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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Personal Injury > If a Pedestrian is Hit on Yellow, Who is to Blame?

If a Pedestrian is Hit on Yellow, Who is to Blame?


Crosswalk pedestrian accidents are very rare throughout most of the year. They’re more common late in the year. Less daylight means less visibility, the weather is more unpredictable late in the year, and more pedestrians are outside because of the holidays. As outlined below, a yellow-light pedestrian accident usually involves very serious injuries and very complex legal issues.

A good Columbia personal injury lawyer helps pedestrian accident victims deal with the medical and legal issues in their cases. Lawyers have professional connections with top-notch doctors who usually charge nothing upfront for their medical services. These services include diagnostic tests, prescription drugs, and so on. Additionally, attorneys use medical and other evidence to obtain maximum compensation in court.

Pedestrian Injuries

Many drivers suddenly and quickly accelerate when a light turns yellow, so they can make it through the intersection before the light changes to red. This sudden and rapid acceleration leads to serious pedestrian injuries, including:

  • Broken Pelvis/Ribs: Many broken bone injuries, like broken arms and legs, normally aren’t life threatening, unless infection sets in. Injuries like a broken pelvis and multiple broken ribs are often life-threatening. These thin bones protect some of the body’s most vital organs. If a small bone chip pierces one of these organs, the consequences could be disastrous.
  • Head Injuries: Many people believe the brain fits snugly in the skull, like a head in a helmet. That’s not true. The human brain isn’t much bigger than a soda can. When a speeding car strikes a nearly-stationary victim, the fall causes the brain to slam against the inside of the skull. This impact usually causes brain swelling and bleeding. Doctors can contain such brain injuries, but they cannot reverse their effects.
  • Internal Injuries: The same motion causes internal organs to smash into one another. Kidneys, stomachs, and other such organs aren’t designed to withstand such impacts. So, even a minor cut or scrape often bleeds badly. Emergency responders can do nothing to address these injuries. So, by the time doctors address internal bleeding at hospitals, the victim may already be in hypovolemic shock.

A Columbia personal injury lawyer often uses a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder in these cases. EDRs measure and record engine RPM, among other things. So, jurors can clearly see the tortfeasor (negligent driver) basically accelerated into the victim, who was in a crosswalk at the time.

Legal Issues

In South Carolina, the victim has the right-of-way until the light turns red. However, the victim may not be entitled to maximum compensation in these cases, because of the comparative fault rule.

This rule allows insurance company lawyers to shift blame for an accident from the tortfeasor to the victim, even if the victim had the right of way. Usually, comparative fault reduces, but does not eliminate, the obligation to pay compensation.

That’s especially true in yellow light pedestrian accidents. Other factors may come into play. For example, if the victim is mobility impaired, it may be impossible to cross the street before the light turns yellow.

Work With a Dedicated 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 routinely handle matters throughout the Palmetto State.

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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