What happens if you get hurt and a government entity is responsible? South Carolina has a law called the tort claims act. Usually, governments have immunity, or exemptions from suits. The tort claims act limits that immunity and establishes a procedure to make claims against the state.
In South Carolina the law limits the damages that are able to be recovered at $300,000. This means that even if you go to a jury trial and the jury returned a verdict greater than $300,000, you will not recover anymore than the law allows. However, if there are multiple parties, the limit is $600,000. This is similar to the way many insurance policies are defined, where a person may recover, for example, $25,000 per person and/or $50,000 per accident. The same principle applies here.
Exemptions & Limitations
There are exemptions from the tort claims act. These exemptions include public entities who engage in conduct resulting from certain actions such as legislative, judicial or quasi-judicial actions, execution and enforcement or compliance with any court order, the assessment and collection of taxes and any claim covered by the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.
The South Carolina tort claims act does contain other limitations. Primarily, if you are injured during the course of interaction with a governmental entity, you cannot sue under any other law besides the tort claims act. The individual him or herself is not liable; rather the governmental agency that employs them is liable under this law.
Another limitation is that the act only covers employees who act within the scope of their official duty. If the employee does something so outrageous that it is outside the scope of his or her official duty, the law will not apply.
There is a two-year statute of limitations for claims under the South Carolina tort claims act. However, the law allows for a three-year statute of limitations for a party who files a verified claim under the law. This can get very tricky and you should not attempt to navigate through these laws without the assistance of an experienced attorney.
The attorneys at Elrod Pope Law Firm have years of experience handling the most complex type of cases including cases against governmental entities. If you have been injured or wrong in an interaction with the government agency please contact our Rock Hill personal injury attorneys right away.
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.