Accident and Injury Caused By Defective Roadway
In 2016, a client came to the Stanley Law Firm after he was seriously injured in a single car accident on Highway 501 as he was headed to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The accident occurred near the intersection of Highway 501 and Highway 22 (also known as Veteran’s Highway) near the Town of Aynor, South Carolina.
Our client needed an experienced personal injury lawyer because the car he was driving flipped over several times after coming into contact with a defective shoulder edge drop-off. A defective shoulder edge drop-off is a condition where there is a significant elevation change from one travel lane to another travel lane or between a travel lane and the adjacent shoulder of the road and the elevation change exceeds standards as recommended by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) or other highway standards.
As a result of the auto accident, our client’s vehicle was totaled and he was transported to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center due to his loss of consciousness and broken ribs. He spent several days in the hospital and in physical rehabilitation. As a result of this collision, our client’s medical bills totaled over $21,000.
While the client was not sure what specifically caused the accident, he did believe that the section of highway where he wrecked his vehicle was not properly maintained. As part of our investigation, this firm hired a nationally renowned highway expert and an accident re-constructionist. After investigations by these two experts which included the examination of the accident site and the vehicle’s “black box,” the Stanley Law Firm determined that the SCDOT was negligent in failing to properly maintain this highway area along Highway 501 and, therefore, brought suit against the SCDOT.
During the discovery phase of this lawsuit, the Stanley Law Firm asked questions of SCDOT, reviewed hundreds of documents, and took the depositions of several SDCOT employees. After these extensive investigations, the Stanley Law Firm took the position that the shoulder edge drop-off exceeded acceptable standards and caused our client to wreck his vehicle.
On the other hand, the SCDOT alleged that our client had been impaired at the time of the accident because of certain prescription medications. As such, the SCDOT took the position that the highway was adequately maintained and that it was not responsible for the accident.
In response to SCDOT’s position, we consulted with our client’s treating physician who testified that the medications probably did not impair our client’s ability to drive on the date of the accident because these medications were taken at night prior to the accident.
Prior to trial, the SCDOT and the Stanley Law Firm mediated the case and the case settled for a six-figure amount. As our client discovered, there are numerous reasons for an accident, some of which are caused by highway defects either through the negligent actions of the SCDOT and SCDOT’s contractors and sub-contractors.