South Carolina has a huge problem with pedestrians being hit by automobiles – at intersections, walking on roadsides, even in parking lots.
Myrtle Beach pedestrian deaths and injuries are common because of poorly planned intersections and walkways and because of the sheer number of visitors (as many as 8 million a year) walking and driving on the boulevard and other hot spots in the Myrtle Beach area.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, you already know the danger of automobiles to people who are traveling on foot – when steel meets flesh, the pedestrian loses every time. When the driver is at fault, your Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer can help you to recover damages for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, physical therapy, future medical care if needed, and even punitive damages in some cases.
South Carolina Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, an estimated 70,000 pedestrians were injured in motor vehicle crashes in the year 2015 alone, and 5376 people were killed in pedestrian/ motor vehicle crashes. That’s an average of 15 pedestrian deaths per day.
A report by the Governors Highway Safety Association says that, in 2015, 15% of all motor vehicle deaths in the country were pedestrian deaths. 15% of the drivers in fatal pedestrian collisions and 34% of the pedestrians had a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than .08.
According to the SC Department of Public Safety, there were 131 pedestrian deaths in South Carolina in the year 2015 and 921 pedestrian injuries from auto crashes.
If you’ve been hit by a car in South Carolina, you already know first-hand that pedestrian collisions are an issue in our state. But, when can you sue the driver and who is responsible?
Liability in SC Pedestrian Crashes
Who is responsible for the crash depends on who was following the rules of the road and who was not. Although in most cases one side or the other will be at fault, SC follows a “modified comparative negligence rule” which means that jurors can attribute fault to both sides.
If you are found to be greater than 50% at fault in the accident, you cannot recover damages. If you are found to be 50% or less at fault in the accident, you can still recover damages, but the verdict will be reduced by the percentage of fault the jurors attribute to you.
Rules of the Road for Pedestrians in SC
When walking on a highway or crossing an intersection, there are rules that the pedestrian must follow including:
- Obey all traffic signals, including walk and wait signals for pedestrians;
- Use a sidewalk when available, or walk on the shoulder when there is no sidewalk; and
- On two-lane roads, walk only on the left side of the roadway.
Who has the Right-of-Way?
SC law outlines who has the right-of-way in different situations:
- Pedestrians always have the right-of-way when a vehicle is crossing a sidewalk;
- When there are traffic-control devices at an intersection, pedestrians have the right-of-way in marked crosswalks;
- When there is no traffic signal at a crosswalk, a pedestrian has the right-of-way if they are on the same side of the roadway as the vehicle;
- If there is no crosswalk or intersection, vehicles have the right-of-way; and
- Vehicles have the right-of-way on the road when there is a pedestrian tunnel or overhead walkway.
I was Hit by a Car in Myrtle Beach, Can I Sue?
Your Myrtle Beach pedestrian accident lawyer at Axelrod and Associates will help you to determine who was at fault in your collision, gather the evidence that you will need to make your claim, negotiate with the insurance companies for you, and work to get maximum compensation for your injuries.