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Pedestrian Accidents in Hilton Head: Legal Steps for Victims

if you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you have the right to seek damages

Being hit by a car is one of the most terrifying experiences for any person. If you were injured in a pedestrian accident in Hilton Head, you may have the right to file a claim for damages against the driver’s insurance.

However, in order to be successful in this endeavor, you need the assistance of an experienced Hilton Head pedestrian accident lawyer. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about this topic.

South Carolina Is One of the Most Dangerous States for Pedestrians

A recent study compiled by a car insurance aggregator shows that South Carolina takes the fourth place in the top 10 US states for pedestrian fatalities. The fatality rate is 3.49 per 1,000 people – a worrying number. It is nearly 65% higher than the national pedestrian fatality rate.

Thus, in 2023, 160 pedestrians lost their lives after being hit by a motor vehicle. While the authors of the study place the blame on the notoriously bad roads in our state, pedestrian accident attorneys know that roads don’t kill people, but negligent drivers.

Pedestrians Have Both Rights and Obligations

Many injured pedestrians wonder why a lawyer asks during the initial appointment for evidence of the driver’s fault in order to substantiate your case. The fact is that car drivers are not by default responsible for any accident involving a pedestrian.

South Carolina traffic law gives pedestrians not only rights but also obligations. Here are some of them:

  • Pedestrians must cross the street only at crosswalks in areas where these exist
  • Pedestrians cannot walk diagonally across a crosswalk
  • Pedestrians must obey traffic signs and signals
  • Pedestrians must use a sidewalk where it exits
  • Pedestrians must yield to emergency vehicles
  • Intoxicated pedestrians must stay out of the road.

Obeying these rules is important, most of all for your own safety. From a legal standpoint, under South Carolina’s comparative negligence principle, any breach of this law means that you partly contributed to your accident.

Proving the Driver’s Fault in a Pedestrian Accident in Hilton Head

As your Hilton Head pedestrian accident attorney will explain to you, filing a claim for damages must be supported by evidence showing that:

  • The driver owed you a duty of care – which is a given while using public roads
  • The driver was negligent and caused your accident
  • You suffered injuries in the accident
  • The injuries resulted in economic damages.

a Hilton Head pedestrian accident attorney can help you file a claim for damages

Establishing fault, and its proportion for each party is the main battlefield in accident claims. In our state, you must be less than 50% at fault in order to have the right to file a claim. Also, your total damages will be reduced by your own percentage of fault.

A lawyer will need all types of evidence to prove your case, such as:

1. The Police Report

Any traffic accident must be reported to the police if it results in bodily injury or at least $1,000 in property damage. The police officers, who arrive to investigate the incident, will prepare a report including all their findings. These findings can be extremely useful for your lawyer to prove the driver’s fault.

2. Photos and Videos

If you did not suffer severe injuries, you should start taking photos and videos of the accident scene as soon as possible. Try to include any relevant elements, such as traffic signs or signals. They may prove that the driver was running a red light when they hit you, for example.

3. Witness Statements

Witnesses are very valuable in a pedestrian accident. They saw the entire chain of events leading to the accident. Although they are not expert witnesses, they may inform your attorney that the driver was speeding when they hit you. The attorney can then verify if this is true and use the information to prove the driver’s fault.

4. Medical Records

You should ask for an ambulance immediately after your accident and get checked by a doctor, even if you believe that you are not seriously injured. Many severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, internal organ damage, or internal bleeding have delayed symptoms.

Also, failing to seek medical attention right after the accident will give an insurance adjuster the opportunity to say that you suffered the injuries later, in an unrelated incident. The medical records proving that a doctor diagnosed you soon after you were hit by the car are the best type of evidence to support your claims.

Consult with an Experienced Hilton Head Pedestrian Accident Lawyer!

If you were hit by a car while crossing the street, you cannot assume that the driver is automatically at fault and you can easily win damages. You will need an experienced Hilton Head pedestrian accident lawyer to analyze the evidence, build your case, and negotiate with the insurance company.

As a new client, you benefit from a free case review so call or text us at 843-379-7000!