Pedestrian Accident Lawyers South Carolina

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When you go out for a walk or a run, you don’t expect that you will be hit by a car. Yet pedestrian accidents are frighteningly common in South Carolina. In fact, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, a pedestrian is killed in a traffic accident every 1.9 days in our state.

Getting hit by a car as a walker or jogger can cause serious or even catastrophic injuries. A personal injury lawsuit may help you get the money that you need to move forward with your life. This may include financial compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other losses.

At the Derrick Law Office, we are fierce advocates for injury victims. We work hard to help our clients get maximum compensation for their injuries – along with some measure of justice. To schedule a free initial consultation with a South Carolina pedestrian accident lawyer, give our Simpsonville law firm a call today.

What Are Common Types of Pedestrian Accidents and Injuries?

Although South Carolina has strict laws for drivers that are meant to protect walkers, runners, and joggers, pedestrian accidents are still frighteningly common. Like most types of motor vehicle collisions, the primary cause of most pedestrian crashes is driver error.

Drivers may cause pedestrian accidents by:

  • Engaging in distracted driving;
  • Speeding;
  • Driving recklessly;
  • Failing to signal before turning;
  • Not looking before backing up or turning;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs; and
  • Failing to yield at crosswalks.

While pedestrians do have a responsibility to pay attention and follow the rules of the road – such as crossing at intersections instead of the middle of the busy street – the potential for serious harm is so high that drivers must be particularly careful. Common pedestrian accident injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
  • Spinal cord injuries;
  • Broken bones;
  • Internal organ damage;
  • Scarring;
  • Disfigurement;
  • Cuts and bruises.

Far too often, pedestrian accidents lead to fatal injuries. If a person is hurt – or if their loved one dies – due to a pedestrian accident, they may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver with the help of a South Carolina personal injury lawyer.

Can I File a Lawsuit Against a Negligent Driver for a Pedestrian Accident?

If you were stuck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, then you may be able to file a personal injury claim for your losses. Typically, this type of claim will be filed against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Most personal injury claims are based on a theory of negligence, which is a type of carelessness. A person is negligent if they fail to use the level of care that a reasonable person would use in a similar situation. For example, if a driver makes a turn into an intersection without checking that it is clear and hits someone as they walk across the street, they may be considered negligent.

The injury victim (plaintiff) in a personal injury case usually has to prove that the at-fault party (defendant) was negligent in some way. However, if the defendant violated a traffic law when causing an accident – such as not yielding to a pedestrian in a crosswalk – then they may be considered negligent per se. When a person is negligent per se, the accident victim does not have to prove that they were negligent – just that they violated a law that was intended to protect someone like them, and that violation led to the accident.

In some cases, the pedestrian accident victim was partially responsible for the crash. For example, if a pedestrian was hit by a car because they crossed against the light, then they could be considered somewhat at fault. Under South Carolina’s comparative negligence rules, the injury victim could still recover for their losses.

Comparative negligence acknowledges that personal injury cases can be complicated, and sometimes, more than one party was responsible for the collision. In South Carolina, as long as you are 50% or less to blame for a pedestrian accident, you can still recover financial compensation for your losses. Your total damages will be reduced by the percentage that you were at fault.

Negligence isn’t always straightforward. It can be difficult for many people to know whether they have a case – and how to go about getting money for their injuries. Reach out to the Derrick Law Office today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your rights and options for filing a claim.

Compensation and Settlements in a Pedestrian Accident Case

In a personal injury case, an injury victim may be entitled to three types of compensation, known as damages. Economic and non-economic damages compensate a person for their losses. Punitive damages may be available in cases where the at-fault party acted intentionally or recklessly.

Economic damages cover direct financial losses. They may include things like medical bills, property damage, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, and future medical care. If you suffered severe injuries, economic damages could even pay for things like modifications to your house or car for accessibility.

Non-economic damages pay for intangible losses. Examples of non-economic damages include emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring, and disfigurement. These types of losses can be harder to prove since you don’t generally get a bill for something like emotional trauma, but your personal injury attorneys will use their experience and work with experts to put together a claim.

Punitive damages may be available in cases where the defendant acted intentionally or recklessly, such as a drunk driving accident. These damages are meant to punish a wrongdoer instead of compensating an injured victim. In South Carolina, there is a cap of punitive damages of the greater of $677,065 or three times compensatory damages (economic plus non-economic damages).

If your loved one died as a result of a pedestrian accident, you may be able to recover financial compensation through a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death actions can include money for things like funeral or burial expenses, lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering of family members, and loss of care and companionship.

Insurance companies rarely give fair compensation to injury victims without being forced to do so by an experienced South Carolina pedestrian accident lawyer. Instead, their goal is to resolve the case for as little money as possible by offering a lowball settlement amount and pressuring accident victims to accept the money. They may also pressure a pedestrian accident victim into giving a statement or signing away important rights before they have had a chance to consult with a lawyer.

The best way to protect yourself against these types of tactics is by working with a skilled South Carolina personal injury law firm. During a free initial consultation, they will explain your rights and your legal options. If you decide to hire a lawyer, they will get to work right away to develop a strong compensation claim.

For pedestrian accidents, this will include things like interviewing witnesses, requesting photos and videos of the accident scene, obtaining accident reports, and reviewing medical records and bills. They will also research South Carolina law to support your case.

Next, your attorney will write a demand letter to the insurance company where they will set out the facts of the case and the legal reason that their insured is liable. The letter will end with a demand for compensation. In most cases, the insurance company will respond with a counteroffer, and the negotiation process will begin. 

It may be necessary to file a lawsuit to protect your legal rights. Even so, the vast majority of personal injury cases are resolved outside of court. Having an aggressive Simpsonville pedestrian accident lawyer on your side can help you get the money that you deserve for your losses.

How Our Law Firm Can Help

Being hit by a car can be incredibly traumatic. In the aftermath, your main focus might simply be on getting better and recovering both physically and emotionally. You might not have the bandwidth to deal with a personal injury claim. Our law firm can take on the burden for you, and fight for your right to full compensation.

Based in Simpsonville, the Derrick Law Office represents accident victims throughout South Carolina. We offer free initial consultations for all prospective clients and never charge a fee unless we get money for you. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a South Carolina pedestrian accident attorney, give us a call at 864-531-7765 or fill out our online contact form.

The Insurance Adjuster Is Offering Me a Settlement. Do I Really Need a Lawyer?

Yes. You should never sign anything, give a statement, or accept an offer in a personal injury case until after you have had a chance to speak with an attorney. There is a strong likelihood that this settlement offer won’t cover all of your losses. Insurance companies tend to favor economic damages and often don’t appropriately account for things like future medical treatment, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other losses.

If you want to get a fair settlement for your injuries, the best option is to work with a South Carolina pedestrian accident lawyer. Give the Derrick Law Office a call today to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for a South Carolina Pedestrian Accident?

In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is 3 years. With a few exceptions – such as for minors under the age of 18 at the time of the accident – you must file a lawsuit within 3 years from the date of the accident. If you fail to do so, then your case may be thrown out of court.

The statute of limitations is just one reason why it’s so important to consult with a lawyer sooner rather than later. Your attorney can ensure that your case is filed on time – and that your legal rights are protected. Call the Derrick Law Office to talk to a South Carolina personal injury attorney about your pedestrian accident case.

How Can I Pay for a Lawyer to Represent Me in a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit?

Personal injury law firms typically handle cases on a contingency fee basis. With a contingency fee, you pay nothing upfront and only pay an attorney’s fee if you recover money through a settlement or verdict at trial. The fee that you pay will be a percentage of your total recovery.

Contingency fee agreements make it possible for anyone, regardless of your financial status, to hire a lawyer. It also aligns your interests with your lawyer’s, as you’re both interested in recovering as much money as possible, as quickly as possible. Contact the Derrick Law Office today to talk to a South Carolina pedestrian accident lawyer about your case.