Greenville Pedestrian Accident Attorney
It’s been estimated that Greenville County has more than 5 million visitors each year. With its lush green spaces, arts and culture galore, and quaint downtown shops — it’s not that surprising that Livability gave Greenville the #3 spot on its list of Top 10 Best Downtowns. With that kind of reputation, it’s no wonder the pedestrians focus on sightseeing instead of safety.
When a pedestrian is injured Auger & Auger will send a Greenville pedestrian accident attorney team right out to the scene; in order to document and determine the reality of what has taken place. Pedestrians may assume they are in the right and thereby protected by the painted lines of a crosswalk. Drivers, on the other hand, expect pedestrians to have their wits about them and behave in predictable ways. These presumptions may seem reasonable in theory, yet they are far from valid.
School Zone Pedestrian Dangers in Greenville, SC
Greenville County School District is the largest in South Carolina, and so it stands to reason there would be more children walking to and from school than elsewhere in the state. Auger & Auger believes that it is important to note the increased number of pedestrians, especially in light of a 2016 study conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide.
The study, conducted in 2016, watched 39,000 students at the middle and high school level and 56,000 drivers. Observers saw 80% of the children cross the street unsafely, 44% wearing headphones or earbuds, and unsafe drop-offs or pick-ups in 1 out of 3 instances. Why is this information important? Because there is an average of 5 teenage pedestrians killed in the United States every week and there has been a steady increase in pedestrian fatalities for children ages 12 through 19.
Communities Share Responsibility
It takes a village to raise a child and that includes keeping them safe. In their report, SafeKids.Org offers suggestions for valuable changes. These include identifying high-risk zones and behaviors, educating students and parents, and enforcing 20mph speed limits in school zones. Schools are also urged to implement and enforce drop-off and pick-up policies.
For their part, drivers can remain alert when operating their vehicles and expect the unexpected. Don’t assume that a child will only use crosswalks to enter the roadway. Maintain a low speed and constantly scan the area for children on foot and on bicycles.
Other Pedestrian Dangers
Children are at higher risk of being hit by a car because they don’t always understand crosswalk safety, and their small size makes them harder for drivers to see. However, adults can be victims of pedestrian accidents too. Smart Growth America found that South Carolina ranked third-highest for pedestrian fatalities in the country between 2016 and 2020. During this time, 811 people died in pedestrian accidents, and even more suffered injuries.
How Can You Remain Safe While Walking?
You should be able to walk the streets of Greenville without fearing you’ll be hit by a car, but unfortunately, sometimes accidents happen. Motorists should drive carefully and make every effort to look out for pedestrians, but you can also reduce your risk by following these tips:
● If available, a sidewalk or path is the safest place to walk. If you don’t have these options and need to walk on the shoulder or side of the road, walk against traffic and keep as far from the street as you can.
● Where available, always use marked crosswalks or intersections for crossing the road. If you’re on a long stretch without a crosswalk and you have to cross, try to find a well-lit area with as little traffic as possible, wait for a break in vehicles, and keep an eye out for traffic as you cross as quickly as you can.
● Pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t look at your phone or wear headphones when you walk – these distractions can prevent you from noticing a car headed in your direction. Sometimes noticing the vehicle a few seconds earlier can help you avoid a collision.
● Avoid walking under the influence. It’s understandable that you don’t want to drive when you’ve had a few drinks. Walking home probably seems like a safer alternative, but it isn’t necessarily safer for the pedestrian. Because alcohol affects coordination, motor skills, and reaction times, it can put you at more risk of being hit by a car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 47 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents in 2020 involved an intoxicated pedestrian. Taking a ride share, having a designated driver when you go out with friends, or spending the night at a friend’s place are all better alternatives.
● Don’t make assumptions. Many pedestrians who have been hit by cars say that they thought the driver must have seen them. Unfortunately, many drivers who hit pedestrians say they didn’t see the walker until it was too late! Try to make eye contact with any drivers you see approaching, even if you have the right of way at an intersection. Don’t assume the driver will stop, especially if they appear to be looking down or anywhere other than straight ahead at you. If the driver seems distracted, you may be better off waiting for them to pass.
● You can help drivers see you by wearing bright or reflective colors whenever you walk. Sporting goods stores usually offer a variety of reflective athletic wear, patches, and even hats with lights for people who regularly walk or bike outside.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
Being hit by a car as a pedestrian can be a painful and shocking experience. Many people are disoriented or even knocked unconscious, but if you are able to think somewhat clearly, you should assess your injuries and try to get out of the road before another vehicle comes along. Call 911 to report the accident and request an ambulance – even if you think your injuries are mild, it’s a good idea to let the paramedics take a look. Some injuries have deceptively few symptoms at first but may prove to be serious later on.
Exchange Contact Info with the Driver
Try to get their name, contact information, and car insurance policy number regardless of who you think was responsible. We’ve met pedestrians who thought an accident was their fault when it really wasn’t, so we recommend that you don’t speculate about who caused the crash at all. Simply ask for the driver’s information and offer them your contact info.
Sometimes the driver will become defensive and insist the accident was your fault, even if you never suggested it was theirs. They may even claim that you did something you know you didn’t do, like jump out in front of them or cross against the light. Don’t take the bait – the last thing you want to do is get in an argument while you’re still dealing with the shock and, in some cases, physical pain of being hit by a car. Instead, tell the driver that it is standard practice to exchange info after any kind of accident. If they refuse to give you their details, don’t worry about it – the police will insist on getting this information when they arrive.
In the event that the other driver decides to take off before the police get to the scene, try to get their license plate number or write down the best description you can of the vehicle, and of the driver if you got a good look at them.
Talk to the Authorities
You should answer the officer’s questions about what happened, but again, there is no need for you to give your opinion about fault. You may not have a complete picture of what happened yet. If you don’t know the answer to a question or can’t remember, don’t guess. Just tell the officer that you don’t know.
Get Medical Attention
See a doctor and tell them about all your injuries to ensure nothing is missed. They will treat your injuries and run tests to rule out any serious issues. You should also take pictures of your injuries, as the insurance company or your lawyer may need these later on.
Call a Greenville Pedestrian Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible
Pedestrian accidents can be very serious, and many people are overwhelmed with doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, and dealing with hospital bills. Unfortunately, treating your injuries may be expensive, and you could be in a lot of physical pain and unable to work. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the sooner you will have someone on your side, fighting to get you compensation for your injuries. If the driver was at fault, we will pursue a claim against their car insurance to recover your damages. These may include not only your current and future medical costs, but also lost income for any time you missed at work, pain and suffering, permanent disability or disfigurement, property damage, and wrongful death if a loved one was killed in a pedestrian crash.
Who is at Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?
There are many factors to consider when trying to determine fault for pedestrian crashes. These situations can be confusing, and it’s not always clear to the parties involved who was at fault. This is another reason why it’s so important to get appropriate legal advice right away. Your pedestrian accident lawyer will immediately start investigating your case and assembling evidence. Our investigative team will talk to witnesses, hunt for video from sources like traffic and doorbell cameras, and even request electronic data from the vehicle that struck you.
Proving the Driver is at Fault
Frequently the driver claims that the pedestrian somehow caused the accident, and the driver’s insurance company may back up this assertion because they don’t want to pay your damages. This is why we always look for as much evidence as we can find before filing a claim with the insurance company. However, if you have already filed one and been denied, we may still be able to seek out additional evidence and try again. Don’t argue with the insurance adjuster – give us a call and let our experienced team fight for you.
Negligence Per Se
Under South Carolina law, personal injury claims typically require proving that:
● The other party had a duty of care (in a pedestrian case, usually to drive carefully and make reasonable efforts to avoid injuring others).
● This duty of care was breached or broken.
● As a result of this breach, you were hurt, and you sustained damages as a result.
However, if the driver who hit you was breaking the law at the time – for example, running a stop sign or failing to yield to someone in the crosswalk – it is not necessary to prove all the elements of negligence. You can make a claim based on South Carolina’s doctrine of negligence per se, under which drivers who break traffic laws are automatically considered liable for damages suffered by the injured party.
Sometimes proving that the other driver broke the law or was negligent is difficult, but the earlier we start investigating the crash, the better the odds are that we’ll be able to present sufficient evidence in your case. Please call us today for a free consultation about your pedestrian accident.
Auger & Auger Will Fight For Your Rights
Our Greenville pedestrian accident attorney understands the turmoil you are experiencing. If you or your child has been struck by a vehicle, the aftermath can be catastrophic. You have the right to be compensated for your physical and emotional pain as well as your financial losses.
Auger & Auger Accident and Injury Lawyers brings over 50 years of combined litigation experience to the table, and we are ready, willing, and able to take your claim where it needs to go. We don’t believe that strong and determined representation should add to your financial burden. Instead, our zero-fee guarantee gives you the break you need right now; no retainer is required and your consultation is free.
Call (864) 991-3532. today for your free consultation, with no fees due until recovery!