Determining fault in a car accident is not always black and white, but rather, it falls in a gray area shared between both parties. Read on to learn how South Carolina’s comparative negligence laws may play a role in the amount of compensation you will receive for your injuries and how a seasoned Chesterfield County car accident lawyer at The Cockrell Law Firm, P.C. can help you navigate your case.
What are the comparative negligence laws in South Carolina?
Comparative negligence laws allow you to acquire financial recovery for your medical bills and lost wages regardless of whether you were partially responsible for causing the car accident. The state of South Carolina holds a modified comparative negligence law, meaning it uses a comparative negligence rule with some state-specific alterations. Specifically, the law states that as long as you are not the majority at fault, specifically less than 51% at fault, for an accident, you will be eligible to receive compensation from the other party’s insurance company.
For example, if the jury awards $100,000 in damages, but finds you were 10% responsible for the accident, you are not responsible for paying compensation, but you will receive a 10% reduction in compensation, i.e. $90,000.
How is fault determined and proven in a car accident?
The following are examples of how fault is determined in a car accident:
- Hitting a car from behind.
- Violating a traffic law, such as running a red light, turning at a no-turn on red, or going over the speed limit.
- Receiving a traffic citation during the accident.
- Making comments admitting or implying personal blame after the accident.
- Displaying a level of impairment due to drugs or alcohol.
- Failing to keep a proper lookout due to distracted driving.
To build a successful case to prove the other party’s negligence, it is helpful to collect photos or videos of the accident, statements from eyewitnesses, and police reports. With this, it is critical to retain the services of a knowledgeable Chesterfield County personal injury lawyer that will help you in gathering evidence of the other party’s majority fault in the car accident.
How long do I have to file my personal injury claim?
To ensure that you obtain the compensation you require for your injuries, it is important that you file your personal injury claim within South Carolina’s statute of limitations, which is three years from the date of your accident.
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Our legal team has significant experience helping clients through a wide array of legal matters, including those involving criminal law, personal injury law, divorce & separation, and family law. For competent and trustworthy legal counsel, simply contact The Cockrell Law Firm, P.C. today to schedule your free initial consultation with our legal team.