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Experienced Representation for Crash Injuries

Auto accidents have become a fact of life in the U.S. and South Carolina. Traffic fatalities statewide totaled 638 in the first eight months of a recent year, as reported by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SC DPS). Charleston County, with 52 traffic deaths during that time period, was second only to Horry County, with 59. Many motor vehicle crashes are caused by driver negligence. People injured through the negligence or recklessness of other drivers may be entitled to compensation for their losses.

As a smaller client-focused firm, we treat clients as real people — not file numbers”
- Julian Allen

What Are South Carolina’s Negligence Laws for Auto Accidents?

South Carolina is an at-fault state for motor vehicle accidents. A driver who causes a car, truck, or motorcycle crash is responsible for resulting damages. The state also follows a modified comparative fault rule. This means:

  • Each driver involved is assigned a percentage of liability for the accident.
  • A plaintiff seeking compensation can only recover damages if he or she is determined by a judge or jury not to be more than 50% at fault for the crash.
  • Damages are reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff.

For example, if your damages in a car accident claim come to a total of $100,000, but you are assigned 20% of the fault for the accident, the damages you collect will be reduced by your percentage of fault -- or $20,000. Your actual recovery will be $80,000.

How Is Percentage of Fault Determined in an Auto Accident Claim?

Several factors can contribute to serious car accidents. While one driver’s negligence may have caused the crash, the other driver may have contributed in some way. For example, a driver who runs a red light and T-bones another vehicle is likely to be found mainly at fault for the collision. However, if the driver who was hit was texting at the time, he or she may bear some degree of liability for having been driving distracted.

There is no set method for allocating fault. Assignment of liability will depend on negotiations with an insurance claims adjuster or presenting a persuasive argument to a judge or jury. If you are found to be more at fault for the crash than the other party involved, you will be barred from recovering compensation altogether.

What Is the Time Limit for Auto Accident Claims in South Carolina?

A statute of limitations is a time limit imposed by law. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for car accident damages is three years or two years, if the at-fault party is a government agency/officer. This deadline applies to a legal action brought in civil court for bodily injury, property damage, or both. It does not apply to a claim made against a car insurance policy. Whether you are filing a claim with your own insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurer, you will need to give the company notice of the accident promptly or within a reasonable time, which usually means days or weeks.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

After a serious car collision, you can be sure that the other side will try to assign as much fault for the accident as possible to you. An experienced Charleston personal injury lawyer can greatly increase your chances of obtaining a full recovery. Your lawyer can:

  • Investigate your accident to determine fault and liability
  • Collect and preserve evidence to support your claim
  • Accurately assess the full extent of your damages
  • Negotiate skillfully with insurance companies on your behalf
  • Present a persuasive argument in court, if necessary

At Allen Law, we have extensive experience on both sides of the courtroom. As a former insurance defense attorney for six years, Attorney Allen has inside knowledge of the tactics they employ. We offer a free initial consultation with no time limit. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, car crash, or truck accident caused by the negligence of another, call us at (843) 882-5005.

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