Day 4: How to Prove Liability in Pedestrian Accident Cases

Proving liability in pedestrian accident cases is crucial for securing compensation for your injuries and damages. Establishing who is at fault involves demonstrating that the responsible party acted negligently, leading to the accident. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prove liability in pedestrian accident cases in South Carolina.

1. Gather Evidence at the Scene

Collecting evidence immediately after the accident is essential. Here’s what to focus on:

  • Photographs: Take pictures of the accident scene, including the location of the vehicles, traffic signals, crosswalks, road conditions, and any visible injuries.
  • Witness Information: Obtain contact details and statements from any witnesses who saw the accident. Their accounts can support your version of events.
  • Driver Information: Collect the driver’s name, contact details, driver’s license number, and insurance information.

2. Obtain the Police Report

Notify the police about the accident and request an official report. The police report will document key details about the incident, including statements from involved parties and witnesses. It can serve as crucial evidence in establishing liability.

3. Seek Medical Attention

Get medical treatment immediately, even if your injuries seem minor. Medical records provide essential documentation of your injuries and their connection to the accident. Keep detailed records of all treatments and medical expenses.

4. Document Your Account of the Accident

Write down your recollection of the accident as soon as possible. Include details such as the time, date, weather conditions, and what you were doing just before the accident occurred. This account can help you recall important details later.

5. Demonstrate Negligence

To prove liability, you must demonstrate that the driver was negligent. This involves showing:

  • Duty of Care: The driver had a legal responsibility to act with care and avoid causing harm to pedestrians.
  • Breach of Duty: The driver breached this duty by acting negligently, such as by speeding, running a red light, or driving while distracted.
  • Causation: The driver’s negligence directly caused the accident and your injuries.
  • Damages: You suffered actual damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, as a result of the accident.

6. Collect Additional Evidence

Gather any other evidence that can support your case, such as:

  • Surveillance Footage: Check for nearby surveillance cameras that may have captured the accident.
  • Traffic Signal Data: Obtain data from traffic signals if the accident occurred at an intersection.
  • Cell Phone Records: If distracted driving is suspected, cell phone records can show if the driver was using their phone at the time of the accident.

7. Consult an Experienced Attorney

An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal process and gather the necessary evidence to prove liability. They can:

  • Conduct a thorough investigation of the accident.
  • Obtain expert witness testimony if needed.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
  • Represent you in court if a settlement cannot be reached.

8. Understand Comparative Negligence

South Carolina follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. This means you can still recover damages if you are partially at fault, as long as your fault does not exceed 50%. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are 20% at fault, your compensation will be reduced by 20%.

Conclusion

Proving liability in pedestrian accident cases requires thorough evidence collection and a clear demonstration of the driver’s negligence. By following these steps and working with an experienced personal injury attorney, you can strengthen your case and improve your chances of securing fair compensation. If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, contact The Bill Connor Law Firm in Orangeburg, SC, for expert legal guidance and representation from a skilled personal injury attorney.