Comparative Negligence in South Carolina Car Accident Claims

December 18, 2023

In the realm of personal injury law, South Carolina adheres to the doctrine of comparative negligence. This principle plays a pivotal role in determining liability and compensation in car accident cases. This blog aims to provide an in-depth understanding of comparative negligence and its implications on car accident claims in South Carolina.

With the right Camden car accident lawyer, you can ensure your rights are protected and obtain the compensation you deserve.

Understanding Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence, also referred to as comparative fault, is a legal principle that apportions fault among all parties involved in an accident. It assesses each party’s degree of negligence and assigns a percentage of fault accordingly. This percentage then influences the amount of damages a party is liable to pay.

Modified Comparative Negligence in South Carolina

South Carolina operates under a specific variant of this principle known as the modified comparative negligence rule with a 51% bar. Under this rule, an injured party can recover damages only if their degree of fault is less than 51%.

If you are found to be 50% or less at fault, you retain the right to file a lawsuit for your car accident. However, the compensation you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault, provided it is not greater than the other parties involved.

Determining Fault in Car Accident Claims

Assigning fault in car accident cases often involves a thorough examination of the evidence, including police reports, witness statements, and expert opinions. Factors such as speed, road conditions, and driver behavior are all considered in determining each party’s level of negligence.

In some cases, multiple parties may share fault for an accident. For instance, a car accident could be caused by the combined negligence of a distracted driver, a speeding motorist, and a municipality that failed to maintain a traffic signal. In such cases, the court will determine the percentage of fault attributable to each party.

The Role of Insurance Companies

Insurance companies play a crucial role in this process. They conduct investigations and use the principle of comparative negligence to determine the liability of their policyholders. It’s important to remember that insurance companies are businesses looking to minimize their payouts. Therefore, having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can ensure your rights are protected.

only the driver who is less than half at fault can file an accident claim

Impact on Compensation

The principle of comparative negligence directly impacts the compensation an injured party can receive. If you are found to be partially at fault, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For instance, if you are deemed 20% at fault and your damages total $100,000, your compensation will be reduced to $80,000.

Implications of Comparative Negligence for Car Accident Victims

The doctrine of comparative negligence can have significant implications for car accident victims seeking compensation. Understanding the nuances of this legal principle is crucial to maximizing one’s chances of recovering damages.

Here are some key considerations for car accident victims in Camden, South Carolina.

  • Seek legal counsel promptly: An experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the complexities of comparative negligence and help you gather the necessary evidence to support your claim.
  • Cooperate with the investigation: Provide accurate and complete information to your attorney and investigators to ensure a thorough assessment of the accident.
  • Understand your percentage of fault: Determining your degree of fault will directly impact the amount of compensation you can recover.
  • Negotiate with the insurance company: Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to reach a fair settlement.
  • Prepare for litigation: If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will prepare your case for trial, where a jury will determine liability and damages.

Call Our Camden Car Accident Lawyers Today

Navigating the intricacies of comparative negligence in South Carolina can be challenging. However, with the right Camden car accident lawyer, you can ensure your rights are protected and obtain the compensation you deserve.

Remember, each case is unique, and outcomes can vary based on the specific circumstances of the accident. Contact the Connell Law Firm at 803-310-5700 for a free injury case evaluation and further legal advice and assistance.