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    It might surprise you that more than 10 percent of the people killed in car accidents in South Carolina each year are pedestrians. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says in its latest annual count that 113 of 828 people (13.3 percent) who died in car accidents in our state were on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting or lying down near or on a roadway.

    Pedestrians are killed and injured in car accidents in the same way as drivers, passengers and bicyclists. Oftentimes, it is because of a driver’s negligence or recklessness. When such an accident occurs, the injured pedestrian, or the family of a deceased pedestrian, may be entitled to compensation for their losses.

    Joye Law Firm works to obtain money for injured pedestrians in South Carolina. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, call Joye Law Firm.

    When, Where and How Pedestrian Accidents Happen

    A pedestrian killed in a car accident is more likely to be elderly (age 65 or older) or young (15 years old or younger), according to NHTSA. Pedestrian accidents are more likely:

    • In an urban setting versus a rural setting
    • At non-intersections versus at intersections
    • At night (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.)
    • During normal weather conditions (clear or cloudy) compared to during rain, snow or foggy conditions.

    In addition, alcohol is involved – either on the part of the driver or the pedestrian — in about half of car crashes that result in a pedestrian death, NHTSA says.

    Drunk driving is just one of the typical causes of pedestrian accidents. Others are essentially that same as the careless and reckless driving that causes other car accidents, including:

    • Speeding
    • Distracted driving
    • Fatigued or drowsy driving
    • Improper passing or illegal turns.

    When pedestrians are run down while walking alongside a road, standing on a street corner or crossing a road, they may be entitled to make a legal claim if the driver was at fault. But, pedestrians have responsibilities, as well.

    South Carolina Pedestrians’ Rights and Duties

    Pedestrians in South Carolina are required by law to obey traffic signals – that is, cross with the light – and to avoid suddenly stepping off a curb and into traffic. They are to use crosswalks when available, and to walk to the right within them.

    Drivers are required by law in South Carolina to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or who are otherwise crossing the road. Pedestrians who cross a road outside of a crosswalk or without the aid of traffic signals are to yield to motor vehicles.

    SC Drivers and Pedestrians Share Roads and Responsibilities

    The laws cited above and other state statutes and local ordinances define the shared responsibilities of drivers and pedestrians who use roadways, sidewalks, road shoulders and streets in South Carolina. Pedestrians’ responsibility for their own safety is an important consideration because of the principle of “comparative negligence,” which applies to personal injury and wrongful death claims.

    Comparative negligence means that each party’s relative fault in an accident, including a pedestrian accident, must be balanced. If the injured party shares some of the fault – say, 25 percent of the blame for crossing against the light – the award in a legal claim will be reduced by that percentage.

    How comparative negligence is assigned in a specific accident is a complex matter. For an injured pedestrian pursuing a claim, the attorney will work to gather and present evidence to present the pedestrian’s role in the accident in the best light possible.

    Comparative negligence may be applied less formally in negotiations with insurers, where many claims are settled. But in court, a pedestrian who was assigned 50 percent or more of the responsibility for the accident could not receive compensation.

    Hit by a Car While Walking? Talk to Our Injury Lawyers

    Proper legal representation can help you receive a full and fair settlement after being hit by a car or otherwise injured in a pedestrian accident in South Carolina. The personal injury lawyers of Joye Law Firm have been successfully representing injured people from all over South Carolina for more than 40 years.

    Call Joye Law Firm today or use our online form to set up a free initial consultation. We’ll investigate your pedestrian accident and work to obtain the compensation you deserve for medical expenses and other losses.