Charleston, SC – When someone is involved in a car accident and they want to take legal action, the principles of negligence are one of the most important factors in determining who will win, and their amount of compensation. Most civil accident cases are actually filed and decided on the basis of each state’s negligence law, as this is a very common form of civil case. Each state has different nuances that may be more favorable to plaintiffs or defendants depending on the specifics of the law. All negligence actions focus on proving that careless or reckless behavior resulted in another person being injured.
The definition of negligence in civil cases
All states have the same similar structure for a negligence case. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent by showing that four main elements of negligence were met. These include a relevant duty of care, breach of that same duty of care, actual and proximate causation, and tangible damages or losses. At trial, if the plaintiff’s lawyer has proven all of these elements, the jury is instructed to find in their favor, and award damages to them.
The standard of care is determined by what is expected of an ordinary person in the same situation. When the defendant is found to have not met this standard, they are considered to be in breach of their duty and the first element is satisfied.
Comparative negligence and South Carolina law
South Carolina has a form of dividing fault after an accident through comparative negligence principles. All drivers involved in the collision will be given a portion of the fault, until one hundred percent is reached. Damage awards are reduced according to each party’s level of fault.
This helps many plaintiffs, as they are able to collect some damages when partially at fault. The only exception to this rule under South Carolina law, is if their level of fault in the accident was greater than the defendant’s.
This doctrine can become very useful if there are several vehicles involved in the same accident and fault needs to be divided between all of them. There is essentially no limit to the number of vehicles that can be factored into this equation to divide fault.
Getting more information from a local attorney
Concepts related to tort law and personal injury cases are not always straightforward or easy to understand, and there are always some complexities that can affect the outcome of a case. Assistance from an experienced attorney is necessary to make the right choices regarding lawsuits and insurance issues after an accident. The Clekis Law Firm focuses on assisting accident victims with these problems in the Charleston area.
Firm contact info:
171 Church St., Charleston SC, 29401