South Carolina personal injury or wrongful death laws exist to help protect the victims of otherwise preventable accidents that caused harm. The party that is ultimately responsible can be held liable for the injuries and costs incurred due to the injury, the medical care, lost wages, and other related expenses.
A personal injury case describes any legal dispute in which a person has been hurt at a business, at work, or due to any other accident for which another person or persons may be found legally responsible. Personal injury cases may be determined via civil court proceedings to seek the legal fault by court judgment, or they may be resolved using negotiation in order to reach an informal settlement without a formal lawsuit being filed.
A formal case of personal injury normally begins at the time that an individual plaintiff files a civil complaint against another. The defendant may be another person, business, corporation, or a government agency. The plaintiff acts by alleging that the defendant acted irresponsibly or carelessly in regards to an accident or injury that resulted in causing harm to the plaintiff.
An informal settlement is the result of mediation, arbitration, and negotiation through which an agreement is reached among those directly involved in the personal injury – as well as their insurance representatives and attorneys on both sides. Settlements are resolved with a written and signed agreement and a payment of an agreed upon amount.
If you have been hurt in an accident or otherwise injured, the speed in which you seek to file a suit or a claim is important because there is a limited time that plaintiffs have to do so. This is the statute of limitations. It is the period of time that starts at the time the plaintiff is injured or discovers the injury. Established by state law, statutes of limitations can vary depending upon the type of injury and the state where it occurred.
In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury, product liability, wrongful death, assault and battery, or medical malpractice are all typically 3 year periods. Our state’s laws governing the statutes of limitations can be found in the South Carolina Code of Laws Unannotated Title 15 – Civil Remedies and Procedures.
Some rules may vary in the event that the action is a case against a government or governmental agency. While other legal actions and areas of law lie within statutes – for example, penal codes in relation to criminal law – the evolution of personal injury law has come about mostly through historical court decisions and legal scholar discourse. Several individual states have initiated the development of personal injury law as written statutes, however, it is still court decisions that remain the primary resource in legal cases centering around an accident or injury.
Personal injury cases can be related to accidents on the road, at work, on public transportation, on site at a business, at a medical facility, in public areas, or even on or around a train or airplane. If you or a loved one is hurt in an accident, begin documenting all of the details as soon as you can and keep records of everything – especially photographs of the area in which it occurred and the resulting injuries. Keep copies of all paperwork and accurate notes. If a loved one has been killed, surviving family members also have rights and obligations, and shall keep documentation for seeking a wrongful death case when deemed necessary for legal action.
If you have been hurt in any accident, you need a compassionate and dedicated injury lawyer. Attorney Christopher Gibbs will carefully review the details of your case with you – and the laws that relate to your circumstances – to help you seek resolution.