Measuring the statute of limitations for a particular situation can be a complex issue. The time usually begins “to run” at the time the injury occurs, however, if a person suffers a hidden injury, the discovery rule may apply. Under the discovery rule, the time begins to run from when the person who is injured knew, or by the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known, that he or she was injured. The South Carolina discovery rule is commonly applied in cases involving exposure to toxic substances such as asbestos. In such cases, an injured victim normally does not manifest symptoms of injury until well after damaging exposure occurred. Obviously, such is not normally the case in situations involving motor vehicle collisions and other accidents, where injuries are generally immediately apparent. These issues are complicated. Contact a South Carolina attorney like the SC lawyers at Harris & Graves– they can help you sort out the complexities of your legal case.
Special rules apply in measuring the statute of limitations when a child is injured, in which case the time does not begin to run for an injury until the child reaches 18 years of age. These special rules may also apply to people who are mentally impaired or who leave the state for particular kinds of reasons such as for military service. Of course, regardless of the possible availability of an exception, it is always beneficial to bring a lawsuit as soon as it is practical to do so, since the availability (and memory) of witnesses to an accident and related physical evidence is much greater shortly after an accident than after years have passed. You should contact a South Carolina lawyer to find out more about these types of exceptions.