Merriam-Webster defines “pedestrian” as “a person going on foot.” Although there are various ways to travel in today’s times, everyone still qualifies as a pedestrian at varying degrees of their weekly lives. Whether walking across the street from a parking lot to an office complex, walking down the street from a parking garage to T-Mobile Arena or simply hustling through a Starbucks parking plaza, it is highly likely that every Las Vegas resident, in any given week, becomes a pedestrian once or twice. Pedestrian accidents therefore present risks for everybody. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) reports that 5,376 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States in 2015. This averaged to one crash-related pedestrian death every 1.6 hours. Additionally, almost 129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for non-fatal crash-related injuries in 2015.
Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash on each trip. Moreover, pedestrians aged 65 and older are most at risk, accounting for 19% of all pedestrian deaths and an estimated 13% of all pedestrians injured in 2015. Children (under 15) were also high-risk pedestrians accounting for one in every five who were killed in traffic accidents. Next, the CDC reports that almost half (48%) of accidents that resulted in pedestrian deaths involved alcohol. The foregoing stat is misleading as one in every three (34%) of fatal pedestrian crashes involved a pedestrian with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 while only 15% involved a driver with a BAC of at least 0.08. Finally, additional risk factors for pedestrians include areas with higher vehicle speeds, urban areas, non-intersection locations and walking at night.
Fortunately, there are ways a pedestrian can decrease his or her chances of sustaining motor-vehicle related injuries. Pedestrians can increase their visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and by wearing retro-reflective clothing. Additionally, when possible, pedestrians should cross the street at designated crosswalks or intersections. It is also much safer to walk on a sidewalk or path. If no sidewalk or path is available, pedestrians should walk on the shoulder and always walk against the oncoming traffic. Finally, it is obviously safer for pedestrians to not consume alcohol before utilizing our public roadways.
Next, in addition to appreciating high-risk factors for pedestrian accidents, it is also important for pedestrians to be knowledgeable concerning pedestrian/traffic laws. Although many pedestrians can recite their legal “right of way” when utilizing a cross-walk and are aware of a motorist’s general duty to “use due care” towards them, these same pedestrians are often completely unaware of the laws prohibiting certain pedestrian conduct. For instance, pedestrians are prohibited from “jaywalking,” are prohibited from walking with the direction of traffic unless they are walking on a sidewalk and the opposite side of the street does not have a sidewalk, must walk on the sidewalk side of a street where a sidewalk is provided on only one side and are even prohibited from being “within the traveled portion of any highway” while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Yes, there is a WUI (“walking under the influence”) law in Nevada. Finally, it is surprising for most pedestrians to learn that there are actual circumstances where they are required to yield to motorists. Specifically, anytime a pedestrian is crossing a highway outside of a marked crosswalk, unmarked crosswalk at an intersection or at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided, the pedestrian “shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the highway.”
The foregoing Nevada-pedestrian laws are not just relevant for general knowledge, but can ultimately have a substantial impact of the value of a pedestrian-accident claim. This is because any violations of the foregoing laws at the time of the accident, or “comparative fault,” could ultimately impact the value of a pedestrian’s claim. Nevada is a “comparative fault” state. This means that the jury is entitled to hear evidence not just about the defendant’s negligence or mis-conduct, but also about the pedestrian’s. If a jury ultimately determines that the pedestrian’s liability for the accident is 51% or greater, then the pedestrian is barred from recovering any damages. This is true even where the defendant is found to have been 49% at fault for the accident. Pedestrian accident cases can present a complex web of legal issues and competing theories. You want to make sure that you retain an experienced law firm with the knowledge, commitment and tenacity to fight for your rights. We are that law firm.
Pedestrian accidents often result in permanent injuries. Such consequences change lives and should be carefully assessed to ensure that a pedestrian accident victim is properly compensated. You only get one chance at recovering for your losses. The pedestrian accident lawyers at The Hayes Law Firm will retain the requisite experts needed to prove all facets of your case. As the victim of a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, loss wages, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, mental anguish and diminution of quality of life. If the pedestrian accident results in death, the family of the deceased may seek to recover wrongful death damages. No matter the complexity of the case, if you are involved in a pedestrian accident, contact The Hayes Law Firm. We possess the expertise to handle your case and bring about a fair and just result. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of a pedestrian accident, please contact an experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer to discuss your case for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL consultation. Here at The Hayes Law Firm we promise that you will meet with a seasoned Pedestrian Accident Attorney. We also accept Henderson Pedestrian Accident cases, Summerlin Pedestrian Accident cases, Green Valley Pedestrian Accident cases, North Las Vegas Pedestrian Accident cases, Mesquite Pedestrian Accident cases as well as Pedestrian Accident cases from all over the state of Nevada.