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Could I lose my right to recover money in a car accident?

In many of our posts, we have highlighted a number of dangers that South Carolina drivers face, including distracted drivers, drunk drivers and drowsy drivers. However, we have not touched upon how the law treats injured parties when their own actions (at least in part) may have caused the accident leading to their.

A classic example of this occurs when a driver quickly checks his phone to review a text message. The driver briefly takes their eyes off the road to send a quick reply text. However, in the 2-3 seconds without eyes on the road, he has to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting stopped traffic. However, the car following behind rear ends him. 

The driver sues the person who hit him, but under South Carolina’s comparative negligence law, his recovery could be reduced by the negligence that contributed to the accident. Essentially, if the driver is deemed to be 25 percent responsible for the accident (for texting and driving) and he is awarded $20,000 in damages, he may only recover $15,000 (75 percent of the award).

If he is found to be 51 percent responsible for the crash, he would be barred from any recovery.

The possibility of recovering money damages after being injured in an accident is just as important as avoiding liability (and thus losing the right to recover). Because of this, discussing your situation with an experienced personal injury attorney is essential.  So if you have been injured in an accident, we would like to speak with you.

The preceding is not legal advice and is provided for informational purposes only.

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