What if I am partially at fault for a car crash?

If you are involved in a car crash in South Carolina, you may wonder how your fault affects your ability to recover damages. South Carolina follows a modified comparative fault system, which means that each driver is assigned a percentage of liability in an accident. You can still seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company or through a lawsuit, as long as you are not more than 50% at fault for the accident . However, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are 30% at fault and your damages are $100,000, you can only recover $70,000.


To prove fault in a car crash, you need to show that the other driver was negligent and that their negligence caused the accident. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care while driving. Some examples of negligence are speeding, running a red light, texting while driving, or driving under the influence. You can use evidence such as police reports, witness statements, photos, videos, or expert testimony to support your claim of negligence.


If you have been injured in a car accident, whether or not you think you were at fault, it is important to discuss your options with an attorney. Comparative responsibility can completely bar your claim, and the line of fault is a slippery and arbitrary line that can be manipulated by insurance companies to minimize or bar your claim.

What is The South Carolina Rule of Modified Comparative Responsibility?

If you are involved in a personal injury case in South Carolina, you may wonder how your own actions or negligence may affect your claim. South Carolina follows a rule of modified comparative responsibility, which means that your compensation may be reduced or denied depending on your degree of fault for the accident.

According to this rule, you can only recover damages if you are 50% or less at fault for the accident. If you are more than 50% at fault, you are barred from any recovery. For example, if you were injured in a car accident and the jury found that you were 40% at fault and the other driver was 60% at fault, you could recover 60% of your damages. However, if you were 51% at fault and the other driver was 49% at fault, you would get nothing.

The rule of modified comparative responsibility applies to any civil claim involving negligence, such as car accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, etc. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that each party is held accountable for their own actions and that the compensation is fair and proportional to the harm caused.

Claiming Compensation Following a Wrongful Death

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in South Carolina. However, you should be aware of the rule of modified comparative responsibility, which can affect your compensation.

This rule states that if the deceased person was partly at fault for their own death, their percentage of fault will reduce the amount of damages that their surviving family members can recover. For example, if the deceased person was 20% at fault and the total damages were $100,000, the family would only receive $80,000.


However, there is a limit to this rule. If the deceased person was more than 50% at fault for their own death, then their family cannot recover any damages at all. This is known as the 51% bar rule. Therefore, it is important to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can help you prove the liability of the other party and protect your rights to fair compensation.

How to Get Assistance

The modified comparative fault system can be complex and challenging to navigate, especially when dealing with insurance adjusters who may try to minimize your claim or shift more blame to you. Remember, if they successfully convince a court that you were more than 50% at fault, you do not recover damages at all. That’s why it’s important to consult with an experienced South Carolina attorney who can help you with the issue of comparative fault in a South Carolina car accident claim. An attorney can help you gather evidence, negotiate with the insurance company, and represent you in court if necessary. An attorney can also advise you on how to protect your rights and interests after an accident and avoid making mistakes that could hurt your claim.

If you have been injured in a car accident in South Carolina and need legal assistance, contact us today for a free consultation. We will evaluate your case and help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

Find a South Carolina Auto Accident Attorney

If you suffered an injury from a serious auto accident, you may be facing significant medical bills. You may also be struggling to pay for your expenses because of an inability to work while you recover from your injuries. However, help is available to those who suffered injuries due to the negligence of others as well as for the families of fatal accident victims.

For years, our Columbia injury lawyers have worked on behalf of the people of South Carolina to gain them compensation for their motor vehicle accident injuries. We may be able to provide personal and effective legal support for you as well. Call the attorneys at Proffitt & Cox, LLP today at 803-834-7097 for a free consultation. You can also call the firm toll free at (877) 276-0533 or by filling out the contact form on our site.


Confidential Free Consultations; No Attorneys Fees Unless You Receive Compensation
We understand that when an injury occurs, people are concerned about medical expenses, lost income, and compensation for their pain and suffering and other damages. We can answer these questions, and more importantly, we can put our experience to work immediately toward helping victims of careless or wrongful conduct obtain prompt and appropriate compensation.

We offer free initial consultations for all injury cases. We handle injury cases on a contingency fee basis which means that our fees are a percentage of what we recover for you. You will not owe us any attorney’s fees in such cases unless we are successful in obtaining compensation on your behalf.

Our South Carolina accident attorneys have recovered over $30 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients. These claims involved automobile accidents, trucking accidents, harmful prescription drugs, medical malpractice, product liability, slip and fall accidents and class action cases. Review our representative cases to see some of our past successes and review our client testimonials to see what some of our clients have to say about us.

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