Injured accident victims do not have an unlimited amount of time to file a lawsuit in South Carolina courts. Instead, the law places a very strict limit on filing lawsuits called the statute of limitations. The law gives you three years from the date that you knew or should have known that you were injured to file a lawsuit. However, in some cases, particularly those involving government defendants, the statute is only two years.
This is a hard and fast deadline. Even missing it by a day can lead to the loss of your right to recover compensation. Unless the defendant covered up and hid key facts, you are responsible for filing the lawsuit within the time limit. Courts take this very seriously, and late is late with no excuses.
Don’t Wait to File a Lawsuit
The statute of limitations means that plaintiffs should begin the legal process soon after their accident. Time spent trying to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company counts against the time limit. If you wait until the last minute, you could hurt your case. You will lose key evidence that you need to prove your case unless you get a lawyer working for you very soon after your accident.
Most plaintiffs will call an attorney, and the lawyer will keep a close watch on any time limits. This is part of the reason why you need a lawyer. The average plaintiff may lose track of deadlines and not understand the ramifications of missing them. Courts do not give any extra leeway for people representing themselves.
Experienced South Carolina Injury Lawyers
Personal Injury Claims FAQ
What is the statute of limitations?
It is the time limit that you have to file the lawsuit after your injuries.
When can I file a lawsuit?
As soon as your lawyer has investigated your accident and gathered evidence, you can file a claim or lawsuit.
Do I need a lawyer for my case?
There is no legal requirement for an attorney, but representing yourself is a bad idea.