The central idea behind the theory of negligence is that people must exercise reasonable care when they act (any activity from driving your car to laying asphalt). This takes into account the fact that any act may cause the harm of another person. If an injured person proves that another person acted negligently, the action of which caused injury, the plaintiff may claim monetary damages.
Negligence cases are very fact specific, where the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the defendant’s accidental injury not only caused the harm, but was followed through in an unreasonable manner. Further, damages must be proven.
Now, where do we start? In South Carolina, the statute of limitations during which suit may be brought on the theory of negligence is three years. This means that if a period of three years has passed since the negligent act, suit may no longer be brought. Further, South Carolina uses the doctrine of modified comparative negligence to assign fault.
This system has two important aspects: (1) the injured party may recover only if he or she is less than 50 percent at fault; and (2) if the injured party was also negligent, the originally negligent party is only liable for the percentage of damages he or she caused.
Therefore, if the jury finds that a driver is 70 percent negligent and the other driver is 30 percent negligent, the person who is 30 percent negligent will collect 70 percent of his or her damages. Also, if either driver is more than 50 percent negligent, that driver will recover nothing.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident in South Carolina that may have been the result of someone’s negligence, contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower, LLP at 803-548-4444, or 877-374-5999.