South Carolina is not a no-fault state. Instead, South Carolina follows a fault-based system, allowing victims to pursue compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance provider. If you were injured in an automobile accident, you may be entitled to collect compensation from the at-fault driver or another liable party involved.
However, complications exist within this system, as South Carolina also abides by a modified comparative negligence rule. Also, if the at-fault driver is uninsured, you may still need to refer to your own auto insurance to recover your damages. You can also hire a personal injury lawyer from our law firm to review your case and see which legal options you have to pursue compensation.
What does “No-Fault” Mean?
Regarding insurance, “no-fault” systems rule that injured parties refer to their own automobile insurance for coverage, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. States that abide by this rule may have higher insurance premiums as a result to account for potential accidents from a policyholder.
States that follow a fault-based system, such as South Carolina, rule that injured parties may pursue compensation from the party that caused the accident. However, injured parties may also file for compensation through their own insurance provider, which will then contact the at-fault party’s insurance company for reimbursement.
South Carolina Sets Specific Insurance Requirements that Drivers Must Follow
According to the South Carolina Department of Insurance (SC DOI), drivers must have the following liability and uninsured motorist coverage:
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
- $25,000 property damage coverage per accident
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is required of all drivers in South Carolina, so it is included in their auto insurance policies. However, underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is not required and must be purchased separately.
If you were injured in an automobile accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may be able to receive coverage through your insurance company, depending on your policy’s terms. Our legal team can review your policy to confirm.
You may be Able to Recover Your Damages from the At-Fault or Liable Party
Injured persons can demand compensation from the at-fault party to recover various types of damages, some of which include:
- Medical treatment expenses
- Property damage, which can be interpreted as the costs to repair or replace property (e.g., a vehicle)
- Current and future loss of income and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced earning potential
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Permanent disability and physical disfigurement
- Diminished quality of life
This list does not name all examples of compensable damages, which you can find in S.C. Ann §15-32-210. Should you let our legal team review the case, we can identify which damages are compensable and help calculate their costs before sending a notice about your intention to pursue compensation.
Our Attorneys can Help You Hold the Other Party Accountable for Your Damages
If you are unsure about how to navigate South Carolina’s fault-based insurance system, you can hire a personal injury lawyer from our firm to help with the case. We offer an opportunity to speak with one of our team members in a free consultation, where you can learn more about your legal options and the services we can provide to complete the case.
For some examples of our legal services, our team does the following:
- Private investigations into accidents to retrieve more information about the at-fault or liable party and the accident
- Evidence retrieval, which also includes interviewing witnesses if other people saw the accident that led to your injuries
- Communication services, which involves responding to and notifying interested parties about your case
- Administrative services, which involves completing legal paperwork on your behalf
- Legal representation, which can be fulfilled both during out-of-court settlement negotiations and in-court trials
South Carolina’s Fault-Based System Also Requires You to File the Case on Time
Plaintiffs who decide to file a civil action lawsuit against the at-fault or liable party must do so within the three-year window after their accident, per S.C. Ann §15-3-530.
If you do not submit the case within this time frame, a judge may dismiss it, which would deprive you of the right to compel the at-fault or liable party to compensate you. As such, you will have to cover those damages yourself.
Our personal injury team can keep track of the case’s filing deadline as part of our legal duties so that there is enough time to have the case heard.
Let the Attorneys at Hammack Law Firm Review Your Car Accident Case in South Carolina
Since South Carolina is not a no-fault state, accident victims can pursue compensation from at-fault parties to recover their damages. If you were in an automobile accident and would like assistance with a personal injury case, let the team at Hammack Law Firm review your accident and injuries to see what we can do for you.
Call for a free case review to get started.