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Is SC a Fault or No-Fault Car Accident State?


In every state, all licensed drivers must carry auto insurance, so any out-of-pocket losses stemming from a car accident will be covered by their insurer. Each state is either a fault or no-fault car accident state. 

In fault states, a crash victim can seek compensation from the at-fault driver or his/her insurance company. In no-fault states, on the other hand, victims must rely on their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage of their own policy to cover out-of-pocket losses like medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. 

South Carolina is considered a traditional “fault” state. So, the person who is responsible for causing the crash is also liable for any damages suffered by any injured motorists. 

The following are the three ways an injured driver can pursue financial compensation after a car accident in South Carolina: 

  1. File an accident claim with his/her own insurance carrier, if the losses are covered by his/her policy. In turn, the insurer will file a claim against the negligent driver’s carrier. 

  1. File a third-party claim with the negligent party’s insurer. 

  1. File a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party in civil court. 

Remember, South Carolina drivers must carry at least $25,000 for bodily injury/death per person, $50,000 for bodily injury/death per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident in insurance coverage. Liability coverage pays for any out-of-pocket expenses you or any family member has sustained, up to the policy limits. 

If you are pulled over for driving without insurance, your driver’s license will be suspended until you pay a $550 “uninsured motorist fee” to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV). Driving on a suspended license is a misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of up to 30 days and a fine of up to $300 for a first offense, a maximum jail term of 60 days and a fine of up to $600 for a second offense, or a jail term of up to 90 days and a maximum fine of $1,000 for a third or subsequent offense. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Charleston, SC, call Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC at (843) 968-0886 or complete our online contact form today to request a free initial consultation. Our legal team has more than 125 years of combined legal experience! 

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