Whether they are walking to school, taking their dog out for a stroll, commuting to work, or simply enjoying a dose of fresh air, pedestrians in Georgetown may be vulnerable to serious injuries if they encounter a reckless or irresponsible driver. A Georgetown pedestrian accident lawyer could explain your legal rights and determine whether you have a valid claim to monetary damages.
A personal injury attorney would handle the process of negotiating with the at-fault insurance company and pursue all compensation to which you could be entitled. If a settlement with the insurance company is not a viable option, an attorney could also advise whether filing a lawsuit may best serve your legal interests.
What are the Statute of Limitations for Pedestrian Accident Claims?
Pedestrians injured in an accident caused by someone’s negligence have up to three years from the date the wreck occurs to initiate lawsuit proceedings, according to South Carolina Code §15-3-530. It is often vital to an injured pedestrian’s case that they retain an experienced Georgetown attorney well in advance of the statutory deadline. If the statutory window closes and the injured individual tries to begin a civil claim after three years, the court could dismiss their case and the victim’s right to compensation would be lost.
Requesting Civil Damages
Pedestrians injured in a collision may be awarded the value of their economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages may include compensation for the victim’s:
- Therapy and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost income
- Medical bills
- Ambulance costs
On the other hand, non-economic damages are the losses endured by the injured party for which there is no fixed dollar amount. Non-economic damages refer to losses such as pain, suffering, emotional anguish, psychological distress, loss of life enjoyment, scarring, disability, loss of consortium, and disfigurement. If the pedestrian’s injuries are so severe that they impair their ability to earn a living, the victim could be entitled to damages for their future lost earning potential.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded at the court’s discretion to penalize the at-fault individual and serve as a warning to others who may contemplate following a similar course of misconduct in the future.
What are the Legal Obligations of Pedestrians?
Just as motorists are bound by specific rules of the road, pedestrians have certain obligations under state law. Pedestrians should walk on the right portion of any given crosswalk (see S.C. Code § 56-5-3140). Furthermore, where crosswalks are present, pedestrians should remain within the markings at all times.
Pedestrians must comply with traffic indicators. A pedestrian should not attempt to cross any street when the traffic indicator forbids pedestrians to enter the roadway, unless the person started to cross before the indicator transitioned.
Where sidewalks are present on highways and it is feasible to access them, pedestrians should remain on the sidewalk and not attempt to walk on the actual highway. Pedestrians may not inhabit a freeway unless their car breaks down, they are requesting roadside assistance, performing work for the city, or instructed to do so by a police officer.
A Georgetown accident attorney could help an injured pedestrian understand the full scope of their legal rights as well as the laws governing their claim.
Request a Case Evaluation from a Georgetown Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you need legal assistance after a pedestrian wreck, a Georgetown pedestrian accident lawyer could be well-positioned to defend your interests. A lawyer would conduct a thorough investigation into the events of the crash to determine liability for your injury.
An attorney would also collect all available evidence, such as medical bills, traffic control device footage, witness statements, and accident reports necessary to support your claim. To learn more about possible legal options, call today to request your case evaluation.