David Lail

David Lail


David Lail’s practice focuses on helping people that have experienced a life-changing event or crisis and found themselves with a real fight on their hands – a fight that many times involves powerful and connected interests on the other side. Regardless of the opposition, his approach remains the same – build the strongest case possible for trial and let the results speak for themselves.

Since he began practicing law in 2011, Lail has helped achieve over $181 million on behalf of injured clients – including over $54 million in jury verdicts and more than $60 million for victims of drunk driving.

Lail devotes much of his practice representing drunk driving victims in Dram Shop Litigation and has written extensively on this niche practice area. Lail is a principal author of the book, “South Carolina Dram Shop Litigation: A Practice Guide” and is a contributing co-author of, “South Carolina Damages, Second Edition, Dram Shop Liability”, both published by the South Carolina Bar. In addition, Lail is co-author of, “Dram Shop Discovery”, published the American Association for Justice’s (AAJ) Trial Magazine.

Lail also speaks regularly on representing victims and has conducted numerous trainings, presentations, and CLEs on Dram Shop Litigation for law enforcement agencies, the South Carolina Bar, The Charleston School of Law, the South Carolina Association for Justice (SCAJ), The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), and Strafford Publications. Lail was also interviewed as part of the South Carolina Business Review’s report, “Dram Shop Risk on the Rise in SC”. A recording of the interview can be heard here.  Lail has also presented courses on Wrongful Death and Catastrophic Injury Cases, Insurance Bad Faith, Jury Trial Techniques, Depositions Tactics, and Mediation Practices.

As a lawyer advocate for victims, Lail is a Board Member of MADD South Carolina, a member of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, The National Organization for Victim Assistance (VOCA), The National Alliance of Victims’ Rights Attorneys & Advocates (NAVRA) and he has undergone victim advocacy training through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC).

Lail is a member of The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 and South Carolina Super Lawyers. Lail is also a Board Member of the South Carolina Association for Justice (SCAJ), a member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), and he is also licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia.

David has learned that individuals who have been injured or harmed often feel powerless and faced with problems that seem insurmountable. In response, he works to solve those problems and provide the counsel needed to help his clients get their lives back on track with the remedy they deserve. David has recovered significant compensation for clients in a variety of cases including: dram shop actions, motor vehicle collisions, road defects, bad faith insurance practices, product defects, child abuse at school, nursing home negligence and abuse, medical malpractice, dog bites, and negligence by retail stores, hotels, homeowners, and school districts for premises injuries, among others.

David received a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Kentucky, an M.B.A. from The Citadel, highest honors, and a J.D., cum laude, from the Charleston School of Law where he was an Associate Articles Editor of the Charleston Law Review, a member of the Charleston School of Law Moot Court Board, and a Teaching Fellow in the Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing Department. During his legal study, David received CALI Awards for the highest law school grade in: Torts, Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing I & II, and Pleadings & Practice.

David lives in Charleston with his wife, Lauren, and their two children, Evie and Hugh.

About David

Charleston School of Law, JD, Cum Laude

The Citadel, MBA, Highest Honors

University of Kentucky, BBA, Finance


MADD South Carolina, Board Member

The National Crime Victim Bar Association

The National Organization for Victim Assistance

The National Alliance of Victims' Rights Attorneys & Advocates

South Carolina Association for Justice, Board Member

American Association for Justice

South Carolina Bar

District of Columbia Bar

Awards & Recognition

South Carolina Super Lawyers

The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100

58th Largest Jury Verdict in the United States, $35.9M, Verdict Search 2014

5th Largest Motor Vehicle Settlement, Case Metrix 2021

7th Largest Premises Liability Settlement, Case Metrix 2021

9th Largest Motor Vehicle Verdict, Case Metrix 2021

Recent Results
$35.9 Million

Verdict for Paralyzed Worker

This verdict was achieved after a two week trial for a 28-year-old construction worker who was paralyzed from the neck down after he was electrocuted and fell eight feet from scaffolding. The power company and its insurers refused to offer anything close to fair compensation to cover this young man's basic needs.

$13.1 Million

Verdict for Claflin University Student Involved in Deadly I-77 Wreck

We earned a $13.1 million jury verdict against Archer Western Construction Company on behalf of one of the victims of a tragic wreck on I-77 in Richland County. The suit was brought on by our plaintiff, a Claflin University student and the lone survivor of the wreck. The hard-earned verdict was the culmination of years of work and followed a nearly two-week trial.

$9.8 Million

Dram Shop Settlement

A passenger in the car of a drunk driver who was over-served by two bars in the Charleston, South Carolina, area settled this dram shop case after a damages hearing.

$7.5 Million

Dram Shop Settlement

Wrongful death of a young woman killed by a drunk driver who was overserved alcohol by a national restaurant chain then purchased more alcohol at a convenience store.

$4.25 Million

$4.25 Million Traumatic Brain Injury Settlement

Construction worker diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury on the job awarded settlement.

$3.47 Million

Construction Site Negligence Settlement

Working as a subcontractor for a manufacturing plant, our client leaned against a railing that gave out beneath him, causing him to fall through the building and onto the ground. He sustained many orthopedic injuries.

$3.1 Million

Dram Shop Jury Verdict

A 24-year-old man was seriously injured when an underage drunk driver crashed head-on into his car in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

$2 Million

Drunk Driver Liability

After drinking and driving while traveling on I-95 in Florida, an intoxicated driver struck the rear of our client’s car as he slowed in traffic. Upon arrival at the scene, the police car’s rear-facing dashcam recorded the drunk driver fading in and out of consciousness. Our client, a notable Bluffton community member and self-help writer, suffered a concussion and a sustained back injury. His medical bills topped out at $400,000. We reached a $2 million settlement for our client prior to going to trial.

$1.7 Million

Settlement for Improperly Parked Truck Collision

This settlement was achieved for a client who suffered injuries after crashing into an improperly parked truck on the shoulder of the road. The truck had been illegally parked on the shoulder for approximately ten minutes, with its trailer sticking out about six feet into the road. In addition, the truck had not placed reflective triangles or flares around the truck, as the law requires.

$1.6 Million

Settlement for Fatal Head-On Collision

Our 47-year-old plaintiff was driving home from his shift at a steel plant when another driver struck his vehicle head-on while illegally passing another vehicle. Tragically, the plaintiff died at the scene. Yarborough Applegate attorneys David Yarborough and David Lail were able to secure a $1.6 million dollar settlement for his widow. Notably, this included a $1.35 million contribution over the available policy limits by the liability carrier.

$1.2 Million

Jury Verdict for Personal Injury and Homeowner Duty of Care

Nearly three years after a visibly dead pine tree fell from the lawn of a tenant-occupied property in Summerville, SC, striking the truck our client, a jury reached a $1.25M verdict.

$1.1 Million

Settlement for Hit-and-Run Dram Shop Settlement

A bicyclist was hit and injured by a suspected drunk driver. The driver was working as a bartender and drinking while on the job. When she left work, she struck our client and fled the scene. This settlement was collected from the bar and the fleeing driver.

$1 Million

Settlement for Injured Driver

Yarborough Applegate attorneys recovered the limits of liability and underinsured (UIM) coverage for a ride-share driver injured in a crash caused by the negligence of a distracted driver.

$1.15 Million

Settlement for Car Crash Injuries

Two couples settled for a total of $1.15 million after sustaining injuries when an intoxicated driver crashed into their car.

Recognition and Community Involvement
Yarborough Applegate Attorneys Named to Super Lawyers

Five of our seven attorneys have been named as 2020 Super Lawyers Honorees or Rising Star Honorees, and our founding partner, David Yarborough, has been selected to the Top 10 in Charleston and Top 25 in South Carolina.

Lail Re-Selected as Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyer in South Carolina

Membership in this exclusive organization is by invitation only and is limited to the top attorneys in each state who have demonstrated excellence and have achieved outstanding results in their careers.

Super Lawyers Yarborough Applegate
5 Yarborough Applegate Lawyers Named Super Lawyers & Rising Stars

Yarborough Applegate is once again honored to be represented in the South Carolina Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. Attorneys David B. Yarborough, Jr. and William E. Applegate, IV have both been named to the Top 10 in Charleston and Top 25 in South Carolina lists. Attorneys Douglas E. Jennings, David Lail and Christopher Bryant […]

Yarborough Applegate Is Proud To Partner With MADD

In honor of Alcohol Awareness Month, we wanted to tell our readers a bit about our partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD. We often represent victims of drunk driving and know first-hand the devastating effects these tragedies have on the victims and their loved ones. We fight for these victims and against the […]

David Lail Elected to the South Carolina Association for Justice Board of Governors

Late last month, the South Carolina Association for Justice (SCAJ) elected attorney David Lail to its Board of Governors as a representative of the Ninth Judicial Circuit. This honor comes on the heels of another recent award for Lail, being selected to the 2017 South Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, which is a status […]

Yarborough Applegate Team Awarded 2017 Super Lawyer Distinction

Three of Yarborough Applegate’s attorneys were named 2017 South Carolina Super Lawyers. We congratulate David Yarborough, William Applegate, and David Lail for receiving a recognition that fewer than five percent of lawyers receive. We are also proud to announce that David Lail, a part of our team since 2011, was named a Super Lawyers Rising […]

Yarborough Applegate Achieved 8 of The Top 18 SC Settlements in 2016

Every year, South Carolina Lawyers Weekly compiles a list of the top million-dollar settlements in the state reported in its newspaper. Since 2011, Yarborough Applegate has appeared on this list every year, always securing at least 3 spots. In 2016, Yarborough Applegate earned 8 of the 18 spots on the list totaling $18.15 million in […]

David Lail
Lail Selected to Top 40 Under 40 List Second Year In a Row

Every year, The National Trial Lawyers releases their Top 40 Under 40 list. The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40 is a professional organization comprised of America’s top young trial attorneys.  Membership into the Top 40 Under 40 is by invitation only and is extended exclusively to those plaintiffs’ lawyers who meet stringent qualifications. Yarborough Applegate […]

Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2016
Lail Selected to the 2016 South Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star List

Plaintiffs’ lawyer David Lail has been selected to the 2016 South Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. Each year, no more than 2.5% of South Carolina lawyers are selected to receive this distinguished honor. Lail’s work representing plaintiffs, primarily in personal injury litigation, was the basis for his selection to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars […]

Lail Elected Chair of the South Carolina Association for Justice’s Young Lawyers Section

Yarborough Applegate attorney, David Lail, has been elected Chair of the Young Lawyers Section of the South Carolina Association for Justice, formerly known as the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association. The South Carolina Association for Justice (SCAJ) was founded over 50 years ago by a small group of South Carolina trial lawyers. Since then, the […]

Lail Selected to The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40

The National Trial Lawyers selected Yarborough Applegate attorney David Lail to its “Top 40 Under 40” list for 2015. According to The National Trial Lawyers, the Top 40 Under 40 “is a professional organization comprised of America’s top trial attorneys 40 years of age and under. Membership into the Top 40 Under 40 association is […]

Yarborough Applegate Verdict One of the Top 100 Verdicts of 2014

Yarborough Applegate’s $35,940,545 verdict against Pepco in Montgomery Co., Maryland Circuit Court for their client Hugo Hernandez is one of the Top 100 Verdicts of 2014, according to VerdictSearch, the leading provider of verdict and settlement research. The Hernandez verdict is ranked 58 on the VerdictSearch’s Top 100 list. The $35,940,545 verdict against Pepco in Montgomery Co., […]

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