Is South Carolina a Comparative Negligence State?

James Law Office, LLC

In some states, those who contribute to a car crash by even a single percentage are barred from collecting any compensation for their injuries. However, many think this is unfair, and the majority of states have enacted comparative negligence statutes. If you are injured in a car accident, knowing the factors that could influence the outcome of your case is vital, including whether or not you were partially responsible. The following blog explores what you must know and how a Darlington County, South Carolina auto accident lawyer can help you through this challenging time.

What Is Comparative Negligence?

In most instances, when someone is involved in an auto accident due to another party’s negligence, they are awarded damages from the liable party. However, when the injured party is deemed partially responsible for the injuries they sustained, it can lessen the compensation they receive.

South Carolina follows a modified 51% comparative negligence statute. This means if someone is found 51% or more responsible for the collision cannot collect compensation for their damages. However, any less and they are eligible to receive funds which will be reduced by their percentage of fault.

For example, if Jane is driving to work and is going ten miles over the posted speed limit and is hit by a driver who runs a red light, the driver who ran the stop light would likely be held responsible, and the court will award Jane $100,000 in damages. However, because Jane was speeding, the court deems her 10% responsible for the injuries she sustained. As a result, she will only be able to collect 90% of the compensation.

How Is Fault Determined in an Accident?

Generally, several pieces of evidence will be used to determine where the responsibility for an accident falls. This includes photos of the accident scene, surveillance footage that may have captured the accident, the vehicle’s damage, the police report, breath or blood tests to determine if drugs or alcohol were at play, and electronic data from the cars.

Is There Anything I Can Do To Help My Case?

Following an accident, you’ll want to take as many photos and videos as possible. However, this will depend on the injuries you sustained. You should also contact emergency services to request medical attention for the injuries you’ve endured, which will also place a police presence at the scene. Law enforcement will complete a report of the accident which you can later use to help prove that you were not responsible.

The most important thing you should do following an accident is to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. When you’re hurt by a negligent party, receiving the compensation you deserve is essential. At the James Law Office, we will do everything possible to help you collect the damages you deserve. Reach out to our office today to learn more about how we can help you.

Visit Us

Darlington Office
54 Public Square

Darlington, SC 29532

CF Image

Get in Touch

Free Consultation (843) 391-9902