A car accident injury victim only has a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit seeking compensation. The law that establishes the timeframe within which a car accident suit is to be filed is known as the statute of limitations. In South Carolina, the relevant statute of limitations gives car accident victims three years from the date of their injury crash within which to file their lawsuit for compensation. The “clock” begins to run on the date of your crash and (in most cases) does not stop running until either a lawsuit has been filed or the relevant time period has elapsed. If an injury victim attempts to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, the victim’s lawsuit may be dismissed without the merits of the lawsuit ever being addressed. Not only this, but the victim would be prevented from ever filing any future lawsuit seeking compensation for those injuries. This is why it is important to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible following your crash.
In some cases, a car accident victim’s injuries are not immediately apparent but instead may develop in the days, weeks or (in some extreme cases) months following the crash. In this situation, the statute of limitations may be tolled – or “paused” – between the time of the crash and the time the victim actually discovers (or should have discovered) that he or she suffered injuries. In addition, if the allegedly responsible party cannot be served with a copy of the plaintiff’s complaint (thereby initiating the lawsuit) because he or she is avoiding or evading service, then the statute of limitations may be tolled until the responsible party is actually located and served.