Is South Carolina a No Fault State?

Car crash with paramedics

We’re proud of our beautiful state, but our road safety track record could use some work. When it comes to the number of deaths per 100 million vehicles miles traveled, the rates range from 0.54 to 1.83 nationally. The state with the highest death rates? South Carolina.   

Car accidents is one of the areas in which we specialize. But we wish it wasn’t. Hundreds of pedestrians and motorists are injured or worse every year – friends, family, people we know. And while pandemic lockdowns kept many of us off US roads and highways during the last few months, it seems many of those who took to their cars let the open roads go to their heads, leading to an increase in traffic-related deaths across the country.

In a report published earlier this year, the non-profit National Safety Council estimated that 42,060 people died in vehicle crashes in 2020, an 8 percent increase over 2019 and the first jump in four years.

The NSC says that even though traffic is now getting close to pre-coronavirus levels, ‘bad behavior on the roads’ is continuing. This means we need to be more vigilant than ever.   

So, is South Carolina a no-fault state or a fault state?

You’ve probably heard people talking about fault versus no-fault states. The state of South Carolina is a ‘fault’ state. This means (in theory) that if you’re injured in a car accident, the person “at fault” for your injuries is responsible for paying you compensation.   

Here’s an all-too-common scenario: a driver is texting instead of paying attention to the road. He or she blazes through a red light, slap bang into the side of your vehicle. Your car is a wreck, but that’s the least of your problems. Your physical injuries mean you’ll be unable to work for at least a year, while the psychological trauma may last much longer.    

If you lived in a no-fault state like Florida, any damage or injuries sustained would be covered by your own insurance policy (blame doesn’t come into it). If you live in a fault state like South Carolina, however, it’s the person responsible for causing the accident who’s held accountable.   

Seems straightforward on the surface. But the law rarely is. While South Carolina is a fault state, there is a rule called ‘modified comparative negligence’ where liability can be ‘distributed’ or barred according to how much each party is determined to be at fault. So, while the person who drove through the red light might be to blame for the damage sustained to you and your car, if it can be proven that you contributed to the accident – let's say the defendant insists you were speeding - the amount of compensation you might receive could be affected or prohibited.

The law on your side

The car accident attorneys at Clore Law are passionate about what they do and understand the intricacies of this extraordinarily complex area of the law. They also understand that while under South Carolina law you may be eligible for financial compensation, your own insurance company may not be as supportive as they could be, even pushing you into accepting a settlement that may be less than you deserve (when you’re physically and mentally exhausted, you just want it all to be over).   

With us on your side, you can concentrate on getting better, not the legal stuff. And we don’t take a penny unless and until we win your case. Our goal from day one is to get you the justice you deserve so you can get back to living your life with as few compromises as possible.

Contact Us

If you, a loved one or a member of your family, have been affected by a car accident, get in touch today. We’ll answer any questions you have, and we’ll always do our best to help. To find out more about us and arrange a free consultation, just click here.

You can also watch a video presented by our Of Counsel attorneys, Sam Allen, who focuses much of his practice on auto accidents, wrongful death, insurance disputes, and other areas of catastrophic personal or business loss. Find out what he has to say on our auto accident page, here.