As a car accident victim, you will sooner or later hear references to South Carolina negligence laws. They apply to your case as well, so you should take the time to know and understand them. We will provide all the information you need in the following lines. However, it is better to consult a Greenville auto accident attorney and find out how they apply to your particular case.
SC Negligence Laws Explained by a Greenville Auto Accident Attorney
Negligence is the main cause of most personal injury and especially auto accident cases. It occurs when the party at fault fails to comply with their legal duties or act reasonably. In all cases involving negligence, the burden of proof falls on the claimant.
Otherwise put, as a victim trying to recover your losses, you will need to prove the defendant’s negligence. According to South Carolina laws, this means showing that:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- They breached that duty
- Their actions caused your accident
- The accident resulted in the injuries and property damages that you seek compensation for
South Carolina laws allow the possibility for all the parties involved in an accident to share fault. For example, perhaps the driver that hit you was speeding, but you did not have your lights on. Perhaps they did not stop at the red light but you were texting when the accident occurred.
What happens if you are found partly at fault for your accident? The best person to provide an answer specific to your case is a Greenville auto accident attorney. Until you get to consult one, we will explain the basics in the following lines.
Contributory Negligence and the Need to Work with an auto accident attorney in Greenville, SC
According to Section 15-1-300 of South Carolina Code, you are still entitled to compensation. You lose your recovery right only if your contributory negligence exceeds that of the defendant. However, the value of your claim will be reduced according to your contributory negligence.
The best way to understand how South Carolina contributory negligence works is to take a concrete example. Let us assume that your car accident claim is worth $100,000 and you were 20% at fault for your accident.
According to SC law, you can only recover $80,000, $20,000 being considered the result of your own negligence. If your contributory negligence exceeds 50%, you lose your right to compensation. If another party with lower contributory negligence incurred damages, you will be responsible for 20% of those as well.
Now you understand how contributory negligence works. It should also be easy to understand why most defendants try to take advantage. By claiming that you contributed to your injuries and damages, they reduce the amount they have to pay.
Any experienced South Carolina auto accident attorney expects such defense strategies. They counteract them by providing compelling evidence of their clients’ innocence. They also focus on proving the liability of the defendant beyond reasonable doubt.
As a claimant, you should expect the defendant to use any means to avoid paying you or diminish the amount. If they cannot find reasons to dismiss your claim, they will try to settle for less than you deserve.
They will do everything in their power to convince you that your claim is worth less than you estimated. They may even try to threaten you with a court trial, hoping you that you fear the lengthy procedures and tons of paperwork.
These are all tricks and strategies. You need to be aware and convinced of your claim’s value from the beginning. It is also important that you remain calm and confident at all times. It is easy to do that when you work with an experienced auto accident attorney in Greenville, SC.
The latter takes over all the hassles and negotiates with the defendant on your behalf. If they cannot get you the compensation you deserve through an insurance claim, they will not hesitate to go to court. Of course, you cannot benefit from their help if you do not request it.
Schedule a Consultation with One of the Best Greenville, SC Car Accident Lawyers
At Hernandez & Cabra, we have years of experience in winning cases like yours. We have handled not only insurance claims but also civil lawsuits. We do not rest until we obtain the compensation our clients deserve.
You too can take advantage of our experience, knowledge, and skills. All you have to do is call our law offices at 864-310-7897 and schedule a consultation. One of our lawyers will review your case and provide the answers and solutions you need.