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Statute Of Limitations In South Carolina For Personal Injury

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in South Carolina is three years. This means that you have three years from the date of the accident or injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you wait longer than three years, you can lose the opportunity to pursue legal action. 

Key Principles of the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in South Carolina

In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit after you’ve been injured. There are a few key principles that this is based off of:

Basic Time Limits and Provisions

Generally, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is three years from the date of the injury or accident. If you miss this deadline, you may lose your right to seek compensation. In some cases, the statute of limitations timeline can be altered. If the injured party is a minor, sometimes the deadline is extended, or if you are suing a government entity, the deadline may be shortened and require specific procedures to be followed.

Initiation of the Limitations Period

Even though the clock starts ticking on most personal injury cases from the date of an accident, there are exceptions. For example, sometimes injuries aren’t immediately apparent. South Carolina follows the discovery rule, which means that the statute of limitations may start from the date you discovered or should have reasonably discovered your injury. 

Impact of the Discovery Rule on Time Limits

The discovery rule can have a significant impact on the time limits set by the statute of limitations in personal injury cases. If the injuries are not apparent at the time of the accident, the start of the clock may not begin until the injuries are discovered or a doctor has diagnosed the injury. Courts consider whether the injured person exercised reasonable diligence discovering their injury. If it is determined that they should have reasonably discovered it earlier, the statute of limitations may still start from the earlier date of the accident. 

Opportunities to Extend Time Limits for Filing

There are various opportunities that may extend the time limits for filing a claim beyond the standard statute of limitations. If the injured party is a minor at the time of injury, if the injured party is mentally incapacitated at the time of injury, if there is a delayed onset of symptoms, and more. In addition, if the defendant leaves the jurisdiction or attempts to conceal their identity, or if there is fraud or misrepresentation relevant to the claim, the deadline may be extended. It is important to consult with a personal injury attorney that can guide you in your specific case and circumstances. 

What If You Miss the Filing Deadline?

Missing the filing deadline, also known as the statute of limitations, can have serious consequences for your ability to pursue a personal injury claim. The most significant consequence of missing the filing deadline is that you lose your right to file a lawsuit. The defendant can also file a motion to dismiss the case and there can be limited options for reopening or reviving the case. If you want to pursue legal action past the deadline, a personal injury attorney will be able to look at your case and assess what your options may be.

The Importance of Early Legal Consultation

Given the severe consequences of missing the filing deadline, it’s crucial to take action promptly if you believe you have a personal injury claim. Consulting with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the incident can help ensure that you understand your rights and meet all necessary deadlines for filing a lawsuit. 

Seek Legal Advice to Understand Your Legal Options

Philpot Law Firm offers free consultations in order to provide personalized advice on your case. We understand that each case is unique with its own set of circumstances. Our expert personal injury lawyers will be able to assess your case and help guide you in how best to pursue legal action so you get the compensation you deserve and can focus on healing. You’ve Only Got One Shot, Call Philpot!