Pedestrian accidents are one of the most debilitating and dangerous incidents. Note there is no barrier between the vehicle and the pedestrian, cushion, seat belts, windshield, and nothing to absorb the impacts of the accident and lessen the injuries. Unlike bicyclists, pedestrians do not wear helmets.
Several reasons can lead to pedestrian accidents in Las Vegas, NV. Ensure you work with a competent attorney after the accident. The attorney will help you know what to do and how to obtain the compensation you deserve.
At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we have a team of experienced pedestrian accident attorneys ready to help you. Do not hesitate to call us if you wish to take legal action against the responsible party.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
More often, pedestrian accidents are caused by car drivers' negligent behavior. The following are the leading causes of pedestrian accidents:
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents across the US. With the advancement in technology, distracted driving involves driving while using a mobile phone, GPS units, and in-car wifi. Before the mobile phones, other distractions like food, radios, passengers, books, and newspapers kept the driver's eyes from the road.
In Nevada, the law has four laws on distracted driving. According to the first two laws, operating a vehicle with a handheld mobile phone is unlawful. The third law makes it unlawful for drivers below 18 years to use a mobile phone while behind the wheel. The last law makes it illegal for any driver to text while operating a vehicle. Many drivers disobey these laws and end up causing pedestrian accidents due to distractions.
Disobeying Traffic Signals or Signs
You would be wrong if you think many drivers running a stop light do not cause a significant number of pedestrian accidents. Disobeying traffic signals and signs is one of the common causes of pedestrian accidents.
According to the latest studies, 17% of stop signal accidents involve vehicles running at an intersection. Many drivers who fail to stop at the intersections may fail to see the pedestrians crossing. So, they end up causing pedestrian accidents. That's why drivers must be careful and obey the law requiring traffic laws.
Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
The law is against drunk driving in Nevada. However, several drivers drink alcohol and drive their vehicles. Around 13% of all pedestrian accidents result from intoxicated drivers. Alcohol and drugs can affect the ability of a driver to perceive and react to road hazards on time and avoid accidents.
The law considers a driver legally impaired with a BAC reading above 0.08%. Even before the driver becomes impaired, their ability to operate a vehicle safely is degraded. Two drinks can do the following:
- Exaggerate behavior
- Increase the driver's lack of judgment.
- Dull alertness
- Reduce the driver's ability to detect moving objects.
- Slow muscle response
Disregarding Traffic or Weather Conditions
The law in Nevada allows drivers to travel at prudent speed despite the posted speed limits. They must consider traffic and weather conditions when determining the safe rate. Disregarding the traffic and weather conditions by traveling above the speed limit can increase the chances of pedestrian accidents, even when pedestrians contribute to the accident.
For example, a lorry traveling above the posted speed in dense fog strikes a pedestrian crossing a road without observing the traffic lights. Under Nevada laws, the driver and the pedestrian could share liability under comparative negligence laws. The driver must constantly monitor the changes in the weather pattern and react to the weather accordingly.
When in heavy rain seasons, the drivers must observe their speed and the visibility of the road. A driver might fail to see a pedestrian crossing a road during heavy rain, increasing the chances of causing pedestrian accidents.
Failure to Signal When Turning
The law requires pedestrians to use crosswalks, observe and obey traffic lights and signals, and walk on specific roadsides. Part of the pedestrians to protect themselves while on the road extends to paving the way for the turning vehicles.
However, how do you know a car is turning? Several drivers in Nevada do not use their signal lights when they want to turn at an intersection. When a driver fails to signal, and a pedestrian enters the crosswalk, the driver becomes responsible for the pedestrian accident.
Failure to Yield the Right of Way to Pedestrians at An Intersection
Many pedestrian accidents occur at the intersection because the driver fails to yield the right of way for pedestrians. According to recent statistics, failure to yield the right of way causes 20% of the catastrophic accidents in Nevada.
The driver's negligence causes failure to yield the right of way for pedestrians. The Nevada law guarantees that pedestrians cross in unmarked or marked crosswalks even when there are no crossing lights. Cars fail to yield to pedestrians when turning left rather than right. Many experts argue when drivers are turning left, they do not see the pedestrians.
Rubbernecking involves paying attention to an incident, accident, traffic violation, or any other occurrence on the road. Although the drivers slow down during an incident on the road, they cause a high backup on the highway because of the heightened interest in the incident. Due to the lack of attention in their vehicle, the drivers were involved in an accident.
Although the traffic is slowly moving, the driver's eyes are out of the road and can easily crash into a crossing pedestrian. So the driver is responsible for paying attention to the road when other incidents occur.
Pulling Out or Reversing
When drivers pull out or reverse on the way, parking spaces, and parking lots, they may not be able to observe the sidewalk and the street. The driver is more concerned with not being struck by a passing vehicle and may fail to observe the safety of the pedestrian. Drivers backing up may not observe a pedestrian in the rearview, thus hitting them. The exit or the driveway may also be blocked by plants or buildings, preventing the driver from spotting the pedestrian.
Another common way of causing pedestrian accidents is through jaywalking. Jaywalking occurs when a pedestrian fails to use the crosswalk but crosses the road at different points. Crosswalks are mostly found at the corners or intersections. Jaywalking is dangerous. Note a driver does not expect a pedestrian to cross the road at random locations.
A pedestrian may come from between vehicles or be hidden by trees. Crossing lights are not located at any point of the road. So, the pedestrian cannot cross the road safely at different points. As a pedestrian, you want to avoid crossing the road at any point but instead use the available crosswalks to move to the other side.
Faulty Traffic Lights
A faulty traffic light may encourage pedestrians to cross the road at the wrong time. For example, a defective traffic light may signal pedestrians to cross and, simultaneously, a driver to make a left turn on the same street. Under this state, the pedestrian and the driver might be in confusion.
Also, after the accident, you and the at-fault driver might not know who to sue when faulty traffic lights cause the accident. If this is your case, you want to contact your pedestrian accident attorney to help you know what to do next.
Arterial roads and multi-lane cause pedestrian accidents since they make competing demands on the attention of motorists. By paying attention to changing lanes, dealing with tailgating motorists, and navigating other vehicles, a driver might forget to look out whether pedestrians are crossing the roads. If you want to cross more than two lanes, the probability of committing a pedestrian accident is higher.
Although a driver may be responsible for an accident, pedestrians' negligence may contribute to the accidents. For example, failing to use crosswalks and darting into traffic may place you in a high possibility of accidents. When the court finds you are partially responsible for the accident, your compensation might be in doubt.
When a car fails to make a proper turn at a traffic signal or stop sign, the driver may fail to notice the nearby pedestrians. Again when the vehicle is moving faster, the driver might have limited time to react toward the crossing pedestrian. Speeding also increases the potential of sustaining severe injuries.
Inexperienced drivers also have little knowledge about where pedestrians are primarily present. Therefore these inexperienced drivers are more likely to commit pedestrian accidents than experienced drivers.
Do you know that dark clothing can be another contributing factor to pedestrian accidents? The camouflage impact of dark cloth, especially at night, might result in the deadly brew. It is difficult for the driver to avoid hitting the pedestrian when they cannot see them.
If you are a pedestrian walking on a dark cloth at night, you want to assume you are invisible to the drivers and observe the traffic with much precaution. Pedestrian accidents occur at nighttime more than at daytime. If you do not have a light cloth at nighttime, you can carry a flashlight to avoid causing pedestrian accidents at the crosswalks.
In Nevada, intersections are the hotspot for many pedestrian accidents. Signaled crosswalks reduce the number of potential risks. Marked crosswalks are essential to both the drivers and the pedestrians.
Alternatively, signaled crosswalks are not immune to pedestrian accidents. Two-thirds of the pedestrians are hit by vehicles turning left rather than turning right since the involved parties are looking elsewhere. The pedestrians focus on crossing the way, and the driver focuses on the busy intersection.
The Common Injuries Resulting From Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians are at risk of catastrophic, severe, and sometimes fatal accidents when hit by a vehicle. Several injuries might be treated, while others could last for the rest of your life. The following are the potential injuries suffered by pedestrians when hit by a vehicle:
Multiple Crushed Bones and Fractures
When pedestrians are struck by a vehicle, they risk sustaining multiple fractures and broken bones. To treat the injuries, you might require several surgeries. Sometimes your doctor may need to use pins, steel plates, and screws to reconstruct your bones. You might also struggle with long-term effects even after your treatment.
Spinal Cord Injuries
In many cases, back injuries result in spinal cord injuries. Several spinal cord injuries are minor and are treated. Unfortunately, many severe spinal cord injuries result in permanent damage and paralysis. Your brain sends signals to your body through your spinal cord.
When severe injuries occur around your brain, the pedestrian faces permanent paralysis, a situation commonly known as tetraplegia. When the injuries occur lower along the spinal cord, the nature of the paralysis tends to be less severe.
You may suffer painful back injuries, including herniated discs and fractured vertebrae, based on the vehicle's speed and how your body hits the ground after the accident. A victim of back injuries may require corrective injuries. Also, the victim may struggle with long-term discomforts.
When a pedestrian accident occurs, the pedestrian's head may hit the sidewalk or pavement. The victim may sustain both external and internal head injuries. When the victim faces severe head injuries, the injuries may cause permanent brain injuries.
Based on the location and the severity of the injuries, the victim might face challenges with depression, memory loss, loss of motor skills, anxiety, and changes in personality, among other effects and symptoms.
Driver's Duty of Care
The causes of pedestrian accidents are related to the driver's failure to observe their duty of care. Usually, the law requires drivers to observe reasonable care. The definition of reasonable care is based on factors like pedestrian density, traffic, and weather, among other factors. When a driver fails to observe reasonable care, the law considers their acts negligence.
Therefore when a pedestrian suffers injuries or dies because of the driver's negligence, the driver becomes responsible for the accident. The court could order the driver to compensate the pedestrian for the sustained losses and injuries.
The pedestrian also must avoid accidents by being alert while on the roads. When crossing a street or highway, pedestrians should pay attention to their surroundings and put their phones in their pockets. You might suffer severe injuries when hit even if the driver is liable for the accident. So, pedestrians want to play their role while on the road to ensure they minimize the chances of causing pedestrian accidents.
What to Do After Pedestrian Accident
Accidents occur when we do not expect them. So you want to know what to do after the accident. For example, you are on your way home and suddenly fly in the air. You have been hit by the car, and while lying on the pavement, you see the driver voicing apologize and asking whether you are alright. The actions you take next could be essential in determining your compensation.
Remain Calm and Determine Whether You Have any Injuries
Immediately after the pedestrian accident, you want to remain calm. During this period, assess any form of injuries you might have suffered. Try to consider whether you have sustained any injuries which prevent you from moving. If you can move, move out of the street where the car has knocked you. If you are unable to move, then call the law enforcement officers. You may also tell the witness to call the police on your behalf.
Seek Medical Attention
Your health comes first. So, you want to contact the emergency response team immediately after the accident. When the emergency response team fails to respond quickly to the accident, visit the nearest medical center and seek medication. Let the doctor note any bruises, scrapes, or cuts, among other injuries. Keep the medical records safe. Remember you may require these details while seeking your compensation in the future.
Request medical records at every stage of your treatment. For example, ask the doctor to issue you a copy of your medical report during your discharge from the hospital. Ask for a printed record after every trip or visit the imaging lab. You will stay protected when the doctor loses the medical record since you have copies.
Call the Law Enforcement Officers
The eyewitness or the involved driver might have already called the law enforcement officers. If they have not called, you may request another person to call them. The police will file a report regardless of whether you sustained any injuries. Calling the law enforcement officers ensures they notify the emergency services so they can arrive at the accident scene too.
Due to the emergency of the accident, you might have sustained injuries, but you still have no signs and symptoms. Therefore, ensure you do not assume everything is okay after the accident. Seek medical help. Request a copy of the police report from the police officers.
Seek Professional Legal Help
As a pedestrian, when a vehicle hits you, you are more likely to sustain severe injuries than the car driver. The injuries might attract emotional, physical, and financial difficulties. The involved driver's insurance agency will not accept the fault quickly. They will try to place the fault on your side. The settlement will likely be undervalued when they try to offer you compensation.
Also, they will not take any responsibility for your future treatments. Therefore you want to seek professional legal help immediately after the accident. Your attorney will ensure your rights are protected. Again, your attorney will provide legal guidance throughout the legal process.
If you do not suffer severe injuries, you want to gather as much evidence as possible. Take pictures of the accident scene where the vehicle hit you. Also, take photos of anything around the accident scene that may help you in court. Obtain the names and details of the eyewitnesses whom you can call and let them testify in court.
Ensure you also keep the clothes you were wearing during the accident. The clothes can help determine the impact of the accident. Keep other items you can use as evidence, like your phone or any other electronics smashed in the accident.
You may write a summary of what happened before, during, and after the accident. Do this as soon as the images are fresh in your mind. When describing the event, you want to be as detailed as possible.
Obtain the other Drivers' Details
Do not let the driver leave even when you think you did not sustain injuries. Ensure you obtain the driver's full name, license plate number, and contact information. It would be better if all the involved parties waited at the accident scene until the police arrived. As you wait for the law enforcement officers, do not discuss with the involved parties the fault of the accident. Do not apologize for the accident.
Lastly, ensure you contact your attorney as soon as possible. The attorney will guide you on what to do and avoid after the accident. The attorney's primary role is to ensure you obtain compensation for the injuries and losses suffered. The attorney you go for will also determine the outcomes of your case. So ensure you work with a top attorney to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Near Me
Pedestrian accidents can have significant impacts on your life, including permanent paralysis. If you are involved in an accident, you want to seek legal help. The law in Nevada requires you to seek compensation from the at-fault party. A skilled attorney can negotiate with the court to ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve.
At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we have provided legal help for decades. When you are involved in a pedestrian accident in Las Vegas, you want to contact us immediately. Contact us today at 702-576-0010, and we will start working on your case immediately.