In a previous post, we discussed what parents ought to do immediately following an injury that their child sustains while at school. In that post, it was noted that parents of children injured at school have a very limited time within which to act. The South Carolina Tort Claims Act describes how private citizens are able to bring a civil lawsuit against a government employee and/or agency – such as your child’s teachers and/or school. Under South Carolina’s Tort Claims Act, any law suit against a governmental agency must be filed within two (2) years of the date of injury, unless a verified claim is filed against the appropriate governmental agency according to the requirements of the Act.
What Is a Tort Claims Act?
Both South Carolina’s state government and the United States federal government each have a “tort claims act” that specifies the manner and circumstances under which a private citizen can bring a civil lawsuit against that government. Without these statutes, the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity would prevent the government from being sued in court at all. Strict compliance with these statutes is essential: a plaintiff who misses a deadline contained in the tort claims act, or a plaintiff who does not follow all of the requisite steps in bringing his or her lawsuit can have his or her lawsuit dismissed or be prevented from ever filing a lawsuit against the government employee or agency.
South Carolina’s Tort Claims Act would require the parent of a child injured at school and who is seeking compensation from the school or other state or local governmental agency to complete the following steps:
- Ensure there is evidence of at least “gross negligence” on the part of one or more school employees. The Tort Claims Act may not permit a lawsuit for failing to supervise your child unless the failure rose to the level of “gross negligence” (something more than ordinary carelessness);
- File a verified claim with the State Fiscal Accountability Authority (or other applicable agency or agencies) within one year of the date of the injury accident;
- Wait at least 180 days for the agency or the State Fiscal Accountability Authority to decide whether to allow or disallow the claim. Within that 180-day period the government may settle the claim with you or choose to disallow the claim; and
- File a lawsuit if the government has denied the claim, rejected a settlement offer made by you, or has not responded within 180 days of the filing of your claim.
- If you do not file a verified claim, you must file your lawsuit within two (2) years of the date of injury.
Contact a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Today
Succeeding in obtaining compensation following a personal injury accident is not always a simple task: this is especially true when you are attempting to obtain monetary damages for your child’s school-related injury. David R. Price, Jr., is a knowledgeable and aggressive South Carolina personal injury lawyer who is intimately familiar with the legal procedures necessary to prepare and present a wide variety of personal injury claims – including those against government employees and/or agencies. Contact him right away if you suspect your child’s teacher(s) or school administrators abandoned their duty to provide your child with a safe and secure learning environment. You can reach the law office of David R. Price, Jr., P.A. by calling or by contacting the office online.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.