South Carolina’s Rule of Comparative Negligence

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Being involved in a car wreck can be a scary thing. It happens suddenly and often you do not know what to do, or what precisely happened. You may discover that you suffered some injuries but do not know if you can recover damages from the other person or not.


Blame in a case like a car wreck is determined by negligence. Negligence is the act or a failure to take proper care in doing something. Texting while driving is an example of a negligent act, as is speeding, not paying attention to the road, or not completely stopping at a red light. In a lawsuit for an injury during a car wreck, it will be these acts or failures to act that prove someone was at fault. In practice this will involve the attorney for the plaintiff putting on evidence and asking witnesses about what they observed, how fast the defendant was likely going, etc. in order to show he was more at fault than the plaintiff. Likewise the defense counsel will also put on evidence showing that it was not the defendant that was at greater fault; rather it was the one seeking damages. 

Based on a Percentage

South Carolina follows the rule of comparative negligence when it comes to a variety of accidents, including car accidents. This means that even if you are a percentage responsible for an accident, you may still recover, so long as that percentage of fault does not exceed 51%. For example, if your actions contributed to 5% of the wreck then you can still recover for your injuries. If however, your actions were the main cause of the wreck, then you cannot recover money for injuries sustained. The percentage of fault is determined by the jury; they are told to weigh the evidence and facts and assign a percentage of fault to each side.

Amount of Recoverysc comparative negligence car accidents

The percentage of which you are at fault impacts your recovery. If you are found to have contributed to the accident, the percentage of what you contributed will be taken out of any monetary recovery you gain. For example, if the total damages award is $10,000 and the jury finds that you contributed 10% of the negligence to the accident, you shall be barred from recovering for that 10%, or $1,000, and you will net $9,000.

A car wreck is a serious thing that can have a lasting impact on your life. Rely on an attorney who has trial and negotiation skills you know you can trust. The experienced auto accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Steven M Krause PA are experienced in negotiation and in litigation to ensure you get the best outcome for your case. Our dedication to our clients is what sets us apart from the rest.


We help people like you every day.