If a Pedestrian is Hit on Yellow, Who is to Blame?
Crosswalk pedestrian accidents are very rare throughout most of the year. They’re more common late in the year. Less daylight means less visibility, the weather is more unpredictable late in the year, and more pedestrians are outside because of the holidays. As outlined below, a yellow-light pedestrian accident usually involves very serious injuries and very complex legal issues.
A good Columbia personal injury lawyer helps pedestrian accident victims deal with the medical and legal issues in their cases. Lawyers have professional connections with top-notch doctors who usually charge nothing upfront for their medical services. These services include diagnostic tests, prescription drugs, and so on. Additionally, attorneys use medical and other evidence to obtain maximum compensation in court.
Many drivers suddenly and quickly accelerate when a light turns yellow, so they can make it through the intersection before the light changes to red. This sudden and rapid acceleration leads to serious pedestrian injuries, including:
- Broken Pelvis/Ribs: Many broken bone injuries, like broken arms and legs, normally aren’t life threatening, unless infection sets in. Injuries like a broken pelvis and multiple broken ribs are often life-threatening. These thin bones protect some of the body’s most vital organs. If a small bone chip pierces one of these organs, the consequences could be disastrous.
- Head Injuries: Many people believe the brain fits snugly in the skull, like a head in a helmet. That’s not true. The human brain isn’t much bigger than a soda can. When a speeding car strikes a nearly-stationary victim, the fall causes the brain to slam against the inside of the skull. This impact usually causes brain swelling and bleeding. Doctors can contain such brain injuries, but they cannot reverse their effects.
- Internal Injuries: The same motion causes internal organs to smash into one another. Kidneys, stomachs, and other such organs aren’t designed to withstand such impacts. So, even a minor cut or scrape often bleeds badly. Emergency responders can do nothing to address these injuries. So, by the time doctors address internal bleeding at hospitals, the victim may already be in hypovolemic shock.
A Columbia personal injury lawyer often uses a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder in these cases. EDRs measure and record engine RPM, among other things. So, jurors can clearly see the tortfeasor (negligent driver) basically accelerated into the victim, who was in a crosswalk at the time.
In South Carolina, the victim has the right-of-way until the light turns red. However, the victim may not be entitled to maximum compensation in these cases, because of the comparative fault rule.
This rule allows insurance company lawyers to shift blame for an accident from the tortfeasor to the victim, even if the victim had the right of way. Usually, comparative fault reduces, but does not eliminate, the obligation to pay compensation.
That’s especially true in yellow light pedestrian accidents. Other factors may come into play. For example, if the victim is mobility impaired, it may be impossible to cross the street before the light turns yellow.
Work 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. We routinely handle matters throughout the Palmetto State.