In 2017, 100 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in Nevada. This is after 353 pedestrian fatalities occurred from 2012 to 2016. Approximately 720 pedestrians incurred serious injuries in the same period. Nevada actually ranks among the 10 most dangerous states for pedestrians. Clark County does not fare better either. More than half of the tragic events reported occurred here. Some of our victims reached out to us looking for a Henderson pedestrian accident lawyer.
Pedestrians are the ones who incur the most serious injuries in traffic. While the other traffic participants benefit from the protection of their vehicles, pedestrians are vulnerable. Unfortunately, sometimes, they are also at fault for their accidents. That is why the first thing a Henderson personal injury lawyer looks at is the cause of the accident.
Common Accidents and Their Causes a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer May Come Across
- Failure to yield right of way. In theory, pedestrians should have right of way on marked crosswalks. In practice, 25% of pedestrian serious injuries and fatalities occurred on these road areas. Pedestrians injured on crosswalks should always consult a pedestrian accident attorney.
- Improper roadway crossing. In a rush, distracted, or simply negligent, pedestrians do not always use the crosswalks. When they cross through unmarked areas, they should yield right of way to the vehicles in traffic. Unfortunately, many of them do not. If they get injured, even the best pedestrian accident lawyer will have a hard time helping them.
- Darting into the roadway. Even on crosswalks, pedestrians should not leave the sidewalk suddenly. They should give the vehicles in traffic time to stop safely. Unfortunately, many pedestrians disobey this rule. Knowing they have right of way on crosswalks, they expect everyone to grant them that right. When it is not possible, accidents happen. These cases are tricky, better left to an experienced pedestrian accident attorney.
- Distractions. Everyone is online nowadays. Unfortunately, their continuous online presence often costs drivers and pedestrians their life. Drivers talk on the phone, text, and check their social media status although it’s illegal. Pedestrians forget to put their smartphones in their pockets when crossing the street. Dangers are more difficult to spot and avoid for both categories. No wonder smartphone use in traffic often leads to accidents. An accident lawyer will obtain phone records and check social media accounts. They will prove the distraction and, implicitly, accident liability.
- Alcohol and drug consumption. Impaired drivers notice pedestrians late and cannot avoid them. Impaired pedestrians cross the street without looking or fall onto the carriageway. Alcohol and drugs take many lives in traffic. To check their presence accident attorneys will search the police report for BAC records.
- NRS 484A.065 – All intersections in Nevada have crosswalks, no matter if the pavement markings are visible.
- NRS 484B.280 – Drivers should watch out for pedestrians to avoid accidents at all times.
- Also NRS 484B.283 – Pedestrians have right of way on marked crosswalks.
- NRS 484B.290 – Blind pedestrians with white canes or service animals have right of way at all times.
- NRS 484B.283 – Vehicles should not overtake other vehicles stopped in traffic. The latter could be yielding right of way to a pedestrian.
- NRS 484B.350 – Drivers should yield right of way to groups accompanied by a school crossing guard.
- NRS 484B.283 – 484B.297 – Pedestrians should walk on sidewalks, crosswalks and pedestrian bridges and tunnels when possible. They should use the right side of the crosswalk when possible. When there is no sidewalk, they should use the left side of the street facing traffic.
- All traffic participants should obey the traffic control devices applicable to them.
- Pedestrians should never walk into the path of vehicles suddenly. They should allow the vehicles’ time and space to stop safely.
- Pedestrians should not cross intersections diagonally unless the intersection is designed specifically.
- All drivers should pay special attention to child pedestrians and expect them to violate traffic rules.
When traffic participants violate these rules, their victims are entitled to compensation for their losses. Depending on what consequences the accident had, the compensation can cover several types of losses.
Types of Losses That May Be Recovered
These depend on who the accident victim is. They could be repair or replacement costs for a car, smartphone, watch, jewelry, and more. To prove their value, the victim may use the invoice for the repairs. They may also lookup the price of the asset. When necessary, a pedestrian accident attorney at one of the top-rated personal injury law firms may request an expert’s evaluation.
Whatever expenses the victim incurs while treating their injuries are subject to compensation. Common examples include doctor consultations, blood tests, imagistic scanning, surgery, and more. These too will need supporting evidence. As a result, victims should keep all medical reports, bills, invoices, prescriptions, and receipts.
Injuries often cause accident victims to take time off work. In doing so, they lose income. When accidents end in disability, the victim’s earning capacity decreases. All these losses should be subject to compensation. Of course, they too will require proving. For this purpose, a pedestrian accident lawyer may use income statements, case studies, and various estimates.
Living with a disability is not easy. Many accident victims need therapy and home care. They need a wheelchair, braces, and to set up ramps and support bars at home. It is possible to include these expenses in the compensation claim. The condition is to be able to prove their necessity and value.
Pain and suffering.
Serious accidents cause huge pain and suffering to the victims and their loved ones. Some develop chronic pain, others fall prey to depression and anxiety. There are also victims who suffer terrible complications and side effects. To receive compensation for their pain and suffering, they will need to prove it. A pedestrian accident lawyer in Henderson can help. They can request expert testimonies and physical and psychiatric evaluations, and use drug leaflets. They may even turn to witnesses and case precedents.
When their accident changes their lives dramatically, victims may claim other losses as well. Someone left unable to perform sexually whose spouse leaves them may claim loss of consortium. A victim whose disability prevents them from enjoying their hobbies can claim loss of enjoyment. The examples could continue. However, these losses are not easy to prove. They require the skills and experience of a reputed Henderson pedestrian accident lawyer.
One of the key elements in obtaining compensation after a pedestrian accident is proving liability. The accident victim needs to prove that:
- The party responsible for their accident owed them a duty of care. Let us take a pedestrian injured by a vehicle on a marked crosswalk as an example. They would have to prove that the accident occurred on the crosswalks and they had right of way. For this purpose, they can use the police accident report, and photos and videos from the scene.
- The party at fault breached their duty of care. In our example, the victim would have to prove that the driver did not yield right of way. The same evidence mentioned above can serve this purpose. Additional evidence includes witness testimonies and dashboard cameras footage.
- The breach led to the accident and injuries and losses the victim incurred. The victim will have to document all their injuries and losses, as well as their connection with the accident. They will need to put together all their medical reports, test results, bills, and invoices. They have to document all their past, present, and future losses and expenses. Everything requires a thorough organization, to avoid confusions, doubts, and misinterpretations.
All these can be extremely challenging, especially for someone severely injured and still in recovery. It helps to work with a pedestrian accident lawyer in Henderson. Depending on how the accident occurred and who the party at fault is, the claim process may differ.
Some victims can seek compensation from the insurance company of the party at fault. Others need to file a court lawsuit. Although both procedures require solid evidence, they involve different formalities. A Henderson pedestrian accident lawyer is familiar with all of them and can fulfill them with ease.
In both cases, the defendant will most likely argue that the claimant or another party shared fault for the accident. They could claim that:
- The claimant darted in their way
- Someone or something obstructed their visibility
- The claimant was distracted and did not watch where they were going
- Some of the claimant’s losses stem from older injuries or diseases, etc.
Since the burden of proof falls on the claimant, they should be prepared to fight any accusations. If they fail, the compensation amount may decrease, or they may lose their right to compensation. A pedestrian accident attorney can counteract such allegations with evidence and defend their client’s rights. To understand why working with one is so important, we will review Nevada laws on comparative negligence.
Comparative Negligence in Nevada
Under Nevada’s comparative fault system, everyone involved in an accident may share fault for it. It makes sense. Let’s say a car hits a pedestrian in an unmarked road area. The pedestrian did not yield right of way, but the driver was impaired and speeding. Both parties are at fault for the accident.
Had the pedestrian yielded right of way, the car would not have hit them. Had the driver been sober and driving within speed limits, they may have been able to avoid the accident. To determine who should pay compensation to whom, the court will assess the overall accident fault at 100%. They will attribute fault percentages to each party according to the applicable laws and the available evidence.
If the pedestrian is not able to prove that the driver was speeding, their fault percentage will be higher. If the driver’s blood-alcohol level was really high, they could be more at fault. The experience of a Henderson pedestrian accident lawyer can help tilt the balance in the right direction. Why are fault percentages so important? They determine how much of the losses each party should cover.
For example, someone 20% at fault for their accident will only recover 80% of their losses. Nevada laws bar recovery rights at a 51% fault percentage. Thus, anyone more than 50% at fault for their accident will lose their right to compensation.
Victims knowing to have contributed to their accident should always contact a Henderson pedestrian accident lawyer. They should do so as soon as possible. Delaying the moment too much could cost them their right to compensation.
Statutes of Limitations for Pedestrian Accidents in Nevada
Time is of the essence in these cases. Under the Nevada statute of limitations, accident victims have to claim compensation for their injuries within two years. They may delay claiming compensation for property damage until three years.
The time period begins on the day of the accident. After the allocated period has passes, most courts and insurers will dismiss compensation claims. At Nettles & Morris, we advise victims to consult a pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible.
If they take over the case early, the latter will know to wait and file the compensation claim at the right time. If they take the case at the last minute, gathering the necessary evidence could be challenging. Since we provide free case evaluations, many of our clients call us right from the hospital bed. Our pedestrian accident lawyers always have our clients’ best interests at heart.
Discuss Your Case with Nettles Morris Law Firm
If you were the victim of a pedestrian accident, you too can benefit from a free consultation. Contact us at (702) 410-6239 and schedule today. Our Henderson pedestrian accident lawyer will answer all your questions and provide all the advice you need.