When you’re injured in an accident, you may be able to file a claim against the person responsible for the accident with help from your South Carolina personal injury lawyer. In South Carolina, you are given a three year deadline to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s insurance. If you do not file a lawsuit by the three year deadline from the date of your accident, you could be barred from any recovery. It is important to have an attorney help you navigate through this process so that you do not miss your deadline, or statute of limitations. In South Carolina, you are given a three year deadline to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
There Are Exceptions
Though the three-year statute of limitations applies in most instances, there are always exceptions to the rule. In South Carolina, the three-year time period is effectively paused if the injured party is under 18 years of age. Once the injured individual turns 18 and can legally file a claim on their own, they’ll have one year to do so.
Individuals who have a legal disability (mentally incompetent) are not subject to the three-year rule. The clock is paused until the individual is no longer deemed disabled by the court. Once this happens, they’ll have one year to file a claim.
The state also offers exceptions for instances where the defendant (the person who caused the injury) moves out of state. Every case is different, but if the defendant moves out of state, suing them for damages becomes very difficult. The court often won’t count the length of time that the defendant is living out of state against the statute of limitations, giving you more time to sue if needed.
What Happens If You Wait Too Long
If you wait beyond the three-year time frame to file your claim, it’s likely that the judge will dismiss your case outright. By waiting too long, you effectively waive your right to take your case to court. That’s why it’s important to speak with a South Carolina personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you can start your claim, the better.
Remember, the longer you wait, the more the details of the incident are likely to fade from memory. Further, you risk witnesses moving away or losing their own recollection of what happened.
Don’t Wait Longer Than You Have To
If you’ve been injured in an accident and are considering filing a claim against the person responsible, don’t put it off any longer. Contact Lam Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.