Shealey Law Firm is a team of experienced litigators handling claims against government entities. To see how a South Carolina Tort Claims Act attorney in Columbia, SC can represent you in a case against the government, contact us today.
Did you know that you can sue the government? You may think that the government is immune from liability for what they do. That isn’t always true.
If a government employee or government entity is responsible for causing a personal injury or property damage losses, the government may be liable to pay compensation to the victim.
The law that gives people the authority to sue the government is called the South Carolina Tort Claims Act.
South Carolina Tort Claims Act
The South Carolina Tort Claims Act, S.C. Code § 15-78-40, gives people the right to sue the government in the following circumstances:
- The responsible entity is the State of South Carolina, a state agency, a political subdivision like a city or municipality or another government entity.
- The government entity or employee committed a tort
- If it had been a private individual, the victim would have a valid legal claim
- The victim suffered losses and damages
The State Tort Claims Act explains any limitations and exemptions that may apply to state and local government tort liability. For example, there are damages limitations. In addition, the state is not liable for injuries caused by snow and ice accumulation from weather conditions, unless the condition is caused by the negligence of an employee.
If you are the victim of a personal injury or property loss, and the government is responsible, you may receive financial compensation.
Shealey Law Firm can help. We handle Tort Claims Act cases. If you have been hurt, please contact us to discuss your case.
What losses and damages can you claim under the South Carolina Tort Claims Act?
Losses may include:
- Bodily injury
- Damage to tangible property
- Lost wages
- Economic loss to a person suffering other negligence damages
Intentional infliction of emotional harm is not included. (See § 15-78-30(f)).
Attorney for State Tort Claims
It’s possible that the government may be responsible for your injury. For example, a government employee may be driving a vehicle that causes an accident. Conditions of disrepair or a wet substance on the ground may cause a slip and fall accident. Poor road conditions may cause a chain reaction and a crash. These are just some of the ways that the state may have liability for causing personal injury or property damage.
If you have been injured or suffered other financial losses, the government may be legally liable – and you may receive compensation from them. You should know that there are some differences in pursuing compensation when a party responsible is a unit of government.
We are state tort claims attorneys. Our attorneys can help you evaluate your situation and represent you in the appropriate legal action.
How long do you have to bring a claim under the South Carolina State Tort Claims Act?
There is a two year statute of limitations to bring a claim under the South Carolina State Tort Claims Act. If the plaintiff begins by filing a verified claim, the deadline is extended to three years. The clock starts ticking when the loss occurs or when it should have been discovered.
Where do you file a South Carolina State Tort Claims Act?
A South Carolina State Tort Claims Act case should be filed in the circuit court in the county where the act or omission occurred. (S.C. Code § 15-78-100).
State Tort Claims Act Cases in Columbia, SC
There are many government agencies and entities, so there are many parties that may be liable in tort. Some of the entities in Columbia, South Carolina include:
- The City of Columbia, South Carolina
- City of Columbia Police Department
- COMET Columbia public transportation system
- Richland County
- SC Secretary of State
- South Carolina Department of Public Safety
- Department of Social Services
- Department of Natural Resources, Forestry Commission
Our lawyers can evaluate who may have liability for what occurred and how to pursue your claim.
SC Tort Claims Act FAQs
Can you sue the government in South Carolina?
Yes, it is possible to sue a state or local government in South Carolina. The government is not always immune from legal responsibility for their actions. The Tort Claims Act waives immunity for the state, its political subdivisions and employees as stated in the law, and while those entities are acting in the scope of their official duties.
What is the law for the South Carolina Tort Claims Act?
S.C. Code Title 15 – Civil remedies and Procedures, Chapter 78 is the South Carolina Tort Claims Act.
Are there caps to compensation in the South Carolina Tort Claims Act?
Yes. There are caps to compensation in the South Carolina Tort Claims Act. They vary based on the situation:
- Up to $300,000 to any one person because of a loss arising from a single occurrence.
- Up to $600,000 for all claimants because of loss arising from a single occurrence.
- Torts against doctors or dentists, up to $1.2 million because of a single occurrence for all parties.
- In cases involving governmental healthcare facilities, up to $500,000 or the insurance liability maximum.
What is a verified claim in the South Carolina Tort Claims Act?
S.C. Code § 15-78-80 states that a verified claim may be filed with the appropriate entity – the State Fiscal Accountability Authority, the appropriate political subdivision or the Attorney General. The verified claim summarizes the circumstances giving rise to the loss. It must be filed within one year. The government entity has 180 days to respond. The purpose of the verified claim is to resolve claims efficiently and minimize litigation.
Contact an Attorney About Your Claim Against the Government
If you believe you may have a claim, or if you want to talk to a lawyer about your situation, please contact us at Shealey Law Firm. A South Carolina Tort Claims Act Attorney in Columbia, SC can discuss what happened and explain your legal rights. We are taking new cases, and we can represent you today. Contact us now to begin.