A pedestrian was struck and killed by a pickup truck late in the night on Sunday, October 11, according to a trooper with the South Carolina highway patrol. The vehicle, a 1995 Ford pickup, was driving on Platt Springs Road near SC 6 when the accident occurred. The name of the deceased has not yet been released and the accident is still under investigation.
Such accidents are not uncommon in the South Carolina, which ranks among the most dangerous states for pedestrians. Officials suspect that the high rate of pedestrian fatalities in the state may relate to the high proportion of the work force that engages in long commutes to get to work. However, this factor would not explain the recent fatality reported by the state trooper on Sunday night.
Pedestrian fatalities in SC: liability issues
Ranking third after Delaware and New Mexico, South Carolina had a rate of 2.6 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people according to 2012 data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The state had 123 pedestrian fatalities (the 11th highest in the nation) and 863 traffic fatalities (the 13th highest). Although traffic accidents in general decreased during the same period, South Carolina actually saw a rise in pedestrian fatalities related to traffic accidents.
Many assume that in a pedestrian accident the motorist is always at fault because the “pedestrian always has the right of way.”
However, pedestrians could be at least partly at fault if they:
- Are intoxicated when they enter the road
- Cross the street when they have a “Do Not Walk” signal
- Jaywalk or cross outside of the crosswalk
- Walk in areas where pedestrian access is prohibited (including highways or bridges)
The motorist may still bear some blame for the accident, but the situation is not necessarily always as clear-cut as some may assume.
Compensation in pedestrian accident cases
Pedestrians who are struck and injured in auto accidents, or families of those who are killed in such accidents, may be eligible for compensation depending on the circumstances. Types of compensation may include payment for medical bills, lost wages, or lost earning capabilities. More serious injuries may require long-term therapy or care, which may also be paid for through a jury verdict or settlement. A wrongful death lawsuit may also be filed to cover end of life costs as well as pain and suffering for the families .
The amount of compensation is also dependent upon the degree of liability that each party shoulders. South Carolina operates under comparative fault rules by which each party may bear some of the responsibility for the accident and receive compensation on this basis. In such cases, your share of compensation may be reduced depending on your degree of fault.
Because determining liability is often complex in these types of cases, it is imperative that you retain an attorney who has a proven track record in litigating pedestrian accident claims.
To set up a free consultation with an experienced South Carolina car accident lawyer at The Jeffcoat firm, call (803) 200-2000.