Getting out and about on foot is liberating and can be an excellent opportunity to enjoy South Carolina’s beauty on offer. Sometimes, there’s simply no way to avoid being a pedestrian – such as when you have to make your way from your parking spot to your destination. Whatever your pedestrian practices are, however, there is no denying that you are at a far greater risk of being injured in a traffic accident when you are on foot. If a driver’s negligence leaves you with a pedestrian injury, don’t put off consulting with an experienced car accident lawyer in South Carolina.
The Vulnerability of Pedestrians
When you are traveling on foot, you have nothing to protect you from the impact of an accident, which leaves you especially vulnerable to severe injuries. Intersections are where your path meets with traffic, and this is where you’re most susceptible to dangerous pedestrian accidents and attendant injuries. When you’re walking, always make proceeding with utmost caution your primary concern because dangerously negligent drivers are out there, and pedestrians often pay the ultimate price. It’s worth noting that most traffic fatalities happen at night, so do yourself a favor and wear a reflective piece of clothing and be extra vigilant whenever you need to walk at night.
The Statistics Are Sobering
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shares some sobering statistics related to pedestrian accidents nationwide and in South Carolina. Those nationwide statistics include:
- In 2020, 6,721 pedestrians died on roads throughout the country.
- This number is up nearly 5 percent over the number of pedestrian fatalities in 2019, 6,412.
- Overall, the percentage of pedestrian fatalities increased a whopping 46 percent from 2010 to 2019, while other traffic fatalities increased by only 5 percent.
- Higher rates of reckless driving are one key trend that is associated with this significant increase.
- The continued popularity of SUVs, which cause more severe pedestrian injuries, is another factor cited.
Those statistics related to South Carolina specifically are no more encouraging, including:
- In 2020, South Carolina was among the ten states with the highest pedestrian fatalities.
- In 2019, there were 164 pedestrian fatalities in South Carolina.
- In 2020, there were 180 pedestrian fatalities in South Carolina (a 10 percent increase).
- While pedestrians are naturally responsible for exercising every precaution and following the rules of the road when they head out on foot, drivers shoulder a more significant responsibility, including speed limits, and this includes accounting for any conditions that may hinder safety, such as the effects of bad weather, heavy traffic, poorly maintained roads, and more.
- Drivers are responsible for exercising every caution in their efforts to avoid pedestrian accidents.
- When there are no traffic signals in operation, motorists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- When a driver approaches a sidewalk, they must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrians.
- Whenever a motorist is stopped to allow a pedestrian to pass, rear drivers must refrain from passing the stopped vehicle.
The kinds of common injuries to pedestrian accidents are severe injuries that tend to require ongoing medical treatment and care.
The impact of being struck by a vehicle can leave a pedestrian with multiple broken bones. While a simple break is excruciatingly painful and slow to heal, a complicated break can require numerous surgeries, lead to secondary health concerns, and lead to chronic pain and permanent physical disability if it fails to heal correctly.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
The impact of an accident often throws the pedestrian who has been struck, and head injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), are common. Because our brains make us who we are, even a minor TBI injury can bear a significant emotional burden. The consequences of a severe TBI can amount to crippling emotional consequences that can include:
- Severe mood swings
- Increased anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Bouts of depression
- A shift in personality
- Sleep disturbances, including night terrors
- A tendency to self-isolate and to push loved ones away
- Increased irritability
- Crying jags
Spinal Cord Injuries
The direct impact of pedestrian accidents can leave victims with severe spinal cord injuries closely associated with chronic pain and a marked decrease in range of motion. Suppose the spinal cord is severely damaged or wholly or partially severed. In that case, the victim will suffer some degree of paralysis, which is a life-altering injury that can require lifelong medical care and the need for assistance with the activities of daily living.
Cuts and Burns
Injured pedestrians can be dragged across the pavement and thrown across hot car parts during an accident, leading to severe cuts, lacerations, burns, and abrasions. These injuries are susceptible to severe infections and to secondary health concerns over time. When on or near the face, they can be permanently disfiguring.
Suppose a motorist leaves you injured in a pedestrian accident. In that case, the damages (or losses) you suffer are likely to be extensive but seeking compensation that addresses your complete range of damages will play an elemental role in your ability to heal fully.
Pedestrian accidents are closely associated with exorbitant medical expenses that can include:
- Emergency care
- Emergency transportation
- Follow-up care
- Hospital stays
- Medical tests, treatments, and procedures
- Care from doctors and specialists
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Pain management
- Home health care
- Adaptive medical devices
- Adaptations to home and vehicle
The serious injuries you suffer in a pedestrian accident will almost certainly require a severe amount of time off the job, which correlates with lost income. If your injuries are so severe that they interfere with your ability to do your job, your earning potential can also be affected. If your chosen career path is thwarted, you are likely facing some serious emotional consequences.
Pain and Suffering
The pain and suffering commonly associated with being injured in a terrifying pedestrian accident are difficult to overstate. Many victims find this emotional component one of the most challenging hurdles to overcome.
The answers to some of the questions other victims of pedestrian accidents commonly ask may also help you.
Can’t I trust the at-fault driver’s insurance provider to compensate me fairly?
While the insurance company is paid to compensate you fairly for the damages you suffer as a result of their client’s negligence, it is in the business of making money, which means that it is far more interested in minimizing your settlement than it is in compensating you fairly. Keeping this in mind is essential as you move forward with your injury claim.
What tricks of the trade do insurance companies use?
Insurance companies do what they can to reduce the amount they pay in compensation after an injury, and some common challenges include:
- Offering early settlements that are woefully inadequate to cover the claimant’s complete damages
- Prolonging and complicating the claims process to the point that claimants walk away in frustration
- Attempting to shift blame away from at-fault clients and toward injured claimants
- Attempting to minimize the extent of claimant’s damages
Why do I need a Car Accident Attorney?
Your dedicated car accident attorney has the experience, skill, and knowledge to cut through the insurance company’s tactics and to skillfully advocate for compensation that covers your damages in their entirety while also preparing to take your case to court if the need should arise.
Will my car accident claim go to court?
You’ve been seriously injured and going to court to obtain just compensation may feel like adding insult to injury, but you should rest assured that your claim is not likely to go to court. The vast majority of claims settle out of court, and even if yours is an exception, your car crash lawyer will make sure you are well prepared for what’s to come. Often, an attorney will advise their clients to file a lawsuit only if the insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith and filing a lawsuit can work as a motivating factor that may inspire the insurance company to dig deeper.
An Experienced Car Accident Attorney in South Carolina Is on Your Side
Pedestrian injuries are some of the most severe injuries you can endure, and regaining your health and well-being is going to be a challenge. This is why the compassionate South Carolina car accident lawyers at David Aylor Law Offices dedicate their practice to skillfully advocating for the legal rights and just compensation of accident victims like you. We’re on your side and here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 843-733-7662 to schedule a free case evaluation today.