Exploring Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in South Carolina

by Staff

Personal injury cases have different statutes of limitations depending on where the parties live and where the incident occurred. In South Carolina, the time limit to file a case is three years from the date of injury. The statute of limitations ensures speedy resolution and quick relief for victims while protecting the defendant against the risk of definite cases. By following a reasonable timeframe, individuals can sue when they still remember the facts of the accident and produce evidence.

However, navigating these legal complexities can be exceptionally challenging without proper legal guidance. This is why it’s crucial to consult a reputable personal injury attorney who can help you understand your legal options and file your claim within the given timeframe. If you or a loved over was hurt, visit this Myrtle Beach personal injury law firm for a free consultation. The lawyers will assess the legal merits of your case and suggest an appropriate path forward.

When does the statute of limitation take effect?

The discovery rule is necessary to establish when the statute of limitations begins. It states that statutes of limitations on personal injury cases do not take effect until a victim knows about their injuries, whether on his own or via the exercise of an experienced professional.

In many personal injury cases, people learn about their injuries and damages the same day their accidents occur. However, in other cases, for example, where an individual is exposed to harmful chemicals, they might not learn about related injuries until they begin experiencing severe physical or psychological symptoms. Also, a person may start experiencing panic attacks or anxiety that could be a result of PTSD.

In such cases, it’s up to the court to establish the initial day of the injury based on when the victim discovered or reasonably should have discovered their condition. Under such circumstances, the court may grant extensions to accommodate for discrepancies.

When can statutes of limitations be extended?

In South Carolina, minors who suffer injuries can file a claim up to one year after their 18th birthday. The only exception is if those injuries involve medical malpractice. In that case, they must be filed within seven years following the date of discovery.

Another instance where an extension may be granted is in cases involving mental incapacitation at the moment of the incident. When an incident occurs, victims who are mentally incapacitated when an incident occurs are allowed up to five years to file claims unless the incident involves medical malpractice, which must be filed within the standard three years.

Statutes of limitations allow victims to seek compensation within reasonable time frames while protecting defendants from incessant lawsuits.  In all cases, hiring legal representation as soon as possible is important.

Even extensions to statutes of limitation are costly because tracking lost witnesses, searching for old evidence, and recalling old facts takes time and money. Also, you cannot pursue a claim that has been made six years after the date of your injuries, regardless of the date of discovery.

The only exception is medical malpractice cases where surgical tools are discovered in the patient’s body after the surgery. Upon discovering surgical objects, victims are given up to two years to file claims, and the all-encompassing six-year window no longer applies.

The statute of limitation is not tied to case duration

While statute limitations require cases to be filed within specific timeframes, there are no limitations on how long it takes to resolve. Generally, personal injury cases involving significant damages and settlements take a while.

The average time it takes to resolve personal injury cases is 1 to 3 years, but there are instances when negotiations/litigations could drag on longer. That said, it’s beneficial to get started early. Gathering evidence and evaluating damages requires time, so contact a legal team.

Filing a personal injury case as soon as possible may lead to a prompt resolution and compensation because it’s easy to recall details about the case during those first few months, allowing your attorney to collect evidence and build a strong case.

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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