A car accident turned deadly in Orangeburg, South Carolina this November when a pair of individuals attempting to assist one of the victims were fatally electrocuted after coming into contact with a downed power line. The accident itself occurred when a driver attempting to pass another car veered off the road after trying to exit the path of an oncoming vehicle. After swerving off the road, the driver who initiated the tragic series of events collided with a telephone pole before crashing into a tree. While it appears likely that the collision with the telephone is what caused the power lines to become downed, the accident remains under investigation. In addition to the two good Samaritan fatalities, one of the car’s passengers was killed, and two other persons received shocks and severe burns. From a legal perspective, the chain of events is fascinating and could yield a number of claims. For South Carolinians injured in an auto accident, contact an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney to discuss any legal claims and compensation that may be available to you.
Negligence in Car Accidents
Negligence is the basis of most personal injury claims arising from auto accidents. Negligence is a legal term that can express carelessness or recklessness. Negligence occurs when one who owes a duty of care to another breaches that duty, and the breach is both the actual and proximate cause of damages to the non-breaching party. Drivers owe a duty to all other drivers and pedestrians to drive safely in accordance with the rules and regulations of the road. A driver may breach this duty in any number of ways – driving too fast, driving in an erratic manner such as swerving, failing to observe traffic signals, operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, and more. When a breach results in an accident injuring other persons or property, damages have been suffered. With the existence of each of these elements – duty, breach, causation, and damages – proven in a court of law, the non-breaching party can recover compensation for personal injuries, property damage, medical bills, lost income from missed work, and pain and suffering.
The case of the car accident involving the electrocution of two persons is interesting because of the complexity of the negligence element of causation. While it is relatively easy to trace the death of the passenger to the fatally disastrous attempt of the driver to pass another car, thereby establishing actual and proximate causation, it is not so easy to do the same with regard to the two electrocuted good Samaritans. This is because these two individuals chose to attempt to assist the injured driver of their own volition. While the injured driver might have a moral imperative to compensate the families of the two electrocution victims for their losses, he or she might not necessarily have a legal duty to do so. Until the precise cause of the downed power lines in known, one can only speculate.
If you have been the victim of auto accident, contact an experienced South Carolina auto accident attorney today.
Dan Pruitt is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from University of Georgia, and has been practicing law for 25 years. Dan Pruitt believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.