People who suffered accidents due to the negligence of other people have the right to get compensation for the damages. They should initiate a personal injury lawsuit and follow the rules in their state. So, how do injury lawsuits work in South Carolina?
Statute of Limitations
First of all, it should be emphasized that there is a time limit for this type of legal action. Injured persons are only given three years to pursue filing a case in court. If they fail to do so within the allotted period, they forfeit their right to this remedy. They will no longer be able to pursue further action against the one at fault for their injuries. It used to be much longer—at six years—but this was shortened to three years in 1988. Most other states only provide two years for personal injury cases, so this is still quite generous.
The clock will start ticking from the date when the injury was sustained. The court will usually turn away any complaints after three years, but exceptions may be granted if there is a compelling reason why the action could not be initiated earlier. For example, the defendant may be outside of the state, the plaintiff has a disability, and so on. Consult a lawyer if there are any issues that require clarification.
Some states insist on a black and white interpretation of fault, where a party cannot get compensation if he is partly to blame for the incident. South Carolina is not one of these states. Instead, the laws recognize the possibility of shared fault. A plaintiff can still receive an award, although the amount may be reduced based on his degree of blame. His share of the fault should not be more than fifty percent or else the whole thing cancels out. If an injured person is only ten percent to blame, then he can still collect ninety percent of the amount due. This is called the modified comparative negligence rule.
Strict Liability for Dog Bites
Animals are the responsibility of their owners. Those who have pets, like dogs and cats, should make sure that they are well-behaved. If not, then they should be kept away from other people. If the animal bites a person, the owner will bear the burden of liability for the injuries—including the medical bills and associated expenses. Since South Carolina adheres to the strict liability rule, owners cannot defend themselves by saying they weren’t aware of this aggressive tendency; they will be liable from the first incident. Other states use the one-bite rule, wherein the first sign of aggression serves only as a warning.
If you would like more information about injury lawsuits, then call a South Carolina injury attorney today.