A collision between an SUV and a moped in Beaufort, South Carolina (SC), left the two teenaged moped riders badly injured and the driver of the larger vehicle facing multiple charges. The crash happened on Ribaut Road at around 10:30 pm on February 18, 2017.
According to news reports, the woman behind the wheel of the SUV never stopped after striking the moped, dragging the two-wheeler and its riders nearly 2,000 feet before continuing on to her home. Witnesses wrote down the at-fault driver’s license plate number and shared it with police, who arrested the hit-and-run driver at 1 am on February 19.
The fleeing driver faces initial charges of leaving the scene of an accident and failing to render aid. Under section 56-5-1230 of the South Carolina Code, drivers who get involved in any type of wreck are required to stay on the scene to share their identification, insurance information and witness statement with investigators. Language in the statute also places a legal duty on drivers who are not incapacitated themselves to “render to any person injured in such accident reasonable assistance, including the carrying or making arrangements for the carrying of such person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such carrying is requested by the injured person.”
Fortunately, the teens’ injuries are not considered life-threatening. Their families will still large medical bills and other significant negative financial impacts as a result of the SUV driver’s negligent and careless actions. If the at-fault driver fled in order to escape responsibility because she lacks insurance, the injured teens’ families should have coverage under the uninsured and underinsured provisions of a parent’s own policy.
South Carolina requires all fully registered drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage, which exists to ensure crash victims do not pay every accident-related expense out of their own pockets. State regulators also strongly encourage residents to sign up for underinsured motorist coverage, which pays for crash-related expenses that exceed maximum payouts from an at-fault driver’s policy.
Seeking advice and assistance from a South Carolina personal injury lawyer who has experience helping victims of moped accidents and hit-and-run drivers will enable the teens and their families understand and take advantage of all their options to claim compensation and damages. Holding a driver who flees the scene of a crash that could have easily proven fatal accountable is imperative.