How Strong is My Slip-and-Fall Claim?
As a threshold matter, when considering bringing a personal injury claim in South Carolina, there are a number of important questions to ask. One is whether the statute of limitations is still running on your claim or if it has expired. Another inquiry is whether the facility or person you’re considering suing was negligent in causing the accident that harmed you and whether you suffered damage as a result of this harm. It’s also important to ask whether and to what degree you were contributorily negligent in causing the accident.
Statute of Limitations
Although it makes sense to want to take time to heal and recover following an accident, waiting too long to bring a personal injury claim can result in you losing the right to bring it. In South Carolina, you generally have three years from the date of the accident to bring a personal injury or property damage claim. For this reason, it’s beneficial to seek medical treatment and legal advice as soon as possible when an accident occurs.
Are there any exceptions?
If it’s been more than three years since you were injured in an accident, there may still be avenues of recovery available to you. For instance, if you did not discover the injury until after the accident the statute of limitations may be triggered by the discovery of the injury, or the date when the injury reasonably should have been discovered, as opposed to the date of the accident. Additionally, if the accident took place in another state, it’s important to check the statute of limitations on personal injury and property damage claims in those jurisdictions as well, as it’s possible that they will provide you with more time to file than your home state.
The crux of personal injury claims in South Carolina is negligence. Accidents happen all the time, and often no one is to blame. There is no legal remedy for faultless accidents. However, if negligence was a factor in causing the accident, then the party that was negligent is at fault. In determining negligence, the court will look to whether the facility took the care that would be expected of a reasonable person or as standard industry practice. In general, the stronger your evidence of negligence, the stronger your claim. Additionally, if you have evidence that the facility had reason to be aware of the risk that caused the accident and didn’t remedy it, this can also be strong support for your claim.
Under South Carolina law, if an injured person is found to be partially at fault for the accident that caused their injury, their damages award will be reduced proportionately. For instance, if you brought a slip-and-fall claim and the defendant asserted that your shoes were untied at the time of your fall, you may be found to have been partially or completely at fault for the fall. If the court determined that your shoelaces being untied resulted in 30% contributory fault and your total damages were determined to be $10,000, they would be reduced by 30%, to $7,000. However, if the court found your contributory fault to be 50% or greater, it would be a complete bar to recovery. For this reason, it’s always important to take reasonable precautions and act with care in daily life.
Contact a South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, it’s important to speak to an experienced Columbia personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The lawyers at the Stanley Law Group will advocate for you and fight for your rights. Schedule a complimentary consultation today.