When people think of the phrase "statute of limitations," they usually think about the period of time in which an individual can be charged with a crime before the accusation becomes too old to do so. The truth, however, is this principle applies to civil cases as well, including injury related claims such as personal injury and wrongful death suits.
Why statutes of limitations?
The idea of putting time limits on legitimate injury claims, to some, seems inappropriate. If an injury claim is legitimate, then why would how long ago it occurred matter? The reason states place a statute of limitation on these claims is to reduce the number of illegitimate claims that enter the court system.
If an incident of negligence (or alleged negligence) occurs a long time ago-- especially long after the victim has recovered-- the claim of injury becomes suspect. If it was a clear case of negligence, why did the plaintiff so long? Is it because the defendant came into some money? Or the plaintiff is in need of some?
Additionally, cases of accidents occurring long ago are hard to prove in court: evidence disappears and people's memories fade. To leave the door indefinitely open for injury suit filings would bog the court down in countless claims it likely could not reasonably act upon.
South Carolina's Statute of Limitations are as follows:
- Personal injury: three years
- Product liability: three years
- Wrongful death: three years
- Workers' compensation: 90 days
That means that the suit must be filed within three years of the event that harmed the victim. In the case where injury or illness was caused gradually over time, you can usually file suit within three years of having become aware of the condition. If you believe you have become ill or injured due to your long-term exposure to dangerous conditions, speak with a knowledgeable Charleston personal injury attorney today.
Timing Your Injury Claim
When deciding to move forward with your injury claim, significant consideration must go into the timing your filing. While you do not want to wait too long to file your claim, filing too early may mean not addressing the full scope of your treatment and post-injury burdens. However, it is always recommended that you speak with legal counsel as soon as you can after your injury. A dedicated injury advocate can ensure that your claim is filed when it should be and that your legitimate claim for compensation is assuredly navigated before the court.
If you or a loved one has been hurt due to the actions of someone else, the time to act is now. Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC (Pierce | Sloan) can help assess the circumstances of your accident and, if necessary, bring aggressive and thorough legal action against the parties responsible.
It can be possible to recover the relief you deserve. Call us at (843) 968-0886 today.