Are Car Accidents in South Carolina Civil or Criminal Cases?

To receive proper compensation after surviving car accidents in South Carolina, understanding your legal rights is essential. You may proceed with civil litigation or the driver who caused the accident may face criminal charges depending on the circumstances of your case. In some situations, a car accident can qualify for both criminal and civil cases.

Several legal differences exist between criminal and civil cases based on the punishment the driver will face, the type of evidence, and the compensation you seek. You should know about legal proceedings so that you can make more informed decisions about your car accident case.

Car accidents are very common. In 2019, around 1,016 people died due to traffic accidents in South Carolina. If you or your loved ones suffered such a fatal accident, you are entitled to receive compensation. Get in touch with our attorney to discuss your legal options.

Understanding Civil and Criminal Cases & How A Greenville Car Accident Lawyer Can Help:

Civil law is applicable for injuries caused to an individual, a small group, or a corporation. Whereas criminal law applies to the injuries that result when a person breaks the law and endangers the safety of society, the public, or the government. The type of injury after car accidents in South Carolina and its severity does not determine whether your case is criminal or civil. The underlying behavior that led to the injury determines the type of case.

When another person intentionally breaks the law, they are likely to face criminal charges. Murder, theft, and assault are examples of criminal actions. However, if a person shows negligent behavior and causes injury to another person, they are more likely to face civil charges.

Criminal Car Accidents:

In many situations, if a driver breaks the law their actions could be unintentional. Criminal punishment won’t be applicable in this case. Common accidents caused by distraction or failing to obey traffic signals and stop signs are all types of civil cases as they harm an individual. A driver may face criminal charges if their behavior threatens the public or cause a severe danger for others.

Car accidents that qualify for criminal litigation include the following:

Intoxicated Driving Accidents:

It is a criminal offense to drive while intoxicated throughout the United States. Most drivers under influence of drugs or alcohol are more likely to make deadly mistakes and cause severe accidents. They are a known threat to the general public. Even if they do not cause the accident, they are charged with criminal charges.

Hit-and-Run Accidents:

If any driver is involved in an accident, according to the law they need to stop the vehicle, exchange information, and provide medical assistance if required. A driver may face criminal charges if they fail to stop even after a minor accident. The type of penalties faced by a driver in a hit-and-run case is determined through the severity of injuries and property damage. Penalty may include fines, suspension of driver’s license, and jail.

Reckless Driving Accidents:

When a driver’s action creates an unreasonable level of danger for others on road it can be considered as a criminal case only in the case of wrongful death or severe injuries. The negligent behavior may include road rage, driving without a vehicle, using a phone while driving, and speeding. Often negligent driving accidents are not considered criminal cases. If a driver faces criminal charges, you can file a civil claim against the driver.

Only the state or the government file criminal charges leading to criminal litigation. Individuals can only file civil litigation to seek compensation. After filing an injury claim or proceeding with civil litigation, you can seek appropriate compensation according to the severity of your injuries.

In civil cases, you are not liable to prove that a defendant is guilty. Instead, you need to provide sufficient evidence to establish that the person was liable for the accident that caused injuries. Either through negotiations or in court, you can recover a settlement with the assistance of your attorney. Civil cases result in monetary compensation for the victim and their families.

Contact a South Carolina Auto Accident Attorney:

You and your loved ones deserve substantial compensation after suffering a serious car accident. Our experienced South Carolina car accident attorneys will ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. We aim to build a strong case and seek the best possible outcome. We have years of experience in handling all types of car accident cases. Our attorneys will provide you with unparalleled expertise, and knowledge. Schedule a free consultation today.