Motorists in most situations must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians under South Carolina law, and if they do not the pedestrian can sustain serious injuries even if the vehicle is traveling slowly. Most incidents occur at traffic lights and stop signs. Motorists can be distracted by other traffic at intersections or by using a mobile communication device. Aggressive driving and speeding are also factors.
When that happens, the injured pedestrian should contact a South Carolina pedestrian accident lawyer for a free, no-obligation consultation. Your knowledgeable personal injury attorney can explain the rights under the law and assess if a lawsuit to recover damages can prevail.
Pedestrian Traffic Laws
Pedestrians, defined as anyone who is on foot, have the right-of-way at marked and unmarked crosswalks at intersections. Motorists are required to watch for pedestrians and use necessary caution to prevent harming someone on foot, especially if the pedestrian is a child, and the driver must be ready to stop.
Motorists also must give the right-of-way to a pedestrian who is blind, recognized as having a red-tipped cane or aided by a seeing-eye dog, and to those with other disabilities. If a person is injured despite observing the pedestrian traffic laws, they should contact a South Carolina pedestrian accident lawyer that can build their case.
Applicable Accident Laws
Pedestrian accident law is based on negligence, which is legally defined as failing to use the proper care toward another person that a prudent person would use in a similar situation. In accidents, South Carolina uses the comparative negligence standard. This law forbids a party who has some fault in causing the accident from collecting all the damages that occurred. State lawmakers wanted to encourage safety by limiting damages for those who share the blame.
51 Percent Rule
If one party is most at fault in causing an accident that party cannot claim any damages. The dividing line is anything more than 50 percent at fault. That situation invokes South Carolina’s so-called 51 Percent Rule.
The name may be misleading in that a person who is, for example, 50.3 percent at fault is said to be legally most at fault. The level of fault is determined by a judge or jury in weighing the evidence.
Negligence has five elements and each must be proven for a lawsuit to succeed:
- Duty of care: A reasonable person has a legal obligation to behave in a manner that does not cause injury or property damage to someone else
- Breach: An act or failing to act violated duty of care
- Causation: But for the breach, the accident would not have happened
- Proximate cause: The breach caused a particular event that was foreseeable
- Damages: A financial loss resulted
A South Carolina pedestrian accident attorney can work tirelessly in an attempt to prove these elements.
How a South Carolina Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
A South Carolina pedestrian accident lawyer can look into the background of the at-fault motorist to discover any previous lapse in judgment that could point to a pattern of behavior and will investigate the accident to bring out the facts necessary in alleging negligence.
Many personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court. In that situation, the attorney will negotiate an amount that covers all the claims detailed in the lawsuit. Retain a skilled pedestrian accident attorney that can advocate for you.