Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys Serving South Carolina
Have you or a loved one been injured due to someone else’s careless or reckless behavior in South Carolina? When people or businesses act negligently, they are often putting other people at risk for injury. If they do cause injuries, they can be held financially liable for the damages they cause. People who suffer these injuries have the right to file civil lawsuits against the culpable party to recoup medical costs, the cost of damaged property and other less tangible damages such as pain and suffering.
Unique Personal Injury Laws in South Carolina
Although there are a lot of similarities between different states’ laws, there are also some important difference and intricacies. South Carolina is no different, and there are some unique personal injury statutes you should be aware of if you or a loved one are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit in the state.
- You do not have an unlimited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit after an accident or some other type of negligence results in the injury of you or a loved one. In South Carolina, you have three years after your injury to officially file a personal injury claim in the state’s courts. There are some scenarios where you may be allowed additional time, such as medical malpractice cases where you may not discover the injury until years after the medical mistake was made. If it’s been three or more years since the accident that caused your injury, you should speak with a personal injury attorney to find out if extenuating circumstances may entitle you to an extension.
- In South Carolina you can be found partially liable for your injury and only be awarded a percentage of the total compensation amount. If you are found 50% or more at fault, recovery is completely barred. This shared fault rule comes into play if the court determines that your actions played some role in your injury. If you were injured in a car crash because someone ran a red light but you happened to be speeding at the time, the court may decide that although the accident was primarily the other drivers fault that you were 20 percent responsible for your own injuries. If the verdict awarded you $50,000 in compensation you would only receive 80 percent, or $40,000.
- South Carolina dog bite laws favor the dog attack victim rather than the dog owners. In state’s with a one bite rule, dog owners can avoid being held liable for their dog’s first attack on another person by claiming they had no way of knowing their pet was dangerous prior to the attack because the dog never gave any indication of its aggressive nature before it attacked someone. In a strict liability dog bite state like South Carolina, there is no first bite forgiveness. The dog owner can be held financially liable for the injuries their pet causes even if it’s the dog’s first attack.
- South Carolina is one of the states where there is a cap on the maximum amount of compensation medical malpractice injury victims can receive. South Carolina’s cap pertains to both non-economic and economic damages, which means both pain and suffering and things like medical bills that result from the injury. The cap on non-economic damages is $350,000 and the maximum compensation overall is $1,050,000. There are no compensation caps for other types of personal injury lawsuits, just medical malpractice cases where a medical professional made a mistake due to negligence on their part that resulted in an injury.
- South Carolina also has a compensation cap on punitive damages. Most personal injury cases do not involve punitive damages, as they are primarily intended to act as a deterrent to dissuade the negligent party from repeating the reckless behavior again in the future. You most often see punitive damage in drunk driving or similar cases where the negligence is considered willfully reckless or particularly egregious. South Carolina’s punitive damage cap is currently set at $500,000.
If you or a loved one have recently been injured by another person, company or government entity’s reckless or negligent actions, you may be eligible to receive compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. These issues can be particularly overwhelming and confusing, which is why our personal injury law firm is happy to offer free consultations.