Despite infrastructure, new laws and safety campaigns to protect pedestrians on the roads in South Carolina, the number of pedestrian accidents in the state are on the rise. Data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that in 2013, there were 100 pedestrian fatalities in South Carolina; in 2014 that number increased to 107 pedestrian fatalities and in 2015, to a tragic 123 pedestrian fatalities. Furthermore, in 2009, the number of pedestrian fatalities recorded in the state was significantly lower – 89.
The following considers factors that have contributed to the increase in pedestrian accidents in South Carolina, as well as what you can do if you are a pedestrian who is injured in a crash.
Why Pedestrian Accidents Are Increasing
The specific reasons behind the increase in pedestrian accidents are elusive. However, a number of factors may be to blame.
For example, the incident rates of both distracted driving and distracted walking are increasing. According to Distraction.gov, 431,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers in the year 2014 alone. Much of the distraction has been fueled by the use of mobile phones, the prevalence of which has surged in the past half-decade.
In fact, not only are more people driving while distracted by their cellphones, but more people are walking while distracted by their cellphones. According to Ohio State University researchers, thousands of pedestrians are treated in emergency rooms each year for injured related to using a cellphone while walking.
In addition to distracted driving, other factors that may be contributing to pedestrian accidents include a higher prevalence of speeding (there were 54 more speeding-related fatalities in South Carolina in 2015 than there were in 2014).
What to Do If You Are Involved in a Pedestrian Accident in South Carolina
Accidents involving pedestrians often have catastrophic consequences; the pedestrian is typically left with tragic injuries, including but not limited to a head injury or traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, broken bones, and internal injuries.
If a distracted or otherwise at-fault driver hits you, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. In some cases, filing an insurance claim makes sense; in other cases, you may need to pursue a lawsuit in order to recover the compensation that you deserve. By filing a civil suit, you can seek damages for all injuries related to your accident, including: pain and suffering; medical expenses; lost wages; permanent disability and disfigurement; loss of earning capacity; and all other economic and noneconomic losses.
What If I Contributed to My Accident?
In some cases, pedestrians are partially at fault for the accidents in which they are involved, often as a result of being distracted and walking into the path of a motor vehicle. However, you can still recover compensation if the driver committed any act of negligence and was partially to blame as well. Per comparative negligence laws in the state, you are allowed to seek damages even if you contributed to your own injuries; recoverable damages will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.
Work With Our Experienced South Carolina Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Our talented South Carolina pedestrian accident attorneys understand what you are going through after a crash and will work hard to prove the negligence of the at-fault driver and get you your full compensation amount. We will conduct a thorough investigation of your accident, work with accident reconstruction experts, and build a strong case. When you have been injured, you deserve the best in legal representation – for a free case consultation contact Peake & Fowler at (803) 788-4370.