Pedestrian Hit-and-Run Victims Must Seek Legal Counsel to Recover Damages

An arrest was made in a deadly hit-and-run pedestrian accident that happened near the South Carolina-Georgia state line on U.S. 17 earlier this month. South Carolina Highway Patrol arrested a Georgia man who was reportedly operating a 2015 Chevy Impala when he struck a 26-year-old man from Midway, Ga., who was walking along the road around 5:30 a.m.crosswalk6

The 26-year-old pedestrian died of his wounds after being transported to the Memorial University Medical Center where he died of his injuries.

Local media reported on the case and the fact that authorities were unable to locate the driver. A tipster called in to police after seeing one of those reports, and led authorities to the suspect – and his car, which was seized as evidence. 

Pedestrians in South Carolina and North Carolina are in a class of travelers known as “vulnerable road users.” Our Rock Hill accident attorneys know these individuals are more likely to suffer serious injuries when they are involved in a crash. They don’t have the protection of a three-ton mass of metal and glass surrounding them. They are also often tougher for motorists to see, especially after dusk and before dawn.

Also, far too many drivers feel emboldened not to remain at the scene. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 1 in every 5 pedestrian fatalities is a hit-and-run crash. Pedestrian fatality rates range widely depending on the city, from a high of 19.7 to a low of 0.51 per 100,000 population.

If you are hit by a car while walking in South Carolina, you do have a number of legal options you might consider, depending on the individual circumstances of your case. Some things to consider:

  • Who was at-fault? In most cases where a driver hits a pedestrian, it is the driver who is at-fault. Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and in a myriad of other situations, as designated by the state’s traffic code.
  • Did the driver stop? If the driver did stop, you and/or your family members on your behalf can pursue a claim against the driver and/or his insurance company.
  • What if the driver didn’t stop (and isn’t caught) or doesn’t have insurance? In these situations, which again tend to be more common in pedestrian accidents than in other types of collisions, you may have the option of filing an uninsured/ underinsured (UM/UIM) accident claim. This assumes the pedestrian has his or her own auto insurance plan (or is covered by one that is held by a family member) and has UM/UIM coverage. This type of coverage will provide coverage up to a set limit in cases where an at-fault driver is either not insured, doesn’t have enough insurance or is not identified, due to a hit-and-run.

UIM coverage often plays a central role in these cases because often, the whole reason why someone flees a pedestrian accident in the first place is because they don’t have insurance or may be wanted by the law for some other offense.

The NHTSA reports that in 2013, there were 4,735 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes, and on average, a pedestrian dies every 2 hours. One is injured every 8 minutes. One-fifth of those killed in pedestrian traffic crashes are under the age of 14.

Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:

Arrest made in deadly hit-and-run accident near Georgia/South Carolina state line, Sept. 12, 2016, News2

More Blog Entries:

Holiday Motor Corp. v. Walters – Convertible Car Makers Not Liable for Rollover Injuries, Sept. 9, 2016, Rock Hill Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Blog

Contact Information