Columbia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Walking in Columbia is a healthy way to get around, especially when mild winters make it a pastime you can enjoy all year. You do not need any costly equipment—just a pair of sneakers and the curiosity to see more of this historic city.

You may always use marked crosswalks and pay attention to traffic signals and signs, but if a reckless motorist crashes into you, you could receive catastrophic injuries. Knowledgeable pedestrian accident lawyers are here to answer your questions after your accident. Motivated personal injury attorneys could work to recover the compensation you need to heal.

Careless Motorists Cause Pedestrian Accidents

South Carolina comes in fifth in the nation for fatal pedestrian accidents. The sheer force of two tons of metal hitting a person on foot will probably at least cause broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, burns, and spinal cord injuries. Any of these injuries could require a lifetime of expensive rehabilitative care. And who should pay for it? The reckless motorist or the company that insured them.

Common reasons motorists cause accidents include:

  • Using a cell phone while driving;
  • Drinking or using illicit drugs while behind the wheel;
  • Exceeding the speed limit;
  • Making abrupt turns without signaling;
  • Running red lights;
  • Failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.

If a motorist’s unsafe driving causes a pedestrian to be injured in a collision, a skilled attorney could work to present the best case for damages, while demonstrating the injured party’s minimal liability.

What if the Pedestrian is Partly at Fault for an Accident?

South Carolina has enacted a comparative negligence rule for allocating blame in personal injury cases. Parties to a pedestrian accident lawsuit are assigned a percentage of the blame. Any monetary award is reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage, so long as the plaintiff is not more liable than the defendant.

For example, a motorist driving while intoxicated runs a red light and barrels through a crosswalk at a high speed, smashing into a pedestrian crossing the street outside the crosswalk. The court assigns the motorist 95 percent of the blame and the pedestrian 5 percent. The pedestrian is awarded $100,000, from which 5 percent will be deducted as the percentage of the pedestrian’s blame. The award drops to $95,000.

If the pedestrian crosses outside a crosswalk on a red light and is assigned 55 percent of the blame, the court will not award compensation because the pedestrian is more than 50 percent liable for the accident. A hardworking attorney aspires to win as much compensation as possible for the individuals impacted in a pedestrian crash.

Types of Compensation for Pedestrian Collisions

Plaintiffs prevailing in personal injury lawsuits are entitled to compensatory damages divided into economic and non-economic.

Economic damages include:

  • Hospital bills,
  • Rehab
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages

Non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of the enjoyment of life

A diligent lawyer could assess the pedestrian injury claim to discover all the forms of possible damages available to the plaintiff and fight to recover them.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not automatically granted in South Carolina. A plaintiff’s attorney must plead them and demonstrate the defendant’s actions were outrageous or egregious. Punitive damages are in addition to compensatory damages. While compensatory damages compensate plaintiffs for losses, punitive damages are meant to punish defendants and dissuade them and others from acting with wanton disregard in the future.

Usually, punitive damages are capped at three times compensatory damages with a maximum award of $500,000. If the defendant’s acts are felonies, the plaintiff could be awarded four times compensatory damages up to $1,000,000. Punitive damages are not capped if the defendant intended to hurt or kill the plaintiff, pleads guilty to a felony, or harms the plaintiff while high on drugs or alcohol.

Call a South Carolina Pedestrian Accident Attorney for Help

A local attorney understands the angst and pain you are suffering if a motorist hits you while out for a walk. You are worried about bills if you cannot work. And you wonder if you will ever be completely healed. We can help by fighting for your right to compensation from the guilty party. Call today to schedule your initial consultation with a South Carolina pedestrian accident lawyer.