South Carolina Lawmakers Propose Bill Requiring Drivers Convicted In Fatal DUI Accidents To Pay Child Support To Victims’ Children
In a personal injury lawsuit, an injured person asks the court to order the defendant to reimburse the injured plaintiff for medical bills and other financial losses the plaintiff incurred because of the accident that the defendant caused, including income that the plaintiff lost by not being able to work because of his or her injuries. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the court orders the defendant to pay compensation to the victim’s surviving relatives, especially if they depended on the victim for financial support. Therefore, if the victim had minor children, the family may ask the court to order the defendant to pay more than if the victim’s children had been adults at the time of the victim’s death. A bill proposed in the South Carolina legislature is attempting to make the obligations of drivers who cause fatal accidents while under the influence of alcohol, leading to the death of a parent of a minor child, similar to the court-ordered child support obligations of divorced or otherwise unmarried parents of minors. To find out more about your rights after getting injured in a drunk driving accident, contact a Columbia car accident lawyer.
Provisions of Bentley’s Law
South Carolina has become the ninth state whose legislature is considering a law that would require people convicted of causing fatal collisions while under the influence of alcohol to pay child support to the minor children of their victims, if the victim had children below the age of 18. These bills are popularly called Bentley’s Law, although they go by different official titles in different states.
The South Carolina version of the bill would only apply if the driver who caused the fatal collision while under the influence of alcohol had at least one previous DUI conviction. The bill is still several years away from becoming law, even if most lawmakers support it in principle. There are still many details to work out regarding how much a person convicted under Bentley’s law would have to pay if the court ordered him or her to pay child support.
Meanwhile, parents of minor children are among the people who have the most compelling reason to file personal injury lawsuits, and the nearest surviving relatives of children who lose a parent in a car accident are ideal plaintiffs in wrongful death lawsuits. No judge can reasonably deny that minor children require financial support from their parents. If the amount of income you lost because of your injuries caused by a drunk driver is more than an insurance settlement can reasonably pay, a personal injury lawsuit may be the best option.
Let Us Help You Today
The personal injury lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you if you suffered serious injuries in an alcohol-related car accident, causing your children to lose their main source of financial support. Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.