The pedestrian typically suffers the brunt of the impact in a collision with a motor vehicle. In fact, roughly every two-and-a-half days, a pedestrian dies in a traffic accident in South Carolina, according to the S.C. Department of Public Safety. Sadly, many of these injured pedestrians are children that a negligent driver struck as they walked or biked through their neighbor or between their home and school.
Most of these accidents are preventable. They result from the negligence of drivers who refuse to yield the right of way, fail to pay close attention as they drive or neglect to slow down when they pass through residential areas or school zones where people frequently walk or ride and crosswalk accidents. At McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, LLC, we work hard to hold these drivers accountable.
If you were injured or lost a loved one due to a driver’s negligence, our team of Rock Hill personal injury lawyers can bring skilled and compassionate legal guidance and representation to your case. We treat your case with the highest attention to detail and look for the best way to help you to recover full compensation for your injuries. Throughout Rock Hill, Fort Mill and the surrounding areas, we have earned a reputation as trusted advisors and aggressive litigators who know how to help our clients through their most difficult and challenging times.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help in your pedestrian accident case. Our pedestrian injury lawyers will provide a free consultation through our Rock Hill office.
How a Rock Hill Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help You
If you were hurt in a pedestrian accident, you should never try to go through the claims process on your own. When you work with the experienced legal team at McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, we will stand by your side throughout the claims process, protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve. You can count on us to:
- Conduct a complete investigation of the accident – We will gather and analyze all of the evidence in your case and determine the facts. We want to get to the truth about why your pedestrian accident happened.
- Calculate your damages – We will carefully review your medical records and lost wage information. We may also discuss your case with physicians and other experts.
- Identify all sources of compensation – The insurance of the driver who hit you may be only one source of compensation available in your case. We will explore all other options, including your own insurance coverage.
- Work hard to pursue a settlement – We will aggressively negotiate with the insurance company (or companies) in order to pursue a settlement that fully compensates you in as timely of a manner as possible.
- Take your case to trial – We are highly skilled litigators. If we do not reach a pretrial settlement in your case, we will be ready to fight for you at trial. Our attorneys have decades of experience in the courtroom and know what it takes to win.
As your case moves forward, we can manage any other matters that bring stress and burdens into your life. For instance, we can work with your medical care providers and creditors while your pedestrian accident claim is being resolved. We will always stand ready to advise and assist you as needed. Additionally, we will charge no fees unless we recover compensation for you. Above all, we want you to focus on your health and well-being.
What You Should Do After a Pedestrian Accident
If you have never been involved in an accident before, you may not know what to do next in order to protect your legal rights. Missteps could cost you the ability to recover full compensation for your losses. However, if you take the following steps, you should put yourself on the right path:
- Get medical attention right away – Your health should be your most important concern after a pedestrian accident. You should see a doctor as soon as possible so you know the extent of your harm. You will also document your injuries. This documentation can prevent the insurance company from claiming that your injuries are unrelated to the accident or not as severe as you claim.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan – Many injuries heal faster and require less overall care when a patient follows through on treatment plans. You will also have a better idea of your past and future medical expenses if you follow the course of treatment that your doctor sets out for you.
- Write down what you recall about the accident – Taking notes can be very helpful. If your insurance claim ends up in court two or three years later, you will benefit from having a reference that refreshes your memory about important details of the crash.
- Gather all accident-related documents – You should create a folder or file where you can keep all accident-related materials. These materials may include medical bills, receipts, photos, witness names and letters or e-mails from the insurance company (or companies).
- Order a copy of the police accident report – An attorney from our firm can help you to track down the report. Still, you really shouldn’t wait. You can go ahead and get a copy of the crash report as soon as it is available from the law enforcement agency that responded to your crash.
- Don’t give a statement or accept an offer from an insurance company – Never speak with an insurance adjuster without first talking to your own attorney from McKinney, Tucker & Lemel. Adjusters are trained to find your weaknesses and exploit them. Their goal is not to pay you for your injuries.
- Never discuss the case and stay off social media until the case is over – Your use of social media could harm your case. You should assume that the insurance company can – and will – read everything that you post. Do not discuss your case or post photos or messages that are related to your case. Generally, you will be better off if you avoid social media use altogether until your case is over.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in South Carolina
In a perfect world, all drivers would watch out for others, slow down when appropriate and keep their cars in good condition. Unfortunately, many drivers completely disregard the safety of others. Here are just some of the ways that pedestrian accidents happen in South Carolina types of pedestrian accidents:
- Distracted driving – If a driver takes his or her eyes off the road for even a couple of seconds, they can put themselves and others in danger. For instance, a distracted driver may fail to see a person who is using a crosswalk or a child that is playing on the side of the street.
- Failing to keep a lookout – Many pedestrian accidents occur in parking lots or other areas where people get in and out of vehicles. If a driver fails to slowly and carefully watch where he or she is going when they park or back out of a spot, accidents can occur.
- Drunk driving – Consuming alcohol slows a driver’s reaction time, impairs the driver’s judgment and robs a driver of motor skills, leading to the type of careless and reckless driving that causes collisions with pedestrians.
- Speeding – A driver who travels faster than the posted speed limit or goes too fast for road and/or weather conditions can readily cause a crash. Specifically, a speeding driver can lose control of the vehicle or lack braking distance to avoid a collision with a pedestrian.
- Refusing to yield the right of way – Many drivers fail to appreciate or respect that the pedestrian has the right of way. For instance, pedestrian accidents often occur at intersections when a driver turns into a pedestrian’s path.
Legal Options After a Pedestrian Accident in South Carolina
In most pedestrian accident cases in South Carolina, a victim will seek compensation through the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. However, other parties may be responsible as well such as:
- The at-fault driver’s employer – If the driver was working at the time – for instance, the driver was making a delivery – then the driver’s employer could be held liable for the negligence of its employee. The employer could also be liable for its own negligence in hiring a dangerous driver or failing to properly train and supervise the driver.
- An alcohol vendor – If a vendor such as a bar, store or restaurant sold alcohol to a minor or to a visibility intoxicated adult, who in turn hit a pedestrian, that vendor could be held liable in what is commonly called a “dram shop” claim.
- Social host – If a social host serves alcohol to a minor, and the minor causes your injuries as a pedestrian, that host may be responsible as well.
Depending on the facts of your case, you may also need to turn to your own insurance coverage. For instance, you may file a claim with your insurer if your pedestrian accident involves a hit-and-run driver, an uninsured driver or an underinsured driver (a driver whose insurance fails to fully cover your damages).
Because of South Carolina’s comparative negligence law, the driver and his or her insurance company may try to argue that you were at fault. We will fight these attempts to shift responsibility at every turn and demand full compensation for you.
Types of Compensation for South Carolina Pedestrian Accident Victims
At McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, we know how pedestrian accidents can cause life-changing injuries such as:
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Head and brain injuries (including concussions)
- Back and spine injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Emotional harm (such as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD).
Our firm will work hard to pursue compensation for all injuries and losses that you suffered due to the negligence of a driver, including:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost income and reduction of future earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death damages (if your loved one died in a pedestrian accident).
Many pedestrian accidents involve young children. Our firm understands the sensitive personal issues and complex legal issues that child injury cases involve. We will know how to skillfully handle a claim on behalf of the child as well as the child’s parents.
Statute of Limitations for South Carolina Pedestrian Accidents
Every type of civil claim has a statute of limitations that restricts the amount of time you have to bring a lawsuit. If you miss that deadline, your case is forever barred. In South Carolina, these limitations generally are:
- Personal injury – Three years from the date of the injury
- Wrongful death – Three years from the date of death.
To ensure that you do not miss the deadline in your case, you should contact an attorney about your pedestrian accident without delay.
Our Rock Hill Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Are Ready to Help You
From our centrally located Rock Hill office, we serve clients throughout the region, including Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Indian Land, Lancaster, York, Chester and neighboring communities. The caring team of experienced pedestrian accident attorney at McKinney, Tucker & Lemel understand that your case is about more than compensation – it’s about getting your life back. We are ready to go to work for you today. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.