Statutes of limitations are laws that set time restrictions to properly file a civil suit, like a personal injury lawsuit. A statute of limitations is the time you have to commence a formal legal action. Consider this the ultimate deadline. The best advice is the *consult a highly experienced lawyer to represent you and determine this deadline in order to protect your rights.* These time limits usually depend on the nature of the legal claims, the type of defendant, and vary significantly from state to state. For example, in some states you may have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit after you were hurt in a car accident, but in other states you may have one or two years, and the time frame maybe shorter if the party non-profit entity, or a federal, state, or municipal government.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IN SOUTH CAROLINA?
This is a very good question, and a difficult question to correctly answer without considering many factors, such as the type of cause of action, type of claim, the parties involved, jurisdiction, and whether you complied with certain pre-conditions in the law. The law in South Carolina regarding the statute of limitations is complex and confusing. The Statutes of Limitations are created by the South Carolina General Assembly but interpreted by the federal and state courts in South Carolina. Most of the civil statutes of limitations are found in Title 15, Chapter 3 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, which can be accessed here: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t15c003.php
WHEN DOES THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS BEGIN IN SOUTH CAROLINA?
An important question is "when does the statute of limitations start?" Were you injured in a car or truck accident? If so, the statute of limitations for an automobile or truck accident occurs on the date of the incident. However, the answer may not be as clear in other types of claims, such a medical malpractice, legal malpractice, civil conspiracy, false arrests, contract cases, or business torts. South Carolina follows the "discovery rule" to determine when the statute of limitations begins.
WHAT IS THE DISCOVERY RULE IN SOUTH CAROLINA?
Under the discovery rule in South Carolina, the statute of limitations begins to run from the date the injured party either knows or should know, by the exercise of reasonable diligence, that a cause of action exists for the wrongful conduct. Epstein v. Brown, 363 S.C. 372; 610 S.E.2d 816 (S.C. 2005) (citing S.C.Code Ann. ? 15-3-535). The exercise of reasonable diligence means simply that an injured party must act with some promptness where the facts and circumstances of an injury would put a person of common knowledge and experience on notice that some right of his has been invaded or that some claim against another party might exist. The law is clear that the statute of limitations begins to run from this point and not when advice of counsel is sought or a full-blown theory of recovery developed. Stated differently, under ? 15-3-535, the statute of limitations is triggered not merely by knowledge of an injury but by knowledge of facts, diligently acquired, sufficient to put an injured person on notice of the existence of a cause of action against another. True v. Monteith, 327 S.C. 116, 120, 489 S.E.2d 615, 617 (S.C. 1997). Based on this rule, the statute of limitations may rule before the injured party may "comprehend the full extent of the damage is immaterial." Dean v. Ruscon Corp., 321 S.C. 360, 364, 468 S.E.2d 645, 647 (S.C. 1996).
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS?
The purpose of the statute of limitation is to help defendants and limit the number cases. The statute of limitation does not allow you to sleep on your rights. In Moates v. Bobb, 322 S.C. 172, 176, 470 S.E.2d 402, 404 (S.C. Ct. App. 1996), the South Carolina Court of Appeals explained: Statutes of limitations are not simply technicalities. On the contrary, they have long been respected as fundamental to a well-ordered judicial system. 54 C.J.S. Limitations of Actions ? 2, at 16-17 (1989). Statutes of limitations embody important public policy considerations in that they stimulate activity, punish negligence, and promote repose by giving security and stability to human affairs. 51 Am. Jur. 2d, Limitation of Actions ? 18, at 603 (1970). One purpose of a statute of limitations is to relieve the courts of the burden of trying stale claims when a plaintiff has slept on his rights. McKinney v. CSX Transp., Inc., 298 S.C. 47, 49-50, 378 S.E.2d 69, 70 (S.C. Ct. App. 1989). Another purpose of a statute of limitations is to protect potential defendants from protracted fear of litigation. 51 Am. Jur. 2d Limitation of Actions 17, at 602-03 (1970).
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR PERSONAL INJURY, SUCH AS A CAR ACCIDENT?
Generally, three (3) years in South Carolina based on S.C. Code Section 15-3-530(5).
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR FALSE ARREST, FALSE IMPRISONMENT, SLANDER, DEFAMATION, AND LIBEL?
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