How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in South Carolina?
Understanding the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in South Carolina is three (3) years. That means you have 3 years from the time of your accident or injury to file a personal injury lawsuit.
If you miss the deadline, you can lose your right to legal action. That’s why our team at Kahn Law Firm, LLP encourages you to speak to our personal injury attorneys as soon as possible after an accident or injury.
Call us at (843) 547-0240 for a free consultation today.
When Does the Clock Start Ticking?
In most cases, the clock starts ticking or “tolling” as soon as the injury takes place. If you are injured in a car accident, for example, you will have 3 years from the date of your accident to make a claim.
Sometimes, however, people do not discover their injuries right away. When this occurs, the time limit begins tolling when a victim discovers their injuries. For instance, consider someone who develops cancer after years of taking a contaminated medication. When the contamination comes to light, they may be able to hold the drug’s manufacturer liable for their diagnosis – even if it has been longer than 3 years since they were diagnosed.
Overall, the clock starts ticking when a person knows or should know they have suffered harm.
Extensions and Exceptions
Like with any law, there are exceptions to South Carolina’s statute of limitations. If you’re filing suit against the government, for example, you might have even less time to file a claim. Our attorneys can make sure you adhere to all deadlines and paperwork requirements for claims against the state.
Otherwise, you may be able to extend the statute of limitations. When minors sustain injuries, for instance, the clock does not start tolling until they are 18 years old – unless their parents or legal guardians decide to file on their behalf. Similarly, time limits can be extended due to mental and physical disabilities. Someone who is hospitalized for a mental illness or temporarily unable to communicate will not be able to file a lawsuit, so courts may make an exception on the statute of limitations until it is fair to expect them to sue.
Similarly, medical malpractice suits often allow for extensions due to delayed discovery. Still, you must file within 3 years of discovering your injury and you cannot make a claim if more than 6 years have passed from the time of your original treatment.
As you can see, these deadlines and extensions can be confusing. Fortunately, our team at Kahn Law Firm, LLP can lend some guidance.
What Happens If I Don’t File On Time?
If you fail to adhere to the statute of limitations, you can lose your right to legal action. You may choose to file a claim, but the court is unlikely to accept it. Even if your claim does make it to court, the defendant can cite the expired deadline and have your case thrown out almost immediately.
We recommend you contact us as soon as possible after your accident or injury. Not only will this preserve your legal rights, but it will also help us build a stronger case. The sooner you come to us, the more evidence we will be able to find.
Even if we don’t file right away, we can help you determine how the statute of limitations applies in your particular case.
What are you waiting for?
Get Started Today
Our attorneys are ready to put nearly a century of collective legal experience on your side. We only take cases we believe in, and we never charge you any legal fees unless you win your case.
Kahn Law Firm, LLP can help you – even if your case is complicated. Two of our attorneys are board-certified in plaintiffs’ medical malpractice, so we can deal with the most complex cases personal injury claimants face.
Whether you just found out about an injury, you are approaching the deadline for your personal injury case, or you need legal advice after an accident, we are here for you 24/7.
Our team accepts appointments on evenings and weekends, and if you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you.
We look forward to helping you determine the deadline for your claim and file your personal injury case well within the statute of limitations.