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Is South Carolina a Fault Insurance State?

Is South Carolina a Fault Insurance State?

Each state is either a fault or no-fault insurance state. In fault states, if you are injured in a car accident, you can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver – this is usually done through the liable driver’s insurance carrier. In order to collect damages from the other driver’s insurance company however, you’d need to convince them that their insured was legally to blame for the accident.

If the insurance company agrees that its policyholder was at-fault, then you collect damages for the losses incurred in the accident. If the insurance company is unreasonable, you have the option of taking them to court.

South Carolina is a fault car accident state. According to the South Carolina Department of Insurance, “South Carolina is a tort liability state, which means the not-at-fault person can pursue a claim against the at-fault party. South Carolina is also comparative negligence, which means you can be barred from collecting for the percentage you contributed to the accident.”

South Carolina’s Fault-Based System

South Carolina is traditional in terms of it following a fault-based system. This means that if you’re injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you would pursue the other driver for all of your economic and non-economic damages (up to the other driver’s policy limits), such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost income
  • Loss of companionship (wrongful death cases)
  • Funeral expenses

“What if the damages are more than the at-fault driver’s policy limits?” After the coverage limits are exhausted, the at-fault driver is personally on the hook and their assets are at risk. In light of that, there are three ways an injured party can file a car accident claim in South Carolina:

  1. File a claim with their own insurance company, but in turn their insurance company would most likely file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
  2. File a third party claim with the liable party’s insurance company.
  3. Go to court and file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Related: Low Impact Accidents Can Still Cause Injuries

Looking for a Columbia car accident attorney? Contact our firm at once to schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our legal team.


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