In most situations in order for a business or other person to be responsible for someone's injuries they either must have intended to cause harm, or acted negligently. Knowing when something has been done intentionally usually is easy, intentional means done on purpose. But negligence may be more difficult to establish.
Negligence has a very specific meaning when used to discuss South Carolina injury law. Negligence is the legal standard that applies when a Court determines whether or not someone should be allowed to prevail at trial, and is the standard that insurance companies use to determine if a settlement is appropriate.
In order to establish negligence the personal bringing the lawsuit or making the claim must prove four things:
- That the person who is alleged to be responsible owed a legal duty of care, or some responsibility to the injured person; and
- That that legal duty of care was breached in some way; and
- That the breach was the cause of;
- Harm resulting in damages
For example in an automobile injury case, we know that all drivers on South Carolina roads owe a legal duty of care to other drivers on the roadway. When that duty is breached, such as by not paying attention and running a stop sign, it can cause an accident where someone is hurt. When that happens the driver of the car can be proven to have been negligent.
Not all accidents though are the result of legal negligence. If our driver above was driving, but now instead of the stop sign being up at the intersection it had recently been stolen by neighborhood children. The driver, not being aware of the intersection, went through the same intersection causing the same accident. Although the other driver's injuries might be the same in this scenario, it becomes more difficult to prove that the driver was negligent and to require their insurance company to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering.
Knowing South Carolina's negilgence law is one way our lawyers help our clients recover money that they are legally entitled after they are injured to to someone else's careless behavior. If you would like to discuss your injury case with one of our Lexington SC Personal Injury Attorneys please call us at (803) 359-3301 for an appointment.