It is not always necessary for a driver to be free from fault in order to file a personal injury claim. South Carolina subscribes to the legal doctrine of comparative negligence. If more than one party is found to be at fault in a car accident, a party may still be awarded damages in a lawsuit so long as he or she is determined to be less at fault than the other party. Any damages awarded in the case would be reduced by the percentage of fault applied to the party. For instance, if a driver is found to be 30 percent at fault, he or she would receive 70 percent of the damages awarded.
Comparative negligence may become an important issue in a recent accident. For an unreported reason, a vehicle occupied by the driver and six children was stopped in the lane of travel. While stopped, a second vehicle driven by a man slammed into the back of the SUV.
The woman, the six children and the man driving the other vehicle were all taken to a hospital in the area. It is not known what injuries each of them suffered. Whether any of them are still hospitalized is also unknown. Officers did not indicate the relationship of the children to the woman.
Law enforcement officials on the scene report that both drivers received a citation in connection with the car accident. The woman was cited for stopping and standing on the road, and the man was cited for excessive speed considering the road conditions. Any of the parties who suffered serious injuries — or the legal guardians of each of the children — may file personal injury claims against the party or parties deemed responsible, which in this case appears to be both drivers. A South Carolina court could apply the legal doctrine of comparative negligence to determine liability of the two drivers, which may govern the amount of any damages received.
Source: wyff4.com, “SCHP: 6 children, 2 adults transported after wreck“, James McCray, July 18, 2014
Steven Krause is a personal injury, auto accident, and workers’ compensation lawyer who practices in Anderson, SC. He graduated form the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law and has been practicing law for 40 years now. Steven Krause believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience here.