A pedestrian accident involves a person walking on the road or standing on the sidewalk with a truck, car, motorcycle, or bus. Since pedestrians do not have a barrier to shield them from the impact of the collision, they suffer more serious injuries than the vehicle’s occupants. Pedestrian accidents are the most catastrophic accidents on the roads in Las Vegas. If you survive such an accident, you will likely be left with severe and life-changing injuries. Since most pedestrian accidents result from negligence, all victims of the accident will be entitled to compensation.
By filing a personal injury claim against the parties liable for the accident, you could be compensated for the medical bills, lost wages, and other losses you incur from pedestrian accident injuries. While monetary compensation cannot reverse the unfortunate events of the pedestrian accident, it will help reduce the financial stress associated with your injuries and incapacitation. If you or your loved one is a pedestrian accident victim, you will need the guidance of a skilled car accident attorney. At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we offer top-notch legal guidance to all our clients battling a pedestrian accident claim in Las Vegas, NV.
Overview of Pedestrian Accidents in Nevada
In recent years, the state of Nevada has seen a rise in pedestrian accident injuries and fatalities. The results are often very catastrophic when a pedestrian is hit by a car, truck, bus, or motorcycle. The design of the roads in Las Vegas presents a high risk of collision between vehicles and pedestrians. Many people who frequent the city of Las Vegas are tourists who engage in alcohol use and drugs. This factor, combined with poor crosswalk design and excessive lights, could make it challenging for the drivers to see a pedestrian.
According to the data published by the National Center for Disease Control, most fatal pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas. Most pedestrians are hit or killed in areas away from the intersections since the drivers do not expect interaction with pedestrians in these areas. If you are a pedestrian accident victim in Las Vegas, you are entitled to file a claim against the persons liable for the accident.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Between the bright lights, excessive alcohol consumption, and busy streets, more pedestrian accidents are witnessed in Las Vegas compared to other locations in the state of Nevada. Some of the common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
Driver distraction is when a driver’s physical or mental concentration is not on the road. Distracted drivers play a significant role in pedestrian accidents. There are many forms of driver distraction, including:
- Texting or using a cellphone
- Use of control devices when driving
- Eating or drinking behind the steering
- Reaching out for something or conversing with a passenger in the vehicle
- General distraction or loss of thought
Tourists for a high percentage of distracted drivers by default. The lack of familiarity with the city makes tourists want to check out for navigation information or look through the beautiful sites. If a distracted driver hits you, you can sue them for your injuries.
Driving while intoxicated is common behavior on Nevada roads. Drunk driving is a leading cause of catastrophic pedestrians. Drunk drivers cannot respond quickly in case of an emergency on the road. Additionally, their perception of distance and speed is impaired by the use of alcohol. For this reason, they easily hit pedestrians.
Many people spend sleepless nights partying and enjoying their stay in Las Vegas. A tired driver has a similar impairment level to an intoxicated driver. When the driver is fatigued, they could fall asleep behind the wheel and fail to see pedestrians crossing the roads. Sometimes, driver fatigue causes a loss of vehicle control, resulting in entry to the sidewalks and colliding with pedestrians.
Speeding increases the risk of catastrophic accidents in two main ways. A speeding driver has less time to react to people, the road, or other vehicles. When a driver is operating large vehicles like trucks and buses, which have a longer stopping time, excessive speeding is very dangerous for both the driver and other road users.
Another way through which speed causes catastrophic accidents is the impact. When a vehicle at high speed hits a pedestrian, the impact is higher. Since the pedestrians do not have a shield to combat the impact, the likelihood of losing their lives is high. Most drivers in Las Vegas pay attention to road intersections and speed on long stretches of road. Unfortunately, pedestrians cross and stroll in all parts of the roads in this state.
The negligence of drivers is not the only cause of pedestrian accidents. Sometimes, a distracted pedestrian could play a significant role in the accident in which they were injured. All road users are responsible for following traffic rules and being attentive on the road. With the party atmosphere in Las Vegas, pedestrians could have their eyes glued to their phones and fail to notice an oncoming vehicle. Additionally, drunk pedestrians are likely to exhibit negligent behavior by crossing the road in unsafe areas.
Common Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident in Nevada
Most victims of pedestrian accidents who survive the collision are left with catastrophic injuries, including:
Soft Tissue Damage
Soft tissue damages are common even in minor pedestrian accidents. Your soft tissues include tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and muscles. Soft tissue injuries may be in the form of sprains which occur when the impact of a vehicle collision causes your muscles to overstretch. Sprains can occur in the neck area and cause a tear in the ligaments. A sprain may be characterized by pain and swelling of the affected area.
Another common form of soft tissue damage is cuts and lacerations. When you are hit by a vehicle, you will likely be thrown onto the rough rods. This can result in serious road rash or cuts from objects on the road. While some people could ignore the soft tissue injuries, these injuries can result in serious pain and complications when left untreated. Soft tissue damage is challenging to prove in a pedestrian accident claim. Therefore, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Broken bones are an inevitable injury in a pedestrian accident. Depending on the severity of the accident and the amount of impact on your body, a collision with a vehicle could leave you with many broken bones. Broken bones can be classified in various ways:
- Bone fractures. A bone fracture is the most common form of broken bones, and it occurs when the pressure from the collision causes a partial bone break or shift in alignment.
- Clean break. A clean break is an injury where your bone breaks into two clean pieces.
- Bone shatters. A heavy object crushes a bone that could break into three or more pieces, known as a bone shatter.
Broken bones require immediate medical attention. Recovery from a broken bone could take a long time. This means you will spend significant time in the hospital and incur huge medical expenses.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Pedestrians are at risk of spinal cord injuries after a collision with a vehicle. Spinal cord injury often occurs when the impact from the collision damages the vertebrae. Vertebrae are bones that make up your spinal column and protect the nerves which relay information to the brain. Doctors often categorize spinal cord injuries depending on their severity.
A spinal cord injury could be temporary or permanent. Either way, any grade of spinal cord injury will significantly impact your life. An incomplete spinal injury will result in severe pain and numbness of the affected area. On the other hand, complete severing of the spinal cord could result in paralysis from the point of injury. In addition to affecting your ability to move, a complete spine injury can cause bladder and reproductive system abnormalities. All victims of a pedestrian accident who suffer spinal cord injury will be entitled to compensation in an accident claim.
Internal bleeding is one of the most common consequences of trauma to the body. The heavy impact of a vehicle hitting your body is likely to cause rupture or injury to some internal organs and cause bleeding. Sometimes, our bodies absorb immense pressure with minimal bruising or lacerations. For this reason, internal bleeding is not easily diagnosed.
In the moments following the accidents, you may not experience any symptoms to indicate internal bleeding. However, you could look out for these signs:
- Abdominal swelling
- Vomiting blood
- Presence of blood in urine or stool
- Feeling cold
- Severe fatigue and confusion
You can aid early detection and treatment of internal injuries by seeking immediate medical care after a pedestrian accident.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury is damage to the brain resulting from a blow to the head or penetration of a sharp object to the skull. In a pedestrian accident, your head could be hit by the vehicle or pavement where you land after the accident. The impact from this collision will cause your brain to move from its location, causing bleeding, bruising, or nerve damage. A brain injury can be in the form of a concussion, bruising, or bleeding between the brain and the skull.
Some of the symptoms of TBI that you need to check out for after a pedestrian accident include:
- Severe headache
- Loss of consciousness
- Blurred vision
- Poor coordination
- Mood swings
A brain injury is challenging to treat, and the consequences could be felt for the rest of your life. If you suffer a TBI from a pedestrian accident, you can recover compensation for the economic and non-economic damages resulting from the accident.
Death after a pedestrian accident can occur instantly from the body’s ability to withstand the impact. Many injuries resulting in death are those that damage the internal organs, spinal cord, or brain. If your loved one is killed in a negligent pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation for their wrongful death.
Proving Liability in a Las Vegas Pedestrian Accident
Filing a personal injury claim for your pedestrian accident injuries in Nevada could bring you the compensation you deserve for your damages. However, one of the key aspects of filing a successful accident claim is establishing liability for the accident. Liability in a Nevada pedestrian accident is based on negligence.
Negligence is the reckless disregard for the safety of other people. Establishing negligence requires you to prove the elements:
1) Defendant Owed you a Duty of Care.
When establishing a defendant’s liability in your accident claim, it should be clear that they owed you a duty of care. The duty of care is the responsibility that each road user has to ensure the safety of others. Drivers must drive safely and follow all traffic rules to avoid colliding with other vehicles or hitting pedestrians.
2) The Defendant Breached your Duty of Care
Proving that a person owed you a duty of care is not enough to hold them liable for your injuries. After establishing the duty of care, you need to prove that the defendant breached the duty of care. Liable parties in a pedestrian accident breach their duty of care towards you by acting in a manner that places you at risk of harm or injuries. By driving under the influence of alcohol, distracted driving, or speeding, a defendant is considered to be breaching their duty towards other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
3) The Breach of Duty Caused your Injuries
Even when the defendant breaches their duty towards you, you must establish a link between your injuries and the defendant’s conduct. Proving that a breach of duty caused your injuries is the most challenging element to prove. However, with the help of a skilled personal injury attorney, you can obtain all the testimony from your doctor and expert witness to prove that your injury did not exist before the accident.
In addition to proving a defendant’s negligence, you must clearly show the damages you suffered from the accident. Some of the damages you could recover compensation for in a pedestrian accident claim include medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress.
Compensation Benefits in a Pedestrian Accident in Nevada
If you are successful in your pedestrian accident claim, you stand to recover compensation for:
If another person’s negligence results in a pedestrian accident that causes your injuries, the person will be held liable for your medical expenses. Payment for medical expenses makes up a significant part of your compensation. Pedestrian accidents often result in serious injuries, as discussed above. Depending on the type and severity of your injuries, you are likely to incur substantial medical bills.
Unfortunately, most liable parties accept fault in the accident until you prove it in court. Injuries from a pedestrian accident must be treated promptly to avoid complications. Therefore, before your claim is settled, you will need to cover your medical bills through your insurance coverage. If you are uninsured, you can seek treatment from a physician who accepts payment on a lien. A doctor working on a lien is paid using the proceeds of the claim.
If you have private or government medical insurance, you will pay back the insurance company after you recover compensation. Before you receive your compensation for medical expenses, the liable party’s insurance company will ask for evidence of your injuries and treatment. After the accident, one of the steps you need to take is to seek medical care. In addition to treating your injuries, consulting with a physician allows for documentation of your injuries. You must ensure that all your injuries are recorded, and the documents kept safe. The medical records act as key evidence for your claim.
When the insurance company suspects that your injuries were not caused by the pedestrian accident, they could request that you produce medical records dating five years back. If you had an existing injury before the pedestrian accident, you should not shy away from seeking compensation. However, you must prove that the accident made your existing injuries worse.
Following a pedestrian accident, it could be challenging to go to work for weeks or even months as you nurse your injuries. Nevada laws allow victims of pedestrian accidents to recover compensation for lost wages. Lost wages are the money you lose when you miss work due to accident injuries. Lost wages can be in the form of monthly income, overtime pay, bonuses, commissions, or income from self-employment.
One of the primary ways you can prove lost wages is by obtaining a letter from your employer. This letter will indicate the nature of your employment, the amount you earn, and what you lost while away from work. If your employer fails to provide this letter or you obtain your income from self-employment, you can use your billing statements, tax returns, or the testimony of an accounting expert.
Diminished Earning Capacity
Diminished earning capacity is the loss of your ability to work in the future following a pedestrian accident. If you cannot return to work after a specific period or your injuries have not recovered by the date of claim settlement, you will be eligible for compensation. Most accidents resulting from a pedestrian accident are catastrophic; some will leave behind permanent disability.
Determining lost future earning capacity is challenging since the loss hasn’t occurred. However, the court could consider the following factors when awarding compensation:
- Your age and life expectancy
- The severity of your injuries and how long they are likely to last
- The number of working years you have left before retirement
- Your future employment goals
- Opportunity of promotion
- Your health before the pedestrian accident
Pain and Suffering
The injuries resulting from a pedestrian accident and the treatment procedures could be very painful. Additionally, the emotional trauma from the accident may be severe. Even when you do not suffer a physical injury in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. Although the pain or suffering caused by an accident cannot be equated to a monetary value, the personal injury court could order that you be compensated for these damages.
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Nevada Pedestrian Accident Claim?
The statute of limitations is the time within which you can file a claim against a person who causes an accident where you were injured. In Nevada, the statute of limitations for a pedestrian accident claim is two years. A pedestrian falls under the personal injury law. Your attempts to recover compensations for your injuries in a civil claim must be made within two years from the date of the accident.
If you file a claim after the statute of limitations has elapsed, the court will likely throw out your case, and you will not receive compensation. However, it is vital to understand that there are some exemptions to this time limit:
- If your loved one died in a pedestrian accident, you have one year from the date of their death to seek compensation for the wrongful death.
- If the defendant is an out-of-state driver, the statute of limitation will not run while out of state.
You can avoid missing out on compensation benefits by adhering to the statute of limitations. If you are incapacitated and cannot follow through with the legal process, your attorney can help you file the claim.
Find a Skilled Car Accident Attorney Near Me
Pedestrian accidents are a common occurrence on the roads in Las Vegas. A pedestrian accident can result in serious injuries and overwhelming expenses, even with a minor impact. If a negligent motorist is liable for your accident and injuries, you should not be left to shoulder the financial burden of the accident. If you file a personal injury lawsuit against them, you can recover compensation for economic losses like medical expenses, lost wages, and lost earning capacity. Additionally, you can be able to recover from pain, suffering, and emotional distress from the pedestrian accident.
Navigating a pedestrian accident claim can be challenging, especially when you are in hospital nursing your injuries. Therefore, you should hire and retain the services of a competent personal injury attorney. At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we will help you at every stage of your claim to build a strong claim and recover maximum compensation for your injuries. We serve clients seeking legal guidance and representation to battle pedestrian accident claims in Las Vegas, NV. Call us today at 702-576-0010 to discuss the details of your claim.