Pedestrian Accidents in South Carolina
From the upstate to our popular coastal destinations to the southern border and everywhere in between, South Carolina has become more pedestrian friendly over the past decade. People all over are heading out on foot more frequently, whether on a leisurely walk or running for recreation and exercise to get those daily steps in, or as a daily mode of transportation to the store or work as a physically and environmentally healthy mode of travel. However, traveling on foot on and near South Carolina roads poses danger to all pedestrians. Pedestrian accidents remain among the most dangerous of all traffic accidents because pedestrians have no protection going up against a motor vehicle of any sort. When a car, truck, bus, or motorcycle strikes them, injuries can often be severe…sometimes catastrophic.
Negligent or reckless drivers often strike pedestrians because they are not prioritizing safety while driving as a reasonable person should. If you have suffered injuries during a pedestrian accident as the result of a careless motor vehicle driver, the law permits you to seek damages in court. Contact Strom Law’s South Carolina Pedestrian Accident Lawyers to get the legal help you deserve.
How frequently do South Carolina Pedestrian Accidents happen?
Across the country, it is estimated that over four thousand pedestrians are killed annually and around seventy thousand are injured. South Carolina holds the nation’s sixth highest pedestrian fatality rate per 100,000 residents. These are daunting statistics. South Carolina’s annual influx of students, football fans, and tourists creates even higher foot traffic around our cities and towns, leading to vehicle versus pedestrian accidents. Needless to say, such accidents can result in serious injury and death to the unfortunate pedestrian accident victims.
Rising numbers of pedestrian deaths have garnered increasing attention across the country, spurring Vision Zero programs—a road-safety initiative aimed at bringing pedestrian fatalities to zero—to be adopted and municipalities to reconsider how cars and people interact on streets.
Estimates of 2019 pedestrian fatalities from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reveal that, through last year, the upward trend of deaths has continued. In 2019, according to GHSA, pedestrian deaths were up 5 percent compared to the year prior, with 6,590 pedestrians killed, the highest number since 1988. That total translates to 2.0 deaths per 100,000 people, which is the highest since 1997.
The association cites a number of possible reasons for the continuing increase in deaths, including the growing popularity of light trucks and SUVs, warmer weather, and an increase in cellphone use while driving. The study notes that in 2009, 48 percent of new vehicle sales were light trucks (which includes SUVs), and in 2018, that number had risen to 69 percent. It also says pedestrians who are struck by a large SUV are twice as likely to die as those struck by a car.
Can a South Carolina pedestrian be at fault in an accident?
We have all frequently heard the adage, “Pedestrians have the right of way.” But you will find this is not always true. Certainly, there are accident scenarios in which a vehicle driver is clearly at fault for hitting a pedestrian. Running a stoplight, failing to stop at a designated crosswalk, and making a right turn on a red light in front of a crossing pedestrian are just a few common examples.
But in general, pedestrians are deemed to have a better chance of avoiding car accidents, compared with vehicle drivers. Car accidents involving pedestrians do not often occur outside the roadway. And pedestrians are the ones who typically determine when, and whether, they leave a sidewalk or shoulder to enter a roadway.
Basically, every person is expected to exercise a reasonable level of care under a given set of circumstances. For example, drivers and pedestrians are expected to obey traffic laws and the “rules of the road” when using the streets, highways, crosswalks. If a person fails to act with reasonable care and ends up causing harm to another person, the law considers the first person negligent, regardless of who was driving and who was walking. So, if a pedestrian fails to exercise reasonable care in some way, and that failure causes a car accident, the pedestrian will be considered at fault.
What are the laws in South Carolina regarding pedestrians?
There are many statutes on the books in South Carolina dealing with pedestrians and how they and drivers around them must conduct themselves to maintain safety on South Carolina roadways. These often come into play in pedestrian versus vehicle accidents and you need an experienced South Carolina pedestrian attorney to help you navigate your case.
SECTION 56-5-3110. Pedestrian obedience to traffic control devices and traffic regulations.
(a) A pedestrian shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device specifically applicable to him unless otherwise directed by a police officer
(b) Pedestrians shall be subject to traffic and pedestrian control signals as provided in Sections 56-5-970 and 56-5-990.
(c) At all other places pedestrians shall be accorded the privileges and shall be subject to the restrictions stated in this chapter.
SECTION 56-5-3120. Local regulations.
Local authorities may by ordinance require that pedestrians shall strictly comply with the directions of any official traffic control signal and may by ordinance prohibit pedestrians from crossing any roadway in a business district or any designated highways except in a crosswalk.
SECTION 56-5-3130. Pedestrians’ right of way in crosswalks.
(a) When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to yield to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
(b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
(c) Subsection (a) shall not apply under the conditions stated in subsection
(b) of Section 56-5-3150.
(d) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.
SECTION 56-5-3140. Pedestrian shall use right half of crosswalk.
Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of crosswalks.
SECTION 56-5-3150. Crossing at other than crosswalks.
(a) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
(b) Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
(c) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.
(d) No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic control devices and when authorized to cross diagonally pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic control devices pertaining to such crossing movements.
SECTION 56-5-3160. Pedestrians on highways.
(a) Where a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.
(b) Where a sidewalk is not available any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk only on a shoulder as far as practicable from the edge of the roadway.
(c) Where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk as
near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway and, if on a two way roadway, shall walk only on the left side of the roadway.
(d) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, any pedestrian upon a roadway shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
SECTION 56-5-3170. Pedestrians prohibited on freeways.
(A) No person as a pedestrian, unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer, shall occupy any space within the limits of the roadway and shoulder of the main facility of a freeway, except to perform public works or official duties, as a result of an emergency caused by an accident or breakdown of a motor vehicle, or to obtain assistance.
The prohibitions imposed by this subsection on the use of freeways do not apply to service roads alongside the highways.
(B) A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one hundred dollars or
imprisoned not more than thirty days.
SECTION 56-5-3180. Pedestrians soliciting rides or business.
(a) No person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride.
(b) Except when authorized by the provisions of Section 5-27-910, no person shall stand on a highway for the purpose of soliciting employment, business, or contributions from the occupant of any vehicle.
(c) No person may stand on or in proximity to a street or highway for the purpose of soliciting the watching or guarding of any vehicle while parked or about to be parked on a street or highway.
SECTION 56-5-3190. Only blind or incapacitated person may raise certain canes.
It is unlawful for any person, unless totally or partially blind or otherwise incapacitated, while on any public street or highway to carry in a raised or extended position a cane or walking stick which is white in color or white tipped with red.
SECTION 56-5-3200. Vehicle shall stop for pedestrian guided by dog or raising cane.
Whenever a pedestrian is crossing or attempting to cross a public street or highway, guided by a guide dog or carrying in a raised or extended position a cane or walking stick which is white in color or white tipped with red, the driver of every vehicle approaching the intersection or place where such pedestrian is attempting to cross shall bring his vehicle to a full stop before arriving at such intersection or place of crossing and before proceeding shall take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid injuring such pedestrian.
SECTION 56-5-3220. Effect of failure of incapacitated person to carry walking stick or cane, or to be guided by dog.
Nothing contained in Sections 56-5-3190 and 56-5-3200 shall be construed to deprive any totally or partially blind or otherwise incapacitated person not carrying such a cane or walking stick or not being guided by a dog of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon pedestrians crossing streets or highways, nor shall the failure of such totally or partially blind or otherwise incapacitated person to carry a cane or walking stick or to be guided by a guide dog upon the streets, highways, or sidewalks of this State to be held to constitute or be evidence of contributory negligence.
SECTION 56-5-3230. Drivers to exercise due care.
Notwithstanding other provisions of any local ordinance, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human powered vehicle and shall give an audible signal when necessary and
shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated or intoxicated person.
SECTION 56-5-3240. Driving through safety zone prohibited.
No vehicle shall at any time be driven
through or within a safety zone.
SECTION 56-5-3250. Pedestrians’ right of way on sidewalks.
The driver of a vehicle crossing a sidewalk shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian and all other traffic on the sidewalk.
SECTION 56-5-3260. Pedestrians yield to authorized emergency vehicles.
(a) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle making use of an audible signal meeting the requirements of Section 56-5-4970 and visual signals meeting the requirements of Section 56-5-4700, or of a police vehicle properly and lawfully making use of an audible signal only, every pedestrian shall yield the right of way to the authorized emergency vehicle.
(b) This section shall not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway nor from the duty to exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian.
SECTION 56-5-3270. Pedestrians under influence of alcohol or drugs.
A pedestrian who is under the influence of alcohol, or any drug, to a degree which renders himself a hazard shall not walk or be upon a highway except a sidewalk.
SECTION 56-5-3280. Bridge and railroad signals.
(a) No pedestrian shall enter or remain upon any bridge or approach thereto beyond the bridge signal, gate or barrier after a bridge operation signal indication has been given.
(b) No pedestrian shall pass through, around, over or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad grade crossing or bridge while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.
Where do South Carolina pedestrian accidents usually occur?
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) estimates 7,668 died in pedestrian or non-traffic incidents in 2019. Non-traffic incidents occur in non-traffic areas like driveways, parking lots, or other private property. The latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in 2019 6,205 pedestrians died in traffic crashes occurring on public roads.
According to NHTSA data, in 2019 most pedestrian traffic deaths occurred in urban settings (82%), on the open road (73%) versus intersections (26%), and during dark lighting conditions (80%). The largest number of pedestrian deaths occur on Saturdays (1,042), and the majority of these deaths happen during dark lighting conditions (853).
Except for a decline on Saturday and Sunday, the number of pedestrian deaths during daylight hours is relatively consistent throughout the week. However, pedestrian fatalities at night (during dark lighting conditions) vary substantially. Night time pedestrian deaths are at their lowest point on Tuesday and increase throughout the remainder of the week, peaking on Saturday.
Surprisingly, the vast majority of pedestrian deaths occur at locations other than intersections, which often contain specific safety features like crosswalks, signs, and signals to help protect pedestrians. Intersections are an area where drivers become more specifically aware that they must watch for a yield to pedestrians. But often, motorists do not realize that they need to be aware of pedestrians at all times and in all places where cars are driven, not just at intersections or where crosswalks are in place. Pedestrians can be struck in parking garages, parking lots, on sidewalks, on stretches of road that do not have sidewalks, crossing streets with no intersection, and many more locations.
What are the causes of vehicle versus pedestrian accidents in South Carolina?
Unfortunately, the majority of pedestrian accidents are caused by an automobile driver’s negligent inattention. In today’s world, technology creates many distractions for drivers — texting and emailing, selecting music or podcasts, satellite navigation, climate control, and any other of the many things displayed on a phone or other screen within the vehicle. Sometimes the focus on punctuality or even just deep thought can distract a driver. South Carolina drivers who become distracted may:
- Run a stop sign or traffic light
- Turn into a pedestrian who has the right of way
- Fail to see a pedestrian who is crossing the road
- Run off the road and strike a pedestrian on a sidewalk
- Speed through intersections or in other high pedestrian traffic areas
Some of the causes of a motorist’s failure to maintain safe and appropriate levels of attention to safety while driving on South Carolina roads are due to particular negligence on their part, or can be exacerbated by the negligence of others besides the driver who may be at fault.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Any time a driver gets behind the wheel of a car after consuming alcohol or taking drugs, they put everyone on the road at risk for accident and injury, including pedestrians. When drivers are impaired, they cannot take in all the information that comes at them while driving. They become unable to react as quickly and they can also struggle with judging distance. Even if a drunk or drugged driver sees a pedestrian in time to slow their vehicle, they might not be able to react in time to prevent an accident, or to react in a way that fully avoids coming into contact with a pedestrian.
Failure to Yield to Pedestrians
Motor vehicle operators have an elevated duty of care to pedestrians when they are behind the wheel of an automobile. A majority of pedestrian accidents occur because drivers fail to uphold this duty. They may not yield to pedestrians, as required by law, potentially causing injury or death. This is especially true at crosswalks. South Carolina is a state which gives the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk by statute. But many drivers on the road are not aware of this rule, even when signs are posted to remind them at intersections and crosswalks.
Sometimes the failure to yield to pedestrians occurs as a result of distracted driving. Recent crackdowns on texting and driving across the nation have led to an overall reduction in these accidents. South Carolina law expressly prohibits texting while driving. However, many drivers on the road simply refuse to adhere to these rules whether it be blatantly on a regular basis or by making a careless exception for something they deem too important to wait before reading and responding to emails, texts, social media, or dealing with other notifications and alerts. In addition, more and more new vehicles are on the road now with a driver’s phone connected to their car’s infotainment system. Even when a driver does not pick up their phone to view these distractions, they can be flashed on screens inside the cabin, momentarily distracting a driver. Moreover, numerous people work from their cars while on the road and the use of tablets and laptops provided by companies to their workers are an additional source of distraction.
Before the new laws, texting and driving was a secondary violation that required law enforcement to pull a driver over for something else, such as speeding or a broken taillight, before issuing a citation. Unfortunately, cell phone use is not the only distraction that can lead to a dangerous pedestrian accident.
Other culprits of driver distraction include:
- Adjusting vehicle features like radios, seats, climate control, and power windows or sunroofs
- Eating or drinking
- Reaching to the floor or in the backseat for dropped items
- Tending to backseat passengers, especially children
- Having arguments or deep conversations with occupants
- Personal grooming such as brushing hair or putting on makeup
- Focusing on an event outside of the vehicle, typically a traffic accident
Any activity that takes a driver’s hands off the wheel, their eyes off the road, or their mind away from the close attention required for safe driving can lead to a traffic accident, putting pedestrians at risk for injury or death.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), responsible for regulating the trucking industry, has devoted ample resources on studying the relationship between sleep and driving because truckers often have demanding schedules that interfere with the body’s needs for a full night of restful sleep. There are rules and laws about how long a driver can be on the road before breaks must be taken and how much time must be set aside each 24 hours for sleep. Many trucking companies put these rules into their operating procedures and standards. However, expected schedules and time constraints often are at odds with being able to maintain these safe schedules of restfulness for their drivers. Regardless of whether a driver is operating a big rig or driving a personal vehicle, those who do not get enough sleep risk causing an accident that can hurt or kill a pedestrian.
The FMCSA found that 18 hours without sleep impairs a person’s body to the same extent that a 0.08 blood alcohol level causes impairment. This means that drowsy or fatigued drivers cannot react in a timely manner to pedestrians, or that they might fall asleep at the wheel and cause a fatal accident. Fatigue and drowsiness can also be a result of untreated sleep disorders like apnea and narcolepsy, poor health, and the improper use of prescribed medications.
There are numerous different driving behaviors that might fall under the umbrella of reckless driving. But they all share the same characteristic: a complete disregard for the law and safety of others on the road. Reckless drivers who speed excessively, do not slow down for inclement weather, make quick lane changes, and generally do not follow traffic regulations and safe driving procedures, are negligently risking striking a pedestrian and causing serious or catastrophic injuries.
Illegal street racing has been a fixture on certain American roads for decades. While it is most commonly associated with places like California based on the hugely successful Fast and Furious film franchise, head-to-head drag races are popular in many cities and towns and can occur anywhere at any time, regardless of location or what innocent bystanders might be on the road. People tend to use “street racing” as an umbrella term. It might mean two cars speeding side-by-side on a strip of road. It could be two or more cars chasing each other recklessly and at high speeds through normal traffic occupying the roads through a city. Or it could be what the law calls “laying drag”, which includes drivers zig-zagging or doing 360-degree doughnut spins. Locals in areas with this type of activity say stunts like these are more common lately than traditional races. Enthusiasts of this activity sometimes stage what is called a “takeover”, blocking off a particular area of the road to cars coming the other way to do “sideshows” for onlookers. If you happen to be a pedestrian in an area where this is occurring, you are at the mercy of those driving recklessly around you and your safety is very much at risk due to their reckless and willful negligence.
In these situations, pedestrians very often do not see the accident coming. They have little to no time to get out of the way and avoid injury. Reckless and careless drivers are focused only on their own driving and fail to pay attention to everything around them. A person who is unwilling to follow along in traffic and obey the laws of the roadway is unlikely to be looking out for pedestrians nearby. And, if they do manage to notice, they are either traveling too fast or making such dangerous maneuvers that it does not give them the ability or the time to react and avoid striking someone in the road or on a sidewalk.
Poor Road Maintenance
Some situations exist where those responsible for road maintenance might share liability for a pedestrian accident with one or more motorists. When roads are unkempt and have potholes or sinkholes, a pedestrian might trip and fall when crossing traffic and suffer injuries after a vehicle strikes them. Overgrown shoulder grass, bushes and trees can force a pedestrian off a sidewalk or into the roadway to get through. And sometimes signs and roadway paint are not visible to drivers or pedestrians, creating an unsafe situation they have a duty to prevent.
Similarly, when traffic control devices, including signs and signals, are missing, or not working properly, vehicles might not stop when they are supposed to and strike pedestrians crossing the road. Pedestrians always have the right of way. But when traffic control devices fail or intersections become blinded by poorly maintained foliage, drivers might not be able to react quickly enough to avoid an accident with a pedestrian.
Defective Vehicles or Vehicle Parts
If a vehicle suffers a mechanical failure because of a defect, the driver can lose control, leading to a tragic traffic accident. Automobile and automobile part manufacturers have a responsibility to put cars and car parts on the market that are safe for consumer use. However, defects do occur during the design and manufacturing stages of a vehicle or vehicle part.
Sometimes defects occur and manufacturers do not know about it until people have been hurt or killed. However, at times, they do know but have chosen for monetary or brand image reasons not to recall a car for the repair. Some defects that especially might cause pedestrian accidents include failed braking systems or brake pads and defective tires that can lead to blowouts and loss of control.
If you have been victimized by a vehicle versus pedestrian accident, and suspect distracted driving, drunk driving, poor roadway maintenance, or a defective vehicle malfunction may have been the cause, contact our experienced pedestrian attorneys today.
Who is most at risk for becoming involved in a pedestrian accident?
Any person walking on around near South Carolina roadways can be at risk for a pedestrian accident. However, some people are at a heightened risk and should take extra care when walking:
- Children – Whether accompanied or not, there are frequently times when children need to walk on or near roads. They are still developing their smarts and senses for avoiding danger and should have adults assisting them to learn to hone their awareness and the rules of the road.
- The Elderly – With hearing and visual deficits creeping in, elder adults are at particular risk for not hearing or seeing a car approaching them. And physical ailments and delayed reaction times can prevent them from getting out of the way in time.
- Persons with Disabilities – Persons with visual and hearing impairments use the roadways and are often trained to do so. But they are still at greater risk because drivers often do not know they should be taking even greater care. And persons with physical disabilities can be hindered or prevented from getting out of the way to avoid an accident with a car on the roadway. Many towns and cities are becoming ADA compliant at intersections and crosswalks to assist.
- Intoxicated Persons – It is always preferable to walk versus drive if a person is intoxicated. However, intoxication affects your ability to react safely, quickly, and appropriately if a car is approaching, especially at night. Take extra care on or around roadways as a pedestrian if you have been drinking.
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 frequently suffer severe injuries, and often death. Pedestrians can be the most vulnerable victims of automobile and bus accidents. In bicyclist or motorcycle accidents, those riders usually have on helmets. The 3,000 plus pound difference between a motor vehicle and a human being that can cause significant injury in the case of an accident. Such injuries often include:
What is jaywalking and how does it relate to pedestrian accidents?
Jaywalking is crossing the street or roadway outside a designated crosswalk. Motorists can certainly become annoyed at having to stop in the middle of the road because a pedestrian chooses not to walk over to a crosswalk and do things in a law-abiding manner. But motorists are not permitted to hit a jaywalker who is outside a crosswalk. However, if they do, they may have a defense against you which your lawyer will need to help you contend with.
If a pedestrian fails to follow the rules and laws discussed above and that failure plays a part in an pedestrian accident, the pedestrian will probably be found at least partially at fault. Practically speaking, this means any damages the pedestrian is able to recover (including compensation for injuries) from other at-fault parties may be lowered. The exact role that a pedestrian’s negligence will play in a legal claim will depend on the “shared fault” rules in place.
What are contributory and comparative negligence?
In a few states, a contributory negligence rule is in place. This means if a pedestrian was not following the law or rules of the roadway and is struck by a motorist who is clearly at fault, they can be barred from any recovery at all due to their contributing negligence. South Carolina, however, does not follow this harsh rule.
South Carolina is, instead, a comparative negligence state. In comparative negligence, the plaintiff’s level of fault determines the total amount they can ultimately recover from other at-fault parties. This means that a claimant who is found to be 50% at fault for an accident will have their recoverable damages lessened by 50%, a claimant who is 20% liable for an accident can recover damages but they will be lessened by 20% and so on.
If a person is injured in an accident while jaywalking and the driver was either speeding, intoxicated, or distracted, then the injured person can claim damages against the driver under South Carolina’s comparative negligence laws. It is up to the jury to decide how much at fault the pedestrian is and the damages they award will be reduced by that amount.
How can I avoid a South Carolina Pedestrian Accident?
In short, even being attentive and following all the rules and good safety sense, you cannot always avoid a vehicle coming into contact with you on South Carolina roadways. However, there are some tips to try and keep yourself more safe while traveling on or around South Carolina roads as a pedestrian.
Always Use Sidewalks and Crosswalks
As discussed above in the section on South Carolina laws regarding pedestrians, there are legal limits on where a person can travel on the road. Following those rules and staying in designated areas can help keep you safe.
Walk Facing Traffic
There could be places where sidewalks are not available. When you walk on the side of the road, choose the side where you face the oncoming traffic moving toward you so you can watch the cars and make sure they see you.
Hold Hands with Your Children
Young children have a tendency to dart without thinking if they see something that interests them or they drop something they are holding. And children of all ages are still learning to use maximum awareness when walking in a dangerous situation. Having a hold of them makes sure you can alert them if you see a danger approaching so they will be with you if it is time to get out of the way of a driver who is not being safe.
Do Not Use Your Cellphone When Walking on the Road
Using your mobile phone either on a call or for texting, social media, reading news, or listening to music while you walk on the road can be dangerous. Earbuds or headphones prevent you from hearing sounds of approaching cars that could help you avoid a distracted driver. And keeping your eyes on the road is just as important when you are walking near drivers as it is when you are driving yourself.
Be Visible at All Times, and Especially at Night
Wear bright colors at all times while walking, both day and night, to help drivers notice you. And wearing reflective material of some sort on you at night makes you very visible when headlights shine on you. Never wear dark clothing while walking at night.
While you can never fully plan for the disturbance caused by being struck by a car while walking down the road, 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:
Get the Medical Care You Need
Regardless of the amount of pain or discomfort after a South Carolina 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.
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.
Contact a South Carolina Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Immediately
There is no reason not to consult an experienced South Carolina pedestrian accident attorney. Our lawyers will never charge for an initial consultation, and can help determine your legal rights to recover compensation. A lawyer is also essential to serve as protection from insurance companies, who will try to contact you for a quick settlement for pennies on the dollar.
Strom Law Firm is experienced in representing victims of South Carolina pedestrian accidents and other traffic accidents. Our 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.