In the aftermath of an accident in South Carolina, you will doubtless have many things on your mind. But the focus should be beginning the process of recovering damages. That’s because there are limitations to how long you have to get the money you deserve. Learn more about how long you have to pursue damages following an accident in South Carolina.
What a Statute of Limitations Means
You’ve likely heard of a statute of limitations in passing. But many people don’t fully understand what it means in a civil case. A statute of limitations is a state regulation setting a hard time limit on how long you have to bring a lawsuit in court. In South Carolina, the statute is three years. That means from the time of the accident, you have approximately 36 months to at least begin the litigation process. One exception is in the case of wrongful death. In those cases, the clock starts counting down on the day the accident victim dies.
What Happens If You Miss the Deadline
After the three-year period has passed, you can still try to file but will run into major hurdles. The plaintiff and their attorneys will likely point out your discrepancy and ask the court to dismiss the case. The court has the power to override the statute and extend the filing deadline, but more often, they grant the motion to dismiss. Once that happens, you are out of options. That makes it critical that you talk to an accident attorney early to get your case sorted well before the statute of limitations deadline creeps up.
What the Statute Doesn’t Cover
It’s important to note that there is no statute of limitations applied to car insurance claims. That means if you are going to seek remuneration from insurance – either your own or the other driver’s – the state has not set an applicable deadline. That does not, however, mean an insurance carrier doesn’t have a deadline. In many cases, filing a lawsuit is negated after you file an insurance claim, so be sure to investigate all of your options with an experienced car accident attorney in South Carolina before taking definitive steps.
Seeking damages for an accident in South Carolina doesn’t have to be an arduous process, so long as you take the right steps at the right time. Contact an accident attorney early and rest assured that a technicality won’t come between you and the money you are owed.