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Is South Carolina a No Fault State?

South Carolina is not a “no-fault” state. When it comes to auto insurance, South Carolina follows a “fault” or “at-fault” system. Because South Carolina is an at-fault state, drivers are required to carry insurance and it is actually illegal if you are not insured. There are minimum insurance requirements put in place by the South Carolina Department of Insurance to ensure that drivers can cover expenses and damages if they are at-fault in an accident.

No-Fault vs. Fault-Based Systems

A no-fault system provides prompt compensation to accident victims without having to establish fault or liability. It is a type of auto insurance in which individuals involved in car accidents are compensated by their own insurance companies, regardless of who caused the accident.

In an at-fault system, which is how South Carolina operates, the driver who is determined to be at fault for causing an accident is typically responsible for covering the damages and injuries resulting from the accident. This means that the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for compensating the other people involved in the accident.

Investigating Fault in Car Accident Cases

Determining the at-fault driver in a car accident can often be complicated. There are many factors that come into play when assigning who is liable for damages.

Why is Fault Important In a Car Accident Case?

Fault is important in a car accident because it determines who is responsible for damages. Insurance companies operate with the goal to challenge the claim and avoid paying the full amount of compensation. In no-fault states, the law prioritizes those insurance policies and companies over who is at fault for the accident. Since South Carolina operates as an at-fault state, the courts are more likely to be involved. Even if the car accident wasn’t your fault, you will still need to prove it by going through the process of a negotiation or trial.

How is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?

Duty, breach, damages, and causation are the four criteria that South Carolina looks at to determine the fault in an accident. It is important to note that the police report does not officially assign who is at fault. Insurance adjusters will analyze the report and any other evidence to help them determine fault. In some car accidents, fault can be assigned to both drivers in the form of percentages. This can decide how much compensation you receive.

What Happens If You’re At-Fault? And If You Aren’t?

If you are found at-fault for an accident, you are responsible for paying damages to the other drivers involved. If fault is assigned to both parties, the responsibility to pay damages will be divided between both parties as well. Determining fault in a car accident can get messy and will sometimes involve a legal battle. Working with a trusted South Carolina car accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.

What if You Are Partially at Fault?

South Carolina follows a modified comparative negligence system when both drivers are partially at fault in a collision. If this is the case, the court will be responsible for identifying the percentage of fault by the injured driver, and compensation is then given to that person based on that percentage. For example, if a party’s fault in the accident is more than 50%, then they would not receive compensation. If it is 50% or less, then their compensation is deducted by that percentage.

South Carolina Modified Comparative Negligence

Modified Comparative Negligence is a rule within South Carolina’s fault-based claims system. This rule limits the amount of compensation a plaintiff can receive if they are found to be partly at fault. That limit is 51%, and a plaintiff may only receive compensation if their fault is 50% or less. If your fault percentage is 51% or above, you can no longer receive compensation.

Car Insurance in At-Fault States

In an at-fault state like South Carolina, the driver that caused the accident is liable for paying damages to the injured party for both property damage and injury-related expenses such as medical bills. In order to receive compensation, the victim will need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In cases where the at-fault party does not have insurance or is underinsured, the victim’s own insurance policy can potentially cover them. However, it is important to note that driving without insurance is illegal in South Carolina. If the injured party cannot reach an agreement with the insurance company, they are entitled to sue the at-fault driver in court. At that point, consulting with a South Carolina accident attorney is highly recommended.

Things to Know About Car Accidents in South Carolina

Who is responsible for injuries and damages after a car accident in South Carolina?

South Carolina is an at-fault state which means that fault is used to determine who is responsible for damages in a car accident. Once the at fault driver is determined, they will be held responsible for injuries and damages. If both parties share fault, each is responsible for a percentage of the damages that reflects their degree of fault. This means that determining fault is crucial in establishing liability and securing compensation for any losses incurred in a car accident.

What Is the Statute of Limitations in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims resulting from a car accident is generally three years from the date of the accident. This means that anytime during those three years, you are able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries and damages. However, there are certain circumstances that could shorten or extend the statute of limitations, so it is important to consult with an experienced car accident attorney to understand what applies in your specific case.

Is a car accident lawyer worth it after a car injury in South Carolina?

Yes, in an at-fault state like South Carolina, hiring a car accident lawyer can be worth it after an accident injury. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the complicated legal system, protect your rights, and maximize your compensation. They can handle communication with insurance companies, gather evidence to support your case, negotiate with the other party’s legal team, and represent you in court if necessary. Without a lawyer, you may risk accepting a settlement that is lower than what you deserve or even face difficulties with getting any compensation at all.


If you have been the victim of a car accident, contact our family of car accident attorneys immediately. We will fight for you so that you can get the compensation you deserve and focus on healing. You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s negligence. Contact Philpot Law Firm today for a free consultation on your case! Nobody Fights for You Like Family!