South Carolina is one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians in the United States. According to preliminary figures for 2019, South Carolina had the country’s eighth highest number of pedestrian fatalities. This is according to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association. Between January and June, there were 83 pedestrian deaths. When measured by the rate of pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population, the state ranked fourth with 1.61 fatalities. Only New Mexico, Hawaii, and Florida had higher rates.
It is clear that there South Carolina has a serious problem with pedestrian-vehicle accidents. Even when pedestrians survive, many suffer serious injuries. What makes the figures even more difficult to deal with is that many of these accidents are preventable. More needs to be done to make the streets safer for pedestrians. However, as a pedestrian, you have the same right to use the state’s roads as motorists. If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian crash, you deserve to get compensation. However, you’ll need to work with an experienced Greenville car accident lawyer to ensure you get what you’re due.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrians are always at greater risk than other road users. They are easy to miss, and they have nothing to protect them from the impact of a vehicle. Even when they are hit by a driver who was traveling within the speed limit, they can suffer life-changing injuries. Common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Head trauma
- Spinal cord damage
Getting Compensation Following a Pedestrian Accident
Contrary to what some people believe, getting struck by a car doesn’t automatically result in a big payday. Compensation is primarily aimed at making the victim ‘whole’. This means returning them to the condition they were in prior to the accident as much as is possible. This means you can only claim compensation for damages you actually suffered. If you received permanent or long-term damage, you will be able to claim more than if your injuries were minor. Depending on your losses, you can seek compensation for:
- Ambulance and emergency room expenses
- Other hospital bills
- Medication or medical devices
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
In some cases, victims whose cases go to trial can seek punitive damages. This award is intended to punish the defendant for wrongdoing. Punitive damages in accident cases are rare in South Carolina. However, they may be available if the person who hit you was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Hit and run accidents may also be taken more seriously by the courts.
Your South Carolina auto accident lawyer will review all the circumstances relating to your case. That way, they will be able to calculate the full value of your claim. The higher your claim, the more reluctant the driver’s insurance company will be to pay you. That’s why you’ll need to properly document each loss or expense and make a strong case for compensation.
How Fault is Determined
You can only hold someone responsible for your injuries if you can prove their negligence contributed to the accident. Negligence means that the motorist failed to exercise reasonable care while driving. To prove negligence, you must show that:
- The driver had a legal duty towards you
- They breached that duty
- That breach caused your injuries
- You sustained harm
Pedestrian accidents can be complex. Drivers and their insurers will often argue that the pedestrian played a role in the accident. Even if the driver was speeding, they may say the pedestrian was not on a crosswalk when they attempted to cross the street. Even if you are partially responsible for an accident, you can still claim compensation in South Carolina. However, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. You need to work with an attorney to minimize your share of fault.
Contact Hernandez & Cabra Today to Schedule a Consultation
Walking around Greenville and other cities in South Carolina can be very pleasurable. However, cars and other motor vehicles pose a threat to pedestrians. If you get hit by a car and you suffered injuries, you should get compensation for your losses. Our auto accident attorneys in South Carolina will do everything they can to help you. Reach out to us today to schedule a free case review and get an expert legal opinion on your case. We work on a contingency basis, so you don’t pay until we secure compensation on your behalf.