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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Personal Injury > Legal Options in Wrongful Death Cases

Legal Options in Wrongful Death Cases


Between 1921 and 1923, the life expectancy rate dropped, because of the Spanish Flu epidemic. Between 2020 and 2022, the life expectancy rate dropped almost as sharply, partially due to the coronavirus pandemic. Increased drug overdose deaths, mostly heroin and fentanyl, also contributed to the decline. Pain pill overuse, mostly because manufacturers made such strong pills and doctors wrote so many prescriptions, caused most of these overdose deaths.

As outlined below, negligent property owners could be financially responsible for damages in these cases. These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. A Columbia personal injury lawyer can also obtain additional punitive damages, in many situations.

Negligent Property Owner

In South Carolina, all property owners have a duty of care to keep all guests safe. The extent of the duty depends on the owner/victim relationship, as follows:

  • Invitee: Owners have a duty of reasonable care if the victim was an invited commercial or social guest. Owners must remove injury hazards. Simply warning people about these hazards (e.g. a “Caution Wet Floor” sign) is insufficient.
  • Licensee: Warnings are sufficient if the victim was a licensee. Owners allow these individuals to be on their property, but owners don’t benefit. Guests of hotel guests are licensees.
  • Trespasser: Unless the victim was a child, a very limited duty of care protects trespassers (no permission and no duty). The attractive nuisance doctrine might be the most common child trespasser exception.

A Columbia personal injury lawyer must also prove the owner knew about, or should have known about, the injury-causing hazard.

The duty of reasonable care includes proper sanitation and, if applicable, social distancing or other requirements. Government regulations, like CDC orders, usually establish the standard of care in these situations. Owners must strictly adhere to the rules. They cannot allow exceptions.

Owners must also provide reasonable security. What’s “reasonable” depends on a number of factors, such as the location of the business, type of business, area’s crime rate, and similar crimes at that location. The issue might be inadequate level of security, such as unarmed guards when armed guards are necessary, or security lapses, like broken gates and burned-out lights.

Falls might be the most common, and most dangerous, premises liability hazard. Falls are especially dangerous for people with pre-existing conditions. Common fall hazards include uneven walkways, loose handrails, and wet floors.

Negligent owners often substantially cause overdose deaths. Owners cannot look the other way if they know people are abusing drugs on their property.

Negligent Driver

Similarly, most drivers have a duty of reasonable care in most situations. They must drive defensively and avoid accidents if possible.

If a breach of duty causes injury, a Columbia personal injury lawyer can obtain compensation, as outlined above. Common beaches include impaired driving, like driving while fatigued, and aggressive driving, like tailgating.

Third parties are often financially responsible for car crash damages. For example, if an owner knowingly allows an incompetent driver to use his/her car, and that incompetent driver causes a crash, the owner must pay damages.

Count on a Hard-Working 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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Car Accidents

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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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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