Pedestrian Accident Attorney In Columbia
Our Columbia pedestrian accident attorney at the Strom Law Firm are familiar with litigating South Carolina personal injury cases and can often help victims recover substantially more compensation than they would be able to retain on their own, so it is highly advisable for anyone injured in an accident to discuss their options with one of our Columbia Pedestrian Accident Attorney.
From Five Points and Devine Street to The Vista and Downtown, Columbia has become more pedestrian-friendly over the past decade. Across the country, it is estimated that over four thousand pedestrians are killed annually and around seventy thousand are injured. These are daunting statistics. Columbia’s annual influx of students, football fans, and tourists creates even higher foot traffic around town, leading to a vehicle versus pedestrian accidents. Needless to say, such accidents can result in serious injury and death to the unfortunate pedestrian accident victims. Let our Columbia personal injury accident attorneys help you or your family if you have been injured.
Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Unfortunately, the majority of pedestrian accidents are caused by a driver’s negligence and failure to pay attention causing personal injury. In today’s world, technology provides simply too many distractions for drivers. From texting while driving to selecting music and podcasts, these distractions are usually caused by smartphones.
However, many distractions exist within the vehicles themselves. Satellite radios, air conditioning settings, even video displays can divert the attention of drivers. Sometimes, drivers are simply distracted by having too much on their mind, maybe troubles at home. Some drivers are too focused on being on time, and they drive at high speeds. Such distractions have unfortunately become commonplace across the country, Columbia SC included. Distracted drivers may:
- Run stop signs and traffic lights
- Turn into pedestrians who have the right of way
- Fail to see a pedestrian who is crossing the road
- Run off the road and strike pedestrians on sidewalks
- Drive under the influence
- Speed through intersections
If you have been victimized by a vehicle versus pedestrian accident, and suspect distracted driving may have been the cause, contact our personal injury attorneys today.
Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Usually Occur in Columbia?
Surprisingly, the vast majority of pedestrian deaths occur at locations other than intersections. Often, motorists do not realize that they need to be aware of pedestrians at all times and in all places where cars are driven. Pedestrians are struck in parking garages, parking lots, on stretches of road that do not have sidewalks, on sidewalks, crossing streets with no intersection, and many more locations.
How Much Harm Can Be Caused by Vehicle-Pedestrian Accidents?
As you would expect, walkers and runners who have been hit by cars and trucks often suffer severe injuries and, far too often, death. Pedestrians simply do not have the same amount of protection as those in vehicles. Pedestrians might be the most vulnerable victims of automobile accidents. In the case of a bicyclist or motorcycle accidents, those riding the bikes usually have helmets on. At least three thousand pound difference between a motor vehicle and a human being causes significant injury in the case of an accident. Such injuries often include:
- Spinal cord damage
- Tears, fractures, and broken bones
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Road Rash
Steps to Follow After a Pedestrian Accident
You can never fully plan for the disturbance caused by being struck by a car while walking down the road, but you can understand the essential steps you should take after an accident to protect you or your loved one’s rights and finances. Those steps are as follows:
1.) Get The Medical Care You Need
Regardless of the amount of pain or discomfort after a Columbia pedestrian-vehicle accident, always seek medical care. The symptoms of many injuries appear slowly, but a physician can often quickly diagnose hidden injuries. Also importantly, seeing a doctor as soon as possible ensures that proper records are kept of any injuries for future insurance claims or litigation.
2.) Do Not Speak To Insurance Adjusters or Their Lawyers
Most insurance companies will try and speak with you to settle your claim against the driver. Never speak with these companies. You should always have your accident reviewed by a personal injury lawyer before settling. Many insurance companies will attempt to take advantage of pedestrian accident victims’ frantic and confused states of mind immediately following an accident.
3.) Contact a Columbia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Immediately
There is no reason not to consult an experienced Columbia pedestrian accident attorney. A decent accident lawyer will never charge for an initial consultation, and the attorney will be able to help in determining any legal rights to recover compensation against the driver. A lawyer is also essential to serving as protection from insurance companies, who will try to contact you for a quick settlement for pennies on the dollar.
10 Columbia Pedestrian Accident FAQs
Did you suffer injuries in a pedestrian accident in Columbia? If you have specific questions about your right to compensation, contact Strom Law Firm, LLC today. If you have more general questions about pedestrian accident claims and your legal rights, take a look at our FAQs below.
Who pays my medical bills after a pedestrian accident in Columbia?
Serious injuries, like those often acquired in pedestrian accidents, can leave you with substantial medical bills. Many accident victims find themselves wondering how to handle those medical bills. If someone else caused your injuries, do you have to pay?
As the injured party, you have to make arrangements to pay your own medical bills. You will receive much-needed services to help you recover from your injuries, and you must pay for those services. However, you have several options for improving your ability to pay. You can:
Use your medical insurance. After a severe accident that leaves you with serious injuries, medical insurance provides you with a critical buffer that can make it easier to pay your bills. Contact your medical insurance provider to learn more about how the conditions of your accident will impact your insurance coverage, including whether your insurance will pay out as normal for your injuries.
You may also want to ask questions about coverage for:
- Long-term care
- In-home care
- Durable medical equipment
Some insurance providers, for example, may only cover a limited number of physical therapy sessions annually, even if you suffer injuries that require additional treatment or assistance. You may also want to ask about your copays and deductible to give you a better look at what your long-term medical bills will look like.
File a pedestrian accident injury claim to help you seek compensation. While a Columbia pedestrian accident claim will not require the liable party to pay for your medical bills directly, it will offer valuable compensation that will help you pay off your medical bills or replace the money you used to pay for your medical expenses. Talk to an attorney about how to calculate the medical expenses involved in your pedestrian accident claim.
Who bears liability in a Columbia pedestrian accident?
When it comes down to car versus pedestrian, the car almost always wins. After an accident, you may have severe injuries.
Who bears liability for those injuries? Most of the time, the driver of the vehicle that struck you bears liability for the accident. However, in some cases, other parties may share liability for a pedestrian accident. For example, if a driver on the clock at the time of the accident causes serious injuries due to negligence on the part of the company, the driver’s employer may share liability for the accident, especially if the driver fails to adhere to federal requirements due to company pressure.
Likewise, if an accident occurs due to mechanical failure, the vehicle manufacturer or a mechanic who recently worked on the vehicle might share liability for the accident. Consult an attorney to go over the circumstances that led to your accident and provide you with a better understanding of who might share liability for your injuries.
Identifying multiple liable parties can work in your favor. If you feel that numerous factors may have contributed to your accident, share those factors with your attorney. If more than one party contributed to your accident and your injuries, it may increase the compensation you ultimately receive for your injuries.
Can I file a claim after a Columbia pedestrian accident that occurred after I crossed at a location outside the crosswalk?
Ideally, you should always use a crosswalk to cross the street. Wait for the light to indicate that you can safely cross with the right of way. However, if you safely entered the street and a car strikes you before you can get to the other side, you may still have grounds to file a pedestrian accident injury claim against the driver that caused your accident. Consult an attorney to learn more about how those factors can contribute to your accident.
What rules does a pedestrian have to follow to avoid liability in an accident in Columbia?
Like drivers, pedestrians must follow all the rules of the road. You must adhere to traffic signals and not attempt to cut into the flow of heavy traffic. Before entering the street, you should always look around you and make sure that you can cross safely. A pedestrian has many of the same responsibilities as a driver when it comes to obeying traffic laws.
Does the driver always bear liability in a Columbia pedestrian accident?
Not necessarily. In some cases, another party may share liability for an accident. If, for example, the driver was operating the vehicle as part of their employment, their employer could bear liability for the accident. Liability issues can be complex, even in accidents that appear simple at first glance. Consult a Columbia pedestrian accident attorney at the Strom Law Firm, LLC, to learn more about what circumstances can affect liability in a pedestrian accident.
How long should I expect it to take to receive compensation after a Columbia pedestrian accident?
You should expect it to take some time to acquire compensation for your pedestrian accident. Your attorney may recommend waiting until you have progressed up to six months or more through your recovery before filing your Columbia pedestrian accident claim, depending on your doctors’ verdicts.
Traumatic brain injury, for example, can take some time to resolve, and it may take months before doctors have an accurate assessment of how much progress they feel you will make. If you suffered a spinal cord injury in your Columbia pedestrian accident, you may need six months before your doctors can assess your full odds of recovery, including how much mobility you will likely regain with time.
Next, you must consider how much you will need to negotiate before you reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company. In some cases, especially cases of severe injuries, the insurance company may drag out negotiations to wear you down and reduce the company’s financial liability as much as possible. In others, you may need to go through multiple rounds of negotiation to arrive at an agreement you find acceptable.
If you need to go to court, it can extend your claim even further.
Talk to your attorney to learn more about how long you should anticipate it taking to reach an agreement in your Columbia pedestrian accident claim. Your attorney may have a better idea of exactly how long you should expect it to resolve your claim.
What if the liable driver’s insurance company offers me a settlement agreement after a Columbia pedestrian accident? Should I take it?
After your pedestrian accident, you may feel your worry escalating as your medical bills rise alongside the full count of your lost wages. The longer it takes before you can return to work, the more those bills may pile up, and the more worried you may feel.
A fast settlement agreement may sound like an easy way out. With that money in hand, you can pay off your immediate bills and better manage your medical expenses, which can leave you feeling more comfortable with your financial status. Unfortunately, fast settlement agreements rarely reflect the full compensation you really deserve for your injuries.
In some cases, the insurance company may try to pressure you into a fast, early settlement agreement, taking advantage of your very real financial need to decrease its financial liability following a serious accident.
If you accept that offer, however, it may severely limit the compensation you ultimately receive for your injuries. Instead, talk to an attorney to learn more about your legal right to compensation and how long you should continue to negotiate.
Will I have to go to court to settle my Columbia pedestrian accident claim?
Most accident claims, including pedestrian accident claims, settle out of court. Insurance companies know that going to court not only extends the time needed to settle a claim, it can add significant expense to the entire legal situation. Choosing to settle out of court usually works in everyone’s best interests.
In some cases, however, the insurance company may decide to take your claim to court, especially if you need to ask for a substantial amount of money to cover your medical bills and other related expenses. Having an attorney on your side from the beginning can better prepare you for the possibility that you may need to go to court and any challenges you may face along the way.
Do I really need an attorney for a Columbia pedestrian accident claim?
Many pedestrians injured in serious accidents find that having an attorney on their side offers increased compensation over trying to handle their Columbia pedestrian accident claims on their own. Working closely with an attorney provides you with many advantages as you work to file your Columbia pedestrian accident claim.
An attorney can:
- Provide you with a better assessment of the compensation you really deserve. Do you understand the full compensation you deserve for injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident? An attorney can help break down the compensation you deserve and give you a better look at what you should expect.
- Investigate your claim. Are you sure you know all parties who may have contributed to your pedestrian accident? Do you have clear evidence of the driver’s negligence? An attorney can conduct a full investigation into your claim and produce evidence that can clearly establish what factors led to the accident.
- Support you through the process. Many people find that an attorney provides vital peace of mind following an accident with severe injuries. An attorney can take over negotiations on your behalf, manage communications with the insurance company, and ensure that you do not miss any vital details of your claim.
How much compensation do I deserve for injuries sustained in a Columbia pedestrian accident?
The compensation you ultimately receive for injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident will vary based on the conditions of your accident and the injuries you suffered.
An attorney can better evaluate your claim and give you an understanding of the full compensation you deserve based on factors that include:
- The party that caused your accident. Who caused your accident? The driver that caused your accident probably carries insurance, but how much? Commercial drivers, including rideshare drivers, often carry higher-value policies than the average private driver. The limits of the driver’s insurance policy can determine how much compensation you ultimately receive.
- The injuries you sustained. Severe injuries, including amputations, broken hips, or traumatic brain injury, can bring with them substantial, ongoing medical bills. Those medical bills may continue to mount as you pursue treatment. An experienced Columbia pedestrian accident attorney can help you assess the full extent of your medical bills, including everything from emergency medical treatment to ongoing therapy following your injuries.
- The income you lost. Severe injuries in a Columbia pedestrian accident can also cause you to miss substantial time at work. Contact your attorney to learn more about how to calculate your financial losses related to the accident.
- Your suffering. In addition to your tangible financial expenses, most Columbia pedestrian accident claims include an element for pain and suffering. Talk to us to learn more about how the suffering related to the accident affects your claim.
Strom Law Columbia Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Strom Law Firm is experienced in representing victims of Columbia pedestrian accidents and other traffic accidents. Our Columbia lawyers are ready to meet with you in person at your convenience. You can also contact us online or by phone at 803-252-4800 to schedule a time to talk with a member of our team.
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