Rock Hill Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you were recently injured in a pedestrian accident in the Rock Hill area, you have probably suffered injuries, devastating financial losses, and a significant impact to your quality of life.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that approximately 129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal vehicle crash injuries in a single recent year. The CDC also states that pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than vehicle passengers to be killed in a car crash.
Because people are so vulnerable while walking, drivers must take extra care to watch out for them and keep them safe. When a driver fails in this duty and you are injured as a result, you may be entitled to bring legal action against them to seek compensation for your losses.
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian car accident, you should immediately seek medical care, and then contact the Rock Hill pedestrian accident lawyers of Schiller & Hamilton to learn about your legal options during a free consultation.
How do You Determine Fault for a Pedestrian Accident?
Drivers are expected to exercise greater care when driving in areas with pedestrians since a pedestrian typically has the right of way. In many cases, the vehicle driver is at fault for a car accident with a pedestrian, especially if a driver fails to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, runs a stop sign or stoplight, or is speeding.
In motor vehicle accident trials including those involving pedestrians, many states use a system of comparative negligence where the jury or judge is asked to determine the percentage each party is at fault for the accident. The plaintiff’s damages are divided according to each party’s percentage of fault, such that if a pedestrian is found to be, for example, 10 percent responsible for the accident, their award would be reduced by that amount.
South Carolina uses a modified form of comparative negligence, in which a plaintiff must also be found less than majority at fault to be eligible to recover damages. A pedestrian who fails to cross the street or road at designated crosswalks, attempts to cross against oncoming traffic, or attempts to walk areas not designated for pedestrians such as interstate highways, for example, may be found to have contributed to the accident.
In addition to the vehicle’s driver, other parties may be at fault for an accident, such as the owner of a road or parking lot that is found to be negligently designed and contributed to the accident. An experienced Rock Hill pedestrian accident lawyer will be able to help in determining fault.
Where Accidents Happen
Many motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians occur in crosswalks or when pedestrians attempt to cross streets and roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 76 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred in urban areas as opposed to 26 percent in rural areas. Moreover, 72 percent of fatalities occurred when pedestrians attempted to cross streets and roads outside of intersections and crosswalks, while 18 percent of fatalities occurred at intersections.
Pedestrian accidents can occur in other places, too. NHTSA reported than 10 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred in locations such as roadsides, medians, parking zones, sidewalks, driveways, and shared-use paths. Parking lanes, lots, garages, and driveways can be susceptible to these incidents, as the crowded, cramped conditions can make it difficult for less-attentive drivers to notice pedestrians around their vehicles.
Being hit by a car as a pedestrian is likely to result in serious and life-threatening injuries. These injuries may include:
- Broken bones
- Ligament and tendon damage and tears
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Coma/vegetative state
These injuries may result in expensive medical care, possibly for the rest of your life, in addition to the loss of working ability and wages, and pain and suffering. Through a personal injury action, you can pursue financial compensation to cover these and other losses.
Especially if the car is traveling at high speeds, many collisions with people on foot tragically result in death. If your loved one was killed by being hit by a car, a Rock Hill pedestrian accident lawyer can help you pursue a wrongful death claim. Through this claim, you may be eligible to receive compensation for funeral expenses, loss of consortium, and loss of financial support, among other losses.
What Steps Should You Take Following an Injury?
If you are a pedestrian hit by a car, you or someone at the scene should immediately call 911. In the shock and chaos of the accident you may not realize that you have suffered serious injuries. Remain at the scene. Paramedics will determine whether you are okay to go home or should go to the hospital for further examination and treatment.
Police will also investigate the accident. The police report may be helpful to establish the fault of the driver or other parties. You should also obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
If you are not transported to the hospital from the scene of the accident, at some point soon after the accident you should visit the hospital or your primary care physician to determine whether you have suffered any injuries from the accident requiring treatment.
Finally, avoid making statements to any witnesses, the driver of the vehicle that hit you, or any insurance companies, as those statements may be used against you in a subsequent claim. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible so that they can handle all communications on your behalf.
Hiring a Rock Hill Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one was struck by a vehicle, our experienced Rock Hill pedestrian accident attorneys can help you pursue maximum compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other accident-related losses.
Contact the attorneys of Schiller & Hamilton for more information and to set up a free consultation. Our knowledgeable injury lawyers will discuss your accident and inform you about your rights and legal options as an injured pedestrian. Contact us today by phone or online for assistance.