Pedestrians can face catastrophic injuries after a car accident. If a negligent driver caused the crash, you don’t have to bear the financial burden and hardships on your own. A Charleston pedestrian accident lawyer from Louthian Law Firm, P.A. can help you with the entire recovery process. South Carolina state law allows injury victims to seek compensation, including pedestrians struck by careless or reckless drivers.
Connect with our team at Louthian Law Firm, P.A. for free today. We can assess your options for seeking compensation and help you understand what comes next for your case. Get started on your claim or lawsuit now.
How Louthian Law Firm, P.A. Helps Charleston Pedestrian Accident Victims
At Louthian Law Firm, P.A., our attorneys Herb Louthian and his son Bert Louthian operate a family-run law firm serving Charleston and other areas of South Carolina. Herb Louthian founded the firm in 1959, and today our attorneys have more than 80 years of combined legal experience.
Not only do our attorneys commit themselves to recovering fair compensation for our clients, but we also have a Client Bill of Rights we follow at all times. This ensures each client receives sound legal advice, supportive guidance, and representation provided with courtesy, respect, and compassion.
When you partner with us, we work with you one-on-one. You know your lawyer and how to contact them. We also pride ourselves on having a prompt, communicative support staff. We make help, information, and answers available whenever you need them.
Our Attorneys Work Based on Contingency Fees
Our pedestrian accident lawyers want to fight for justice for Charleston victims and their families—without adding another financial burden through steep legal fees. As such, we work based on contingency fees.
This means that we do not ask our clients to pay any upfront fees or costs. You only owe attorney fees if we settle or win your case. This way, our team can finance the initial costs of beginning an injury case, so you don’t have to pay out of your savings.
Case Results for Our Past Personal Injury Clients
Some of our recent traffic accident case results for injury victims include six-figure settlements, such as a $550,000 settlement agreement in a personal injury case.
Each case differs, and the outcome depends on each victim’s unique losses and damages. After we investigate what happened in your accident and the damages you suffered, we can give you a sense of a goal settlement amount in your case.
However, with our past successes and experience with personal injury cases as a foundation, we can work hard to seek the best possible recovery for you.
South Carolina: One of the Most Dangerous States for Pedestrians
South Carolina, and more specifically, Charleston, presents many dangers for pedestrians. According to Live 5 News WCSC, South Carolina ranks as the fourth most dangerous state in the nation for those traveling on foot. This includes a pedestrian death rate more than 60 percent higher than the nationwide average. Experts cite unsafe roads and infrastructure for pedestrians as major factors in these accidents.
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), between 150 and 200 pedestrian deaths take place statewide each year.
Recent statistics include:
- 2019: 165 deaths
- 2020: 187 deaths
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that almost 10 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in South Carolina occurred in Charleston County between 2014 and 2018. This probably does not surprise you if you suffered injuries in a pedestrian-car collision in Downtown Charleston or ever walked in the area.
Looking at these statistics, Charleston County—and Downtown Charleston, specifically—features many hazardous areas for pedestrians, bicyclists, scooter riders, skateboarders, wheelchair users, and others using non-motorized transportation.
Some of the most well-known and feared spots around town include:
- Calhoun Street and Ashley Avenue near the hospital, where more than 250 incidents occurred between 2018 and 2020
- Calhoun Street at St. Philip Street near the College of Charleston
According to a 2020 report on these crossings by Live 5 News, the Calhoun Street corridor is one of the most dangerous areas in the state for pedestrians. Additionally, a list of the top ten most dangerous corridors in the state for non-motorized users included five Charleston County roads.
While most agencies agree something must occur to help make walking in Downtown Charleston safer, the problem is complex and will take time to address. While local agencies continue to brainstorm, research, and implement plans, pedestrians and bicyclists could continue to suffer injuries. If this happened to you or your loved one, our team can help you.
We investigate these collisions to identify the cause of the accident and all potentially liable parties. A negligent driver is the most common liable party. However, we also build cases against those responsible for poor road conditions, failure to maintain an intersection or traffic signals, or other issues with the area where the crash happened.
Fault for Pedestrian Accidents in Charleston
One of the most important elements of any pedestrian accident claim is who is at fault for what happened to you.
When you’ve been hit by a car in Charleston, it’s normal to assume the driver who hit you is responsible. In cases of driver negligence, such as distracted, drowsy, drunk, drugged, or risky driving, this is likely true. Drivers are the most common at-fault parties in pedestrian accidents.
But you might also be surprised to learn that a number of other parties could have contributed to your accident.
Sometimes, the roads are unsafe. For example, traffic lights are broken and go unrepaired, potholes go unfilled, and construction zones aren’t properly secured. All of those problems can cause drivers to hit pedestrians.
In situations like that, the driver may not actually be at fault for your injuries. Instead, government agencies responsible for road maintenance could be held accountable.
Defective Car Parts
What about instances in which a part of the car is faulty or malfunctioning? Unsuspecting drivers may not be liable when the parts on their vehicle are defective. Maybe the tires were prone to tread separation or a part in the brake system prevented the driver from stopping the vehicle in time.
Instead of the driver, the manufacturer of the faulty part, a mechanic, or the automaker could be responsible for the pedestrian injuries you suffered and therefore responsible for compensating you. Only a thorough investigation will uncover the truth.
Building a Charleston Pedestrian Accident Case for Compensation
At Louthian Law Firm, P.A., our attorneys know what causes pedestrian accidents and how to develop a strong case against those whose actions triggered them.
Some of the factors we see playing a significant role in these cases include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Coming to a rolling stop
- Disobeying traffic signals
- Reckless driving
- Ignoring traffic laws meant to protect pedestrians
- General carelessness
When our team represents a pedestrian injured by a Charleston motorist, we investigate the cause of the crash and identify all the factors that play a role. We gather evidence and use it to support an insurance claim or lawsuit. This often allows us to negotiate a fair settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurer. We will sue the liable party and take the case to trial if necessary.
The Role of Louthian Law Firm, P.A. in a Charleston Accident Case
When one of our lawyers represents you in a Charleston personal injury case, you can expect our team to:
- Protect your right to seek compensation by managing all communication and ensuring you meet all applicable deadlines
- Answer questions and offer information and guidance as needed
- Ensure you know what to expect every step of the way
- Manage your claim and/or lawsuit while you focus on healing
- Represent your best interests
Showing Negligence Caused Your Accident and Injuries
In most pedestrian accidents, a driver acts negligently and causes the collision. Other negligent parties could include the agency that designed or maintained the road, other road users, or companies that failed to provide a safe area for pedestrians to walk outside of a construction zone.
We often start by identifying and collecting evidence to show a party acted negligently. Then, we use this evidence to convince the insurance company representatives and/or the jury of what happened and who bears responsibility.
We need to show four elements to prove negligence occurred:
- The party had an obligation to keep the victim safe.
- They failed to behave as required, putting the victim in danger.
- Their failure caused the collision to occur.
- Our client suffered harm, e.g., physical injuries and financial losses.
For example, drivers have a responsibility to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk before turning. Traffic laws mean that the driver must take certain actions to prevent injuries to pedestrians crossing the street. When the driver fails to yield, neglects to look for pedestrians entering a crosswalk, or commits other forms of negligence, they could be liable for the resulting crash.
When Is a Lawsuit Necessary in a Pedestrian-Car Crash Case?
Our Charleston traffic accident lawyers from Louthian Law Firm, P.A. often settle these cases for our clients. We generally demand a fair and just payout from the insurance company representing the negligent driver. If they do not agree to a fair offer, we can negotiate an appropriate settlement.
This process often resolves our clients’ cases without requiring a lawsuit. Even if we need to sue, these cases generally settle before we go to trial.
However, some circumstances may require taking the case to trial in a Charleston County civil court.
Our attorneys provide information and sound legal advice to help our clients decide whether to take this step when:
- The at-fault motorist refuses to accept responsibility.
- The insurance company will not agree to a fair settlement.
- The other side disputes facts in the case.
- The deadline to file a lawsuit approaches.
Other circumstances could indicate your case might benefit from a lawsuit or jury trial.
Accident victims should understand the strict deadlines to begin a lawsuit in South Carolina. Under South Carolina law, most accident victims must file their initial complaint in the appropriate civil court before the third anniversary of their injuries. The court usually bars plaintiffs from seeking compensation if this three-year deadline passes by.
Recoverable Damages in a Charleston Pedestrian Accident Case
Our traffic accident attorneys from Louthian Law Firm, P.A. in Charleston know how to seek compensation for clients who suffered catastrophic injuries and other serious losses. We understand the unique challenges for those who live with life-altering injuries after a negligent driver hit them. We know your family needs a significant payout to pay the outstanding bills and cover ongoing care and support costs.
Even those with moderate and relatively minor injuries often endure extensive costs and losses. Our lawyers work to identify, document, value, and recover fair and appropriate compensation based on our clients’ damages. These include:
Most people concern themselves with recovering money damages for their economic losses and expenses first and foremost. They may have creditors asking for payments, worry about their financial stability because of missed work, and have other significant economic concerns. Our attorneys document each client’s economic expenses and losses and seek recovery of money damages for them.
These could include:
- Medical treatment needs for past, current, and future care
- Missed income, including all types of earnings from a salaried or hourly job, commissions, tips, gig work, and more
- Diminished earning capacity due to long-term treatment or permanent injuries
- Personal property damages, such as broken glasses or iPhone
- Miscellaneous documented expenses, including parking at the hospital, traveling for treatment, necessary home renovations for mobility, and more
In a civil case, lawyers and insurance companies frequently call intangible losses experienced by victims non-economic damages or “pain and suffering” losses. Many injury victims experience pain and suffering and emotional distress due to their accident, injuries, treatment, and the related effects. Non-economic damages could cover loss of enjoyment of life, disability, physical pain, and mental anguish.
These damages are intangible, but our attorneys know how to determine a recoverable value for them based on similar cases, our experience, and industry norms. Non-economic damages often form the largest portion of compensation after a serious injury crash. You want to ensure you understand their value before agreeing to a settlement.
Wrongful Death Damages
South Carolina allows family members to recover compensation following a wrongful death in Charleston under South Carolina law. This statute permits the administrator of the estate or another personal representative to sue and seek damages for the surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased. Unfortunately, pedestrian-car accident injuries frequently lead to devastating and fatal injuries.
Our attorneys handle these cases and seek damages for our clients to the full extent possible based on the facts of the case and South Carolina law.
Discuss Your Case With a Charleston Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
Speak with the team at Louthian Law Firm, P.A. about your pedestrian collision injuries and legal options. We offer free consultations for victims hurt by another party’s negligence. Your options may include filing an insurance claim or suing to recover compensation for the expenses and losses you incurred. Our pedestrian accident attorneys represent clients through the process, seeking financial recovery for them.
Contact us now at (843) 544-7272 to connect with our team in Charleston. Get started with a free case review right away.