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, but they’re also endangering people with less protection from the force of their vehicle, like pedestrians.
If you’ve been hit by a negligent driver as a pedestrian, you could use the help of a Columbia pedestrian accident lawyer to help you get the justice you deserve through the legal system. At our Columbia law firm, our pedestrian accident attorneys will 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 much more dangerous for the pedestrian than for the driver and passengers of the car, simply because pedestrians are more vulnerable. There’s nothing protecting a person walking from the weight and force of a moving motor vehicle. Because of this, the injuries that pedestrian accident victims sustain from wrecks can be deadly. Let’s take a look at the common injuries that can happen when pedestrian accidents occur.
What Are Some Common Injuries from Pedestrian Accidents?
As stated above, pedestrian accidents are very 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 pedestrian deaths over the previous year, which is unsettling to think about, seeing as how we’re all pedestrians at some time in our lives.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the traffic collisions where the pedestrian dies most often 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 therefore harder to see. Even with headlights on, it can be difficult to spot people on the road and crosswalks. This leads to pedestrian fatalities in many cases but also can leave them with severe injuries from motor vehicles.
Here are some of the severe or even life-threatening injuries that pedestrians can suffer from after a collision with a motor 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 road or walking on a sidewalk, then the person walking might choose to file a pedestrian accident claim against the person responsible for hurting them. If you don’t see your injury on the list above, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a pedestrian accident case. You could still end up recovering financial compensation with the help of a Columbia pedestrian accident lawyer. Once you go to a free consultation with a law firm that’s experienced in handling cases for injured pedestrians, you’ll find out more about how to get compensation to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs related to the car accident.
What’s the Duty of Care for Pedestrians and Drivers in South Carolina?
South Carolina is the fifth highest state for pedestrian fatality rates. The rate is higher than the national average, which shows our state has a lot of 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 car accidents.
In fact, one thing you might not know is that 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 of reasons you could be held accountable for an accident of this kind. They include the following:
- Not using a marked crosswalk
- Ignoring traffic signals at intersections
- Running in front of a motor vehicle
- Breaking the flow of traffic
Of course, pedestrians aren’t the only people responsible for avoiding accidents and following the traffic laws in South Carolina. Motorists are also expected to follow the duty of care, follow traffic rules, adhere to speed limits, 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 when operating a vehicle:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks
- Ignoring traffic lights
- Going through stop signs without stopping
- Not signaling when turning
When a driver or a pedestrian has broken the duty of care and caused a car accident, either one can be held responsible for their negligent actions. A Columbia pedestrian accident attorney from Solomon Law Group, LLC knows to fully investigate what happened to determine who was liable for the crash.
That’s why you should schedule a free consultation at our law firm to discuss the details of your case, such as the injuries sustained, the insurance companies that may be involved, and who the at-fault driver is. As you await your meeting at our law firm to discuss how one driver’s negligence led to you becoming an injured pedestrian who should seek compensation, 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 will 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 after being hit by a car. One of our lawyers will be able to help determine who was at fault for the car accident so you can get the full and fair compensation that you deserve after suffering serious injuries. This way, you’ll have the financial compensation you need to pay for expenses related to the car accident, such as your medical treatment, lost wages, and even non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering.
How Can Solomon Law Group, LLC Help You?
At Solomon Law Group, LLC, we understand how stressful it can be to take legal action, especially when you already have a lot on your plate. Recovering from a severe injury and caring for your family doesn’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 as you seek medical care while we handle the legal details of the settlement agreement for you.
You shouldn’t have to go through this alone, especially if you’re still healing and trying to pay your medical bills as a pedestrian accident victim. Contact our office today so we can get started on your potential claim and help get you back to your normal life.