Understanding South Carolina Car Accident Laws: Your Rights and Responsibilities

Car accidents can happen unexpectedly, leaving victims grappling with physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial burdens. In South Carolina, understanding the laws surrounding car accidents is crucial for safeguarding your rights and fulfilling your responsibilities. Whether you’re a resident or just passing through, knowing the ins and outs of South Carolina’s car accident laws can help you navigate the aftermath of a collision with confidence.

Fault-Based System

South Carolina operates under a fault-based system, meaning the person responsible for causing the accident is typically liable for the damages incurred. This concept, known as “fault,” plays a significant role in determining who is financially responsible for the aftermath of the accident.

Minimum Insurance Requirements

South Carolina law mandates that all drivers carry liability insurance to cover bodily injury and property damage. The minimum coverage requirements are $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident. It’s essential to ensure your insurance coverage meets these minimums to comply with the law and protect yourself in the event of an accident.

Statute of Limitations

In South Carolina, there’s a limited timeframe, known as the statute of limitations, within which you can file a lawsuit seeking damages for injuries sustained in a car accident. Typically, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims resulting from car accidents is three years from the date of the accident. Failing to file a lawsuit within this timeframe could result in forfeiting your right to seek compensation.

Comparative Negligence

South Carolina follows a modified comparative negligence rule when determining compensation in car accident cases. This means that if you’re found partially at fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced proportionally to your degree of fault. However, if you’re deemed to be 51% or more at fault, you may not be eligible to recover any damages.

Reporting Requirements

South Carolina law mandates that you report any car accident resulting in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 to law enforcement. Additionally, you must exchange information with the other parties involved in the accident, including names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers, and insurance information.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Navigating the legal complexities of a car accident claim can be daunting, especially when dealing with injuries and other challenges. Seeking guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure your rights are protected and increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation. An attorney can provide valuable assistance in gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and representing your interests in court if necessary.


Understanding South Carolina’s car accident laws is essential for protecting your rights and fulfilling your responsibilities in the event of a collision. From knowing who is at fault to meeting insurance requirements and reporting obligations, being informed can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, don’t hesitate to seek legal guidance to navigate the process effectively and pursue the compensation you deserve.