Personal Injury - Nowell Law Firm

Understanding the Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases

If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you might wonder what your rights are and how you can fight for the compensation you deserve. First, you have to understand that you are on a time limit. Every state has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims. If you wait too long to file your case, you completely give up the right to seek compensation.

It’s important to talk to a personal injury attorney in South Carolina about your options as soon as possible. Set up an appointment with Nowell Law Firm now by calling us at 864-707-1785.

The Filing Deadline in South Carolina

Each state has their own deadline for filing a personal injury case, so it’s important to know the laws of the state where your injury occurred. In the state of South Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years. This is longer than many other states, since many have a two-year statute of limitations.

The three-year deadline applies both to negligence and intentional tort claims. Negligence is the most common principle utilized in personal injury cases, and it refers to situations in which one person unintentionally causes another’s injuries. This includes car accidents, slip and fall cases, animal bites, and premises liability claims. Intentional tort claims refer to those that involve intentional damage, such as physical assault.

When does the three-year deadline start? This is another common question that comes up for injury victims. The clock starts ticking at the point when the victim should have known about the injuries. In claims involving car accidents, falls, assaults, and animal bites, this is usually immediate.

You obviously know that you have been involved in a car accident at the moment it occurs, so the deadline starts counting down as soon as the car accident happens, and you know you sustained injuries. There are, however, situations in which victims do not know about injuries as soon as they happen.

Let’s say you take a medication that causes infertility when taken at a certain dosage or for a specific amount of time. This information was never made available to you by the company, your doctor, or the pharmacist, because the company intentionally hid this information to avoid legal issues. While the injury started as soon as you began taking the medication, you would not have been aware of it until you were later diagnosed with fertility concerns. This also applies to exposure to harmful toxins.

Exceptions in South Carolina Law

As is the case with any law, there are exceptions to the three-year deadline in South Carolina. A victim cannot proceed with a case if the injury occurred over six years ago, even if the injury was discovered less than three years ago. If someone is the victim of medical malpractice and had a foreign object placed inside them, they must bring the claim within two years of discovering it. If the claim is against a government entity, the statute of limitations is two years instead of three years.

There are also circumstances in which the statute of limitations is longer. If the victim was below the age of 18 when they were hurt, for example, they have one additional year to file their claim after they turn 18. A mentally incapacitated victim may have up to five years after the injury to bring a claim against the perpetrator.

What This Means for Your Personal Injury Claim

The statute of limitations makes it clear that time is of the essence when you have suffered an injury. You do not have endless time to gather evidence, consider legal options, and decide whether or not a claim is worth it.

Although the statute of limitations may be three years, waiting that long to file a claim may leave you with minimal evidence, weak witness testimony, and other issues that make your claim ineffective. This means that you need to start working with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to prepare your claim and fight for the compensation you are owed.

Find Out How Nowell Law Firm Can Help You

The team at Nowell Law Firm is ready to help you with your personal injury claim. Take the first step now by calling us at 864-707-1785 or contacting us online

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