Charleston Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Pedestrian Accidents in South Carolina
Although thousands of people walk in and around Charleston every day, the area remains incredibly dangerous for pedestrians. In fact, pedestrian injuries and fatalities have been steadily increasing throughout South Carolina over the past five years. In 2018, the latest year for which data are available, 170 people died in pedestrian accidents in South Carolina, a 6.3% increase from the previous year.
If you were hit by a car or if someone you love died in a pedestrian accident, Clawson Fargnoli Utsey, LLC can help. We know that no amount of compensation will negate the pain and suffering you and your family have been through. However, a successful personal injury or wrongful death claim can allow you to recover the financial resources you need to manage unexpected challenges and begin the healing process.
What Are the Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
Pedestrian accidents can happen for a wide variety of reasons; sometimes, pedestrians themselves are not being careful or paying attention to their surroundings. However, the vast majority of these accidents happen because the driver was careless, reckless, or otherwise negligent.
Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Failure to yield to pedestrians in marked or unmarked crosswalks
- Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs
- Fatigued driving
- Low visibility due to weather conditions, time of day, etc.
- Unsafe crossings
- Failure to obey traffic control devices (“walk/do not walk” signals, red lights, etc.)
While pedestrians do not always have the right of way—for example, they are prohibited from crossing on red lights/do not walk signals or darting out into the roadway—the fact is cars, SUVs, motorcycles, trucks, and other vehicles can cause massive damage when they collide with a human being. As such, motorists have a duty to do everything they can to avoid hitting people on foot. Drivers should utilize extra caution around anyone who appears impaired, disabled, disoriented, or intoxicated.
Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?
Generally speaking, motorists have a greater duty of care to pedestrians due to a vehicle’s potential to cause severe injury or death in a pedestrian-vehicle accident. However, by law, pedestrians are required to yield to vehicles in certain situations.
Below are some of South Carolina’s pedestrian laws:
- Pedestrians must follow applicable traffic control devices, including red lights, stop signs, walk/do not walk and/or wait signals, crossing guards, etc.
- Pedestrians may only cross roadways in designated crosswalks (marked or unmarked) and should use the right half of the crosswalk
- When there is an adjacent sidewalk, pedestrians are not permitted to walk in or along the roadway or the shoulder except when necessary
- When a vehicle is approaching too quickly or is too close to yield, pedestrians are prohibited from stepping out into the roadway or leaving a place of safety to cross
- Pedestrians are prohibited from walking along a freeway or highway unless absolutely necessary or directed by a police officer
- Unless specifically permitted by road signs and/or traffic control devices, pedestrians are not allowed to cross an intersection diagonally
If a pedestrian is found to have violated the law or acted negligently, they may face certain challenges in seeking compensation after an accident. Under South Carolina’s rule of modified comparative negligence, you may only recover compensation if you were less than 50% at fault for the collision, and if you share any portion of the blame, your total recovery will be reduced by your at-fault percentage.
Helping You Fight for the Maximum Recovery
Pedestrians who are struck by motor vehicles often sustain serious, life-altering injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal bleeding, and severe soft tissue damage. Because of this, they typically face a long, uphill road to recovery.
At Clawson Fargnoli Utsey, LLC, we understand that you need fair compensation not only for your immediate medical expenses and lost wages but also for your future care costs, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. With this in mind, our Charleston pedestrian accident lawyers fight tirelessly to maximize our clients’ claims and secure the full, fair compensation they are owed.
Depending on the specifics of your accident, we may be able to help you recover compensation for the following:
- Ambulance fees
- Surgeries and other treatments
- Physical therapy
- Ongoing and future medical care
- Lost income
- Lost or reduced earning capacity
- Future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Counseling services
- In-home care costs
If your loved one died in a pedestrian accident or due to injuries he or she sustained after being hit by a motor vehicle, we can help you bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party and seek compensation for your loved one’s final medical care costs, funeral expenses you paid, and the loss of love, support, guidance, companionship, and counsel you have endured.
Call Now for a Free Consultation
After a serious accident or injury, you need a powerful legal team to help you get back on your feet. At Clawson Fargnoli Utsey, LLC, we have more than 20 years of combined litigation experience, including past experience defending insurance companies against personal injury claims. Our attorneys understand the ins and outs of these cases—and we know what it takes to win.
When you turn to Clawson Fargnoli Utsey, LLC, we provide the care, attention, and personalized legal guidance you deserve. We do not collect any attorneys’ fees unless we recover a settlement or verdict for you.
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