What are the different statutes of limitations in SC?

If you suffer a personal injury and choose to file a lawsuit, it’s important to understand how the law may limit the amount of time you have to take legal action. Below, a skilled Greenville personal injury lawyer from Smith Jordan Law explains the statutes of limitations in SC and how they may apply to your claim.

statute of limitations sc

What does “statute of limitations” mean in personal injury cases?

A statute of limitations governs how long a person has to file a lawsuit against a person or entity that caused them harm. You are required to bring a claim within the statute of limits, and if you fail to do so, you are barred from bringing your claim. For most personal injury claims, SC victims have three years from the date of the incident.

Waiting too long could cost you the right to hear your case in court. Your lawyer needs time to collect evidence, interview witnesses, and formalize their arguments to prepare your case for the best chance of success in court.

What is the South Carolina statute of limitations for medical malpractice?

The statute of limitations in South Carolina is different for medical malpractice claims. Like other cases, the clock begins when the procedure or treatment occurs.  However, a doctor’s negligence is sometimes not discovered until after the procedure or treatment.  In that case, the clock begins when you discover that you were harmed, or should have discovered that you were harmed, up to six years after the procedure or treatment date. Depending on the type of provider, you usually have between two and three years to file your claim.

You must also submit a Notice of Intent to File Suit before filing suit. Medical malpractice cases are challenging to litigate successfully, and you will likely need an attorney with a strong background in investigating and managing claims like yours.

Is the SC statute of limitations different for minors?

If a minor is hurt, they generally are eligible to file a case until one year after they turn 18.. However, if the case involves harm from medical malpractice, the statute can only be delayed for a maximum of seven years. In cases where the child was harmed by incest or sexual abuse, the minor has the right to file a lawsuit within six years after they turn 21 or within three years after discovering the relationship between the abuse and their injury.

What is the statute of limitations for suing a government agency?

If you were injured by a government agency representative or on government property, you generally have two years to file your claim. Both the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) and South Carolina’s Tort Claims Act allow this time frame.

What is the statute of limitations for a wrongful death?

If your loved one dies as a result of another person’s negligence, you have three years after the date of their passing to file a wrongful death claim.

What is the statute of limitations for workers’ comp claims?

If you are injured on the job, you have two years to file a workers’ compensation insurance claim with the South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Commission. You must also meet the criteria for reporting your injury to your employer, receiving medical care, and submitting information to substantiate your claim to the insurance provider. Your attorney can assist you with all these tasks.

Can the statute of limitations be delayed for any reason?

Yes, as we have discussed, there are instances where the statute of limitations can be delayed. However, your lawyer could use other circumstances to give you more time to seek compensation. These include:

  • If the defendant is not in the jurisdiction, the statute can be delayed until they are brought back or return
  • If the defendant is deemed not mentally competent to participate in a trial or understand the allegations against them
  • If a wrongful death occurred from medical malpractice that was not discovered until later

Learn more about the South Carolina statute of limitations for personal injury claims

Every personal injury case is unique, and yours may benefit from speaking with a skilled attorney who can help you interpret how these laws may affect your rights. Call Smith Jordan Law at (864) 343-2222 or through our online form to schedule your free consultation today.

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