Orangeburg Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian accidents happen far too frequently in South Carolina, and are often deadly. According to the latest data from the S.C. Department of Public Safety, one pedestrian dies every 2.2 days in the Palmetto State.
Pedestrian accidents often result in some of the most catastrophic injuries. A person on foot has no protection compared to the occupants of another vehicle, who are secured by seat belts, airbags, and the strong steel frame of the automobile itself. That means the pedestrian’s body takes the full force of the impact in a collision, often with painful and life-threatening results.
If you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident in Orangeburg, reach out to Wilson Law Group, LLC today. Our dedicated team of South Carolina pedestrian accident attorneys can demand compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
You can find out all you need to know in a free consultation. Call or contact us now.
Types of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can occur in a wide range of traffic situations. The five most common types of pedestrian accidents include:
Dart-outs: These accidents happen when pedestrians enter the street unexpectedly, often from in between parked cars and outside of crosswalks. When the driver’s view is obstructed, there’s little time to avoid colliding with a person on foot.
- Intersection dashes: Intersections are some of the riskiest places for pedestrians to be. If a pedestrian darts into the street to get across before a light changes, they run the risk of being hit by an oncoming driver. Drivers who run yellow or red lights can also endanger pedestrians who hurry through intersections unexpectedly.
- Merging and turning cars: When a driver turns a corner or merges into another lane, their attention is often on larger, oncoming traffic. Pedestrians are much less visible, so a driver who does not check carefully could end up striking one.
- Passing in front of buses and cars: When pedestrians want to pass in front of a bus or a car, the driver may stop to let them pass. Impatient drivers in other vehicles, on the other hand, may overtake the stopped vehicle trying to pass and hit the pedestrian.
- Backup accidents: Drivers are sometimes careless and do not always check when they reverse their vehicle. Children are often the victims of backup accidents, when they are playing in driveways or in neighborhood streets.
Drivers and pedestrians both have an obligation to try and prevent accidents. But when either party fails in its duty to keep someone safe, South Carolina law states that injured people can seek compensation for their losses. An Orangeburg pedestrian accident lawyer at Wilson Law Group, LLC can help you understand how the law applies if you’ve been hurt.
What Are the Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
- Improper lane use: Pedestrians must sometimes walk on the side of the road when there is no sidewalk. When that happens, a driver could veer onto the shoulder of the road and strike them.
- Unmarked crosswalks: Pedestrian accidents commonly happen in intersections. Marked crosswalks greatly reduce the risk of a crash, but there are plenty of roads with unmarked crosswalks in South Carolina. According to the law, drivers must stop and allow pedestrians who are in crosswalks to cross the street. Pedestrians who need to cross in an area without a crosswalk or traffic signals must yield to oncoming cars.
- Left-hand turns: Three times as many pedestrians are hit by drivers who are turning left than by those turning right. This is because both the pedestrian and driver are looking straight ahead, but in different directions. When drivers do not turn to look and ensure the path is clear when making a left turn, a pedestrian could suffer.
- Distractions: Texting and driving is illegal in South Carolina, but it is not only drivers that are distracted on the roads. Pedestrians that are looking down at their phone or even listening to loud music on headphones are distracted and cannot see or hear the vehicles around them.
- Intoxication: Drinking and driving is illegal, but many victims of pedestrian accidents are intoxicated at the time of the crash. Intoxicated drivers have slowed reaction times and poor judgment. Pedestrians that are intoxicated may inadvertently walk into the street, fail to comply with traffic signs and signals, and otherwise behave dangerously.
Any time a driver or pedestrian causes an accident, they can be held liable for paying damages. In some cases, both parties will share a portion of the blame. A pedestrian accident attorney can explain how your rights to compensation can be affected in cases of shared fault.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrians often sustain the worst injuries in an accident with a vehicle, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): TBIs are one of the most common injuries in a pedestrian accident because the force of the vehicle often results in a blow to the head.
- Spinal cord injuries: A sudden, violent hit to the spinal cord can cause permanent or temporary paralysis.
- Broken bones: Fractures are very common after pedestrian accidents because the impact of a vehicle is simply too much for bones in the body.
- Soft tissue injuries: The muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the body can sustain a number of different injuries in a pedestrian accident. Some of these injuries are severe enough to impact accident victims for months, years, or even the rest of their lives.
- Amputations: In some cases, a limb is so badly damaged during a pedestrian accident that it cannot be saved.
- Emotional trauma: The injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident are not always physical. Accident victims may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression as a result, making it difficult to work and cope with everyday life.
If you’ve suffered any kind of injury in a pedestrian collision, it’s very possible that you have a claim for compensation. A successful settlement can help offset the financial burden that often stems from these types of injuries.
Pedestrian Rights in Orangeburg
Within Orangeburg and throughout South Carolina, pedestrians have the right to:
- Cross a roadway, or finish crossing a roadway, if they are close to an intersection and traffic signals are not in place or are not operating.
- Protection from all vehicles approaching an intersection.
- Complete safety when walking on a sidewalk.
- Cross the street, or try to cross the street, at any point when they are carrying a raised cane or walking stick.
All drivers are expected to uphold the rights of pedestrians and yield the right of way when appropriate. When these rules are violated, the at-fault party can and should be held liable.
Pedestrian Liability: Is the Pedestrian Ever at Fault?
Motorists are not always at fault when they hit a pedestrian. Motorists and pedestrians in Orangeburg are both expected to act in a reasonable manner to keep others safe.
Pedestrians can act negligently in a variety of ways, such when they dart out in front of vehicles without first ensuring that it is safe, walk while drunk, or assume that they have the right of way when they don’t. In any of those circumstances, they could be held liable for the accident that injured them. If they are found fully responsible, they could lose their right to compensation entirely. To avoid being blamed unfairly, pedestrians can benefit from working with an experienced lawyer.
What Damages Can be Recovered After Being Hit by a Car?
The damages after a pedestrian accident are intended to make accident victims “whole” again. The most common damages available after a pedestrian accident include:
- Medical costs: Damages for medical expenses can include the costs of emergency care, surgical treatments, medications, physical therapy, hospitalizations, transportation to medical appointments, and more.
- Lost income: Pedestrians often cannot return to work right away after an accident. Damages for lost income can include wages, bonuses, benefits, sick pay, and vacation pay.
- Pain and suffering: The law recognizes that the physical pain and emotional suffering you endure after an accident are also compensable losses.
After reviewing your case, an Orangeburg pedestrian accident lawyer will identify what damages you can claim and place an accurate value on your case.
Can I Sue After Being Hit by a Car?
After being struck by a car, the first action to take is to file a claim against the negligent party’s insurance company. It is best to work with a lawyer when doing this, as an attorney can enter into negotiations and hold the insurer responsible for paying damages.
If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, or the limits of the insurance policy do not fully cover the cost of your injuries, an attorney may advise you to file a pedestrian accident lawsuit. Most pedestrian accident claims resolve in settlements, so trials are rarely necessary.
Contact an Orangeburg Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident in Orangeburg, let Wilson Law Group, LLC help. Our skilled pedestrian accident attorneys are passionate about helping injured South Carolinians. Put our knowledge and experience to work for you. Call or contact us for a free consultation.