No matter how safe you are as a pedestrian, there’s always a chance that a driver could break the rules of the road and end up hitting you. Negligent drivers are so dangerous because they’re not only putting their passengers and other drivers at risk, they’re also endangering people with less protection from the force of their vehicle, like pedestrians.
If you’ve been hit by a driver as a pedestrian, you could use the help of a Columbia pedestrian accident lawyer to help you get the justice you deserve. We’ll fully investigate what happened to cause the collision and determine what we can do to help get you full and fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
When it comes to pedestrian accidents, they are more dangerous for the pedestrian than for the driver and passengers of the car because pedestrians are more vulnerable. There’s nothing protecting a person walking from the weight and force of a moving vehicle. Because of this, the injuries that walkers sustain from wrecks can be deadly. Let’s take a look at the common injuries that happen in pedestrian accidents.
Common Injuries from Pedestrian Accidents
As stated above, pedestrian accidents are more dangerous for the person walking, not the driver of the car. In 2018, there were nearly 6,300 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This was a 3% increase in deaths over the previous year, which is unsettling to think about, seeing as how we’re all pedestrians at some time in our lives.
The most traffic collisions that involve the death of a person walking happen at night. The NHTSA reports that from 6 p.m. until 3 a.m., a pedestrian has the highest chance of being struck and killed by a vehicle. This is likely because it’s nighttime, and harder to see. Even with headlights on, it can be difficult to spot people in the road and crosswalks. This leads to the death of walkers, but also can leave them with serious injuries.
Here are some of the injuries that pedestrians can suffer from after a collision with a vehicle:
- Bruises and lacerations
- Sprains and strains
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
When a collision happens that injures a person crossing the street or walking on a sidewalk, then the person walking might choose to file a claim against the person responsible for hurting them. If you don’t see your injury on the list above, then you could still need the help of a Columbia pedestrian accident lawyer to get you compensation for your injuries and other damages from the accident.
Duty of Care for Pedestrians and Drivers
South Carolina is the fifth highest state for pedestrian fatalities rates. The rate is higher than the national average, which shows our state has a lot or work to do to make our roads safer for people walking. Since our state follows the comparative negligence rule, though, it’s up to both drivers and pedestrians to follow the rules to avoid a collision.
Just because you’re walking in a crosswalk doesn’t mean that you can’t be at fault in a pedestrian accident. You can still be negligent and be considered partially at fault for the collision, depending on what you did to break the duty of care before the accident happened and if it contributed to causing the accident. There are a couple reasons you could be held accountable for an accident, they are:
- Not using a marked crosswalk
- Ignoring traffic signals
- Running in front of a vehicle
- Breaking the flow of traffic
But pedestrians aren’t the only people responsible for avoiding accidents and following the rules of traffic. Drivers are also expected to follow the duty of care, follow traffic rules, and avoid accidents with pedestrians at all costs. Here are some of the ways that a driver could break the reasonable care they’re supposed to show to pedestrians:
- Distracted driving
- Drinking and driving
- Failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks
- Ignoring traffic signals
- Not signaling when turning
When a driver or a pedestrian has broken the duty of care and caused an accident, either one can be held responsible for their negligent actions. A Columbia pedestrian accident attorney from The Solomon Law Group knows to fully investigate what happened to determine who was liable for the crash. Let’s take a look at liability in South Carolina.
Who Is Liable in a Pedestrian Accident?
As mentioned above, South Carolina follows a comparative negligence rule in personal injury cases. This means that the fault of all participants will be considered when determining liability and subsequent compensation. If the party filing the claim is found to be at fault, it would affect the compensation that can be recovered by the percentage they were at fault.
For example, if a pedestrian is found to be 10% at fault, and the driver is 90% at fault for the accident, then the pedestrian would only be able to recover a portion of their calculated damages. Their compensation would be reduced by the percent they were at fault, so they would only be able to recover 90% of what they’re owed.
Liability can be complicated to determine, which is why you’ll want a Columbia pedestrian accident lawyer on your side. One of our attorneys will be able to help determine who was at fault for your accident so you can get the full and fair compensation that you deserve.
The Solomon Law Group Can Help You
At The Solomon Law Group, we understand how stressful it can be to take legal action, especially when you already have a lot on your plate. Recovering from your injuries and caring for your family don’t have to take a back seat—we can help. Hiring a Columbia pedestrian accident attorney will allow you to keep focusing on your healing while we handle the legal side of things for you.
You shouldn’t have to go through this alone. Contact our office today so we can get started on your potential claim and getting you back to your normal life.