Vehicle features like back up cameras, crash sensors, and seatbelts are doing more and more to protect the lives of people who travel in cars. Over the last several years, fatalities of those in vehicles have actually declined. However, in South Carolina, pedestrian accidents are on the rise. So far this year, 61 people have lost their lives in South Carolina as victims of pedestrian accidents. In 2015, the total for the whole year was 60 people, so the state is on pace to have nearly double the number of pedestrian fatalities in 2016. The frequency of these accidents is partially due to the existence of walkable cities and more pedestrians being distracted by mobile devices and other technology that may prevent them from taking in the dangers of their surroundings.
Does a driver need to report a pedestrian accident?
It is the law to report an accident in South Carolina, whether it is with another vehicle or with a pedestrian. The accident report form in South Carolina for an auto accident or an accident with a pedestrian is actually the same. Leaving the scene after hitting a pedestrian (a “hit and run”) can lead to serious criminal penalties, including possible manslaughter charges. In the event an pedestrian accident results in the injury or death of the pedestrian, the driver has a duty to report the accident by the quickest means possible to a local police department or South Carolina highway patrol.
What am I entitled to if I am the victim of a pedestrian accident?
Even in accidents where circumstances indicate that you may be partially at fault in an accident (for example you walked into a street without looking), you may still be able to recover damages. These recoverable damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
South Carolina drivers must yield to pedestrians when the pedestrian is in the same half of the road as the vehicle or if the pedestrian is close enough to the vehicle to present an immediate danger. Pedestrians also have the duty to not leap out in front of cars. Even if they do, however, they may still get some form of recovery. Generally, this recovery will come from the at-fault driver’s insurance that they have purchased on their vehicle. If you are partially at fault, the amount of damages you can recover may be reduced.
How a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one has been hit by a vehicle while walking it is likely that you will need serious medical attention. After you have sought the treatment of a doctor or other health care professional, it is strongly recommended that you consult an experienced personal injury attorney.
Stephen A. Surasky and James A. Cunningham are South Carolina personal injury attorneys with years of experience working with at fault drivers and insurance companies to help ensure clients receive the compensation they deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.