If you are searching for a car accident attorney regarding a personal injury claim in the South Carolina region, you should know that there are a few unique requirements to qualify for a lawsuit. These requirements are few and for the most part these litigation procedures are similar to legal procedures across the nation.
The Jurisdiction and Period to File
Individuals seeking damages that are less than $7500 may file for a lawsuit within a three year period in the event the plaintiff has suffered from someone else’s negligent behavior behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. If the amount is less than $7500, the lawsuit will be filed in Magistrate Court in whatever county the individual resides. Any other lawsuit would be filed in Circuit Court.
Proper Filing Procedure
If you are looking to file a personal injury claim, the first thing you will want to do is file a complaint. A legal document is then recorded regarding all information from the accident and the amount you, as the plaintiff, wishes to cover for damages. A 30-day period is offered to the defendant to reply. The defendant also has the option to either file a cross claim or a counter claim. A cross claim says another individual is guilty of the incident (not the plaintiff) whereas a counter claim alleges the plaintiff was guilty of the incident.
Determination of Damages
Compensation damages (i.e. wages lost, any medical expenses, or damage to property). Damages regarding emotional distress or any sort of suffering fall under non-economic damages. Punitive damages are also allowed but most have caps in certain situations. If the defendant is a state entity, damage caps also apply. It should be noted that South Carolina is a contributory negligence state. This means that a plaintiff will be unable to collect damages if the defendant can prove the plaintiff was at fault.
What to Do Before Trial
The process before a trial date is referred to as the discovery process and involves a multitude of steps. These include an exchange of information and evidence along with any sort of medical exams, any witnesses, documentation, interrogations, and out-of-court testimonies that were given under oath.
Most lawsuits are settled outside of court through arbitration. Not many go to trial as arbitration saves time and money for both parties involved. South Carolina requires mediation in all civil litigation situations. to read more about arbitration, visit : http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/arbitration/what-is-arb.html
If you are facing a trial you can expect to face a selection of 12 jurors for Circuit Court and 6 in Magistrate Court. You as the plaintiff, (along with the defendant), will present evidence in attempt to sway the jurors in your favor. All of the jurors must agree, but the lawsuit final verdict can always be appealed for a different one.
Most personal injury attorneys so not charge any fees unless you win damages. In the event the plaintiff does win damages, most attorneys require one-third of the awarded amount for their services.