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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Personal Injury > Garbage Truck Collides With Pedestrian In Anderson

Garbage Truck Collides With Pedestrian In Anderson


Few details were available after a garbage truck ran over a pedestrian, killing the victim almost instantly.

The crash happened near S. Towers and W. Benson streets in Anderson. Furthermore, the Anderson Police Chief said the trash truck vehicle is the property of Anderson County.

Procedural Issues

Substantial compensation is often available in commercial vehicle accident claims, mostly because a third party is often financially responsible for these damages. First, however, a Columbia personal injury attorney must determine which third party is responsible.

Privately-owned garbage trucks that serve a private purpose are few and far between. However, in most other cases, this private-private connection is the norm. Everyday examples include tour buses, rideshare drivers, box trucks, semi-trucks, and taxis.

In these situations, the respondeat superior doctrine usually applies, without any ifs or buts. This rule holds employers, like tour companies, Uber, Lyft, and so on, financially responsible for the damages their drivers cause.

Privately-owned garbage trucks that serve a public purpose are much more common. Many municipalities hire companies like Waste Management to handle garbage disposal operations. The respondeat superior rule may also freely apply in these cases, mostly depending on the terms of the contract between the company and municipality.

In the above case, Anderson County apparently owned the garbage truck at issue. Therefore, a publicly-owned truck was serving a public purpose. The respondeat superior rule still applies in these situations, but there’s a twist.

South Carolina, like most other states, has a partial sovereign immunity law. Back in the day, these laws made it absolutely impossible to sue city hall. Sovereign immunity comes from the Medieval idea that the king or other sovereign could never make a mistake, so s/he couldn’t be sued for any purpose.

Negligence lawsuits can usually proceed under a limited sovereign immunity law, as long as a Columbia personal injury attorney files a notice of claim before a legal action.

A notice of claim is a lot like arbitration. This notice gives the municipality or other government entity a chance to investigate the claim and make a reasonable settlement offer, before the matter becomes public record.

Liability Issues

In pedestrian accidents, this legal claim is usually based on the ordinary negligence doctrine or the negligence per se rule, largely depending on the location and circumstances of the collision.

If the pedestrian was in the crosswalk and crossing with the light, the pedestrian had the right-of-way under South Carolina law. That’s true even if the pedestrian didn’t stop and look both ways or was otherwise careless. Such behavior may nevertheless reduce the victim’s compensation, under South Carolina’s complex comparative fault rule.

The negligence per se rule applies if an emergency responder cited the tortfeasor (negligent driver).

Compensation is still available if the victim was outside a crosswalk and/or didn’t have the light. Commercial drivers have a duty of care to avoid accidents whenever possible. That includes a responsibility to avoid pedestrian accidents, even if the victim was jaywalking.

In these situations, victims/plaintiffs must prove negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. Evidence in an ordinary negligence claim usually includes medical bills, witness statements, and the police accident report.

Compensation in a pedestrian accident claim usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Count on 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. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.


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