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Car Accident Laws in South Carolina

Filing a Claim After a Collision

If you have been injured in a car accident in South Carolina, you may be wondering what your legal options are to obtain your entitled compensation. There are certain steps you need to take to preserve your right to file an accident claim or personal injury lawsuit. The following page is an overview of the South Carolina car accident laws.

Reporting a Car Accident

If the crash involves a bodily injury, death, or at least $1,000 in property damage, you need to call the police to the scene of the accident. An officer will provide a crash report, which you can obtain a copy of upon request. If the accident is not investigated by law enforcement officials, you must complete and send a Traffic Collision Report form to the DMV.

South Carolina Follows a Traditional “Fault” System

South Carolina is considered a “fault” car accident state, which means the driver who caused the collision is also financially liable for the losses from the crash, such as property damage, hospital bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering. In “no-fault” car accident states, on the other hand, means injured drivers must rely on their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage of their own auto insurance policy to receive compensation for out-of-pocket expenses (not non-economic damages) – regardless of who is the at-fault party.

Car accident victims in South Carolina can seek financial compensation by the following:

  1. Filing a claim with their own insurer, which will likely file a subrogation claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company

  1. Filing a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer

  1. Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver

What Happens If the At-Fault Driver Blames Me for Causing the Crash?

If the at-fault driver partially or completely blames you for causing the car accident, South Carolina follows a “modified comparative negligence” system, which means your award will be reduced by your percentage of negligence, so long as your share of fault is not greater than the other parties.

For example, if the jury awards you $100,000 in damages, but it also believes you were 25 percent liable for causing the collision, you will only be able to keep $75,000 or 75 percent of your total award.

Statute of Limitations

In South Carolina, you have three years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit in civil court. This three-year time limit also applies to car accidents involving wrongful death. However, it is wise to file a claim as soon as possible.

Let Our Firm Fight for You

Since car accident cases can be quite complex, especially if the other party is attempting to blame you for causing the crash, you need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights and best interests. At the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, we work on a contingency fee basis for many injury cases, which means you do not have to pay us anything until we secure a favorable outcome inside or outside the courtroom.

Contact us today at (803) 359-3301 and schedule a free consultation!

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