After electing to pursue legal recourse against a negligent party, it is critical for victims to act quickly. Unbeknownst to many, there is a time limit for cases to be filed. This time limit is to ensure that cases are not brought up years later with less-than-stellar evidence. While time is critical, an attorney could help you file in a rapid manner.
The Charleston car accident statute of limitations should not be taken lightly. Victims need to act quickly in order to preserve their right to compensation.
Charleston Law and the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases
The statute of limitations is a time period by which a person must file their claim in order to have their claim remain viable. In South Carolina, the typical statute is a three-year statute of limitations. Certain cases have a lesser time period than the usual statute of limitations, and it is possible for the state legislature to change that statute at any time. For example, for cases involving any kind of government entity or any kind of business that has a government nexus, there is only a two-year statute of limitations. A person should always seek legal advice right away and have the legal professional make a decision on what the statute of limitations is in their case. They must file their claim within this time period or their claim is barred forever.
When The Clock Starts Ticking for Filing a Claim
The statute of limitations, as a general rule, begins when the accident or event occurs. That would be the first day of the time period. There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations in South Carolina, and one of them is called the “discovery doctrine” or “discovery rule”. This doctrine says that the statute of limitations could be extended in certain situations depending on the time-frame during which the person reasonably should become aware of an injury. In an extremely unlikely, but relevant example, a person may have a sponge left inside them during a surgery. They would have no way of knowing about this until they have an X-ray or some other complication arises months or years later. That statute of limitations may have run out, but an exception to the statute of limitations would start on the day they learned that the sponge was there. In a car wreck case, the statute of limitations is much more straightforward. When a person is in an accident, they know they are in the accident and they know whether or not they are injured within a certain period of time. That statute of limitations typically begins to run from the minute the accident occurs and could ultimately prevent recovery of losses.
The Statute of Limitations for Minors and People with Disabilities
When a case involves a minor or a person with a limit capacity for understanding, the statute of limitations could be extended. For a minor, their statute does not begin to begin until they turn 18. However, the state’s legislature could change that rule at any time. This is one reason that it is important to seek legal counsel since exceptions and complexities within the law may be present in a person’s Charleston case.
What Happens when Trial Extends beyond the Time Limit
As long as the case is filed with the court within the time period of the statute of limitations, then the claim will be valid and viable. They still have to argue the case in court, but the fact that the time period expires while the case is ongoing is of no consequence as long as they have taken the appropriate action and done the appropriate filings.
Why Retaining Counsel is So Recommended for a Charleston Car Accident
The reason why a person should hire an experienced Charleston car accident attorney for the statute of limitations is the same reason they should hire an attorney for any related issue. Namely, the average person does not have extensive legal knowledge for these cases. There are serious detrimental consequences for failing to have an experienced person represent them. A Charleston lawyer could walk the injured party through the process and protect their rights along the way, go on the offensive to prove issues in the case, and defend the injured party from any accusation. It is extremely important that an injured person seek legal counsel immediately.
Do not let time expire on your personal injury claim. Reach out to an attorney today.