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Is South Carolina an at-fault state?

If you were having trouble securing insurance payments for an auto collision in the South Carolina Lowcountry, you would be far from alone. In fact, it is the state's at-fault liability system that is likely to make recovering funds from your insurance company somewhat complicated.

In a no-fault context, you would not need to prove who was responsible for an auto crash before you got an insurance company to pay. In South Carolina, the responsible driver's coverage would typically only cover your incident after an admission or judgment that you were a victim. 

The good news is that you may be able to collect damages from another driver, even if you believe that you may be somewhat at fault for the accident. In reality, very few accidents are entirely the fault of a single party. To address this, South Carolina Courts assign comparative fault.

As described on FindLaw, comparative fault would allow you to claim damages as long as you are less than 51 percent responsible for the accident. In theory, if your negligence were less than the other driver's, you could receive payment for the damages you sustained modified by the extent to which the courts found you negligent. 

In practice, you would want to show as thoroughly as possible how you were not responsible for the accident. For example, if you were both speeding, you would want to show that you were speeding less than the other party or that your violation of the speed limit did not directly contribute to the collision. The higher the other driver's fault, the more they would have to pay for damages to your person or property.

 As you can see, insurance companies may want to wait until courts establish a level of comparative fault. They may also be willing to settle out of court if faced with a compelling argument to do so, thereby giving you faster access to the funds you would require for repairs or medical bills. Please do not use this is legal advice; it is only meant as general information.

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