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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Personal Injury > Breaking Down A Pedestrian Accident In South Carolina

Breaking Down A Pedestrian Accident In South Carolina


Speed is always a critical factor in car crashes. This element is even more critical in pedestrian accident claims. The pedestrian fatality rate is less than 10 percent if the tortfeasor’s (negligent driver’s) vehicle was traveling slower than 15mph at the moment of impact. That fatality rate catapults to over 90 percent if the tortfeasor was traveling 40mph or faster. Most pedestrian-on-vehicle collisions happen outside marked crosswalks and in non-intersections. So, in most cases, these tortfeasors are moving at or near top speed when they strike pedestrians. Even if these victims survive, which is doubtful, they usually sustain catastrophic injuries.

Because of the high risk of serious or fatal injury, a Columbia personal injury attorney can usually obtain substantial compensation in these cases. However, these claims are very complex. Such cases usually settle out of court, but they very rarely settle quickly. Attorneys must collect evidence, research the law, and thoroughly prepare cases before they can even begin thinking about settlement negotiations. So, if the case settles too quickly, the victim is probably settling for less.

Liability Issues

Negligence claims start with a duty of care. Most drivers have a duty of reasonable care. This duty is based on the story of the Good Samaritan. The man in this story went out of his way to help an injured traveler. Likewise, drivers must go out of their way to avoid accidents.

Motorists breach their duty of care when they fail to avoid accidents. Striking a pedestrian in a roadway, even if that pedestrian doesn’t have the right of way, clearly qualifies as a breach of duty.

Next, a Columbia personal injury attorney must establish cause. Usually, South Carolina is a “substantial factor” state. The tortfeasor’s negligence must substantially cause damages. So, bad weather, like ice or rain, may contribute to wrecks. But it never causes wrecks, at least as far as state law is concerned.

Usually, victim/plaintiffs must sustain actual damages. These damages are usually quite high in catastrophic (life-threatening) injury cases. The medical bills alone in these matters usually exceed $100,000. Some victims may be able to file claims for negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Technically, when motorists strike pedestrians, even outside crosswalks, they usually violate South Carolina law. So, the negligence per se shortcut could apply in pedestrian accident cases. Tortfeasors are liable for damages as a matter of law if:

  • They violate safety laws,
  • The victim is in a protected statutory class, and
  • That violation causes injury.

However, many emergency responders don’t issue citations in these situations, even if the victim was killed. As far as many officers are concerned, car crashes are civil disputes between insurance companies.

Resolving the Claim

If all the issues listed above are crystal clear, a pedestrian accident claim may settle within a month. However, questions usually abound in one or more of these areas.

So, to pressure the insurance company into settlement, most attorneys file legal paperwork. This filing usually triggers a mandatory mediation requirement.

During mediation, a neutral third party, who is usually an unaffiliated personal injury attorney, supervises a negotiation session. The mediator tries to bring two sides together and, more importantly, ensures that both sides negotiate in good faith. Because of this supervision, and also because the trial date is approaching, mediation is about 90 percent successful.

Count on a Reliable Richland County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbia, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.


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Car Accidents

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Trucking Accidents

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Wrongful Death

Experiencing the death of a loved one is a difficult and emotional time. It can also be financially devastating. Let us help!

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Slip & Fall

Marc Brown is an experienced slip and fall attorney that serves the entire states of South Carolina and Georgia.

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Dog Bites

If you need legal help with a dog bite injury, reach out to a South Carolina dog bite lawyer at the Marc Brown Law Firm.

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In cases of shootings and other crimes, victims can seek financial compensation by filing a civil claim for damages.

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Marc Brown

Marc Brown Law Firm

Meet Attorney Marc Brown

Marc Brown is an experienced personal injury and civil rights attorney serving clients throughout South Carolina and Georgia. Marc is motivated by the challenge of helping his clients solve their complex legal issues, and most importantly, he obtains favorable results. He is a caring and conscientious attorney who brings the experience and resources of a larger firm to his smaller, more personalized practices in Sumter and Columbia, SC.

A Personable & Dedicated South Carolina Attorney

As someone who has always had a keen sense of right and wrong and a desire to achieve excellence and fairness in all things, pursuing law was a natural career choice. After graduating with honors from the prestigious Emory University School of Law, Marc went on to become a dedicated litigator who focuses on personal injury, workers’ compensation, and criminal defense cases.

Why Choose Us?

Choosing an attorney is a very important decision, but it can be difficult. When you choose the Marc Brown Law Firm, we do everything we can to keep you informed, put your needs first, and to make sure justice is served. Here are just a few reasons to choose us:

The Right Experience

Attorney Marc Brown has experience that matters. Prior to opening this law firm, Marc spent nearly a half a decade defending big insurance companies and large corporations in personal injury and commercial litigation matters across the United States. Marc knows exactly how insurance companies and corporations evaluate claims and what they look at when deciding to increase the amount they are willing to pay. He thinks outside the box to find additional or hidden opportunities for favorable results.

We’ll Come To You

After being injured in a serious accident, you need to focus on getting better. Serious accidents can be hard on an individual, physically and emotionally. The Marc Brown Law Firm is dedicated to fight for you while you recover. If you are unable to travel to our office for any reason, we will personally visit you! Just give us a call to talk whenever you may be in need of assistance. We’re here to help.

Clients First

At the Marc Brown Law Firm, we choose to put our clients first. Our clients are more than just a case number. We think of each of our clients as extended members of the family. We make sure to inform our clients of all their legal options and provide timely updates throughout the life their case.

24/7 Availability

We are available around the clock for our clients. If at any point we are unavailable, we promise to promptly respond to all messages within hours.


We work hard so that our clients receive the justice they deserve! When necessary, Attorney Marc Brown retains investigators, engineers, and other experts to help prove your case. Insurance companies are big, but Marc is experienced and resourceful. We fight for each of our clients so that you can receive the maximum compensation available to you.

No Fees Unless We Win

We work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront cost to clients. You only pay lawyer fees when we win your case. This also means that your attorney is only paid a percentage of what is recovered for you. The Marc Brown Law Firm has a vested interest in ensuring that each of our clients receive the maximum recovery available to them. We are determined to fight tirelessly to recover for you.

Marc Brown and The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 award