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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > General > Child Passengers Face Higher Injury Risks In South Carolina

Child Passengers Face Higher Injury Risks In South Carolina


State law only requires children two and under to be in rear-facing car seats. But the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all infants and toddlers sit in rear-facing car safety seats for as long as possible, usually until they have outgrown the seat’s height and weight limitations, and usually until at least age four.

Across the state, 62 percent of kids are restrained in car and booster seats incorrectly, said Kevin Poore, program coordinator for child passenger safety at the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. Furthermore, in 2022, 30 percent of children treated at The Medical University of South Carolina’s emergency department for crash-related injuries were improperly restrained or unrestrained altogether, according to Mary Beth Vassy, MUSC’s pediatric trauma injury prevention coordinator.

Between 2016 and 2020, children in the under-four age group died in motor vehicle accidents at a higher rate than other age groups in the state.

Special Issues in Child Injury Claims

Even if their children sustain serious injuries in a car accident, many parents hesitate to partner with a Columbia child injury attorney in these situations. These caregivers don’t want to “blame” a tortfeasor (negligent driver) for an “accident.” This sentiment is especially common if an insurance company paid most or all of the medical bills.

Criminal courts force some drivers to take the blame for some crashes, especially if the driver was intoxicated or drove extremely recklessly.

Personal injury claims in civil courts force drivers to accept responsibility for the mistakes they make. If Alice drops a baby bottle, she should pay compensation. If Alice drops a baby, she should pay compensation. The compensation is much higher in the second case. A person is worth much more than a bottle.

In a perfect world, tortfeasors would voluntarily accept responsibility for their mistakes, and a Columbia personal injury attorney wouldn’t need to get involved. But we don’t live in a perfect world.

Moreover, most car crashes are not unavoidable and inevitable accidents. People don’t accidentally drive drunk or recklessly and cause crashes. Additionally, in terms of responsibility, it doesn’t matter. If Alice accidentally dropped a baby bottle or a baby, she should still pay compensation.

Finally, the tortfeasor, and no one else, should pay compensation. If a health insurance company pays the bill, we all pay it. Our taxes and/or insurance premiums go up to offset that payment.

On a related note, many group health insurance policies exclude injury-related expenses. When insurance auditors discover such payments, they often demand reimbursement, putting the family in an even worse financial situation.

The Seat Belt Defense in South Carolina

This defense often comes up regardless of the victim’s age. It’s a little more common in young child injury cases. As mentioned, there’s a disconnect between state legal requirements and AAP recommendations. Additionally, as mentioned above, caregivers improperly install a number of car seats.

In many states, if victims aren’t properly restrained, insurance company lawyers can blame these victims for their own injuries, even if the tortfeasor was clearly negligent. However, it’s not enough to cite safety statistics in these cases. Instead, an insurance company lawyer must prove, in that specific case, that the victim’s failure to properly wear a seat belt, as opposed to the tortfeasor’s negligence, substantially caused injury.

South Carolina is different. Even though the Palmetto State, like most other jurisdictions, has an extremely broad mandatory seat belt law that applies to all vehicle occupants, not just front seat occupants, seat belt non-use is not admissible as evidence in a civil action.

Reach Out to a Diligent 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. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.


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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