When you are on foot, there is nothing to protect you from the impact of an accident, and you are at your most vulnerable in terms of being injured in a traffic accident. If a motorist’s negligence causes you to be injured in a pedestrian accident, the answers to some of the questions that are asked most frequently by people in your shoes can help. The most important step you can take to help protect both your claim and your health, however, is consulting with an experienced South Carolina pedestrian accident attorney as soon after the accident as possible.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares all the following statistics, which highlight just how dangerous pedestrian accidents are:
- In 2017 alone, nearly 6,000 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents.
- That same year, about 137,000 pedestrians were injured so badly in traffic accidents that they required treatment in emergency rooms.
- Per trip, you are – as a pedestrian – 1.5 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than you would be as the occupant of a vehicle.
- Nearly half of the fatal pedestrian crashes in 2017 involved alcohol, and 17 percent involved a motorist who was over the legal limit.
- The higher a vehicle’s speed, the greater the risk that a pedestrian accident will occur – and the more serious the pedestrian’s injuries are likely to be.
According to the Division of Law Enforcement and Safety, drivers’ bear all the following responsibilities in relation to pedestrians:
- Motorists must exercise all caution in their focused efforts to avoid hitting pedestrians.
- Motorists are required to exercise additional care at crosswalks, stoplights, and intersections generally.
- Motorists are required to activate their turn signals at least 100 feet before turning (to allow pedestrians to avoid potential danger).
- Motorists are required to travel at a safe speed, which needs to be adjusted downward in relation to any adverse conditions on the road – including pedestrian traffic.
If a negligent motorist causes you to be injured in a pedestrian accident, the first order of business – after obtaining the medical attention that you need – is consulting with a dedicated pedestrian accident attorney. From here, you should keep all the following in mind:
- Take your doctor’s instructions and advice seriously.
- Refrain from making a statement about the accident to the insurance company (such action is best left to your knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney).
- Give social media a well-earned rest (the insurance company is waiting for you to post something it can interpret in a way that harms your claim).
- Allow your pedestrian accident attorney to assertively negotiate with the insurance company on behalf of your claim’s most advantageous conclusion.
Which of my losses are covered?
If you are injured by a motorist’s negligence in a pedestrian accident, you can seek compensation for all the following losses and legal damages:
- Your medical bills, which are likely to be extensive and may include ongoing healthcare concerns
- Your lost income, which may include your earning potential taking a considerable hit
- Your psychological and physical pain and suffering, which can be one of the most challenging setbacks you face
In order to fully recover on your losses, you need to ensure that they are clearly addressed in your pedestrian accident claim.
No one is required to hire a pedestrian accident attorney, but it is important to know that pedestrian accident claims tend to be especially complicated. Because the stakes are so high, it is in your best interest to work closely with a seasoned pedestrian accident attorney. While you focus on regaining your health and well-being, your pedestrian accident attorney will tackle all the following:
- Gathering all relevant evidence, including eyewitness testimony
- Hiring expert witnesses whose testimony supports your claim
- Building your strongest claim
- Engaging in skilled and ongoing negotiations with the involved insurance company
- Preparing for trial (in the event the insurance company fails to engage in fair negotiations)
You are facing a good deal of financial loss in relation to the pedestrian accident that caused you to be injured, and it’s only natural to be concerned about taking on the additional expense of hiring a pedestrian accident attorney. The good news is that there is no financial risk to you. Most reputable pedestrian accident attorneys work on contingency, meaning that their pay is based upon (or is contingent upon) the outcome of their clients’ claims. If your claim is settled or receives a court award, a prearranged percentage of the amount will go to your attorney, but if not, you won’t owe anything.
You’ve got a lot going on, and going to court to fight for the compensation to which you are entitled is very likely to be high on the list of things you would rather avoid. The truth is that the vast majority of pedestrian accident claims are settled out of court, and yours is very likely to do the same. If, however, the insurance company is not interested in fair dealings, your pedestrian accident attorney may advise filing a lawsuit. Sometimes, filing a suit is all it takes to motivate an insurance company to clean up its act and negotiate fairly.
The statute of limitations in South Carolina for pedestrian accident lawsuits (or the time limit for filing such a lawsuit) is three years from the date of the injury-causing accident.
The capable South Carolina pedestrian accident attorneys at McCravy Law are committed to focusing their impressive experience on skillfully pursuing compensation that covers your physical, financial, and emotional losses in their entirety. For more information, please don’t wait to contact or call us at 864-388-9100 today.