If you have been injured in South Carolina, you likely have a lot of questions about what to do to get money you deserve. Here are some things you need to know about the recovery process:
Where Do I File a Lawsuit?
If you seek less than $7,500 in damages your case can be filed in the Magistrate Court in the county in which you reside, or in the county where the accident occurred. Magistrate Court cases often take less time to be heard. All other lawsuits are filed in Circuit Court.
Statute of Limitations
As we mentioned before here on our blog, South Carolina law gives you three years from the date of the accident in which to file your lawsuit. You can, of course, settle your case with the defendant or the insurance company long before that. But if suit is necessary, you only have three years to file. Don’t forget this important date!
What Is Involved In Filing A Lawsuit?
Briefly, when you file a lawsuit, you – or your attorney – files a document called a complaint in the courthouse. This document specifies the facts behind your claim and the basis for your recovery. You must then serve the papers via local law enforcement or private process server on the defendant. The defendant then has 30 days in which to file an answer or any counterclaims. After that, both sides engage in the discovery process, where information and documents are swapped. Hopefully the case settles, but if you cannot reach a settlement, you will have a trial in court.
How Much Can I Sue For?
This varies per case. Of course, anyone can ask a judge or jury to award them anything. However, your damages are determined from a number of sources including your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. But be aware: in South Carolina, if you are in any way responsible for the accident, even a little bit, you cannot recover damages. This is called “contributory negligence.”
Do I Pay a Fee if I Lose?
Not with us. We will take your case on a contingency basis – which means we don’t get paid unless you get paid. Remember, every case is different and it is impossible to guarantee any result. At Elrod Pope Law Firm, we will work tirelessly on your behalf to get you the best result possible.
Lawsuits are complicated matters. Don’t go at it alone. Contact us today to discuss your case. There is no cost to you. Get the justice you deserve – call Elrod Pope Law Firm Today.
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.