When most people think of personal injury, accidents, such as auto accidents or slip and fall and catastrophic injuries such as brain injuries come to mind. Personal injury covers far more, including emotional and financial injury caused by situations such as property nuisance, wrongful conviction, and identity theft.
Each state has its own personal injury law, and South Carolina is no exception. In order to successfully pursue your case, you need to work with an experienced personal injury attorney in your state.
Statute of limitations
When it comes to legal matter, there are always time limits. The time limit for filing your lawsuit is called the statute of limitations. If you do not act within this time frame, you give up your right to compensation, no matter how much you deserve it. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for most types of personal injury is three years. In some types of cases you may have less time, and under certain circumstances the time is calculated from a later date.
Compensatory damages are meant to compensate you for your losses and can include:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Permanent disability
- Permanent disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for their actions, rather than compensating you for your losses. Punitive damages require that you prove certain elements, such as malice, were involved in the defendant’s conduct.
You can bear part of the blame in your case and still be entitled to compensation. In South Carolina, you must be less than half to blame for your injuries, under modified comparative negligence. Your compensation will be reduced by your portion of fault.
Joint and several liability
Many lawsuits involve multiple responsible parties. Once you have been awarded compensation, you need to know how you can collect the money owed to you. In South Carolina joint and several liability applies. Sometimes, one or more of the responsible parties will fail to pay or will be unable to pay their portion. The beauty of joint and several liability is that you can collect the entire amount from any of the defendants, and then they can seek repayment without your involvement.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in South Carolina, you must act quickly to secure your legal rights. Please contact one of our South Carolina personal injury lawyers for a free claim evaluation today.