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Unfortunately, with all of the tourism and activity in Myrtle Beach, SC, pedestrian accidents are not all that uncommon. In fact, in 2012, some alarming stats were recorded by the Accident Data Center about pedestrian accidents in Myrtle Beach, SC:
However, in an accident involving a pedestrian, there is usually nothing which protects your body and often results in significant injuries or even death.
Here are some of the most common causes:
- Drivers failing to look for pedestrians crossing the road in the crosswalk
- Drivers failing to stop at stop signs and street lights
- Drivers texting and talking on the phone while driving
- Drivers who are intoxicated
- Drivers who are speeding
What are the driver’s duties?
- Be aware of their surroundings and exercise due care to prevent accidents with pedestrians
- Give pedestrians the right of way in crosswalks
- Slow down first before passing another vehicle that is stopped in the roadway to check that a pedestrian is not crossing the roadway in front of the stopped vehicle
- Wait for the road to be completely clear before moving from a stop when being directed by a crossing guard
- Sidewalks, crosswalks, pedestrian bridges and tunnels should be used in all cases when they are present
- Abide by traffic control devices such as stop lights and pedestrian crosswalk buttons
- If there isn’t a sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing the traffic
- Cross intersections by using the crosswalks horizontally and vertically unless a diagonal crosswalk is an option
In most cases, the person who is liable for the damages is the person who is “negligent.” Negligence simply means a failure to exercise a reasonable standard of care under the circumstances.
It isn’t always this easy though, if BOTH the driver and pedestrian were negligent. Then what happens? Different states handle this situation differently. Some states don’t allow a party to collect any damages at all if they were even the slightest bit negligent (at fault). Other states allow a party to collect some of their damages if they were negligent.
South Carolina follows the doctrine of “comparative negligence,” which means that in a situation where the driver and the pedestrian are both negligent, both parties may collect damages. In short, this is done by determining what percentage each person contributed to the accident.
Here’s an example. Say the driver was 60% at fault and the pedestrian was 40% at fault. The total available compensation is $100,000. The driver can potentially recover $40,000 since that amount is 40% of $100,000, and the driver was 40% NOT at fault. The pedestrian can potentially recover $60,000 since that amount is 60% of $100,000, and the pedestrian was 60% NOT at fault.
If you were the driver you can be prosecuted for a misdemeanor or felony depending upon the damage caused in the accident. The pedestrian may face difficulty being made whole again since most hit and run drivers don’t have insurance.
In either case, if you were the hit and run driver or if you were the pedestrian injured in the accident, you should seek legal help immediately.
The attorneys at Coastal Law routinely handle accidents involving pedestrians in the Horry County, Conway, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina areas. We can help you or your loved one deal with the insurance company and protect your legal rights.
Because the issues in a pedestrian accident can be complex and the process daunting to people, a Myrtle Beach pedestrian accident attorney can help explain the law and how it affects your case. That means you can make the best choice given your situation.
What should you do next?
First off, get medical help if you haven’t already. Next, call us. We want to help people involved in pedestrian accidents in the Myrtle Beach, SC area.
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