Text Us!

What Are Common Defenses to Negligence Claims in South Carolina?

Posted on

Often when a person is injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, the defendant’s insurance company will try to claim that the injured person was partially or entirely at-fault.  While it may not seem fair, it is a common tactic used by insurance companies to reduce their payouts. Being actively involved in the liability investigation early on is crucial to your case, and is one reason why you need the services of a skilled South Carolina personal injury attorney right from the start.


car accident lawyer rock hill sc
Even if you are partially responsible for an accident, you can still receive compensation for an accident.

Comparative Negligence in South Carolina

In South Carolina, we use a system called comparative negligence.  This means even if you are partially at fault in an accident, you can still recover financial compensation as long as your percentage of the fault is less than or equal to the defendant’s.  In other words, if the defendant is found to be 80% at-fault in causing an accident and you are 20% at-fault, you can still recover damages. However, the amount of your verdict or settlement would be reduced by 20%.  The same principle applies all the way up to 50%. However, if you are found to be more than 50% at-fault in the accident, you will not be able to recover anything.


Do not Fail to Mitigate Damages

After an accident, you may have a duty to mitigate your damages.  This means that you need to try to minimize your losses. While this is most often seen in contract cases, it may apply in rare circumstances in personal injury cases.


South Carolina drivers have an Assumption of Risk

Another potential defense is called assumption of risk. This defense claims that you were aware that there was an inherent risk in an activity, such as skiing or walking down steps that you could see were wet or icy, and yet attempted it anyway.  If the defense can show that you were aware the danger existed, understood its risks, and still voluntarily put yourself in harm’s way, they will be able to defeat your claim.


Statute of Limitations in South Carolina

All states have a deadline to bring a lawsuit for vehicle damage and personal injuries. In South Carolina, you have three years from the date of injury to bring a lawsuit in most cases.  In cases involving the government or special causes of action, you only have two years to bring your suit. If you fail to do so within the legal timeframe, the defendant can argue that the case should be barred by the statute of limitations. This is another reason a good South Carolina car accident attorney is invaluable. Even if negotiations are continuing and the statute of limitations is approaching, you may need to file a lawsuit to preserve your case and continue with negotiations.


Retaining a Personal Injury Attorney in South Carolina

Don’t let the other side jeopardize your case with negligence defenses that can reduce the financial compensation you deserve. Contact the Elrod Pope Law Firm today to schedule a consultation and let one of our skilled attorneys fight for you.

Get in touch with us today to get started with your FREE case review. We’re only a call, click, or short drive away.

*Disclaimer* The information contained in this Website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from this site, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient’s state. The content of this Website contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. The Firm expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this Website.

Any information sent to The Firm by Internet e-mail or through the Website is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis. Transmission of information from this Website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and The Firm, nor is it intended to do so. The transmission of the Website, in part or in whole, and/or any communication with us via Internet e-mail through this site does not constitute or create an attorney-client relationship between us and any recipients.

Some links within the Website may lead to other web-sites, including those operated and maintained by third parties. The Firm includes these links solely as a convenience to you, and the presence of such a link does not imply a responsibility for the linked site or an endorsement of the linked site, its operator, or its contents.

This Website and its contents are provided “AS IS” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement.

Furthermore, The Firm does not wish to represent anyone desiring representation based upon viewing this Website in a state where this Website fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state.

E-production, distribution, republication, and/or retransmission of material contained within The Firm Website is prohibited unless the prior written permission of The Firm has been obtained.

Any results achieved on behalf of one client do not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

Fee Disclosure: If your case is taken on by the firm, the fee arrangement will be a percentage of the final value of the case as follows: up to 40% for litigation, 35% for pre-litigation, and 33% for workers comp. This calculation will be done before the deduction of expenses. Additionally, the client will be responsible for the expenses resulting from the case.