South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Sheds Light On The Increasing And Potentially Fatal Pedestrian Injuries
In 2015, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This averages to one crash-related pedestrian death every 1.6 hours.
Additionally, the CDC reports almost 129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for non-fatal crash-related injuries in 2015. Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash on each trip.
When injured by a vehicle, a pedestrian may recover damages for the injuries suffered if someone else’s negligence caused or contributed to the incident. Negligence is the failure to do (or not do) something that a reasonable person in a similar situation would, to protect others from foreseeable risks. To establish negligence in a pedestrian accident, the injured person (the “plaintiff”) must prove four things about the person at fault (the “defendant”):
- They owed a legal duty to the plaintiff under the circumstances; and
- Failed to fulfill (“breached”) that legal duty through action or inaction; and
- Caused an accident or injury involving the plaintiff; and
- Harmed or injured the plaintiff as a result.
When a pedestrian is injured, there may be more than one party with legal responsibility for the accident. Depending on the circumstances, potentially liable parties include the driver of a vehicle that strikes a pedestrian, the owner of that vehicle if different than the driver, and the pedestrian himself or herself.
In South Carolina law, there are conflicting statutes that place responsibility on drivers and pedestrians. One statute makes it illegal to walk in a roadway if there is a shoulder or sidewalk available, while another makes drivers responsible for taking all available measures to watch for people and things in the road and avoid placing their car in a situation that could lead to an accident even if they have the legal right of way. These conflicts lead to wide discrepancies in who gets ticketed or placed at fault in a police report.
If you are injured as a pedestrian on the roadways, you may be entitled to recover for your losses and injuries, regardless of who was cited for the accident. A Rock Hill pedestrian accident lawyer at Schiller & Hamilton can assist you in resolving your case.