test. The results of the test indicated that Bonilla had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.17%, more than twice the legal limit in South Carolina.
The article goes on to provide some background information on Smith and her popular doughnut shop, which has been a fixture in Charleston since it opened in 2011. The shop has won numerous awards and accolades for its unique and creative doughnuts, and has been featured in national media outlets.
The article notes that Smith was a beloved member of the Charleston community, and that her death was mourned by many. The shop closed for several days following the car accident, and a makeshift memorial was set up outside the store.
The article also reports on Bonilla’s criminal history, which includes prior convictions for DUI, as well as drug and weapons charges. He was reportedly released from prison just a few months before the fatal crash.
The article concludes by noting that Bonilla is being held in the Charleston County Detention Center without bond, and that he faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted on both counts of felony DUI resulting in death.
Overall, the Post and Courier article provides a detailed and sobering account of a tragic incident that has deeply affected the Charleston community. It highlights the devastating consequences of driving under the influence, and underscores the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions behind the wheel.
Suing drunk drivers for medical costs and other damages
In South Carolina, civil lawsuits against drunk drivers are a common occurrence. These lawsuits are typically filed by the victims of drunk driving accidents or their families and seek compensation for damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. While criminal charges may also be brought against drunk drivers, civil lawsuits provide victims with the opportunity to hold the drunk driver accountable for their actions and obtain financial compensation.
One of the most common types of civil lawsuits filed against drunk drivers in South Carolina is a wrongful death lawsuit. These lawsuits are filed by the family members of someone who has died as a result of a drunk driving accident. To prove a wrongful death case, the plaintiff must show that the driver was negligent and that the negligence caused the victim’s death. Damages in a wrongful death case may include compensation for funeral expenses, loss of income, and loss of companionship
Another type of civil lawsuit that may be filed against a drunk driver is a personal injury lawsuit. These lawsuits are filed by individuals who have been injured in a drunk driving accident. To prove a personal injury case, the plaintiff must show that the driver was negligent and that the negligence caused their injuries. Damages in a personal injury case may include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
It’s worth noting that South Carolina has a modified comparative negligence rule when it comes to personal injury cases. This means that if the plaintiff is found to be partially at fault for the accident, their damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to them. For example, if the plaintiff is found to be 20% at fault for the accident, their damages will be reduced by 20%.
In addition to suing the drunk driver, it’s also possible to sue other parties who may have contributed to the accident. For example, a bar or restaurant that served alcohol to the driver may be held liable if they knew or should have known that the driver was visibly intoxicated. This is known as a dram shop lawsuit.
There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering filing a civil lawsuit against a drunk driver in South Carolina. First, there is a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. This means that you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Second, it’s important to gather as much evidence as possible to support your case. This may include police reports, witness statements, and medical records.
In conclusion, civil lawsuits against drunk drivers are an important tool for victims of drunk driving accidents to obtain compensation for their damages. While nothing can undo the harm caused by a drunk driver, a successful lawsuit can help victims and their families move forward and begin to rebuild their lives. If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident or have lost a loved one, it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney who can help guide you through the legal process.
Motor vehicle crash lawyers in South Carolina
The Clekis Law Firm helps people who have been involved in car crashes in Charleston, South Carolina. Their attorneys are available to provide advice during an initial consultation.
USAttorneys.com is available to help anyone who is looking for a lawyer in their city or state. Those who need a referral can call 800-672-3103 to get connected with the right local legal professional.
Firm contact info:
171 Church St., Charleston SC, 29401