Many people don’t realize that if they’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, there is a limited amount of time to pursue their claim. Like other states, South Carolina has a statute of limitations that determine how much time can pass between when the accident occurred and when the at-fault party can be sued for the incident that led to your injuries.
You have to preserve the statute of limitations by filing a lawsuit before the specified date in order to pursue your claim for damages. Once this date passes and you do not provide proof of the lawsuit to the other party’s insurance adjuster or defense attorney, they are not obligated to pay any damages to you.
There is not one set date for every type of accident and cause of action, which is why it’s important to retain a South Carolina personal injury attorney. When you retain a personal injury attorney, he or she will ensure the statute of limitations is protected and your case can proceed.
Statute of Limitations for South Carolina Car Accidents
For example, if you were struck by a vehicle in Rock Hill, South Carolina, you have up to three years to file a lawsuit for your injuries and physical damages. However, there are also very limited circumstances where the statute can be tolled or suspended. These include:
- In the event you were mentally incompetent at the time of the accident, you will have a year to pursue your claim from the date you were declared competent.
- If you were under 18 at the time of the accident and your parents or legal guardians did not pursue the matter on your behalf. In this case, you have a year from the date of your 18th birthday to pursue reimbursement for damages.
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
One example of where the statute of limitations can vary slightly is with South Carolina wrongful death claims. The statute of limitations starts ticking from the date of the person’s death rather than the accident date. If the person lived for three weeks or three months after the accident, then you would start counting down from that day.
However, the statute can vary even more if the wrongful death is a result of medical malpractice. In these situations, the law says you must file a lawsuit against a health care provider within three years from the date the injury occurred or within three years from the date the injury was or should have been, discovered. This will allow a plaintiff to have additional time to file a lawsuit, but there is a cut off that no malpractice lawsuit can be filed after six years from the date the injury was sustained.
Retaining a Rock Hill Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a Rock Hill car accident or another type of personal injury incident, contact the Elrod Pope Law Firm at 803-599-3080 to schedule a consultation. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can start building a strong case against the at-fault party to increase your chances at a favorable settlement or award.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.