In a South Carolina automobile accident case, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the defendant was negligent – that is, that the defendant’s failure to act in a reasonably prudent manner resulted in damages to the plaintiff.
Once this has been done, the defendant may seek to reduce the jury’s verdict by pointing the finger back at the plaintiff, accusing him or her of also being negligent in causing the accident. It is ultimately up to the jury to decide which side to believe and how much money to award the plaintiff if it finds in his or her favor.
Facts of the Case
In a recent case (unreported), the plaintiff was a woman who was struck by a vehicle as she walked alongside the road. She filed suit against the defendant sheriff department and its employee (who was driving the vehicle that struck her), seeking compensation for her injuries. The Marion County Circuit Court dismissed the employee from the case after finding that he was acting within the course and scope of his official duties as a reserve officer with the defendant sheriff’s department at the time of the accident.