Personal injury laws vary in different states. Deadlines on filing a lawsuit, damage caps, and fault rules depend on which state the incident took place. Knowing these legal codes is necessary before pursuing a personal injury case in court.
In South Carolina, strict legislations are followed when it comes to personal injury. Read on to learn more about regulations that can affect the validity and compensation of personal injury claims.
Deadline in Filing a Personal Injury Case
Time is crucial in personal injury cases because of the statute of limitations. They establish the time limit for victims to file a claim. Plaintiffs must strictly follow this period, or the civil court system will refuse to entertain their case.
In South Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years starting from the date of the injury. But when the legal action is against a government entity, the deadline is reduced to two years.
For accidents, dog bites, and workplace injuries, the statute of limitations starts at the date of the accident. In cases where the physical injury develops slowly over time, the court uses the discovery rule. It states that the beginning of the three-year window is when the victim knew of their injury.
Statute of Limitations Extension
The three-year time frame can be extended in special cases:
- A minor who suffered from a personal injury can file their claim up to one year after their 18th birthday.
- Victims who are mentally incapacitated at the time of the injury have five years to take legal action.
Caps on Damages
Damages refer to the financial compensation awarded to the plaintiff after a successful personal injury case. South Carolina law places limits on injury damages that may apply to all types of personal injury lawsuits.
For medical malpractice cases, general damages (non-monetary damages) are limited to $350,000 per defendant and $1.05 million overall. Meanwhile, punitive damages for all types of injury lawsuits are capped at $500,000.
Modified Comparative Negligence Rule
During the trial, the defendant can argue that the complainant is also liable for the incident. If it is proven, the modified comparative negligence rule comes into play.
Under this rule, the percentage of the plaintiff’s share of fault will be deducted from the total amount of compensation they are entitled to receive. But if the court deems that the plaintiff is responsible for more than 50% of the accident, then zero compensation will be awarded to them.
Consult an Experienced Local Lawyer
Team up with an experienced local lawyer who is highly knowledgeable about your state’s personal injury law. They are capable of effectively representing you during the trial.
Sansbury Law Firm helps personal injury clients in South Carolina. Our law firm has provided legal assistance for different personal injury cases through the leadership of a highly-rated attorney who is born and raised in Myrtle Beach. Call us today for a free consultation.