Serious Injuries in Jails and Detention Centers

South Carolina Injured Inmate Lawyer

South Carolina Attorneys for Families of Injured Prisoners and Inmates

The South Carolina Department of Corrections reported a total of 15,541 inmates for 2021. The top 5 South Carolina counties where inmates came from were Greenville, Spartanburg, Richland, Charleston, and Horry. Although government agencies hold the right to incarcerate people who have committed a crime, it also assumes a responsibility to protect them.

A government agency, such as The South Carolina Department of Corrections, has 21 correctional institutions. These institutions may be held accountable when inmates suffer preventable injuries. One institution that has faced recent scrutiny is the Lee Correctional Institution, located in Bishopville, SC.

According to the SCDC, each institution has various levels of security that range from community-based pre-release, minimum, medium, and close security. Depending on the types and amounts of convictions an inmate has, this often determines which facility they will be placed in.

At the Steinberg Law Firm, our South Carolina personal injury lawyers stand up for the rights of those subjected to abuse, neglect, and inhumane treatment during a government agency’s custody. We represent clients who suffered serious injuries in prisons, jails, and detention centers. We work with our clients to help them obtain the justice they deserve. Contact us today to speak with an experienced South Carolina injured inmate lawyer at (843) 720-2800.

What Happens To An Inmate’s Rights Under Government Custody

When convicted of committing a crime, a person loses many freedoms but still holds several rights. Specific State and Federal Laws allow South Carolina inmates to legally hold government agencies accountable for their serious injuries.

Section 1983 Actions

The United States Law permits inmates to hold prison administrators and correctional officers responsible when they violate their constitutional rights. Under 42 USC 1983, if an inmate’s constitutional rights are violated, they can bring a case against municipalities, state officials, local officials, and anyone else acting “under color of state law.”

In other words, this means that an official abused or misused their authoritative rights. Any action a guard or prison administrator took toward an inmate is under color of state law. To file a § 1983 claim, it must incorporate the following elements:

  1. The defendant acted under color of state law; and
  2. The defendant deprived the inmate of a right under the United States Constitution or other Federal Law.

An inmate must prove that an institution violated their rights under the United States Constitution or Federal Law. For example, an inmate can pursue a § 1983 lawsuit against a correctional officer based on their right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the 8th Amendment.

Examples of § 1983 Claims

Section 1983 applies in many cases involving severe injuries in jails and detention centers. Following are some examples in which a § 1983 action may enable an inmate to recover monetary compensation:

  • Sexual Assault of an Inmate by a Prison Staff Member
  • Physical Abuse of an Inmate by a Correctional Officer
  • Denial of Necessary Medical Treatment

Additionally, prison officials can be liable for serious injuries stemming from deliberate, unfair actions. For example, suppose the prison administration places an inmate in a cell with another person known to be violent. In that case, the prison may be liable if the cellmate attacked the inmate.

How Do The State and Federal Tort Claims Act Apply

The US Constitution does not provide a clear path for private citizens to hold government entities responsible for the negligence of their employees. However, the passage of the Federal Tort Claims Act and the South Carolina Tort Claims Act changed this. Both acts can help inmates hold officers and institutions accountable.

A government entity can be held financially liable for injuries sustained by a negligent officer in certain situations. The Tort Claims Act allows inmates to pursue a case against a jail or detention center that may not rise to the level of the denial of a constitutional right, such as general personal injury cases. For example, if an inmate suffers serious injuries after stumbling on an unmarked hazard while in custody, they could pursue a claim under the Tort Claims Act.

The laws surrounding government liability for serious injuries in prisons are notoriously complex and require the assistance of an experienced attorney. Contact the Steinberg Law Firm with our online form if you have a family member who has sustained a serious injury or traumatic head injury.

Next Steps for Inmates Who Have Suffered Serious Injuries at a SCDC Institution

If you know an inmate who recently suffered body injuries during their custody at a South Carolina institution, reach out to the South Carolina personal injury lawyers at the Steinberg Law Firm for immediate assistance.

For more than 95 years, we have helped injury victims obtain fair compensation for their injuries. Calling us is free, and because we accept all cases on a contingency basis, we will not ask you to pay us for our legal services unless we can obtain compensation on your behalf.

To learn more and to schedule a free consultation, reach out to the Steinberg Law Firm by calling (843) 720-2800. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.

Practice Areas



$3.15 Million

Car Accident Settlement

$3.85 Million

Workers' Comp Case

Leaders in the Legal Industry

Steinberg attorneys have been awarded numerous distinctions, such as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America by U.S. News & World Report, Gedney M. Howe, Jr. Award for Outstanding Public Service, the SC Leadership in Law award, and has been voted Best Workers’ Comp Firm in SC, among other distinctions.

What Our Clients Say

They have amazing lawyers!

They have worked on an impossible situation and exceeded all expectations in the resulting settlements. I would recommend the Steinberg Law Firm to anyone and everyone!

My experience was excellent

From the first consultation to the end of my case I was kept updated step by step. My attorney worked hard for me and got me more than what I expected.

I never felt like I was alone

My lawyer and his Paralegal were right with me the entire case. I never felt like I was alone. At every turn they were in my corner. Someone recommended me to Steinberg law firm and I gladly would do the same for someone else.

I couldn't have asked for better

The people from the Steinberg group are top-notch. They handled my case extremely well, I couldn’t have asked for a better performance. Thank you all so much for all you did for me.

I am grateful for them!

At my worst, they honestly and carefully protected and defended my family on multiple levels. I’m a client for life and the integrity of this law firm is unmatched. Thank You Steinberg Law Family!!!

The people are thoughtful and professional

Questions and concerns always get answered and concerns are taken care of. Thank you all at Steinburg for a good experience and for showing me that you care about your clients.

The best law firm

This the best law firm anyone could ever deal with. Mr. Pearlman will work hard to get everything that is owed to you. It was a pleasure to have been represented by this firm.

A wonderful experience

Had a wonderful experience with Mr. Pearlman and his team. Thank you very much for your diligence and expertise.

I highly recommend them

They work as a team providing the best referrals and assistance to accomplish what my family and I needed. I highly recommend them because you won’t be disappointed.