Pursing fair compensation for injuries suffered due to another party’s negligence can be difficult. In addition to being required to offer credible evidence on issues such as duty, breach of duty, damages, and proximate cause, the plaintiff may also face difficulties caused by the various insurance companies that are involved in the case.
If a negligent party is not covered by a liability insurance policy, a South Carolina personal injury case can be even more complicated. While insurance companies can fight tooth and nail against a finding of liability against their insured, at least they have the financial resources to pay a judgment when one is finally entered (at least in most cases). Unfortunately, this is not always true of those who do not have insurance.
Facts of the Case
In a recent unreported case, the plaintiffs were injured by the negligence of the defendant and another individual. After the Orangeburg County Circuit Court granted a default judgment to the plaintiffs, the defendant filed a motion for entry of satisfaction of judgment. The trial court denied the motion. The defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court had made a mistake in denying her motion because its action had resulted in a double recovery for the plaintiffs because it did not offset a default judgment paid by a second tortfeasor. The defendant also argued that it was an error for the lower tribunal to determine that a default damages hearing did not establish the total amount of damages arising from an indivisible injury.