If you have sustained a personal injury in a car crash in South Carolina, you can recover compensatory damages. However, it is important to know the laws and statutes that apply to car accident injuries in the state. Understanding these will help you file a claim and seek compensation without making mistakes or wasting precious time. Additionally, you should contact our Greenwood personal injury attorneys. Here’s a look at the vital personal injury and car accident laws in South Carolina.
Statute of Limitations
South Carolina has a three year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including claims filed after a car accident. This means that if you incur property damage or injury in a car crash, you must file for damages within three years from the date of the incident. If you file a lawsuit after the three-year statute has expired, you are almost certain to lose it. However, there are exceptions to this limitation depending on the unique circumstances of a case.
Stopping at the Scene of Accident
If you are involved in an accident, you are required by law to stop, render aid if possible and cooperate with other parties involved in the crash. Such cooperation covers many things. It includes giving out your name, address, registration number, contact information and other details to the drivers, passengers or witnesses at a crash scene. As per SC Code 56-5-1230, you must also exhibit your driver’s license if asked by the other drivers, passengers or an injured victim following a crash. These requirements apply if an accident involves bodily injury, property damage or both.
Notifying the Police
South Carolina laws require that drivers must report accidents to the police. This is usually a requirement when an accident involves death, injury or property damage exceeding $1,000. In most cases, police are notified right away and reach the site of the incident. However, this may not be the case with all accidents. This is when you must notify the police or local Sheriff’s Office. As per the state laws, you have 15 days from the date of the accident to report it in writing. Any delays can lead to penalties.
Dram Shop Laws
Dram shop laws refer to the liability of a bar, nightclub, diner or private host in the event that one of its intoxicated patrons caused a crash and injury. If one of these entities serve alcohol to a person who then does drunk driving and causes a crash, you can hold liable the entity that served alcohol. Interestingly, South Carolina has no statutes for these laws but dram shop liability claims are still accepted at SC courts.
Car Insurance Requirements
South Carolina laws require all drivers on the state roads to have a minimum amount of liability coverage through their auto insurance policies. The minimum coverage requirement is $25,000 per person, $25,000 per property damage and $50,000 for injury to two or more persons. If you are found driving a vehicle without auto insurance, you can face penalties. If you cause a crash without carrying insurance, the charges brought against you may become enhanced.
In all personal injury cases, South Carolina follows the comparative negligence rule. As per this rule, you can recover compensation from the at-fault party as long as you are less than 51% at fault. However, the damages you receive will be trimmed based on the percentage of your fault. 51% is also the cutoff figure for liability claims. If your share of fault in a crash is above 51%, you are barred from recovering any compensation at all.
South Carolina is not a no-fault insurance state. This means that if a negligent driver causes an accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance will be tapped to pay for the losses or damages paid to the affected party. If you were injured by another driver’s negligence, you can ask the driver’s insurance company to cover your liability claim. However, you also have the option of seeking coverage from your own insurance company.
Hiring Car Accident Attorneys in Greenwood, SC
If you have been injured in a car crash in Greenwood, SC, it is important to talk to a qualified attorney at the earliest. Here at ASB Law Firm, our car accident attorneys in Greenwood, SC help you file accident liability claims after meeting all the requirements. We also work with you to compute the maximum amount of compensation you fairly deserve. Our attorneys can negotiate with insurance companies and are also equipped to present your claim in a court. Contact us today to book a FREE consultation with our attorneys.