Facebook View
Skip to main content
Pedestrian Accidents
HawkLaw Fights for Columbia

4.8 Average on Google

Columbia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been hit by a driver while on a walk, you may be owed compensation for your injuries. Reach out to a pedestrian injury lawyer in Columbia to seek your compensation.

Pedestrians face more dangers than you might think. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association and NHTSA, more than 7,500 pedestrians were killed in auto accidents in 2022. That is more people in a single year than we have seen in decades in Columbia, Forest Acres, Lexington, Irmo, Cayce, and the rest of South Carolina. The last time fatalities were so high was in 1981.

Walking can be a great way to travel because it is good for you and good for the environment, but careless drivers can put pedestrians at risk. Getting hit by an automobile while on foot can lead to serious injuries and change your life forever. Even a motorcycle accident can be devastating for a pedestrian.

If you’ve been injured as a pedestrian in Columbia, Forest Acres, Lexington, Irmo, or Cayce, you may need help from a lawyer. An experienced Columbia pedestrian accident lawyer at HawkLaw, P.A. can help you recover the compensation you deserve while you focus on healing.

What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident in Columbia

Pedestrian accidents are difficult to deal with, but you may be able to put yourself in the best position for recovery if you follow these important steps.

Protect Yourself and Others

The first thing you do is make sure you and everyone else involved are safe. If you are able to, move all injured pedestrians and other victims to safety to prevent anyone from getting hit again.

Call 911

A 911 operator can send police, fire and EMS as necessary to the scene of the wreck. Emergency crews can secure the scene and help prevent additional collisions. Police will also compile a police report of the accident that can be helpful in any personal injury case related to the accident. Do not admit any fault or blame to the police.

Seek Medical Treatment

Next, seek medical care. Pedestrian injuries can be serious because pedestrians have no protection against a motor vehicle’s impact. You may need to take an ambulance to the hospital right away. Additionally, medical treatment and medical records are important in establishing a pedestrian accident victim’s injury claim. Do not admit any fault or blame to your medical providers.

Gather Evidence

If you are able to, gather as much evidence as you can regarding the accident. Take photos of the crash scene with details of skid marks on the pavement, vehicle positioning, and road conditions if possible. Be sure to photograph any injuries sustained from the crash as well.

Contact a Columbia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be tough once insurance gets involved, so it is best to get in touch with a Columbia pedestrian accident attorney sooner rather than later. They can walk you through the process and help keep your rights and interests protected.

Contact Your Own Insurance Provider

Only after you have contacted a lawyer should you contact your insurance. Reporting the accident is easy enough, but a lawyer can help you make the report while protecting your interest against the insurance company that may use it against you later. Do not admit any fault or blame to an adjuster or claims representative.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Columbia

Pedestrian accidents in Columbia are caused by a variety of factors. Most stem from being hit by a car due to a driver’s recklessness or negligence.

Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is extremely reckless and leads to many pedestrian-automobile collisions. Alcohol and drugs impair a driver’s judgment, vision, coordination, and reaction times. Both high and drunk driving create dangerous conditions for pedestrians.

Weather and Light Conditions

Harsh weather and low light conditions can make it difficult for drivers to see. If a driver does not adjust his or her speed for such things as fog, heavy rain, or darkness, he or she may not be able to avoid a collision with a pedestrian until it is too late.

Negligent Driving

Distracted driving can be as dangerous as impaired driving. Distractions (such as phone, arguing with a passenger, eating, personal grooming, etc.) limit reaction times in emergencies no less than drugs or alcohol.


Speeding can lead to disastrous results in any kind of accident. Not only does speed reduce reaction time in an emergency, but it increases the impact in an accident. The higher the speed, the worse the injuries. Because pedestrians are fully exposed to the car’s impact, severe injuries like traumatic brain injuries are common when drivers exceed the speed limit.

Failing to Yield

Pedestrians have the right of way on crosswalks, but some negligent drivers do not seem to care. Many careless drivers strike pedestrians who are lawfully in the roadway because they failed to yield the right of way.

Disobeying Traffic Signals

Road signage and signals are there to protect travelers, and that includes pedestrians. Drivers running red lights or stop signs put pedestrians crossing the street during a walk signal at risk of being hit by a car.

Failing to Signal

Turn signals are essential for notifying those surrounding you what your intentions are. Failing to do so could surprise other travelers in the area, which is why traffic laws demand proper signaling. This can be particularly damaging for pedestrians who are not expecting a vehicle to turn in front of them.

distracted driver hitting a pedestrian crossing the street

Common Injuries in a Columbia Pedestrian Accident

As a pedestrian, you are more vulnerable to car accidents. You have no protection against a car that is bigger and faster than you. Even if you see the car coming, you may not have time to move before you’re struck or clipped, and it doesn’t take a great deal of speed for an object more than 2,000 pounds heavier than you to cause severe injuries. Truck accidents can be particularly damaging.

Some injuries are unique to pedestrian accidents and can do significant damage. For example, if you’re hit by a car while walking, you might suffer pelvic injuries from the impact of the car. Because of how these fractures happen, you might suffer complex organ damage, bone fractures, and bleeding, which could require multiple surgeries to repair.

What Kinds of Pedestrian Injuries Qualify For Compensation?

If you suffered any of the following injuries, among others, you may be eligible for compensation in Columbia, South Carolina:

Who Is At Fault in a Columbia Pedestrian Accident?

South Carolina has adopted the comparative negligence doctrine when determining fault in any accident. Fault is applied in percentages to the parties involved based on how much they contributed to the accident. An accident victim with any percentage of responsibility for the accident can lose out on potential compensation.

How is Compensation Determined in Pedestrian Injury Claims?

For example, imagine you were awarded $10,000 in damages after an accident for which you were found to be 10%. The other driver’s negligence was deemed 90% responsible. In that case, your verdict would be reduced to $9,000 instead of $10,000 because 10% was deducted based on your contribution to the accident.

South Carolina has also modified the rule so that a person who is primarily responsible for the accident cannot recover at all. If you were injured and were found to be greater than 50% at fault in an accident, you will not be able to get any compensation.

What If The Pedestrian Was Liable For a Car Accident?

While pedestrian accidents are often the driver’s fault, it is possible for the pedestrian to be at fault. For example, if an accident occurs in an area where foot traffic is prohibited, such as a highway, the pedestrian could be partially liable. This also applies if the pedestrian is illegally crossing the street. Legally speaking, pedestrians are only permitted to cross at designated crosswalks.

What to Do in a Pedestrian Accident With an Underinsured or Uninsured Driver

South Carolina law requires all licensed drivers to carry at least $25,000 in uninsured motorist (UM) coverage specifically for these kinds of incidents. If you are injured by an uninsured driver, you may be able to file an injury claim on your own uninsured motorist (UM) policy even though you were not driving a vehicle yourself.

How to File a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Columbia, SC

After a pedestrian accident, you may need compensation that covers your losses. Unfortunately, you may not know how to file a lawsuit and what your claim is worth. Worse, it’s easy to lose your compensation if you take part of the blame for your injuries.

That’s where a Columbia pedestrian crash attorney can help. We understand that you’re dealing with devastating injuries, which get expensive quickly. We also understand your compensation could be reduced or dismissed if you don’t fight back.

Your lawyer can fight for you. We have the tools to calculate the value of your losses and the experience to build a case for your unique claim.

What Evidence Is Important in a South Carolina Pedestrian Accident Claim?

Several pieces of evidence can help your pedestrian accident case, and the evidence can be broken down into two primary categories.

Evidence of the Accident

Evidence from the accident itself may be essential for your case. This can include photos of the accident and photos of the injuries sustained in the accident. Witness testimony can also play a role here. If you were fortunate enough for the accident to occur in front of a security camera, that footage can play a major role in your case.

Evidence of Your Losses

To pursue compensation, you will need to provide evidence of concrete losses from the accident. This includes medical bills along with medical evaluations of your injuries showing the damage sustained. Additionally, you may provide bank statements that show lost wages if the injury prevented you from working.

How Much Can I Get for My Pedestrian Accident Injuries?

The total amount you can receive from a pedestrian accident lawsuit will vary based on the nature of the incident. There are three primary kinds of financial compensation.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the costs you suffer that are concrete and easily quantifiable. These include medical bills and lost wages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages do not easily translate into a specific dollar amount. These kinds of damages can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and the loss of companionship of a loved one in the case of a wrongful death or seriously debilitating injury.

Punitive Damages

Punitive or exemplary damages are damages that are imposed upon a liable party in order to punish them for his or her wrongful conduct with the hope that it will change behavior in the future. Punitive damages are rare in South Carolina.

The Statute of Limitations for Pedestrian Accident Claims in Columbia

In the wake of a pedestrian accident, you will generally have three years from the date of the accident to file your claim. This is the statute of limitations for personal injury cases. In instances of wrongful death, the three-year limitation does not begin until the date of death, even if the death occurred days after the accident. If you are injured by a government vehicle, you may have only two years to bring your claim.

Will I Need to Go to Court to Settle a Pedestrian Accident Claim?

You will not necessarily have to go to court to settle a Columbia pedestrian accident claim. It is entirely possible to reach a settlement with the insurance company before it gets that far. Not all cases are so easily settled, though. HawkLaw has years of experience litigating for victims of catastrophic injuries. We will fight doggedly for your rightful compensation.

The Importance of Having a Columbia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Represent You

pedestrian calling a lawyer after being hit by a car

When you have a South Carolina pedestrian accident attorney from an experienced law firm representing you, you will find yourself in a much better position throughout the claim process. Not only will a personal injury lawyer provide you sound legal advice, whether you’re dealing with the adjuster or the court, but a lawyer can also take care of all the work for you, including communicating with the other party, the police, insurance companies, and opposing lawyers.

We Can Help You Get Back on Your Feet

If you’ve been injured while on a walk in Columbia, you might be devastated by the injuries and suffering you’ve experienced. Worse, you may struggle to get answers from the responsible party, not to mention the compensation you need for your losses.

If you’ve been hurt by a driver as a pedestrian, a lawyer from HawkLaw, P.A. can help you recover. We offer free case evaluations*, which means we can talk to you about your legal options before you decide to work with us on your injury lawsuit.

When you’re ready, call a Columbia pedestrian accident lawyer at 1-888-HAWK-LAW (429-5529) or complete the online form below to schedule your free consultation* and begin your case.

Visit Our Office

HawkLaw, P.A.
140 Stoneridge Drive
Suite 430
Columbia, SC 29210
+1 (803) 879-5648
Our location:

John D. Hawkins
Founder and CEO

John Hawkins is the Founder and CEO of HawkLaw He has been licensed to practice law in South Carolina since his graduation with honors in 1994 from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he was on the Law Review and Order of Wig and Robe.