Comparative Negligence in Personal Injury Claims in SC

Get the Help You Need Now
Contact Schiller & Hamilton Law Firm
Free Consultation
★★★★★ Google 300+ Google Reviews

Insurance companies have many ways of making your life harder when you file a claim or lawsuit. There may be a real legal issue that you need to navigate if you are accused of being partially to blame for the accident. If these allegations hold, you may find yourself without any compensation or with a reduced settlement check. The Rock Hill personal injury attorneys at Schiller & Hamilton help you navigate the legal landscape, fighting for you to receive every dollar you deserve in compensation.

What Is Comparative Negligence, and How Does It Affect My Case?

In some cases, fault for an accident may rest with both parties involved. Even if the claimant may have contributed to the accident in some way, a claimant may still be entitled to financial compensation if they were not solely to blame for the accident. The theory holds that the responsible party was not the sole cause of your injuries, and you need to prove causation of the entirety to receive full compensation.

Comparative negligence is the way that insurance companies and jurors will apportion fault in a personal injury case, determining whether the claimant is allowed to receive any compensation.

The rules differ among states, and South Carolina uses the law of modified comparative negligence.

How Comparative Negligence Works in South Carolina

In South Carolina, if you are more than 50% to blame for the accident, you would be barred from receiving any compensation. If your percentage of fault is below 50%, you can still receive a settlement check. Your settlement would be reduced by the percentage of fault that you bear.

For example, if your total damages were $100,000, and you were deemed to be 30% to blame for the accident, you would receive a check for $70,000. In other words, the defendant does not have to pay for the damages that they did not cause. Modified comparative negligence is a way of “splitting the difference” and not allowing a claimant to recover when they were largely to blame for what happened.

Examples of Comparative Negligence in South Carolina Personal Injury Cases

You may be partially at fault for an accident if you were:

  • Speeding through an intersection when you were struck by a car that ran a red light or stop sign
  • Looking down at your phone when you slip on a substance on the floor that you may not have seen
  • Struck by a car behind you when you may have stopped short in front of them
  • Injured on an amusement park ride when you were not fully following the ride safety instructions
  • Struck as a pedestrian when you were crossing outside of a marked crosswalk, although the other driver was distracted or speeding

It can feel like the insurance company needs a few excuses to cast blame your way. They are focused on their financial interests and will work to mitigate any compensation they pay out.

Insurance Companies Like To Blame the Accident Victim

The insurance company can reduce the amount of money they pay you, or eliminate it if they succeed in blaming you for the accident. They may do this when they realize the payout could be significant. Common types of personal injury cases where blame could be placed on the victim include motorcycle and pedestrian accidents. Both of these types of cases result in serious injuries and could lead to a large settlement check if the insurance company’s policyholder is entirely to blame for the accident.

Legal Support for Navigating Comparative Negligence

If you do not have an experienced personal injury lawyer representing you, the insurance company may be able to get away with blaming you for the accident. There are times when your attorney’s efforts are geared toward defending your actions as much as showing the other party was to blame for what happened.

Your lawyer may need to present evidence showing you were not to blame and contradict what the insurance company claims. As unfair as it seems, an attorney would need to actively resist the insurance company’s efforts to shift the blame to you.

The percentage of blame that may be assigned to you makes a significant difference in the financial outcome of the case. Every dollar taken away from your settlement check could help in your recovery. Even if you do bear some of the blame, the correct amount must be assigned so you are not left to take a financial hit.

Contact an Experienced Rock Hill Personal Injury Lawyer

When insurance companies see the attorneys from Schiller & Hamilton across the table from them, they are less likely to try to use hardball tactics. Our attorneys do everything within our power to protect your legal rights from insurance company overreach. You must obtain legal help immediately to fully protect yourself from the insurance company. Schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys by sending us a message through our website or by calling us today at 843-379-5006.

Schiller & Hamilton Law Firm

We’ve Got Your Back
Call Us for a Free Case Evaluation

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.