Injuries are an unfortunate part of life that can lead to varying degrees of financial, medical, and personal disruption. While injured persons may be entitled to compensation, their insurance companies—or the parties specifically liable for the incident—may go to great lengths to obstruct their claim.
You should not try to go through the complicated civil litigation process alone. If you suffered an injury someone else was responsible for causing, an Allendale personal injury lawyer could guide you through South Carolina’s legal system and help you pursue a positive result in civil court or private settlement negotiations. Reach out to a dedicated attorney today.
Bringing a Negligence Claim in Allendale
The most likely type of claim that a plaintiff could bring in a personal injury case is one based on legal negligence. In the context of civil law, negligence occurs when someone has a duty to act in a certain way and subsequently violates this duty in a way that directly causes someone else to suffer damages.
Generally, there are two ways to show that a defendant was negligent in South Carolina. First, the plaintiff could show that the defendant violated their duty by acting unreasonably. Since everyone has a legal duty to act in the manner of a reasonable person, individuals could be deemed negligent if a plaintiff is able to prove they behaved unreasonably. Negligence per se could also be used to prove negligence. This form of negligence occurs when an individual violates the law, and that violation directly causes the plaintiff harm.
However, the person harmed must be within the class of persons the law was intended to protect. If a defendant is driving drunk, for example, they would be violating the law which is designed to protect other drivers and pedestrians. As such, the drunk driver could be automatically negligent per se if they are cited for DUI after being involved in a crash in which another driver suffered harm. Proving negligence often requires an in-depth understanding of the state-specific laws. An Allendale personal injury attorney could assist a plaintiff with bringing a comprehensive and effective negligence claim no matter the type of accident that occurred.
Possible Limitations on Civil Recovery
The most likely limitation on a negligence claim is comparative negligence. This legal principle allows the defendant to assert that they are not required to compensate the plaintiff since the plaintiff also acted wrongly.
South Carolina has a modified comparative negligence standard, which prevents the plaintiff from recovering if the plaintiff is more than 50 percent at fault. So, if the court determines that the plaintiff was 20 percent at fault for their accident, they could only recover 80 percent of their total damages. If the plaintiff was 51 percent or more at fault, however, they usually cannot recover anything.
Furthermore, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in South Carolina is three years, as per South Carolina Code §15-3-530. Failure to adhere to this deadline could result in a potential plaintiff being barred from recovering compensation—a fact which underscores the possibly critical role a personal injury lawyer in Allendale could play in ensuring an injured party can obtain the financial recovery they may deserve.
Contact an Allendale Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured and are unable to work, you may be overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. However, when someone else’s careless or reckless behavior caused your injuries, you should not have to shoulder the subsequent financial burden alone and may benefit from speaking with an Allendale personal injury lawyer about seeking compensation.
No matter how an injury occurred, pursuing civil compensation typically requires going through a complicated and intimidating legal process. A tenacious and hardworking attorney could help guide you through the process to ensure you are in the best position to receive compensation. For more information or to schedule an initial consultation, call today.