Comparative Negligence in Personal Injury Cases

Nihar Patel | The Carolina Law Group
Nihar Patel | The Carolina Law Group

South Carolina is a “modified comparative negligence” state. This means if someone is injured in an accident in South Carolina, they may be able to recover damages in a personal injury case or claim even if they were partially responsible for the accident. 

If you were injured in an accident in South Carolina, here’s what you should know about comparative negligence and how it can affect your case and your ability to recover damages. 

What is Modified Comparative Negligence?

In a modified comparative negligence state like South Carolina, an injured party may be able to recover damages if they were less than 50% responsible for the accident. If the injured party is half or more than half responsible, they are not able to recover damages.

This is different from a “pure comparative negligence” state, in which an injured party may be able to recover damages even if they were exactly 50% responsible for the accident. 

Why Percentage of Fault Matters in Personal Injury Cases 

The amount of fault assigned to a party matters because it directly affects the amount of damages that can be recovered. The amount of potential compensation that could be recovered is reduced in proportion to the injured party’s own level of contribution. 

For example, someone injured in a car accident in South Carolina who is found to be 40% responsible for the accident would be limited to 60% of the total damages. 

An injured party, therefore, wants to be assigned the lowest amount of fault possible in order to maximize compensation. 

How is Fault Determined in a Comparative Negligence State?

Assigning a percentage of responsibility to each party in an accident can be challenging. Typically, insurance adjusters review all the available evidence and assign fault to each party. 

Insurance companies often offer a low settlement amount to injured parties. An attorney can help you by building and presenting a strong case to the insurance company that can help you recover more compensation than you would be able to recover on your own.  

If no settlement can be reached, you and your attorney may want to take the matter to trial. Then a jury would determine how much each party contributed to the accident and how much parties should be compensated. 

Maximize the Amount You Can Recover: Call the Personal Injury Attorneys at The Carolina Law Group

If you were injured in a car accident, slip and fall incident, or other personal injury accident, call the personal injury lawyers at The Carolina Law Group today. We are ready to fight for you and help you get the compensation you deserve and that you need to recover, including taking the matter to trial. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. Call one of the numbers below. 

The Carolina Law Group has four offices in South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.312.4444) & West Columbia (principal office; call 803.881.1110).

Call us at one of our four offices or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys. Our business hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm & Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm. Weekend and evening hours by appointment only. Our Greenville, SC law firm offers Spanish, Hindi, and Gujarati language translation services for your convenience.


Mr. Patel worked for the Greenville County Public Defender’s Office in 2005 after graduating from law school. While there, Mr. Patel handled thousands of cases ranging from low-level misdemeanors to high-profile murders. In March 2011, Mr. Patel and Mr. Desai formed The Carolina Law Group. Mr. Patel practices in the areas of criminal defense, family law, and personal injury. In 2011, Mr. Patel was elected as the President of the Greenville Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (GACDL).

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