After a car accident, most injury victims hope their claim will be resolved quickly and successfully. Often, this is true, and victims are able to move forward and get back to their regular lives. However, in some cases, accident victims must file a legal claim in order to obtain the compensation they need and deserve after a crash. While South Carolina law provides the right to file these claims, it also specifies a time limit to do so. This is known as the statute of limitations.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations prescribes a specific amount of time in which a victim can pursue a legal claim against the responsible party of an accident. In South Carolina, victims have three years to file a claim. After this time period has passed, a court will likely dismiss the claim, and the victim will not be able to obtain any compensation.
For car accidents, the clock on the statute of limitations starts ticking on the day of the accident for claims related to injuries and property. If someone was killed as a result of the accident, the time period to file a wrongful death case begins on the day of the death, which may not necessarily be the day of the accident.
Statute of Limitations Applies to South Carolina Legal Claims
It’s important to note that these rules pertain to legal action taken through the state system, not private auto insurance. If an accident victim needs to utilize his own insurance or that of the at-fault driver, it typically needs to be done fairly soon after the accident. Often, insurance companies expect to hear about an accident within days.
Filing a Myrtle Beach Car Accident Injury Claim
While three years may seem like plenty of time to file a legal claim, it’s best to be prepared and get started as soon as possible. Accident victims may assume their claim will be resolved quickly through insurance and, in doing so, lose valuable preparation time. An effective injury claim needs to be investigated and examined. Information and documents need to be gathered from a variety of sources, and legal paperwork must be carefully completed. This can all take time.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a car accident, it’s best to seek the advice of an injury attorney as soon as possible. Even if you aren’t sure if you have a claim or expect insurance to take care of things, an experienced attorney can make sure all your rights are protected. Compensation after a crash can be critical for medical care and lost wages, so don’t leave your future to chance. Have a conversation with an attorney who can help you fully understand your situation. The lawyers at The Derrick Law Firm offer free, no-obligation consultations to help accident victims get started with these important decisions. Call our Myrtle Beach office at 843.488.3165 today.