South Carolina car accident laws determine how much time you have to file a lawsuit after an accident, sheds light on car accident settlements and claims, how your scenario is affected if you share responsibility for the accident, etc. When you’re involved in a collision or accident in South Carolina, you should be responsible and conform to the state’s laws.
Lawsuit Time Limits
The time restrictions for filing a lawsuit after an accident is referred to as “statutes of limitations”. These limitations change with the type of case filed. The applicable time limits are: i) three years after a road accident to file a personal injury case, and ii) three years after the mishap to file a property damage lawsuit.
The statues don’t come into play when filing a claim after the accident with the insurer of either party. They only apply to a formal civil suit filing. However, these time restrictions must be a major consideration in how you plan your offensive moves after the accident. If you can still file a lawsuit while you’re in negotiations with an insurance firm, you have increased leverage. An insurance firm is often not keen on offering you a decent settlement if they know they won’t get dragged to court.
The applicable rules differ if the car mishap had the government party to it in some way or the other. If a city bus rear-ends you, you must file a case with the correct government agency soon after the car accident, so your legal rights stay protected. In certain cases, you’ll only have 60 days to file a lawsuit.
Comparative Fault Rates
When multiple people are responsible for the accident, rules of ‘comparative law’ come into play. These rules determine who receives the compensation and the amount recoverable. In the state of South Carolina, you may recover damages against anyone who is more at fault than you. However, your recovery decreases by a percentage, matching your liability share for the accident. Also, if your liability is more than 50 percent, you cannot recover any money at all in relation to the accident.
These rules determine what juries or judges decide during a civil lawsuit, if things progress to that stage. However, comparative fault rules also play a major role in settlement negotiations carried out with insurance firms. Since there isn’t any concrete way to determine fault, the final judgement is based on your negotiation with claim adjusters, or your ability to convince a jury or judge to view things from your perspective.
If you’re involved in a car accident in South Carolina and all of this legal language is going over your head, you need to work with a South Carolina car accident lawyer.