South Carolina relies on a comparative negligence approach, which means that even those who are partially responsible for their damages can seek compensation. For an in-depth explanation of South Carolina’s negligence laws and how they apply to your case, you can speak with our firm during a free consultation.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence occurs when a person or organization fails to act reasonably. Often, negligent behavior leads to injuries and even death. When these outcomes occur, victims can seek compensation for their losses.
There is a widely accepted framework for proving negligence, which includes:
- Duty of care: When someone owes another person (or people) a duty of care, the person must act reasonably to prevent harm to others. Duty of care is the first element in proving negligence.
- Breach of duty of care: To prove negligence, an attorney must show that the negligent party breached their duty of care. In other words, the negligent party acted unreasonably in a way that caused harm.
- Causation: An attorney will aim to show that the negligent party’s actions directly caused or contributed to a harmful event, like a traffic accident or construction accident.
- Damages: Your attorney will list the damages that resulted from the negligent party’s behavior.
Your attorney will apply the facts of your case to fit this framework.
How Does Negligence Look in Different Case Types?
Negligence looks different depending on a victim’s unique circumstances. Examples of negligence in varying case types include:
- Car accident: Speeding, driving drunk, running a red light or stop sign, driving without functional headlights.
- Truck accident: Driving beyond the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) drive time limits, failing to secure cargo, failing to maintain a safe distance behind another vehicle.
- Motorcycle accident: Changing lanes without checking for a motorcyclist, turning at an intersection without checking for an oncoming motorcyclist.
- Construction accident: Failing to properly train workers, using faulty equipment, ignoring industry-wide safety regulations.
There are truly countless examples of negligence. Our firm will review the facts and evidence specific to your case. We will identify any examples of negligence in your case, and pursue accountability from the liable parties.
What Is Comparative Negligence, Exactly?
Comparative negligence is a concept that each victim of negligence in South Carolina must consider.
South Carolina Code § 15-1-300 explains clearly that “Contributory negligence shall not bar recovery in motor vehicle accident action.” Translation: even if you contributed to the cause of your damages, you may still seek compensation.
So long as you are responsible for 49% or a lesser percentage of the damages you’ve suffered, you may file a lawsuit or insurance claim against the more responsible party.
An Example of Comparative Negligence
So you can better understand how comparative negligence laws in South Carolina work, consider a realistic example:
A rear-end collision occurs in Spartanburg. When evaluating the accident, evidence shows that the driver who was rear-ended only had one functioning taillight. While a non-operational tail light may contribute to a rear-end accident, it does not excuse the driver who was tailgating, distracted, or otherwise driving dangerously.
In such an example, the driver with the broken taillight might be 15% responsible for the collision. The other driver, then, would be 85% responsible for the accident. Per South Carolina’s comparative negligence statutes, the rear-ended driver may seek coverage for 85% of their accident-related damages.
While examples of comparative negligence are not always so straightforward, this scenario helps us understand how South Carolina approaches the issue of negligence.
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What Should You Do as a Victim of Negligence in South Carolina?
If you believe you’re the victim of negligence in South Carolina, contact an attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer from our firm will:
- Review your case promptly, explaining whether you have reason to take legal action
- Answer any questions that you have
- Provide advice on what you should do immediately, such as getting medical attention for injuries
- Set your case in motion
We’ll be available around the clock to answer your questions and address your concerns. With our team leading your case, you’ll be able to get the treatment you need.
Whether through an insurance settlement, pre-trial settlement, or judgment, our team will fight for the compensation you deserve.
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC Today to Discuss Your Case
If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one because of someone else’s actions or failures, you may be a victim of negligence. An attorney from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC can fight for fair compensation on your behalf.
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC today for a free consultation.