What Is Negligence in a South Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuit?

August 31, 2018

Accidents happen every day. You could receive an injury or lose a loved one through an accident. If the accident occurs due to someone’s negligence you can seek compensation.  A personal injury lawyer can assist you to go after the party at fault. You could file a personal injury lawsuit in South Carolina for the following cases:

Car Accidents– If you are in an auto accident and the driver was on the phone, that could have caused the accident. A personal injury attorney can argue the driver was negligent and get you damages. Negligence means the party at fault disregarded their duty to drive safely. This then resulted in the injury of you, the plaintiff.

Slip and Fall– Suppose you slip on a banana peel while at a shopping stall. While on the floor you notice the banana peel is dry and black. This is evidence that peel has been on the floor for some time. You can hold the shop’s management liable for your injuries after the fall.  They were not doing a good job cleaning their store to ensure customer safety. This shows negligence and a personal injury lawyer can get you compensation from the store owners.

Dog Bites– Dog bites can be very traumatic. After a bite, you could have serious scars and a dog phobia for the rest of your life. A dog owner should always take proper precautions to ensure that their dog doesn’t attack people. If the owner doesn’t do this and their dog attacks you then you can file a personal injury claim.

Defective Products- Manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are safe for consumption and use. Failure to ensure products are safe could expose the manufacturer to personal injury claims.


How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Prove Negligence in South Carolina?

Proving negligence can be a difficult task for a personal injury lawyer. For them to win the case and get you compensated they will have to show:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care: This means that there was a relationship between you and the defendant. This relationship meant they owed you duty of care. A doctor, for example, has a duty to follow proper medical procedures while treating a patient. A driver has a duty to other drivers on the road to drive safely. However, if a thief breaks into your house and your dog bites them they cannot file a personal injury claim. They were trespassing and you have no duty of care towards them.
  • The defendant breached that duty: Once you show there was a duty of care, the personal injury attorney must establish that breach of duty occurred. This is where your negligence case truly lies. You must establish the defendant either acted unreasonably, irresponsibly or failed to do their duty. The breach then caused you injury or other damages.
  • Causation: Proving duty of care and breach of duty is great. The personal injury lawyer must, however, go further. They must show that injuries would not have happened were it not for the party’s negligence.
  • Damages: The lawyer must also show that you suffered due to injuries sustained. Damages can be economic or non-economic. Damages can include medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages etc.


What Are the Key Things You Need to Know About a Negligence Case in South Carolina

  1. You have 3 years from the time of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you don’t bring your case before that time elapses, you may receive a dismissal later on.
  2. South Carolina has a shared fault rule. This means if you are partly to blame for the accident, it will impact the paid compensation. For example, if you are 20% at fault and the defendant 80%, compensation lowers 20%. The South Carolina modified comparative negligence rule gives up to $10,000 following a car accident case. So, you will receive $8000 because $2000 represents your part of shared fault. If you are more than 50% to blame you cannot seek any damages.
  3. Some personal injury cases have caps on damages payable. Medical malpractice cases with no economic damages are limited to $350,000 per defendant.


How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Establish Negligence in South Carolina?

Proving negligence can be a difficult task. That’s why you need a personal injury lawyer by your side.  Having one will benefit your case and ensure your rightful compensation. Contact personal injury attorney at Connell Law firm.  They will work with you to investigate, gather evidence and establish negligence in a personal injury claim. Don’t do it alone. Talk to us at 803-310-5700 and we will gladly help you with your case.

View these other frequently asked questions pages:

What Should You Look for When Researching a Nursing Home in South Carolina?

Evidence You Need When Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

Factors That Can Lead to the Dismissal of Your Premises Liability Claim