You may be considering hiring a personal injury attorney in South Carolina after a car accident, slip and fall accident, or another type of serious injury. You have the legal right to do so if you feel that the negligent actions of another party caused the accident and your subsequent injuries. Before you proceed, you should understand the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit in South Carolina.
South Carolina Code of Law 15-3-530 Pertaining to Personal Injury Legal Claims
You have three years from the date of the event that caused your injuries to file a lawsuit against the person or business you feel is responsible for causing them. The three-year deadline also applies to civil claims for intentional assault. State law is strict on this matter, and a judge will most likely throw your case out if you file even one day past the three-year statute of limitations. However, certain rare exceptions do apply.
Keep in mind that the three-year limit applies only to when you file the lawsuit. Depending on the complexity of your case, the severity of your injuries, and how much time elapsed before you filed, the settlement could occur up to a few years after the statute of limitations for filing expires.
Exceptions to South Carolina’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
The state grants limited exceptions to the three-year time period because every case is different and there may be legitimate reasons why an injured person could not file on time. These exceptions include:
- The accident occurred when the injured person was under 18 or met the legal definition of insanity at the time. In either case, South Carolina considers the injured person to have a legal disability. Once the plaintiff in the case turns 18 or no longer meets the state’s definition of insanity, he or she has one year from that date to initiate the personal injury lawsuit. South Carolina will not extend a filing period past five years in cases of insanity.
- The party responsible for causing the serious injuries goes missing or resides outside South Carolina for at least one continuous year. The state does not count the period of absence towards the three-year statute of limitations in either situation.
Additionally, the South Carolina Legislature publishes other rare exceptions at this link. However, the above exceptions are by far the most commonly used.
The Importance of Understanding Your Rights as a Personal Injury Victim
Trying to piece your life together after a serious accident is never easy, and the stress can feel insurmountable. At the same time you are dealing with physical pain and emotional trauma, you are also facing medical expenses, missing time from work, and racking up other bills you do not have the money to pay.
When the deliberate or reckless actions of another party caused these problems, you have the right to pursue financial compensation via a personal injury lawsuit. Venus Poe, Attorney at Law, is here to represent you in a settlement claim or court case. Please contact us to request an initial consultation today.