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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > General > Fatal Hit-and-Run Accident in Columbia

Fatal Hit-and-Run Accident in Columbia

HitRun

Few details were available after a northbound vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian walking on Two Notch Road. The at-fault motorist immediately fled the scene.

South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers released images of a vehicle from surveillance footage.

Investigators said the vehicle may be burgundy or maroon in color with a white or light in color camper shell and have damage to the front and/or the passenger side of the car.

Factors That Affect Pedestrian Accidents

In terms of injury severity, excessive velocity is usually the key factor in pedestrian knockdown cases. In fact, speed multiplies injury severity. At 20mph, the pedestrian fatality rate is under 10 percent. At impact speeds above 50mph, the death rate catapults to over 90 percent.

Speed also multiplies the risk of a pedestrian accident, since speed multiplies stopping distance. Basically, speeding drivers have less time to react to a changing situation, like a pedestrian unexpectedly in the road, than slower-moving drivers.

The time of day or night could be a factor as well. Most people are naturally drowsy late at night, around midday, and early in the morning, no matter how much rest they had the previous night. Circadian rhythm fatigue is especially bad if the tortfeasor’s (negligent driver’s) daily schedule recently changed.

Biologically, fatigue is like alcohol intoxication. Both conditions severely impair judgment skills and reaction time. These impairments go back to speed. Drowsy drivers cannot accurately judge the distance between themselves and pedestrians. Furthermore, since their motor skills are impaired, they can’t make up for this failure to judge at the last minute.

Environmental conditions, like a dark sky, could come into play as well. But a Columbia hit and run accident attorney is usually able to obtain maximum compensation in such cases. Environmental factors might contribute to pedestrian accidents. But driver negligence causes them.

Compensation in Hit-and-Run Claims

Hit-and-run drivers hardly ever face the music in criminal court. About 90 percent of such drivers are never caught. Usually, law enforcement investigators quickly give up in these cases, partially because they believe auto accidents are civil matters and partially because the burden of proof is so high in criminal cases.

To obtain a conviction, a credible witness must get a good look at the driver at or near the moment of impact. That’s about the only way to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Civil court is different. A Columbia personal injury attorney must only prove negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. If a legal team uses a partial plate number to identify the vehicle’s owner, that’s usually good enough. It’s more likely than not that the owner was behind the wheel.

Other evidence in civil hit-and-run claims includes additional witness statements and surveillance camera footage. Attorneys and their teams often locate witnesses who, for whatever reasons, didn’t speak with police officers at the scene. Camera footage, even if the camera was several blocks or miles from the accident scene, could provide the critical missing piece of the puzzle.

Additionally, the purposes of criminal and civil courts are different. Criminal courts punish rapscallions. Civil courts compensate victims. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Connect With a Dedicated  Richland County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbia, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.

Source:

wistv.com/2023/06/19/south-carolina-highway-patrol-seeks-information-fatal-hit-and-run-two-notch-road/

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