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Personal Injury Claims in South Carolina

A personal injury is an injury caused to one’s body, property or emotions due to the negligence of another person. Personal injuries might be a result of a car accident, a slip and fall event, or medical malpractice. The government of South Carolina allows its residents file a lawsuit against the negligent party in the event of a personal injury.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the period of time during which a person is eligible for filing a case for his or her personal injury. In the state of South Carolina, the statue of limitations is THREE YEARS. It is very important to understand these limitations. Some points to consider are:

  • This date starts from the day when the injury has happened.
  • If a person is unable to file a case before three-year time, the civil court system of the state will refuse to proceed with any hearing at all.

Insurance policies in South Carolina

South Carolina follows a ‘fault’ insurance law policy. This means that the person who has caused the accident is liable for any damages occurring from the personal injury event. The injured person may ask for compensation from his own insurer or that of the negligent party. His or her options are:

  • Filing a claim with his or her own carrier insurer
  • Filing a personal injury claim against the negligent party in the civil court
  • Filing a claim with the insurer of the negligent party who is at fault during the accident (third-party insurance claim)

Comparative Fault in Personal Injury Cases

South Carolina follows modified comparative fault rule that reduces damages if the injured person is him or herself found to be partially at fault. During the course of case proceedings, the amount of compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault shared by the injured party.

Let’s take an EXAMPLE: Suppose you are going through a street restaurant and you slip due to an uneven tile placed at the entrance of the restaurant. It was found that you were looking at an advertisement while the accident happened. Since you also share part of the fault, your compensation gets reduced according to the comparative fault rule of South Carolina. If the amount was to originally be $ 10,000, it is reduced to $9,000 as you are found to be 10 percent at fault during the accident.

Damage Caps for Personal Injury Case

The government of South Carolina places limitations on damages to be received by an injured person. These limits can be summarized as follow:

  • Non-economic damages in medical malpractice are limited to $350,000 for single defendant
  • $1.05 million is the cap set for more than one defendants for the same type of personal injury cases
  • These caps do not apply to other personal injury cases, but only to those stemming from medical malpractice

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