The Statute Of Limitations And South Carolina Car Accidents
In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit is three years, beginning from the date of the accident; a statute of limitations is a legal deadline. If you file a lawsuit after more than three years have passed since the accident, the court will automatically reject your lawsuit, and you will not be able to get any money from the person who caused the accident (or the company responsible for that person’s actions or for the vehicle) to compensate you for the money you lost because of the accident. When your Columbia car accident lawyer files your lawsuit with the court, it is the culmination of months, if not years, of work, so it is not too soon to contact a lawyer even if only a few weeks have passed since the accident.
It’s Never Too Soon to Contact a Lawyer, but It Might Be Too Soon to File a Lawsuit
The court will only award you money in a personal injury lawsuit if you can prove that the defendant’s careless actions or lack of action caused your injuries and your injuries are the direct cause of your financial losses. Your lawyer will only file a lawsuit if he or she is sure that you can demonstrate this convincingly; if the defendant sees that you have a strong case, they will usually agree to pay you most or all of the money you are requesting, without your case going to trial. Before filing a lawsuit, your lawyer must investigate the following questions:
- Is a lawsuit the only way to get the money? – It is only worthwhile to file a car accident lawsuit if your financial losses are greater than the maximum insurance payouts you can get for the accident. Most clients can get the money they need simply by having their lawyers negotiate with the insurance companies for an adequate settlement.
- Who is responsible for your injuries? – Sometimes more than one party is responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. Your lawyer will thoroughly investigate how the accident happened, and how it could have been prevented. (An example of this is dram shop liability, where some or all of the fault lies with the bar that knowingly served alcohol to the drunk driver who caused the accident.)
- How much money should you request? – You don’t know how much your medical bills will cost until you have received maximum medical improvement, which could take months or years. If you still need treatment after reaching maximum medical improvement, or if you are still unable to work, you can request compensation for future medical treatment or future lost income.
Let Us Help You Today
The personal injury lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you get the money you need after a car accident, with or without filing a car accident lawsuit. Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.