A statute of limitations is set in many different types of lawsuit filings, including a personal injury lawsuit. The mandated time limit is set to avoid inherent issues that come with the passing of a long period of time, like conflicting or forgotten memories, lost evidence, or difficulty locating witnesses. The statute of limitations in a personal injury lawsuit is designed to avoid those types of complications.
A statute of limitations begins the day the event in question occurs and varies depending on the state where the incident happened and the type of lawsuit. In the State of South Carolina, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is three years. While this may seem like a long time, there are many steps in the legal process to formally file your lawsuit, so speaking with an experience Pawleys Island attorney right away is in your best interest.
Personal Injury Lawsuit Discovery Rule
In nearly all cases, you have three years to file your personal injury lawsuit, beginning the count from the day the event occurred. However, there are some cases where you may not realize the extent of the damage or long-term effects caused until some time after the incident. The discovery rule can be utilized in these situations.
The most common exception to the statute of limitations is the discovery rule. If you were unaware of the severity of your injuries or the effects they caused, your three year limitation begins on the discovery date, not the date of the occurrence. It will be necessary to provide evidence if the discovery date through medical documentation and other dated information.
Extension For Personal Injury Lawsuit
Beyond the discovery rule, there are very few extensions granted for altering the statute of limitations. If you feel you need an extension to file a lawsuit, it's important to contact a personal injury lawyer right away. For example, specific extension may be considered if the victim is mentally ill, disabled, or a minor.
What to Do After Injury
Your first priority after being injured is to get medical attention as soon as possible. If you're unable to get treatment immediately after the incident, go as soon as you can. It's important to not only recognize any injuries, but to document those injuries soon after they occur. Documentation is crucial in a personal injury lawsuit. If you bypass medical attention, the defendant's lawyer may claim you weren't seriously hurt because you didn't seek help.
Once you've been treated and are well enough, schedule a consultation with a Pawleys Island personal injury lawyer. Allow the law team to review the details of your case and help you determine who's responsible for your injuries. While it is possible for you to file a lawsuit in small-claims court, working with a legal team affords you expert witnesses and investigative tools that wouldn't otherwise be available. If you've been injured and need legal counsel from a top lawyer in Pawleys Island, contact the Hopkins Law Firm.