When it comes to filing a lawsuit against someone that has injured you, you have a short window of time to file a claim. This deadline is called the statute of limitations. A lawsuit has to be filed within the statute of limitations. The amount of time in which a party can file suit depends on state law, and each state is different. In South Carolina, most personal injury suits have to be filed within three years after the injury. If it has been over three years since the accident, the injured party cannot file a lawsuit against the person that harmed them.
It may seem unfair that someone may be unable to recover because of a statutory deadline. However, the statute of limitations exists to promote the speedy resolution of conflicts and to make sure that accused individuals do not have a constant threat of a lawsuit hanging over them. If you have been injured, the statute of limitations can work in your favor. By creating this “deadline,” the law ensures that you are able to seek recovery for your injuries soon after the accident. It also works to protect the memories of witnesses and the freshness of evidence by making sure you get to court within three years after the accident. If you are accused of harming someone, the statute of limitations works in your favor by eliminating the fear of being sued for something that happened several years ago.
In South Carolina, the statute of limitations begins when a person knew or should have known that an injury occurred. Usually, this means the statute of limitations begins at the time of the accident. However, in certain situations pertaining to minors and those mentally incapacitated at the time of the accident. Minors have an additional year to file a lawsuit after turning eighteen. Mentally incapacitated individuals may file suit up to five years from the date of injury.
Say Victim A was in a car accident on July 1, 2022. Victim A suffered a broken arm that required surgery and physical therapy from the accident. Starting from the date of the accident, when Victim A knew or should have known she was injured, the statute of limitations begins. This means that Victim A has until July 1, 2025, to file a lawsuit against Defendant. If victim A tries to file a lawsuit any time after July 1, 2025, the Defendant can ask the court to dismiss the lawsuit.
If you have been harmed and want to recover, the best thing to do is contact an attorney soon after your accident. Usually, a lawsuit is not the first step when attempting to recover for injuries, but by calling an attorney quickly, you preserve your right to file a suit if needed. Speaking with an attorney soon after your accident gives you the greatest opportunity to recover.
King Law Offices is a full-service law firm with an outstanding team of professionals who work diligently, creatively, and compassionately on behalf of our clients each day. If you have a current conflict with your title or your deed, contact King Law at 888-748-KING (5464) for a consultation. We have offices located across western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina. We are here to serve you and to guide you as we navigate this journey together.