Charleston, SC – It is possible that a truck, car, or vehicle owned by the government can cause an accident and injuries. When someone is hurt by a government truck driver or car in South Carolina, they can sue them as they would any other defendant. However, there are special rules that prevent them from collecting very large amounts of damages, which would burden taxpayers. When this situation happens, the victim should contact a lawyer who has experience dealing with suing government agencies and entities to receive specific advice regarding how to proceed.
What are damage caps?
The total amount of money that a victim can collect from a lawsuit against any defendant is referred to as damages. This is usually a summary of property damage, medical costs, lost wages, and emotional trauma.
When the government is a defendant the rules change slightly and the total amount that any victim can collect is limited by a statute passed by the state legislature. This limit is typically called a damage cap.
Limitations on damages when the South Carolina government is a defendant
Each individual accident victim is limited to $300,000 total when the government is named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit related to a motor vehicle collision. The total damages split between everyone involved cannot exceed $600,000, even if more than two victims are affected. There are certain higher limits for cases involving government doctors or other special kinds of defendants, but most accident victims should expect to be capped at $300,000 if the government is responsible for their losses.
How problematic are damage caps?
While a few hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money in a general sense, someone who is permanently injured, requires constant medical treatment, or loses their ability to work will likely lose more than a few hundred thousand in wages or medical bills because of these problems. In some cases, their losses can actually be in the millions due to the auto accident. There can be a serious gap between what will be obtained from the lawsuit and the victim’s actual needs.
It is possible that an insurance claim will also pay for some losses, but for accidents that create serious medical problems that require expensive treatment, a standard auto insurance policy will likely be insufficient. Most regular auto insurance policies are only meant to cover vehicle damage and basic liability costs.
Getting assistance after an automobile accident in Charleston
Anyone who has been harmed in a motor vehicle crash should explore their options, including talking with an accident attorney who is licensed in South Carolina. The Clekis Law Firm uses their experience and expertise to assist victims in the state.
Firm contact info:
171 Church St., Charleston SC, 29401