In South Carolina, you generally have three (3) years from the date of an automobile accident to file a lawsuit for injuries or damages. However, the deadline can be shorter or longer depending on different factors. For example, consider that you were hit head on by a police officer, ambulance, or another government-owned vehicle. In this scenario, you would have two (2) years to file your automobile accident injury claim against the governmental entity that was at fault in the crash. These deadlines are commonly referred to in the law as Statutes of Limitations. In South Carolina, the Statute of Limitations as it relates to injury cases is found in SC CODE § 15-3-530.
It's important to know that while SC CODE § 15-3-530 applies to private individuals, private corporations, and charitable organizations, it does not apply to governmental entities such as a municipality or county government. Actually, any subdivision of the State of South Carolina is subject to the South Carolina Tort Claims Act which changes not only the Statute of Limitations, but also places limits on how much money an injured person can recover in court. The South Carolina Tort claims act can be found in SC CODE § 15-78-10 et al seq. The Statute of Limitations differs greatly when the at fault party is an employee of the Federal Government. In that case, you must bring your case within two years; however, a strict procedure must be followed when filing an action against the Federal Government.
Under certain circumstances, the time period for you to bring an automobile injury claim may be tolled or delayed. This could occur if the person injured in the automobile crash was a minor at the time of the crash. The Statute of Limitations will not begin to run until the child turns 18 years old in most circumstances. Temporary insanity can be used to toll the Statute of Limitations in very rare circumstances. That being said, the bottom line is that in 99% of car crash cases that occur in South Carolina the Statute of Limitations will begin to run from the day of the car wreck. You should always seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney immediately after a car crash.
Christopher Pracht and the other attorneys at Pracht Injury Lawyers have over 30 years of combined experience handling automobile wreck and injury cases in Anderson, South Carolina. Furthermore, Christopher Pracht has successfully litigated cases in almost every county in South Carolina, including but not limited to, Charleston, Anderson, Greenville, Orangeburg, Richland, and Chester. If you have any questions about the Statute of Limitations or want to know if you still have time to file a claim for your injuries, call our office at 864-226-7222 to set up a free consultation.