How long do I have to file a personal injury claim?

Every state has a specific statute of limitations for personal injury claims. In South Carolina, you have three years to file a personal injury claim.

Don’t Rush to Settle

Insurance adjusters will likely try and rush you through processing your case. Their goal is to settle the case as quickly as possible for as little money as possible. They’re hoping that you’llPersonal Injury Claims Have Strict Statute of Limitations accept whatever is offered so you can pay immediate expenses and put the matter behind you.

Rushing to settle your claim can prove disastrous if you haven’t reached what’s known as maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is the point at which you’ve either fully recovered from your injuries or your condition has stabilized enough that it’s possible to accurately predict your future financial needs in terms of medical costs and lost wages. If you settle immediately and your injuries turn out to be more serious than you thought, you’re not allowed to go back and ask for additional money.

Tolling the Statute of Limitations

Although the three-year deadline is a firm limit in most cases, certain circumstances can toll the statute of limitations. This means the clock is temporarily paused to give you additional time to file a claim. The following are a few exceptions:

  • If the injured person is a child, you have one year from the date he or she turns 18 to file the claim.
  • If the injured person is legally insane, you have one year after the date he or she is no longer considered insane to file the claim. However, the deadline can’t be extended more than five years based on insanity.
  • If the defendant is absent or resides outside the state for more than one year, this time isn’t considered part of the three-year statute of limitations.

How an Attorney Can Help

Your personal injury settlement should include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You’ve suffered enough, and you deserve to be compensated for your pain. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Hite & Stone to request a free, no-obligation consultation.