If you have ever been involved in a pedestrian accident, you know how traumatizing the experience can be. Besides sustaining grievous bodily injuries, you may undergo depression and a huge financial expense while looking for medical help. This is why we at the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm are here to help you.
As an accident victim, you deserve just, fair, and reasonable compensation. Unfortunately, almost all insurance companies are in business to make quick and huge profits. They will do all it takes to ensure you receive the least possible amount of money as compensation. We will help you fight for the amount of money you deserve as compensation if you hire us.
In this article, we will highlight how common pedestrian accidents are in Las Vegas. We will also list the common causes of pedestrian accidents in Las Vegas and the most common pedestrian accident injuries. Finally, we will explain what you should do if you get involved in a pedestrian accident and the best steps to take to receive compensation. If, after reading this article, you will still have more questions about pedestrian accidents, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.
How Common are Pedestrian Accidents in Las Vegas?
Statistics show that Nevada has one of the highest cases of pedestrian accidents in the United States. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in the first six months of 2019, its fatality rate was 1.36 per 100,000 people.
Las Vegas largely contributes to these high fatality rates. Being the most populous city in Nevada, pedestrian accidents are common.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Las Vegas
The following are the most common causes of pedestrian accidents in Las Vegas:
- Jogging on a sidewalk
- Uncontrolled dog knocking someone over
- Biking on a sidewalk
- Being knocked over by groups of people who are unwilling to share a sidewalk
- Truck or bus too close to a sidewalk
- Being knocked over by a car
- Car driving on the sidewalk
Below is a brief description of each of them:
1. Jogging on a Sidewalk
Often, sidewalks in Las Vegas are used by individuals who would like to exercise and keep fit. Instead of driving, these individuals prefer either running or jogging on the sidewalk.
In most cases, these individuals do not pose any risks to pedestrians. But, some of them may be inconsiderate and refuse to pave the way for other pedestrians. When this happens, a pedestrian may be accidentally knocked down or into the street, making him/her sustain severe bodily injuries.
2. Uncontrolled Dog Knocking Someone Over
An uncontrolled dog can knock you over while walking on a sidewalk. As a result, you may sustain severe bodily injuries.
In such cases, although it is the dog that caused the accident, it will be the owner who will be held liable. This is because he/she failed to maintain his/her dog under control.
Large dogs can jump over children, making them fall down. Moreover, loose dogs can scare you and make you start running for safety. While running, you may get into an accident.
Furthermore, there are certain laws that dog owners must observe. For instance, in some places, dogs must be kept on leashes. If a dog owner fails to keep his/her dog on a leash and it causes an accident, the court will hold him/her liable.
3. Biking on a Sidewalk
In Las Vegas, it is unlawful to ride a bike on a sidewalk. The court will hold a cyclist who rode a bike on a sidewalk negligent per se if he/she knocks down a pedestrian. This means that the knocked-down pedestrian may not be required to prove the defendant’s liability before the court awards him/her compensation.
As long as the victim shows that the defendant was riding on a sidewalk and he/she sustained a bodily injury, the court will award him/her compensation. The amount of compensation that the court will award will depend on the degree and severity of the plaintiff's injury.
4. Being Knocked Over by Groups of People who are Unwilling to Share a Sidewalk
There is no specific ‘right of way’ rule for pedestrians. Even though there is no such rule, you can still recover compensation if you sustained a bodily injury simply because someone else failed to yield to your right of way.
Often, young people walk in groups. Sometimes, they may be obnoxious or try to act ‘tough’ and obstruct you from walking along in the opposite direction. In such situations, you may be knocked down onto the ground and sustain severe bodily injuries. Nevada law allows you to recover compensation if you were injured by groups of people unwilling to share a sidewalk.
5. Truck or Bus too Close to a Sidewalk
Some trucks and buses have side mirrors extending beyond their edges. These side mirrors can cause injuries to pedestrians.
Sometimes, motorists pull over while too close to a sidewalk. If such motorists have side mirrors extending beyond the vehicles' edges, such side mirrors can injure the pedestrians using the sidewalk. This is especially if the motorist was driving at high speed before pulling over.
Motorists are expected to be cautious while driving. If you can prove that the motorist was driving at high speed and had a side mirror extending beyond the vehicle's edges, the court will award you compensation for your injuries.
6. Being Knocked Over by a Car
Often, pedestrians are knocked over by cars. This mostly happens when they are crossing the road.
Most people who are knocked over by cars sustain grievous bodily injuries. This is primarily if the vehicle was being driven at high speed.
If you were knocked over by a car, you’d have to show how the motorist was negligent for you to receive compensation. For instance, you can demonstrate that he/she was running a red light or speeding.
7. Car Driving on the Sidewalk
In Nevada, it is unlawful for a motorist to drive on the sidewalk. If you were hit by a motorist driving on the sidewalk, you do not need to prove that he/she was negligent. As long as you can prove that the motorist was driving on the sidewalk, the court will hold him/her liable for your injuries.
However, the defendant may argue that he/she was entering or leaving a particular premise. If the court is convinced of this fact, you'd have to demonstrate how the defendant was negligent.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Typically, pedestrian accident injuries are horrific and sometimes deadly. This is especially if you were hit by a car that was being driven at high speed.
The most common pedestrian accident injuries include the following:
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Collapsed lungs
- Brain injuries
When claiming compensation, you'd be required to prove the degree and extent of these injuries. This is why you must keep your medical reports safe.
Sometimes, the car that hit you may ignite. As a result, you may get burned. This may result in disfigurement and other severe life-threatening bodily injuries.
What to do if you Get Involved in a Pedestrian Accident
Your health is a priority. If you get involved in a pedestrian accident, the first step you should take is to seek medical help. If you are unable to do so by yourself, you can ask anyone for assistance.
Ensure you seek medical help even if you believe that you did not sustain any injury. Some pedestrian accident injuries, including brain and spinal injuries, are internal. They may take a long time to show up. If you delay seeking medical help, these injuries will worsen.
Moreover, if possible, ensure you obtain the contact information of all the people involved in the accident. Some of them may be potential witnesses in your case. You may also need this information when filing your compensation claim. If you were knocked over by a car, jot down the driver's name, license plate, insurance information, and driver's license.
Never admit fault after being involved in a pedestrian accident, even if you believe you were on the wrong. If you do so, the defendant may use it as evidence against you to persuade the court or the insurance company to deny you compensation.
Finally, it would be best if you speak to a highly experienced personal injury attorney to help you file your compensation claim. It may be a challenging process for you to pursue compensation by yourself. Experienced personal injury attorneys have the technical know-how required to ensure you receive the highest amount of money possible as compensation.
How to Receive Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident
The first step you should take towards receiving compensation is to file a claim with the at-fault party's insurance company. You can opt to do so by yourself or ask an attorney to help you do so. However, seeking the help of a personal injury lawyer is vital to the success of the insurance claim.
When filing your claim, you'd have to demonstrate why the at-fault party should be held liable. You will be required to produce evidence showing how he/she caused the accident.
The insurance company will also require you to prove the amount of compensation you need. This is where your medical reports and bills will come in handy. Unfortunately, insurance companies will try to downplay the degree and extent of bodily injuries you sustained and the financial loss you suffered in most cases. However, experienced personal injury attorneys know the tactics to use to ensure you receive the amount of money you deserve as compensation.
If the insurance company is adamant about paying the amount of money you deserve as compensation, your attorney can institute a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. As long as you have evidence showing that the defendant caused the accident, which resulted in your injuries, the court will award you compensation. The amount of money the court awards as compensation will cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and the costs of instituting the lawsuit and hiring an attorney. The court will also award you general damages for depression, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
How can you Sue the At-fault Party in a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit?
Remember, in a pedestrian accident lawsuit; you must prove that the defendant caused the accident. To do this, you may rely on the following grounds:
- Wrongful death
- Negligence per se
- Strict liability
- Respondeat superior
Below, we discuss each of these grounds comprehensively:
1. Wrongful Death
If your loved one died in a pedestrian accident, you could institute a wrongful death lawsuit to recover compensation. However, before you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you must first take out a grant.
To win the wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove the following:
- The victim died in the pedestrian accident
- The defendant caused the pedestrian accident
- You suffered a monetary loss as a result of the victim’s death
Your attorney can help you prove this.
This is the most common ground Las Vegas plaintiffs rely on to win their pedestrian accident lawsuits. To demonstrate negligence, the plaintiff must prove the following:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to him/her
- The defendant breached this duty of care
- As a result of the breach of duty of care, the plaintiff sustained bodily injuries
Motorists owe a duty of care to pedestrians. Likewise, pedestrians owe a duty of care to each other. For instance, motorists should not fail to yield to the right of way, and pedestrians should not obstruct each other while walking along the sidewalks. If any of these individuals breach the duty of care, the court will hold them liable for your injuries.
3. Negligence Per se
If the defendant breaks a particular traffic law, and as a result, causes an accident that led to your injuries, the court will hold him/her negligent per se. This means that the court will not require you to prove how negligent the defendant was. All the court will require you to demonstrate is the traffic law that the defendant violated.
As long as you can prove that the defendant violated a particular traffic law, the court will award you damages. The amount of damages that the court will award will depend on the degree and extent of your injuries.
4. Strict Liability
You may have been knocked down by a defective bike or vehicle. In such a situation, you can institute a strict liability lawsuit against the faulty motorcycle or car manufacturer.
In Nevada, manufacturers are held liable for their defective products. The court will award you compensation as long as you can prove that the bike or vehicle which knocked you down was faulty.
5. Respondeat Superior
In Nevada, employers are held vicariously liable for the actions of their employees. This means that the court can hold an employer responsible for the negligent actions of his/her employees and order him/her to pay compensation.
For instance, imagine you were hit by a biker or bus driver running a work-related errand. In such a situation, you can sue the employer of this biker or bus driver for compensation.
How Much Money can you Receive for Compensation?
There is no fixed amount of money you can receive as compensation in a Nevada Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit. The amount of money you will receive as compensation will depend on the degree and extent of your injuries.
Las Vegas courts award the following types of damages in pedestrian accident lawsuits:
- Special damages
- General damages
- Punitive damages
Special damages cover losses that can be quantified monetarily, such as medical expenses and lost wages. To be awarded special damages, you must show the court your medical receipts and income reports. There is no limit on the amount of money the court can award you as special damages. However, suppose the defendant is a government employee carrying out his/her work-related duties when the accident occurred. In that case, the maximum amount of money that the court can award as special damages is $100,000.
On the other hand, general damages cover losses that cannot be quantified monetarily. This may include pain and suffering, depression, loss of consortium, and mental anguish. Nevada law limits the amount of general damages that the court can award to $350,000.
Nevada courts rarely award punitive damages. The primary purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant. The court can only grant you punitive damages if you prove that the defendant acted in willful and blatant disregard for human life. Typically, the amount of punitive damages is twice that for general and special damages.
Who you can Sue in a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit
Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, you can sue the following individuals in a pedestrian accident lawsuit:
- The driver or biker who was negligent or violated a particular traffic law and, as a result, caused the accident
- The vehicle or bike manufacturer who manufactured a defective product that resulted in the accident
- The pedestrians who obstructed you from using the sidewalk and, as a result, made you be knocked over
- The dog owner whose uncontrolled dog knocked you over while you were using the sidewalk
- A local or state governmental authority, if the primary cause of the accident was dangerous roads
- The employer of the driver or biker who caused the accident
As you can see, there are multiple parties that you can sue in a pedestrian accident lawsuit. Sometimes, it may be challenging to identify the proper party to sue, especially if you do not know the exact cause of the accident. Your lawyer can help you do this.
What if you were Partially at Fault for Causing the Accident?
Sometimes, you may have contributed to the occurrence of the accident. For instance, you may have violated a traffic law while crossing the road. If you are in any of these situations, you may be wondering whether you are eligible for compensation.
As long as you can prove that another party caused the accident, you are still entitled to compensation even if you were partially at fault for causing it. This is pursuant to Nevada's Contributory Negligence Law.
Under this law, the court will apportion liability between you and the defendant. The amount of compensation you will receive will depend on the percentage of liability the court apportions you for causing the accident.
Hit and Run Pedestrian Accidents
Hit and run pedestrian accidents are quite common in Las Vegas. If a hit-and-run driver hits you, it might be difficult for you to receive compensation. This is because you may be unable to trace who exactly hit you.
If you are in such a situation, it would be best if you seek the help of a highly experienced personal injury attorney. He/she will help you trace the hit and run driver and report him/her to the police. Besides the hit and run driver facing criminal charges, the court will hold him/her liable for your injuries.
Las Vegas Statute of Limitations for Pedestrian Accidents
According to Nevada's Statute of Limitations for pedestrian accidents, the plaintiff must file a civil lawsuit for compensation within two years from when the accident occurred. This means that if you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you ought to file a lawsuit for compensation within two years from the date when the accident occurred.
If you don't, you will lose your right to file a civil lawsuit for compensation. This is why you must contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Find a Las Vegas Pedestrian Accident Attorney Near Me
Pedestrian accidents often result in life-threatening injuries and sometimes death. As a result, you may incur huge medical expenses, lose your livelihood, and go through extreme pain and suffering. This is why we at the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm are here to help you get the amount of money you deserve as compensation.
Call us today at 702-576-0010 for a free consultation. We will advise you on the best steps to take to receive compensation.