Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Columbia Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable
Walking is part of daily life for many, whether for exercise or as a way to get from place to place. You may meet up with a friend to walk around your neighborhood in the mornings, or maybe you live close enough to enjoy some fresh air as you walk to work. Children may walk to school instead of taking buses, and many people enjoy strolling the streets as they window shop or take in the city’s sights.
When you’re walking, you probably take basic safety precautions, such as paying attention to what’s going on around you and looking both ways before crossing the street. However, pedestrian accidents happen often when we least expect them and can cause serious injuries that forever change the course of life for many victims. Pedestrians may find themselves the victim of a distracted driver or even collide with a bicyclist who lost control of their bike. When this happens, it’s important to be aware of your legal options and rights when it comes to holding the other party accountable for their actions.
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s important to take action quickly. The sooner you get a pedestrian accident attorney involved and understand what rights and options you may have, the sooner you can seek compensation. Contact our firm to talk with a member of our team about your case.
What Are Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
Every year, dozens of people are victims of pedestrian accidents in South Carolina, and many of them face serious, life-threatening injuries. But why do so many of these accidents occur? Find out the common causes of pedestrian accidents below.
Driver negligence is one of the more common causes of car accidents, and this transfers to pedestrian accidents as well. Drivers who are distracted, are using cell phones while driving, or are otherwise not paying attention to what’s happening around them and the rules of the road pose a serious hazard. Driver negligence could cause a driver to veer off the road and strike a pedestrian or not see someone crossing the road in front of them.
Drivers Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in the United States, but that doesn’t always stop people from doing it. Impaired drivers are hazardous to everyone else on the road around them, especially pedestrians. Drunk drivers are often traveling at a higher rate of speed. They have difficulty driving between the lines, which can increase the risk of hitting a pedestrian and potentially increase the seriousness of the accident.
Improper Pedestrian Crossing
While many pedestrian accidents are the fault of vehicle drivers, there are some cases where it is the behavior of the pedestrian that causes the accident. Sitting, standing, lying in the middle of the road, or not using crosswalks appropriately can all increase the chances of getting hit by a car. However, if these types of factors were involved in your accident, it’s important to still talk to a firm that has experienced personal injury lawyers. Even if your actions were partly to blame for the accident, you may still be able to file a lawsuit and recover some compensation.
What Types of Injuries Do Pedestrians Commonly Suffer in Motor Vehicle Accidents?
Pedestrian accident victims often face serious injury because they are left completely unprotected from the impact of a vehicle or bicycle. Pedestrian accident injuries may mean lengthy hospital stays, ongoing need for physical therapy, multiple surgeries, and substantial medical expenses. Here are a few of the most common types of issues injured pedestrians may face.
- Broken bones
- Puncture wounds
- Road rash
- Brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Crush injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Damage to internal organs
- Punctured lungs
If you sustained injuries as a result of an accident involving another party, talk to a pedestrian accident lawyer. They can go over the details of your case and help you understand if your case meets the criteria to file a personal injury lawsuit in the civil courts.
How Do You Prove Fault in a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
Understanding who is at fault legally for an accident is the basis for being able to file a personal injury lawsuit for a pedestrian accident in South Carolina. In general, pedestrians need to uphold their legal responsibilities not to be found at fault in an accident. These include crossing the street at the proper crosswalks, obeying crosswalk signs and other traffic-control devices, and walking on sidewalks where they are available. If any of these were an issue with your case, you will want to talk to a pedestrian accident lawyer about your options.
Who Determines Who Is At Fault?
The insurance company determines the legal determination of fault for an accident. The insurance company will take into consideration things like witness statements, statements from both parties, the police report, and if the driver was issued any citation. Then, they will make a determination of who was at fault.
It is possible to have a situation where both the vehicle driver and the pedestrian were at fault. In these cases, the insurance company will make a determination and assign a percentage of fault to each party. For example, they may determine that the driver is 80 percent at fault and the pedestrian is 20 percent at fault.
Can I Still File a Lawsuit If I’m Found Partially at Fault?
It’s important to note that even if you are found partially at fault for a pedestrian accident, you may still be able to file a lawsuit and seek compensation. South Carolina only requires that you be found to be less than 50 percent at fault to be legally able to file a lawsuit against the other party.
Can I Settle Out of Court?
It is possible to settle a pedestrian accident case out of court. In many cases, the insurance company will try to settle quickly for a low amount, so while a settlement can be tempting, it’s important to discuss any settlement offers through your attorney. Your lawyer can help you understand what is a reasonable offer and be your voice in negotiations. If you can’t reach an agreeable settlement, your attorney will proceed with the case to trial.
Should I Have a South Carolina Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
If you are considering filing a lawsuit against someone after being injured in a pedestrian accident, you should have a South Carolina pedestrian accident lawyer representing your interests. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused when it comes to going through the court system, and an attorney helps guide you through each step and can answer any questions along the way.
When you hire a pedestrian accident attorney, you have someone dedicated to working for your interests and rights and no one else’s. Having an attorney can increase your chances of being able to recover compensation for medical bills or lost wages, and they can help you understand what a reasonable settlement is, so you don’t fall further victim to lowball offers from insurance companies.
If you’re unsure if you have a legal case or want to know more about how pedestrian accidents are handled in the South Carolina court system, call our Columbia office at 803-888-2200. You can speak to a pedestrian accident lawyer on our team to discuss your case and how to move forward. Call today to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney.