South Carolina personal injury law jargon

South Carolina, Personal Injury Law, and the Statute of Limitations

South Carolina, Personal Injury Law, and the Statute of Limitations

 South Carolina, Personal Injury Law, and the Statute of Limitations.jpg

You’ve probably heard the phrase “statute of limitations” before, whether on your favorite legal procedural or in headline news. You probably even have a good idea about what the statute of limitations is. But did you know that there are separate statutes for criminal and civil cases and that these can vary by state?

What Exactly is the Statute of Limitations?

Before delving more deeply into the statute of limitations, let’s clarify the term. First, there is no one statute of limitations. In fact, while we use the term in the singular, there are actually many statutes of limitations. Different states have statutes of limitations for both criminal and civil law. Plus, the federal government has its own statutes for federal crimes.

Because of the vagueness that surrounds the term “statute of limitations”, it has featured in a few law procedurals as a plot point. Lately, with both Bill Cosby and Dennis Hastert in the news, it has also become a topic of conversation. The wounds of crimes can run deep and it is much harder for victims and the public to forgive than it is for the law.

The statute of limitations is several statutes that delineate when a person can be tried or sued for a criminal or negligent act. It protects the rights of the defendants by limiting the time that they can be sought out or tried for a crime. Like any law, they are not written in stone, though it would take quite a bit of bipartisanship to change the statutes in any state (or federally).

What’s the Difference Between the Statute of Limitations in Criminal and Civil Court?

While there are times that the statute of limitations for criminal and civil cases are the same, sometimes they differ. In South Carolina, they differ. Greatly.

In South Carolina, there is no statute of limitations for criminal prosecution. That means that a crime committed in South Carolina can be tried decades after it occurred. This may come as a shock to some who have heard the term statute of limitations thrown around as a reason for why a headline case can’t be tried in criminal court. Had those same crimes (whether murder, sexual assault, or larceny) been committed in South Carolina, a prosecutor with enough evidence could try them at any time.

Unfortunately, there is a statute of limitations that determines whether civil claims can be filed in South Carolina.

What are the Statutes of Limitations for Civil Cases in South Carolina?

South Carolina’s state government has a lovely website that provides citizens with access to its statute of limitations for civil cases. Unfortunately, if you try to read through it, you may get stuck on some confusing language.

South Carolina, however, has a pretty streamlined statute of limitations once all the lawyer-speak is removed. For most personal injury claims, including car accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, wrongful death, and product liability, claimants have 3 years from the date of the incident to file suit. Victims of slander or libel have two years.

Do You Have a Claim Approaching the Statute of Limitations?

Have you considered filing a personal injury lawsuit but just haven’t gotten around to it amidst your doctor’s appointment and work? Hesitating to file can put you outside the statute of limitations. Consider consulting with a South Carolina personal injury lawyer to determine whether you have a case and what the best way to move forward is.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident or in a slip and fall, you have a small window of time to file a claim after your accident, especially if your accident necessitated long hospital stays. Speaking with a skilled South Carolina personal injury lawyer can give you the answers and guidance you need to file a claim.

You shouldn’t be living your life buried under medical debt if someone else was liable for your accident. A South Carolina personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim and work towards a positive outcome.

Proving a Slip and Fall Accident in South Carolina

Proving a Slip and Fall Accident in South Carolina

Did you have a Slip and Fall Accident in South Carolina? Here’s how to prove it.

 Proving a Slip and Fall Accident in South Carolina

Slip and fall accidents result in 8 million ER visits annually. For something that sounds so minor, there can be serious repercussions. Missed work, mounting medical bills, and serious injuries can change the course of your life. Thankfully, civil court can provide some recourse for those injured because of someone else’s negligence.

Slip and Fall Accidents and Civil Court

Slip and fall accidents fall under personal injury law. Because of their prevalence, they are generally the second most popular type of civil case after car accidents.

The injured party, also known as the plaintiff, makes a claim against the defendant, the person they believe to be responsible for their accident. But how do they prove their case? After all, it isn’t like a criminal case where there may be a police report of multiple witnesses willing to take the stand.

Proving Liability in a Slip and Fall Accident

In order for a claim to be successful, a judge or jury must find that the defendant was liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. There are three ways a South Carolina personal injury lawyer can prove liability.

If the defendant knew of a potential problem (uneven flooring, a leak that is causing a wet spot, a broken ladder, etc.) and failed to fix the problem or take reasonable safety precautions, then they may be liable for the plaintiff’s injury.

If the defendant did not know about the potential problem but should have and another person in their shoes would have been aware of the problem, then they may be liable.

If the defendant caused the accident through negligence (willfully or unknowingly; perhaps by leaving items in a known walkway), they may be liable.

Basically, a jury or judge must be convinced that the defendant was negligent, that their negligence led to your accident, and that you suffered sufficiently to be compensated for your injuries. In addition, your role in the accident will also be investigated. Was there a “wet floor” sign that you missed? Should you have known that the floors had just been waxed?

Does it Matter Where I Slipped and Fell?

The location of your accident can provide you with different legal options. If you suffered a slip and fall accident at work, you may be eligible for worker’s compensation and short-term disability pay.

If you suffered a slip and fall while shopping or on someone else’s property, they may have property liability insurance to protect themselves (and cover your medical costs) in case someone is hurt on their land.

Regardless of where your accident occurred, if your medical needs are not being met by worker’s compensation or an insurance payment, speaking with a South Carolina slip and fall lawyer can help you better understand your options and hopefully help dig you out from beneath a mountain of medical bills.

Choosing the Right South Carolina Slip and Fall Attorney

One of the biggest decisions you can make after deciding to pursue legal action is securing counsel. Consulting with a South Carolina personal injury lawyer shouldn’t feel like a chore. Rather, you should feel like you have someone in your corner. Someone who’s willing to fight for you and that has the necessary skills and knowledge to give you a better chance at a positive outcome.

When you consult with a South Carolina personal injury lawyer, make sure you feel comfortable. You need to trust your lawyer and feel like they have your best interest in mind. Your personal injury case can have many future ramifications for you and your family. Consult with a law firm with a proven track record of success.

Bike Week Events

Bike Week Events

Myrtle Beach Bike Week: Spring Rally Events

Bike Week Events
The Myrtle Beach Bike Week dates are set for Spring Rally 2016! We’re hoping for plenty of sunshine from May13th to May 22nd along the Grand Strand.
Myrtle Beach Bike Week is a yearly event that attracts riders, owners, and enthusiasts from all over the U.S. The scenic South Carolina views and interesting historical hotspots make for an engaging ride or vacation. Whether you’re riding alone, with friends, or with family, it’s a great time to get the dust off the bike and take her for a ride.
Myrtle Beach Bike Week prides itself on being a welcoming environment. Mix motorcycles, southern hospitalities, and that salty beach air and you’re bound to have a good time.
This year will be the 77th Bike Week and we can’t wait to see the hogs hit the road. Every year there seem to be more and more events along the Grand Strand. Here a few to check out.

Bike Week Welcome Center

Where: Jamin’ Leather, 1222 Port Drive, Myrtle Beach
When: May 13th-22nd
Why: Jamin’ Leather is offering free trailer parking on a first come, first serve basis. They’ll also be hosting games, playing music, offering Biker Ministry, and giving out free hot dogs. It’s a great place to meet up with old friends and to make new ones.

Selfie Scavenger Hunt

Where:  Jamin’ Leather, 1222 Port Drive, Myrtle Beach
When: May 14th-21st
Why: Myrtle Beach is teaming up with Jamin’ Leather for a fun selfie Scavenger Hunt. Win prizes or cash by texting your selfies from the scavenger sites to 864-344-3444. More info available on site.

Spring Bike Rally at Barefoot Landing

Where: Barefoot Landing, 4898 Hwy 17 S., North Myrtle Beach
When: May 13th-22nd, 9AM-7PM
Why: Shop vendors from all over the world before or after you ride the Grand Strand. Plenty of restaurants and unique parts and accessories. Great place to pick up a souvenir!

Thursday Night Thunder and the Myrtle Beach Bike Week Bike Show Calendar

Where: Darlington Dragway in Hartsville, SC
When: May 19th, 2016
Why: Enter your bike in the bike show for free and check out what everyone else is riding. Entry is free and you can also enter to drag race. Thunder trophies will be awarded to the top 50 bikes and the top 12 will make the show calendar and be invited back to the show next year.

Keep in Mind: South Carolina Traffic Laws

If you’re traveling to ride the scenic roads of South Carolina, there are a few things to keep in mind. Because traffic laws vary from state to state, make sure to read up on any differences so you have an exciting time.
There are two major laws to be aware of to keep everyone safe and having fun. First, South Carolina states there can be no open alcoholic beverages in vehicles or in public.
Secondly, South Carolina motorcycle law requires that motorcycle operator and riders under 21 wear a helmet. Remember, these laws are for your safety, as well as your passenger’s safety. Keep bike week safe and fun by wearing a helmet.

Injured During Bike Week? Call a South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer

With millions hitting the Grand Strand this May, there are bound to be some motorcycle accidents. If you are injured because of a reckless driver and need a South Carolina personal injury lawyer, know that Stark Sandefur is here to help. We fight hard to make sure motorcyclists receive the compensation and insurance benefits they’re entitled to.
Motorcyclists are often at a unique disadvantage on the roadways. Make sure that you’re protected. Wear a helmet and if worst comes to worst, know that there’s a South Carolina personal injury lawyer in your corner.

Keep An Eye Out for Motorcycles

Keep An Eye Out For Motorcycles!

Bike Week Reminder: Keep An Eye Out For Motorcycles!
Keep An Eye Out for Motorcycles

Whether you own a motorcycle or have never ridden one, you have to admit there’s a kind of beauty to the utilitarian styling of a nice bike. With gorgeous weather upon us, the roads will soon be filled with motorcyclists from around the U.S., all hoping to have fun, ride some spectacular roads, and meet new people.

While Myrtle Beach Bike Week will mostly be full of beautiful bikes, inspiring scenery, and camaraderie, any large event usually leads to a couple unfortunate accidents.

South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Statistics

A motorcycle accident is more likely to end in death than a car crash. Scary thought, right? In 2010, there were 1,819 motorcycle accidents. While this is only 1.7% of all traffic accidents, motorcycle accidents made up 10% of all traffic accident fatalities.

Thankfully, the number of fatalities has been decreasing. Riding safely (and with a helmet) can continue to knock that number down. In 2008, 74% of motorcycle accident deaths were due to traumatic brain injury. Statistics indicate the risk of traumatic brain injury decreases when a helmet is worn.

Motorcycle accidents, like most traffic accidents, are avoidable. Here are some tips to stay safe on the road.

What Should Motorists Watch Out For?

Let’s be honest, sometimes motorcycles make drivers nervous. As long as you are driving safely and following the rules of the road, there isn’t anything to worry about.

Make sure that you give motorcycles as much space as you would a car. Don’t tailgate or attempt to share a lane with a motorcycle. If you are merging in front of a motorcycle, make sure there is enough space for them to slow down if need be. Drive defensively—anticipate others actions and be aware of your surroundings as you drive. That means no messing about with the radio dial or your smartphone.

What Should Motorcyclists Watch Out For?

While motorcycles have just as much right to be on the road as any other vehicle, sometimes motorists sure seem to cut it close. If you encounter a tailgater or someone who passes too close to your bike and isn’t allowing you full use of the lane, change lanes if possible and get farther away. Pull over if necessary. It is more important that you get to your destination safely than quickly.

All motorcyclists, as well as passengers under the age of 21, are required by South Carolina law to wear a helmet. If you’re traveling for Myrtle Beach Bike Week Spring Rally, plan to bring a helmet with you, even if it isn’t required in your home state. Not only will you be following the law, but you’ll also reduce the chances of traumatic injury in case of an accident.

In terms of sharing the lane with other motorcycles, South Carolina motorcycle law allows two bikes to ride abreast. Just make sure you are comfortable riding that close to another bike. If not, ride in the middle of the lane to make it clear you’d like the whole lane.

Motorcycle Accident? Call a South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer

When the worst happens, know that a South Carolina personal injury lawyer can help you get the benefits and compensation you deserve. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident and have suffered serious injuries, you don’t have to fight the insurance companies alone.

The team at Stark Sandefur understands the unique needs of motorcyclists. We aim to serve injured motorcyclists get them the compensation they deserve to help pay for medical bills, missed work, and future care.

To better determine whether you have a viable case, it is important to consult with a South Carolina personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to help you decide what to do next and how to move forward.