Most people do not think that they will ever be involved in a lawsuit during their lives. However, if you have been injured due to the negligence or wrongful act of another, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries through a personal injury lawsuit. The key component of succeeding in a South Carolina personal injury suit is proving that the other party was negligent in their actions causing your injury.
What is Negligence in South Carolina?
There are elements of a negligence claim that must be met in order for a finding of negligence. The defendant must have (1) owed you a duty of care; (2) breached that duty; (3) the breach caused you injury or other damages.
- The first element of a negligence claim is that the defendant owed you a duty of care. A duty of care means that there was some type of relationship between you and the defendant that he owed you a duty of care. For example, a doctor owes their patient a duty to practice medicine according to medical standards and in the same careful manner that a doctor in the same circumstance would provide. Another example is the driver of a vehicle owes a duty to other drivers on the road to drive responsibly and safely.
- After establishing that a defendant owed you a duty of care, it must be established that they breached that duty. The defendant must have acted unreasonably in their actions, irresponsibly, or have failed to do their duty.
- Next, the breach of duty must be the cause of the injury to a plaintiff. If there is no evidence that the duty and breach of duty caused the accident, your lawsuit will likely be unsuccessful. You must prove that but for the negligence of the defendant in breaching their duty, your injuries would not have occurred.
What If Both People Are at Fault?
It is not uncommon for an accident to not be entirely one party’s fault. There is the possibility that a plaintiff contributed to their injury, along with the negligence of the defendant. This has an impact on the results of a personal injury suit. South Carolina follows a comparative negligence standard. This means that a plaintiff is not barred from recovering even if they contributed to their injury. However, a plaintiff cannot be more responsible for their injuries than the defendant. The award will be reduced by the amount that the plaintiff was responsible.
If you are confused about negligence or curious if an injury you have sustained might be subject to a personal injury lawsuit, contact Bryan Ramey, P.A. Attorney Ramey is dedicated to getting you the best possible outcome given your circumstances. He understands that injuries can be devastating and works hard to help you receive the resources you need to recover. Contact the experienced personal injury attorney today for a FREE case review.