Every potential lawsuit comes with a statute of limitations. It is the time you have between when an injury happens and when a lawsuit can be filed. If you don’t file within the statute of limitations, you may be unable to get compensation.
The statute of limitations will vary depending on the nature of the accident and the state it happened in. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury accidents is three years. So if you don’t file a lawsuit three years from the day the incident took place, you may find yourself unable to receive compensation.
When you contact Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney, our team handles your case to ensure any legal actions are carried out smoothly and on time. We will fight for you to help you win your case. Don’t delay; call us at 843-701-8029 to request a personal injury case consultation.
South Carolina Three-Year Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations can be found at South Carolina Code of Laws section 15-3-530. It sets a three-year deadline for the filing of any civil lawsuit that involves the plaintiff seeking damages due to someone else’s negligence.
Civil lawsuits differ from criminal lawsuits, such as assault, which would be an intentional act. A civil suit weighs on an act of negligence that occurs when the defendant fails to honor the duty of care they have to the victim.
For example, when you are driving, you have a duty of care to keep yourself and others safe. If a person drives in an unsafe manner, they are showing negligence. If that negligence causes an accident and injuries, they may be responsible for damages.
Other types of personal injury civil lawsuits include:
- Car accidents
- Product defects
- Slip and falls
- Medical malpractice
This is by no means an exhaustive list.
The Discovery Rule’s Importance to the Statute of Limitations
In most cases, the clock starts running on the three-year statute of limitations the day the incident occurred. However, this is not always the case. In some instances, the clock will start running on the date of discovery.
The date of discovery often comes up in medical malpractice cases, but it can come up in other types of cases as well. It refers to the date the victim discovers that the injuries they are suffering were related to the incident.
So, a victim may be experiencing pain after a medical procedure, and they may not know why at first. Eventually, they may realize that the doctor’s negligent actions during the procedure was causing the pain. The date they have that realization is the date of discovery, and it’s the day the clock starts ticking on the statute of limitations.
What if You Miss the Filing Deadline for a Personal Injury in SC?
If you miss your filing deadline you may still bring your claim to court. However, if the other side realizes that the statute of limitations is up, they will use this point against you. And it will result in you losing your negotiating powers.
Exceptions to South Carolina’s Statute of Limitations
There are certain exceptions to the statute of limitations. Here are some examples:
If the victim is under the age of 18 or declared to be insane, they are considered a ‘legal disability’. If this is the case, the person will have one year from the time they turn 18 or the time they are declared sane to file a lawsuit. However, the filing period cannot be extended more than five years in cases of insanity.
Another exception is when the defendant goes absent or lives outside the state for one continuous year before the lawsuit can be filed. The time they are absent would not be counted in the three-year statute of limitations. Rather, the clock would start ticking on the day of the defendant’s return.
Why You Shouldn’t Wait to File for a Personal Injury Case
Three years may seem like a long time to file a personal injury claim, but it’s best to act sooner rather than later. If you wait months or years before filing your case, it will be harder to gather evidence. The details of the incident will also become foggy in people’s minds, which can make it difficult for them to provide accurate testimonies in court.
Contact Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney With Your Personal Injury Claim
If you have been hurt in a personal injury accident, there’s no time to wait. A reliable attorney will start gathering evidence to preserve the strength of your case. Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney will handle your case from start to finish, working ahead of deadlines and fighting to get you fair compensation.
Our Charleston-area personal injury team possesses the experience you need to navigate your recovery. We are known for our caring approach and our winning results. We will fight relentlessly for a positive outcome.
Remember the South Carolina statute of limitations. Don’t delay, call Trey!