Automobile insurance arbitration is the process by which South Carolina consumers may file a claim to settle property damage disputes when another driver causes an accident that results in the damage or total loss of a motor vehicle. Generally, these claims are associated with a personal injury claim and can be resolved much quicker, providing some relief to the parties involved while other claims are pending. In my experience, most people resolve their property damage claim directly with the insurance company, however, arbitration may be necessary when disputes arise.
Claims for property damage are filed with the Clerk of Court for the County in which the accident occurred. “There is no formal pleading process; procedural and evidentiary rules are relaxed to promote convenient and expedited claim adjudication compared to matters conducted in Circuit Court.” S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77-720-730, Durden v. Aleyah Katriel Burgess Richland County Circuit Court- January 14, 2023.
South Carolina law provides that the “process and procedure must be as summary and simple as may be reasonable and may provide for the taking of evidence in the form of reports, statements, or itemized bills or in any other manner without the procedural and evidentiary limitations which pertain in jury trials. The court may provide for the taking of depositions of a witness within or without the State.” S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77-710.
The Clerk of Court for the county where the accident occurred can assist with obtaining the required forms to file your claim. Some counties, like Spartanburg County, have made the forms readily accessible on its website: https://www.spartanburgcounty.org/924/Automobile-Arbitration, and forms may also be obtained at https://www.sccourts.org/forms/searchType.cfm.
The South Carolina Department of Insurance Office of Consumer Services also “provides assistance to consumers by providing information and instructions for filing an automobile insurance arbitration claim. See the attached link for reference: https://www.doi.sc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/2392/Auto-Arbitration-Brochure?bidId=.
KD Trial Lawyers has a team of experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys who work diligently to protect the interests of our clients. If you have been injured in an accident, please contact me at (864) 660-0465 to discuss your personal injury claim, and do not discuss anything beyond property damage with the insurance adjuster.