Columbia Car Accident Attorney

A Columbia car accident attorney from Rikard & Protopapas can represent you in a claim for compensation after a car accident. With more than $100 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients in various matters, we make sure that people are compensated for their injuries and damages.

Getting fair compensation for a car accident isn’t always easy. Legal representation gives you a professional on your side to pursue your case. To see how we can assist you, contact our Columbia car accident attorneys at Rikard & Protopapas for your consultation.

Lawyers for Car Accidents in Columbia

Our car accident attorneys represent people who are injured because of the actions of others. We take care of all steps of the case, including:

  • Who is liable to pay compensation
  • What insurance policies exist
  • How to go about claiming your payment
  • What the case is worth
  • Starting and pursuing your case
  • Whether to accept settlement offers
  • How to present your case in court

Each car accident is unique. Every victim deserves personalized representation for their circumstances. The Rikard & Protopapas team has over 119 years of combined experience. Through our training, experience, and accomplished law firm history, we have a well-rounded practice, meeting the needs of car accident victims in the Columbia, SC area, and throughout the state of South Carolina.

We’re taking new cases now. For a consultation and to start your case, contact our lawyers.

Auto Accident Cases We Handle

Head-on, side-impact, rear-end, T-bone, rollover

The location of impact can provide valuable evidence about the cause and circumstances of a crash. We document the events of the accident to prove fault and causation of injuries.

Speeding, lane change, stop signs, and other traffic violations

Traffic violations are the underlying cause of many collisions. We look at speeding, following too closely, right-of-way violations, and other violations of the rules of the road that may cause a crash.

Distracted driving

Whether it is text messaging, looking at a phone, or interacting with someone else in a vehicle, distracted driving can cause an accident that is entirely preventable.

Inadequate maintenance

A vehicle that doesn’t have working lights, for example, may not properly signal that it is stopping. Brakes that are not kept in repair may fail. We investigate how inadequate maintenance may have played a role in a collision.

Drunk driving, driving under the influence

Drunk driving is against the law, and it is a civil wrong. Bringing a claim focuses on your compensation as the victim. As your representatives, we seek the damages that are due under the law when you are harmed by a drunk driver.

Commercial vehicles

When a collision involves a commercial driver, we address important issues like commercial insurance policies, investigating underlying causes of the crash, and determining what party or parties to name in a claim.

Catastrophic injury

A car accident claim involving a catastrophic injury should carefully identify long-term damages including future medical and personal care. We take the time to detail injuries and prove that your losses are the result of the accident.

Fatal car accident claims

A claim for wrongful death can help a grieving family with their future. Our professionals know the compensation available in a wrongful death claim. We know how procedures are different for making a claim. We carefully pursue the case, taking care of everything legally while you take care of your family.

Don’t Wait to Contact Us!

There are time limits for filing a car accident claim. Even if the insurance company has responded to your claim, that doesn’t formally start a case. Starting your case as soon as possible ensures that you meet time deadlines. It allows us to preserve evidence. We can start right away — don’t wait to contact us.

Do I Have a Car Accident Claim?

Compensation for a car accident claim may be based on several legal theories: negligence, negligence per se, recklessness, intentional harm, or strict liability/defective product.


All drivers have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care and caution. The standard varies in different situations, but it’s always what a reasonable person would have done in that situation.

For example, when a person is driving in bad weather or in heavy traffic, they adjust their speed. They pay attention and drive with care. Negligence is doing something that a reasonable person would not do, or failing to do something a reasonable person would have done.

Negligence per se

Many motor vehicle crashes occur because someone violates a traffic law. Speeding, following too closely, improper lane changes, and traffic control device violations are common traffic violations that can lead to an accident.

When someone violates a law, and it causes harm, it creates a presumption that the person acted negligently. We can investigate the traffic violations that may have occurred and prove causation of harm to the victim.


Recklessness is conduct that shows a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others. Drunk driving and drag racing are two examples of reckless conduct.

In addition to compensatory damages, a victim may be able to claim punitive damages because of the extremely offensive conduct of the defendant.

Intentional harm

Purposeful assault and battery using a motor vehicle is a serious crime. It may also be the basis of a claim for compensation. Bringing a legal claim focuses on the victim and the monetary payment you deserve for your injuries and harms.

Strict liability

A vehicle defect may cause a malfunction and a crash. There may be a problem with a manufacturing defect or a poor vehicle design that makes a crash more likely to occur. A bad vehicle design may make injuries more serious.

Vehicle manufacturers are responsible for the function and safety of the vehicles they produce. A claim because of a vehicle defect is based on strict liability. Our team can investigate if a vehicle defect may have caused the accident.

Compensation for a Car Accident

To us, a car accident claim should focus on all the compensation you should be owed. The purpose of this case is for you to be fairly compensated for your damages. Losses in a car accident are financial, physical, and emotional. Pursuing a case means identifying what losses you have and the compensation that is fair for you.

Some types of compensation are:

  • Emergency medical bills
  • Costs of medical treat
  • Future healthcare expenses relating to injuries
  • Hospital, nursing, and home care
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Lost income and benefits
  • Long-term career disruption
  • Physical pain
  • Disfigurement
  • Lifestyle and life expectancy diminishment
  • Mental injury, emotional anguish
  • Punitive damages, when appropriate

Non-economic damages – the way that you are personally harmed from a car accident – can be a significant part of compensation. Many car accident victims don’t understand non-economic damages, and they value their case for far too little. Don’t make that mistake. We work to fully value your losses and make a complete claim for compensation.

Named “Top Rated” Attorneys by Super Lawyers

Highlights of the Rikard & Protopapas Columbia car accident attorneys include:

  • Attorneys holding the Martindale-Hubbell AV® PreeminentTM rating for the highest in professional excellence.
  • “Top Rated” honors and “Rising Star” designations from Super Lawyers in multiple categories
  • Legal Elite honors from Columbia Business Monthly.
  • Consultations are available in our Columbia offices, virtually, in the hospital, at home, or another place that works for you.
  • Ten attorneys with a variety of backgrounds and experiences to address the issues in your case.
  • Free consultations for anyone seeking legal advice following a car accident.
  • Contingency agreements to meet the needs of our clients.
  • Success in trial law and resolving cases through settlements.

You can work with our Columbia personal injury lawyers who strive to provide meaningful representation for each person and family we represent. By hiring us, you’re hiring a law firm dedicated to the results we can achieve for you.

How Our Car Accident Attorneys Represent You

Our legal team in Columbia evaluates your situation and creates a custom plan for your car accident case. Here are some ways that we work for you:

Gathering evidence

We start your case right away. We investigate and gather evidence, ensuring your injuries and other losses are documented.

Accident reconstruction

Accident reconstruction can be a helpful tool to prove and explain the events leading up to the crash. It can show speeds, the position of vehicles, and points of impact. We work with experts to explain key details.


Building a strong case happens far in advance of your trial date. Through discovery and other case-building techniques, we narrow the issues in dispute and gather evidence of each element needed to prove your claim.

Legal analysis

Representation from a car accident attorney means having a professional evaluate the issues in your case. We look at the strengths and weaknesses of your case and legal issues that may be especially important. Then, we customize representation for your situation.

Legal procedures

Our attorneys understand the steps to start a claim. We prepare legal paperwork and file it. Throughout the case, we handle legal procedures and hearings like preliminary motions, status conferences, and case filings. We speak to the insurance companies on your behalf.

Negotiating your settlement

Many claims are resolved through insurance policies. However, it’s not enough to simply accept the first offer from the insurance company. We carefully examine what your case is worth, making sure that economic and non-economic damages are fairly represented. We negotiate for you and give you our honest opinion about whether you should accept any settlement offers.

Litigating your case

We are experienced trial lawyers. When it’s necessary to go to trial to resolve your case, we’re prepared. Using our knowledge of rules of evidence, we present the case, question witnesses, and make arguments to the jury. By preparing in advance, we walk into court confident and ready to represent you.

Is It Worth Hiring a Lawyer for a Car Accident?

Usually, it’s worth hiring a car accident attorney if you have physical injuries that require medical attention. A professional can evaluate economic and non-economic damages and your right to compensation. If you’re not sure if legal representation is right for you, we invite you to contact us to talk about your situation. We’ll give you honest advice and answer your questions. There’s no obligation.

Our Offices

Our car accident lawyers serving Columbia, SC are located at:

Physical address

Rikard & Protopapas, LLC

2110 N Beltline Blvd Columbia, SC 29204

Mailing address

PO Box 5640 Columbia, SC 29250


(803) 978-6111

Our offices are accessible by car and public transportation. We are located on N. Beltline Blvd across from the Richland Mall in front of AllSouth Federal Credit Union.


Hospitals and medical care in Columbia, SC

Prisma Health Richland Hospital

5 Richland Medical Park Drive

Columbia, SC 29203

MUSC Health Columbia Medical Center Northeast

120 Gateway Corporate Blvd

Columbia, SC 29203

Prisma Health Baptist Parkridge Hospital

400 Palmetto Health Parkway

Columbia, SC 29212

Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center

6439 Garners Ferry Road

Columbia, SC 29209-1638

Courts in the Columbia area

Richland County Court – part of the 5th Circuit Court

Richland County Judicial Center

1701 Main Street, Room 205 (29201)

Post Office Box 2766

Columbia, SC 29202

Lexington County Court – part of the 11th Circuit Court

205 East Main Street

Lexington, SC 29072

Free Consultation for Car Accident Victims

We offer free consultations to car accident victims and their families. At your consultation, you can:

  • See if you have a claim
  • Learn the possible outcomes for your case
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses and how to build evidence
  • Get guidance on things you can be doing right now
  • Meet our legal team and find out how we can assist you
  • Ask questions about anything related to the accident and your compensation
  • Discuss fee agreements including how we use contingency fees
  • Start your case today

There’s no obligation to talk to the Rikard & Protopapas legal team. Contact us to discuss your situation.

Taking New Cases – Hire an Auto Accident Lawyer

The Columbia car accident attorneys at Rikard & Protopapas are taking new cases right now. Begin pursuing your compensation today. Contact us to talk about your situation and begin.

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