Who is at Fault in a Pedestrian Accident
Either a motorist or a pedestrian may be at fault in a pedestrian accident. It depends on the specific facts of the accident. Pedestrians and motorists both have a legal duty to obey traffic signals and act responsibly. Drivers are required to do everything reasonably possible to avoid hitting a pedestrian. When they act negligently, they may be held accountable.
Alcohol is a factor in many pedestrian accidents. The motorist or the pedestrian may be intoxicated and have impaired judgment and recognition of a hazardous situation. A drunk driver who hits a pedestrian may face criminal prosecution. The at-fault driver also may be held accountable by filing a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for the injuries and losses caused by the accident. A personal injury lawsuit suing the drunk driver for damages is independent of any criminal prosecution of the DUI driver.
South Carolina applies the legal doctrine of comparative negligence in pedestrian accidents. Each party’s contribution to a pedestrian accident must be weighed. If the injured pedestrian is partially responsible for being hit by a car — say, 25 percent of the blame for crossing against the light, then any damages awarded by a jury in a pedestrian accident case would be reduced by that percentage.
You deserve to be represented by an attorney who has the negotiating experience and commitment to fight for the best outcome for you.
How Does Insurance Work after a Pedestrian Accident?
South Carolina law requires car owners to have liability and uninsured motorist insurance coverage. A pedestrian may file a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance for bodily injuries. Claims for bodily injury may include doctor and hospital bills, lost wages from missed work and pain and suffering after a pedestrian accident.
A pedestrian accident victim can pursue a claim against an at-fault driver by making a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance and filing a personal injury lawsuit if necessary.
However, it is difficult for an injured pedestrian acting on his or her own to receive fair treatment from another driver’s insurance company. Insurance companies often try to shift the blame for the accident to the pedestrian.
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident, it is important to talk with a qualified Myrtle Beach pedestrian accident lawyer about your rights. Our attorneys at Joye Law Firm can conduct an independent investigation of the accident, gather evidence of the driver’s fault and negotiate with the insurance company for a full settlement.