Helping South Carolina Pedestrian Accident Victims
When we think of car accidents, we often think of drivers as the victims and at fault parties. But pedestrians can get injured in car accidents too. In fact, in the state of South Carolina, 1 out of every 10 people killed in a car accident are pedestrians.
Pedestrians include anyone who is not in a vehicle. The term pertains to individuals that are walking, running, hiking, jogging, sitting, or lying down. It also accounts for children playing in the street.
Because pedestrians do not have the protection of a vehicle, accidents may be quite serious in nature. In fact, it is not unusual for pedestrians to die in accidents.
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident because of someone else's actions, you deserve compensation. A good lawyer will see to it that you are covered for damages including lost wages, medical expenses, and emotional pain and suffering.
The Hopkins Law Firm has years of experience with Charleston, South Carolina pedestrian accidents. Find out how they can help you protect your rights.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
There are several circumstances that increase the risk of a pedestrian accident. Here are some factors to consider.
- Pedestrian accidents are 76% more likely to occur in cities than in rural areas.
- Pedestrian accidents are 72% more likely to occur at non-intersections than at crosswalks.
- Pedestrian accidents are 75% more likely to occur when it is dark as compared to daylight hours. Note: Pedestrians may reduce the occurrence of accidents by wearing bright or reflective clothing when walking after dark.
- Seniors and children are more likely to be a victim of a pedestrian accident as compared to other adults.
The actions of the driver will also contribute to a pedestrian accident. If the driver is exhibiting negligent, reckless or illegal behavior while driving, they are more likely to hit someone walking on the street or sidewalk.
Here are some examples of driver behavior that may increase the chance of a pedestrian accident.
- Driving distracted
- Driving fatigued
- Making an illegal turn
- Drunk driving
- Failure to look before proceeding. This is especially common for cars coming out of driveways and turning corners.
It is important to note that a pedestrian accident is not always the fault of the driver. The pedestrian can also be responsible.
Pedestrians must obey traffic signals. They must cross at intersections and they must not step off the curb suddenly in front of an oncoming vehicle. Pedestrians who cross a road that does not have a crosswalk or traffic signals are required to yield to drivers.
If a pedestrian does not follow these rules and an accident occurs, they may be held responsible.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
By comparing the size, weight, and composition of a motor vehicle to a human body, it's easy to understand how the danger posed by a collision with a pedestrian. Walkers who have been hit by a car frequently suffer major injuries. Even a cyclist will probably wear a helmet and perhaps additional padding in the event of a crash. Pedestrians have no protection—unlike drivers, who have metal shells with advanced safety features between the road and their bodies. For this reason, pedestrian-vehicle accidents have a high risk of injury. Common injuries that pedestrians experience include:
- Broken bones (especially wrists, arms, and legs)
- Muscle strains, tendon and soft tissue tears
- Back and spinal injuries and herniated discs
- Concussions or other traumatic brain injuries
It's common belief that motorists only need to look for pedestrian traffic near intersections, where a walker might try to cross the street. This is actually not the case at all. The truth is that a pedestrian accident can take place in any number of places. Data shows that 80 percent of pedestrian accidents occurred outside of an intersection. Common areas where vehicle-pedestrian accidents happen include crosswalks, bus stops, parking lots, and designated walking or running paths adjacent to roads.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Pedestrian Accident?
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, the injuries you sustain can be life changing. They can prevent you from working, they can cause emotional pain and suffering, and they can result in extensive medical expenses.
If you suffered a significant injury following a pedestrian accident in Charleston, Georgetown, Pawleys Island, or Myrtle Beach, South Carolina because of another person's reckless, wrongful, or negligent actions, you might be able to pursue compensation for your harm and losses. In South Carolina, this compensation often includes the following types of damages:
Economic Damages: These damages refer to the actual and easily quantifiable losses that result from an accident.
- Past, current, and future medical expenses related to doctor visits, prescription medications, hospital visits, surgery, and even medical assistive devices
- Lost wages from not being able to work because of the injuries sustained after the accident
- Lost earning capacity
- Rehabilitative costs
- Education costs
- Custodial care
- Personal property repairs and replacements costs
- Cost of obtaining household replacement services
- Other monetary losses
Non-economic Damages: These damages are rather subjective losses resulting from an accident.
They are not easy to quantify and often include the following losses:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Other non-monetary damages
Plus, courts may award punitive damages. However, unlike the other damages, which compensate the victim for their losses, punitive damages punish the defendant for their egregious actions and help deter others from committing these acts. Consequently, courts do not award these damages in every personal injury case, but rather only when the victim's attorney can show through clear and convincing evidence that the harm resulted from the defendant's willful, wanton, or reckless conduct.
Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Who Can Help
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, you need a good lawyer on your side. The right attorney will help you build a strong case, target at fault parties, and see to it that you get the compensation you deserve.
The Hopkins Law Firm has a team in Charleston, Georgetown, Pawleys Island, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with years of experience dealing with pedestrian accidents and personal injury law. Our firm is known for treating their clients with a deep sense of care and respect. We will fight tirelessly in legal situations to ensure the people they represent get the best possible outcomes.
A pedestrian accident can greatly reduce quality of life. Do not let at-fault parties get away with it.