Pedestrian Accidents: Advocating for the Rights of Vulnerable Road Users
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable group of road users in the Carolinas. According to the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources (OSHR), a pedestrian is killed in North Carolina every 81 minutes. Pedestrian fatality statistics in South Carolina are even more shocking. Local news reports indicate that South Carolina ranks fourth highest in the nation for the number of pedestrian deaths. The pedestrian fatality statistics in SC/NC should remind everyone about the importance of legal advocacy for pedestrians, especially after a catastrophic accident with a careless driver.
At Stewart Law Offices, our pedestrian accident lawyers have the skills and resources to provide skilled legal representation for injured pedestrians. A significant pedestrian accident doesn’t just jeopardize your health. It can damage your financial stability. We are committed to holding negligent motorists accountable for their actions while pursuing meaningful compensation for your financial losses.
To find out more about your legal options and the best path forward for seeking compensation for your injuries, contact our office today to talk with a pedestrian accident lawyer.
The Role of a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Filing successful pedestrian compensation claims can be challenging, especially when you are suffering from traumatic injuries associated with the incident. A personal injury attorney can advocate for your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve for your financial losses.
The role of a lawyer is to ensure that your best interests remain front and center. A pedestrian accident lawyer can:
- Investigate the cause of the accident
- Identify liable parties
- Offer claim process assistance
- Collect and preserve vital evidence
- Ensure timely claim processing
- Aggressively negotiate for maximum compensation on your behalf
- Aid in the litigation process if going to trial is necessary
The days and weeks following a pedestrian accident are a vulnerable time for injured individuals. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the claim process and incoming medical bills. Many victims are tempted to accept an initial insurance settlement offer, believing it can help them out of the hole.
Unfortunately, accepting an insurance provider’s first offer is seldom in your best interest. Some companies prey on vulnerable pedestrian accident victims, using tactics that entice or pressure individuals into accepting a lowball offer that may not cover their financial losses.
An attorney can protect your legal rights and help you navigate the pedestrian accident claim process. At Stewart Law Offices, we have over 25 years of experience helping injured individuals pursue every penny of the compensation they deserve – and we’re ready to help you, too.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable road users. Pedestrians have little protection when a 3,000-pound vehicle hits them, meaning catastrophic injuries are common. Unfortunately, most pedestrian accidents in North and South Carolina involve the actions of careless motorists. It only takes seconds for a negligent driver to cause a lifetime of pain and suffering for a pedestrian.
Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents in the Carolinas include:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Driving while impaired
- Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians
- Left-hand turns at intersections
- Unsafe lane changes
Other causes of significant pedestrian accidents include stormy weather conditions, poor visibility, and mechanical defects.
Pedestrian Rights and Responsibilities
North and South Carolina pedestrians have rights, but they also have responsibilities – and so do motorists. Motorists have a responsibility towards pedestrians, something many careless drivers need to remember. North and South Carolina each have unique traffic laws protecting pedestrians and outlining the rights and responsibilities of both drivers and pedestrians when using local roadways.
Right of Way Laws in North Carolina
In North Carolina, pedestrians need to remember that they must obey the same signs and signals that motorists follow. For pedestrians, that means crossing streets at designated crosswalks when available and crossing with a green signal. At intersections without traffic signals, the rights of pedestrians in crosswalks dictate that pedestrians have the right of way. North Carolina law also specifies that pedestrians must use the sidewalk when available, never walking on the road when unnecessary.
Right of Way Laws in South Carolina
South Carolina has many of the same laws on the books regarding pedestrian rights and responsibilities. These regulations are essential to help prevent pedestrian accidents in South Carolina. Motorists must exercise caution to avoid collisions with pedestrians, while pedestrians must follow all traffic control devices and signs.
Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks when following the crosswalk directions but must yield to traffic before crossing the street when there is no crosswalk. Pedestrians are also encouraged to avoid freeways and must use sidewalks when one is present.
Recovering Damages in Pedestrian Accidents
The value of a Carolina pedestrian accident claim varies depending on the circumstances of the accident and the severity of your injuries, among other factors. It is always best to allow an experienced personal injury lawyer to review the circumstances of your situation to help determine the fair value of your claim before you accept any offer from an insurance company.
Although the overall value of pedestrian claims can vary, many accident victims can pursue money for the following:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
Recovering maximum compensation from a pedestrian accident claim can be challenging. An attorney can not only estimate the value of your claim, but they can also build a compelling case based on evidence and aggressively negotiate for the money you need.
Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Do you feel overwhelmed by the pedestrian compensation claim process? Do you need more information about pedestrian accidents in South Carolina or North Carolina pedestrian rights? A personal injury lawyer with Stewart Law Offices can help. Our legal team is committed to helping you navigate this challenging time with compassion and sensitivity.
Contact our office today for a free consultation to speak with one of our knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorneys about your legal options for pursuing compensation.