Compensation for pedestrians injured in Columbia and surrounding South Carolina communities
As a pedestrian, you have the right to use the sidewalks, crosswalks and other public spaces safely. Unfortunately, when drivers fail to exercise caution and yield to pedestrians, they can cause serious accidents.
At Smith, Born, Leventis, Taylor & Vega, we understand the physical, emotional and financial toll that a pedestrian accident can take on you and your family.
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, our team of skilled attorneys can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
We can investigate the accident, gather evidence, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. We can also represent you in court if a lawsuit is necessary to secure a fair settlement.
We won’t rest until we’ve achieved the best possible outcome for you and your family, just like we’ve done for countless other pedestrian accident victims throughout South Carolina.
Pedestrian accident statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 7,000 pedestrians died in accidents that involved a motor vehicle in 2020 alone. That’s equivalent to 1 death every 75 minutes.
Additionally, 1 out of every 6 people who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020 were pedestrians.
What types of injuries are common in pedestrian accidents?
Pedestrian accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, some of which can be severe and life-altering.
These injuries may include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage and bleeding
- Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains
- Cuts, bruises and abrasions
- Emotional trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
It’s vital to get immediate medical attention after a pedestrian accident, even if you don’t initially feel injured. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and delaying medical treatment can worsen your condition and make it harder to obtain compensation later on.
What causes the most serious injuries during pedestrian accidents?
Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to serious injuries in accidents with motor vehicles due to their lack of protection. Some ways pedestrians can get seriously injured include:
- Impact with a vehicle. When a pedestrian is struck by a car, truck or another motor vehicle, they can suffer severe injuries such as broken bones, head and spinal injuries, and internal organ damage.
- Falls. Pedestrians may be thrown to the ground by the force of impact from a vehicle or after tripping and falling on uneven or damaged sidewalks or other hazards in the environment. Falls can result in broken bones, head injuries, and soft tissue injuries.
- Secondary impact injuries. After being struck by a vehicle, a pedestrian may be hit by other cars or objects, such as bicycles or debris, which can cause additional injuries.
- Emotional trauma. Being involved in a pedestrian accident can be a traumatic and emotionally distressing experience that can lead to long-lasting psychological effects such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What types of financial compensation can I get after a pedestrian accident?
The injured party (known as the plaintiff) in a personal injury case may be entitled to 3 types of damages:
- Economic damages refer to the monetary losses resulting from the accident, such as medical expenses, lost wages and property damage.
- Non-economic damages refer to non-monetary losses that stem from the accident, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and are only awarded in cases where the defendant’s conduct was especially willful, wanton or reckless.
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can assess the damages you may be entitled to and help you pursue fair compensation for your losses.
What happens when a pedestrian is killed in an accident?
When a pedestrian is killed in an accident, it can be a devastating loss for their loved ones. In such cases, the family of the deceased may be entitled to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages that may be recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit in South Carolina include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of financial support and services
- Loss of companionship and guidance
- Pain and suffering of the deceased before their death
In addition to these damages, punitive damages may also be awarded in cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious or reckless.
If you’ve lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, it’s important to consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand your legal options and pursue justice on behalf of your family member.
How long do I have to file an injury claim in South Carolina?
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident in South Carolina, it’s important to know the statute of limitations for personal injury cases.
Generally, you have 3 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries and losses.
If you fail to do so within this time frame, you may lose your right to pursue a claim.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, if the at-fault party is a government entity, the deadline to file a claim may be shorter.
To ensure that you don’t miss any critical deadlines or forfeit your legal rights, talk to an attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
Our accident attorneys can provide you with guidance on the specific time limitations that apply to your case and help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Understanding pedestrian laws in South Carolina
If you live in South Carolina, it’s essential to understand the state’s laws regarding pedestrians to ensure everyone’s safety on the road. Below are some of the key regulations you should be aware of:
- It’s illegal for pedestrians to walk on the roadway in South Carolina if an adjacent sidewalk is available.
- Pedestrians aren’t permitted to walk on South Carolina freeways unless they’re performing public work or official duties.
- Unless they’re crossing the road on a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, pedestrians must yield to oncoming motor vehicles.
- Drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when traffic signals aren’t functioning.
- Drivers must yield to pedestrians when driving across a sidewalk.
FAQs about pedestrian accidents
Common causes of pedestrian accidents include distracted or impaired driving, speeding, failure to yield the right of way, running red lights or stop signs, and poor visibility due to weather or time of day.
Evidence that may be used to prove fault in a pedestrian accident lawsuit includes witness statements, police reports, video footage, photographs of the accident scene, and expert testimony from accident reconstruction specialists.
The time required to resolve a pedestrian accident lawsuit varies based on several factors, including how much compensation is being sought, how complex the case is, and whether or not the other party is willing to negotiate. Certain cases may conclude in a few months, whereas others may take a year or more.
Insurance companies may be involved in pedestrian accident lawsuits if the driver of the vehicle has insurance coverage. Insurance companies may be responsible for paying damages awarded to the pedestrian or negotiating a settlement on behalf of their insured driver.
Every case is different, but a pedestrian accident lawsuit can often be settled out of court through negotiations between the parties involved or through mediation. This is typically a faster and less expensive way to resolve the case.
A civil case is a lawsuit brought by a pedestrian seeking compensation for damages they’ve suffered as a result of the accident. A criminal case is brought by the government that seeks to hold the driver criminally liable for their actions, which could result in fines or jail time.
Why should I hire a pedestrian accident attorney?
While many South Carolinians carry auto insurance that may cover injuries caused by an accident, insurance alone may not be enough to fully compensate for your losses.
This is where our attorneys can help.
Negotiating with an insurance company after a pedestrian accident can be a nightmare. Even if you have insurance coverage, you may still be left with substantial bills and losses.
Additionally, insurance companies often assume that the pedestrian was partially at fault for the accident, which can hurt your injury claim.
Proving negligence in South Carolina pedestrian accidents
South Carolina follows the principle of comparative negligence, which considers each party’s contribution to the accident when determining fault and compensation. If you (the injured pedestrian) were partially to blame for the accident, your compensation award would likely be reduced accordingly.
For example, if you were jaywalking and were hit by a car, you might be found to be partially liable for the accident. If you were determined to be 35% at fault, your final compensation award could be reduced by 35%.
Furthermore, if you were found to have contributed 50% or more to the accident, you would not be eligible to receive any compensation.
This is why it’s crucial to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help establish negligence and identify the at-fault party.
By working with a skilled attorney, you can pursue maximum compensation for your losses and protect your legal rights.
Get a free consultation with our Columbia accident attorneys
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, it’s essential that you hire an experienced attorney to ensure your rights are protected. At Smith, Born, Leventis, Taylor & Vega, our accident attorneys will gather evidence to support your claim and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to get you maximum financial compensation.
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t pay us anything unless we win.
Our team of skilled lawyers will handle every aspect of your case, so you can focus on your recovery.
Contact us today to schedule your first free consultation and learn more about how we can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.