How Does Comparative Negligence Work in South Carolina?

When you get into a car accident, you’re going to insist that the other driver was responsible. Very few people are going to want to admit that they caused an accident. It isn’t until they’re confronted with proof that they admit that they may have been partially at fault. This is one of the reasons it’s a good idea to call a South Carolina car accident lawyer right after an accident.

After an accident, both drivers will likely file an insurance claim. The insurance adjusters will have to determine who was at fault. They’ll rely on things like the police report and statements made by the driver. It’s important that you be honest if the adjuster calls to interview you.

This is another reason it’s a good idea to call an attorney right after an accident. This way, if the insurance company contacts you, your attorney can handle it for you. You don’t want to make a statement that can hurt you later on.

In the real world, rarely is a car accident caused by just one person. Usually, both drivers are at fault. However, one is usually more at fault than the other. A lot of people wonder how this can affect them. What is the law in South Carolina when it comes to drivers who are partially at fault? Are they still allowed to file suit?

Your South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Will Have to Prove Negligence

Every state has some law that deals with comparative negligence. This is just a fancy way of saying that the plaintiff in a case was partly at fault. Some states don’t allow you to file a claim if you were at fault in any way. Most states, however, allow for comparative negligence.

In South Carolina, the following rules apply when it comes to a plaintiff who is partly at fault:

  • In order to file suit, you must be less than 50% at fault
  • If you’re more than 50% at fault, you can’t file a legal claim against the other driver
  • Your award will be reduced by your percentage of fault

This law is fair. It doesn’t prevent you from taking legal action if you were partly at fault. However, it won’t hold a defendant 100% liable if the other party was somewhat at fault. It allows plaintiffs to still recover a portion of their damages.

Your South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Know How the Law Affects Your Case

If you’re partly at fault for your car accident, it’s important to be upfront with your South Carolina car accident lawyer. Let him know exactly what happened. He’d rather know now than find out later on. You never want your lawyer to be blindsided by the defendant.

Even if you’re partly at fault, you may still be able to recover. Consider the following example:

You’re driving the speed limit on the highway. One of your headlights is out. A car comes speeding over from the opposite side of the road. It hits you head-on. You end up with a traumatic brain injury and are out of work for 8 months. The insurance company denies your claim because they don’t believe you were injured at all. You hire a South Carolina car accident lawyer who files suit on your behalf.

The defendant claims that you were at fault for the accident. He argues that since your headlight was not working, he didn’t see you. He claims that this is why he hit you head-on.

Your South Carolina car accident lawyer is going to argue right back. The defendant had no business crossing into oncoming traffic. No matter whether he saw your headlight or not, he was driving recklessly.

The court find that, had your headlight been working, the defendant may have been able to avoid hitting you head-on. He finds that you are 10% at fault.

Your suit was for $500,000. Your award will be reduced by 10% – which is $50,000. So, instead of a judgment for $500,000, it will be for $450,000.

Contact a South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Right Away

If you’re injured in a car accident, you should contact a South Carolina car accident lawyer right away. You need to focus on recovering from your injuries. Let an experienced attorney handle the legal side of things for you.

Call and schedule your initial consultation today. You can speak with a skilled South Carolina car accident lawyer who can answer any questions you may have. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you win your case.

The defendant will have lawyers working for him and you should too!