There are a variety of regulations established under South Carolina state law that exist to protect people walking alongside roadways and crossing in specified places. Unfortunately, behavior being legally prohibited does not mean no one will ever engage in it, and when drivers act recklessly and violate traffic laws, pedestrians may suffer serious harm.
If you were struck by a careless driver while walking, you may want to talk about legal options with a Lexington pedestrian accident lawyer. Proving liability, identifying damages, and recovering comprehensive compensation should be much easier with a skilled personal injury attorney by your side.
What Damages May Be Recoverable?
South Carolina is a fault state when it comes to filing procedures following a roadway accident. This means that someone injured by a negligent driver may immediately seek recovery from that driver and/or that driver’s insurance rather than having to go through their own insurance policy first.
While state law only mandates that drivers hold at least $25,000 of insurance coverage for personal injuries they may cause, a plaintiff’s own underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage could make up the difference in compensation needed for damages. A Lexington pedestrian crash attorney may also be able to identify other parties who could potentially be held liable—for example, a municipal authority that failed to maintain the roadway or sidewalk where the wreck occurred.
Regardless of the specific defendant(s), civil liability in a pedestrian accident case is almost always based on legal negligence, which requires a plaintiff to prove that the defendant(s) owed them a duty of care, and in violating that duty directly caused an accident which resulted in compensable harm. Once negligence is proven, recoverable economic and non-economic damages could include:
- Medical expenses for inpatient, outpatient, and long-term therapeutic care
- Lost work wages, as well as lost future earning capacity
- Costs of repairing or replacing damaged personal property
- General pain and suffering
- Loss of opportunities
- Loss of enjoyment of life
The Potential for Comparative Fault
In most pedestrian wreck cases, legal counsel representing the defendant will initially try to blame the injured plaintiff for causing the accident that harmed them, since legal precedent in South Carolina allows a civil court to reduce recoverable compensation or deny it entirely from a partially at-fault plaintiff. Depending on the circumstances, they may have a good deal of evidence that could support this kind of assertion, and assistance from a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer of their own may be important if a plaintiff in Lexington wants to maximize their recovery.
For instance, South Carolina Code of Laws §56-5-3110 states that pedestrians must obey signals from traffic control devices when available, and SC Code of Laws §56-3-3130(b) prohibits pedestrians from entering any road dangerously in front of an oncoming vehicle. If a defendant can demonstrate that an injured plaintiff violated these or other statutes regulating pedestrian behavior, that plaintiff’s ability to recover compensation may be negatively impacted.
Speak with a Lexington Pedestrian Accident Attorney as Soon as Possible
After being struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, filing a civil lawsuit may not seem a priority compared to addressing your newfound injuries and paying for the professional care they require. While your physical health should of course be your first concern, you should keep your financial future—and how civil litigation could help protect it—in mind as well.
By talking to a Lexington pedestrian accident lawyer, you could get a clear picture of what your legal options are and which one best suits your unique situation. To schedule an initial consultation, call today.