South Carolina Spent $5 Million on Car Accidents and Personal Injury Claims Caused by Bad Roads
Last year, a statewide survey showed that South Carolina has some of the least up-kept roads in the nation, which can result in accidents leading to South Carolina car accident and personal injury claims. Now, information obtained about the extent of the damage caused by the state’s poor road maintenance shows that South Carolina paid at least $5 million to motorists last year due to bad roads.
Records from South Carolina’s Insurance Reserve Fund showed that the state paid $5.1 million in personal injury, wrongful death, and car accident claims, along with another $2.3 million in legal fees. That was just 2014 – the preceding three years saw the state pay out $18.7 million in personal injury and car accident claims to motorists.
According to a report released on January 15th by TRIP, a Washington, DC-based national transportation organization, 46% of South Carolina’s roads are in such poor condition that they can cause vehicular damage, car accidents, traffic congestion, and personal injury or wrongful death. Deficient roads cost drivers in the state at least $1,250 per year in the form of car repairs, lost time, and fuel delays. The bad roads in the state cost motorists an estimated $3 billion every year – a financial investment that, if paid in taxes instead of personal injury or car accident costs, could go a long way to fixing the problem.
“The South Carolina Department of Transportation manages the 41,000 miles of state funded roads with the third lowest motor fuel user fee in the nation. With an estimated additional $1.5 billion needed per year for the next 25 years to “get to good”, they are currently having to do the best they can with what they have,” said Eric Dickey, vice president of Davis & Floyd, Inc. and chairman of the South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads (SCFOR).
“To me it’s a large chunk of money. Would we rather continue to pay out funds like this and put people in danger rather than come up with a viable solution to fix our roads and bridges?” said Rep. Chandra Dillard, a Greenville Democrat who sits on a House committee studying the state’s infrastructure needs.
Sen. Ray Cleary, a Georgetown County Republican who has spearheaded road-funding efforts in the Senate, said he was unaware that people could sue the state due to road quality-related personal injury and car accidents. “In the last five years, we’ve raised the cost of fixing the roads in South Carolina by $14 billion,” he said. “If that’s not a waste of taxpayer money, then what is? Why aren’t people like the Tea Party demanding these roads be fixed?”
“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the local, state and federal levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Congress can help by approving a long-term federal surface transportation program that provides adequate funding levels, based on a reliable funding source. If not, South Carolina is going to see its future federal funding threatened, resulting in fewer road and bridge repair projects, loss of jobs, and a burden on the state’s economy.”
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with South Carolina Car Accidents and Personal Injury Caused By Bad Roads
Our car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom, and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills; lost wages and future earnings; your pain and suffering; and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Contact the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. today for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case and how we can help. 803.252.4800