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Overview of Modified Comparative Negligence in South Carolina

South Carolina uses a modified comparative fault system for allocating fault and damages. Comparative fault refers to the system in which damages are apportioned based on the respective shades of fault.

In a pure comparative fault system, no percentage of negligence will bar recovery for a plaintiff. In a modified comparative fault system, the plaintiff cannot recover damages when his or her percentage of negligence exceeds that of the defendant’s. Both systems are more favorable to plaintiffs than contributory fault systems, under which plaintiffs cannot recover anything if they had any degree of fault relating to their claims.

The comparative fault system quickly becomes an issue in many car accident cases, when fault can be hotly contested. The Nye Law Group assists car crash victims throughout Georgia. Call 855-636-9277 to take advantage of a free consultation.

South Carolina Comparative Negligence Law

accident lawyerIn the case of Ross v. Paddy, 340 S.C. 428, 532 S.E.2d 612 (Ct. App. 2000), the South Carolina Court of Appeals held that comparative negligence is an affirmative defense and a plaintiff’s negligence cannot exceed that of the defendant’s. This form of modified comparative fault is more commonly referred to as the “51 percent rule,” because a person is essentially prohibited from filing a lawsuit if he or she is more than 50 percent at fault.

To understand how modified comparative fault works, consider the following scenario. An individual suffers $100,000 in damages stemming from an auto accident primarily caused by another driver but is found to have been 25 percent at fault. In South Carolina, this person would ultimately receive $75,000.

The limitation on plaintiff negligence in modified comparative fault claims is different from the pure comparative fault system allows victims to recover damages when they are more than 51 percent at fault. Modified comparative fault is subject to some criticism because of the complications that can arise in cases involving multiple at-fault parties.

When crashes involve more than two vehicles, people can collect damages so long as they were less than 50 percent responsible. The percentage of fault attributed to each driver is the percentage deducted from his or her award, and a driver determined to be more than 50 percent at fault obtains nothing.

The way that fault is apportioned makes it critical for people involved in automobile accidents to not make any statements to insurance companies without legal counsel.

Find a South Carolina Car Accident Attorney

If you were seriously injured or your loved one was killed in a car accident anywhere in Georgia, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation before speaking to any insurance company. You will want to contact the Nye Law Group as soon as possible.

Our Bluffton personal injury lawyer will fight to make sure you receive every last dime of compensation you are entitled to. He can provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call 855-636-9277 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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CONVENIENT LOCATIONS Throughout the SouthEast

Charlotte, NC

402 West Trade Street,
Suite 112
Charlotte, NC

704-862-4177 get directions

Savannah, GA

2008 Whitaker Street
Savannah, GA 31401

912-732-0249 get directions

Hinesville, GA

306 North Main Street,
Suite 1B
Hinesville, GA 31313

912-200-5233 get directions

Bluffton, SC

25 Clarks Summit Drive,
Suite 102
Bluffton, SC 29910

843-420-1555 get directions

Charlotte, NC

402 West Trade Street,
Suite 112
Charlotte, NC

704-862-4177 get directions

Savannah, GA

2008 Whitaker Street
Savannah, GA 31401

912-732-0249 get directions

Hinesville, GA

306 North Main Street,
Suite 1B
Hinesville, GA 31313

912-200-5233 get directions

Bluffton, SC

25 Clarks Summit Drive,
Suite 102
Bluffton, SC 29910

843-420-1555 get directions
View all locations
CONTACT US

NO PRESSURE. SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY. NO HIDDEN FEES.

* All Fields Required

Or Call 855-856-4212