In South Carolina, the car accident statute of limitations is generally three years from the date that the accident happens. According to SC Code § 15-3-530, this statutory deadline applies to both wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits. A car accident lawyer can help you adhere to any other deadlines that are relevant to your pursuit of compensation.
Be Prompt in Seeking Compensation
The statute of limitations for wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits is just one reason why you may want to act quickly to seek compensation after an accident. One of the first steps you might take is to call a law firm to hire a lawyer, as they may:
- Defend your rights if insurance companies and/or other parties attempt to undermine your rights
- Collect medical documentation of your injuries to support your claim or lawsuit
- Ensure that any lawsuit or insurance claim you choose to bring is filed in a prompt manner
- Provide you with advice and strategy regarding your case
Keep in mind that you cannot collect any compensation you are due until you begin the legal or insurance processes. You may hire a car accident lawyer to start pursuing compensation.
A Lawyer May Help You Determine Fault for Your Accident
Any lawyer you hire may be well aware of the car accident statute of limitations and may also know how fault for an accident is generally assigned. According to the American Bar Association (ABA), liability for an accident could fall into three primary categories:
- Strict liability
- Intentional acts
The driver who struck you may not have intended to cause the accident or harm you, but they still caused the collision because of their actions or failure to prevent the accident. Your lawyer may generally argue that the defendant was negligent in causing your losses without intent.
To prove that you are the victim of negligence, your lawyer may follow four steps. These steps involve:
- Establishing that the defendant owed you a duty of care as a motorist to drive with caution on the road
- Proving that the defendant violated their duty of care in some way
- Showing a link between the defendant’s violation of their duty of care and the accident involving you or your loved one
- Showing that you or your loved one has suffered losses because of the accident caused by the defendant
By establishing this sequence, your lawyer may have the basis for you to fight for compensation. Defendants named in your lawsuit may also be held responsible for some portion of your losses based on the principle of strict liability, in which a party is responsible for the actions of another person based on their relationship. This may apply in cases where an employee or a teen driver caused an accident, in that the employer or parent may be held responsible for damages.
For a free legal consultation, call 864-514-8192
Your Lawyer May Offer Other Legal Services to Build Your Car Accident Case
Your lawyer may take other legal steps to complete your insurance claim or lawsuit. This may involve:
- Filing paperwork, including a claim or lawsuit, before relevant deadlines expire
- Collecting documentation of your injuries and medical treatment
- Collecting evidence of your accident
- Recording witness testimony
- Hiring experts to provide testimony for your lawsuit or claim
- Communicating with insurance companies, other attorneys, and any other parties involved in the claims or legal process
- Negotiating a settlement
- Completing a trial or another legal process, such as mediation
A trial should not be necessary if your lawyer is able to negotiate a settlement that compensates you fairly. While a settlement may be the preferable outcome for you and your attorney, your lawyer will be prepared to complete any trial that proves to be necessary.
You May Be Able to Collect Compensation from a Lawsuit or Claim
Whether you choose to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit after a car accident, you may find that some or all of your accident-related losses may be covered. One or more liable parties for your accident may owe you compensation for:
- Lost income
- Medical expenses related to your accident
- Therapy, medication, and other costs related to psychological trauma
- The cost of physical rehabilitation, including transportation to your appointments
- Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life caused by physical and psychological trauma
- Damage to your vehicle and other personal property
- The cost of permanent disability, which may include permanent loss of earnings and the need for a part- or full-time caregiver
If you have other losses from your accident, your lawyer may seek compensation for them. They may also seek coverage for other costs related to your loved one’s passing if the car accident led to their death.
Let Hammack Law Firm Work on Your Car Accident Case
Hammack Law Firm offers a small firm feel with big firm experience, and they want to hear from you if you or a loved one have been in a car accident in South Carolina. Call Hammack Law Firm today at 864-514-8192 for a free consultation.