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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Personal Injury > Compensation for South Carolina Violent Crime Victims

Compensation for South Carolina Violent Crime Victims


A recent report concluded that Columbia was one of the most dangerous cities in South Carolina. The most at-risk areas were Belmont, St. Andrews Terrace Road, Fairwold, the city center, Lorrick Avenue, Colonial Drive and Old Manor Road/Melo Drive.

Violent crimes are difficult to successfully prosecute. Investigators often have very little evidence to work with, and even if they do, the inquiry could take months. Furthermore, the state must prove guilt beyond any reasonable doubt, which is a very high standard of proof. Finally, even if a court finds the defendant guilty, this finding usually does little or nothing to compensate crime victims.

Things are different when a Columbia personal injury attorney files a civil claim. These claims hold negligent parties, usually negligent owners, responsible for the injuries they cause. Additionally, the compensation in a civil claim allows crime victims to move forward with their lives.

Duty of Care

Most assaults and other violent crimes occur at parking lots and other private property. Property owners have a legal duty to keep people safe. The extent of this duty usually hinges on the relationship between the victim and property owner, as follows:

  • Invitee: Most guests, customers, and employees are invitees in South Carolina. Because of the special relationship, the owner has a special duty of care. This duty includes a responsibility to constantly maintain safety. Different rules usually apply to work-related injuries.
  • Licensee: A lesser duty of care applies if the victim was a licensee, or a non-beneficial guest with permission to be on the property. Children who walk across grocery store parking lots on their way to and from school are licensees. The lesser duty of care is a duty to warn about latent (hidden) defects.
  • Trespasser: Usually, the law doesn’t protect injury victims in no permission and no benefit situations. Stories of injured burglars who successfully sued homeowners are mostly urban legends. Some exceptions apply. For example, the attractive nuisance rule protects some child trespassers in some situations.

These categories often overlap and are less than 100 percent certain. For example, if Tom didn’t pay his apartment rent on time or broke another rule, like a no smoking rule, he could be an invitee, a licensee, or even a trespasser.

Knowledge of Hazard

Prosecutors must normally establish criminal intent in criminal court. Similarly, a Columbia personal injury lawyer must establish knowledge in civil court.

Direct evidence of actual knowledge is usually the best evidence. Property owners who ignore injury hazards, like the ones listed below, are clearly negligent, in the eyes of many jurors. This proof is usually strong enough to make a basic case and also withstand insurance company defenses, even if only a little proof is available.

Circumstantial evidence of constructive knowledge (should have known) is admissible as well. However, unless a lawyer presents a substantial amount of circumstantial evidence maximum compensation is probably unavailable.

This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Foreseeability of Injury

Foreseeability (possibility) of injury is always an element in negligence cases. It’s an especially important element in third-party crime civil cases.

Owners are only legally responsible for damages if the assault or other third-party crime was foreseeable in their eyes. Evidence of foreseeability includes the kind of business, neighborhood’s crime rate, and prior similar incidents in the area.

Victims must establish foreseeability, and all other elements of a negligence case, by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).

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. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we start working for you.


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Practice Areas

Car Accidents

When a car accident happens, your life may be turned upside down in a matter of seconds. Let us help to restore your life.

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Trucking Accidents

Attorney Marc Brown is a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer. We can help you when you need it most.

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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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Crime Victims

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