In most cases, pedestrians have the right of way. When you are hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian, the driver is usually liable for your injuries. The state personal injury laws allow you to seek compensation for your damages. Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm can help you file a winning personal injury claim against the party that caused you or your loved one’s injuries.
Our attorneys work hard in every case they receive to help our clients recover the compensation they deserve. That will help you cover the accident's medical bills and other costs. We are passionate about assisting our clients in obtaining a fair outcome for their cases. Thus, we offer free consultation services where you meet with one of the best car accident attorneys in the state to review your case and legal options.
Pedestrian Accidents in Las Vegas
Pedestrians have the same rights to use public roads as drivers, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Other road users owe them a duty of care to ensure that no harm could happen to them while on the road, like an accident. Sadly, pedestrian accidents happen all the time, and the victims sustain severe physical and emotional injuries that take time to heal. Nevada personal injury laws allow pedestrians to seek compensation if they are injured in a car accident. Compensation is usually monetary, enabling the injured to pay for their medical bills and other needs resulting from the accident.
Typically, most pedestrians are not aware of their rights as road users. They also do not know the legal processes to follow to recover compensation for their damages after a car accident. It helps to engage the service of a competent car accident attorney from the start of the legal process. That will make the process smooth for you and eliminate any challenges you could face while pursuing compensation in a civil court. It will also ease your burden and give you enough time to concentrate on your recovery.
The most significant concern for pedestrians after a car accident is establishing fault. Fault is never apparent in all car accidents. The police have to investigate the accident to determine its cause before deciding on the responsible party. Pedestrians almost always have the right of way. Drivers and other road users owe you a duty of care, whether you are jaywalking or not on a crosswalk. The driver will still be held responsible for your injuries even if the accident happened outside the crosswalk. If the court establishes that the driver could have stopped in time to avoid the accident, but they did not, the driver will be at fault for the accident.
Pedestrians are highly vulnerable road users. They do not enjoy the protection offered by vehicles for vehicle occupants. Thus, they are likely to sustain severe injuries in case of a car accident. Some common injuries in pedestrian accidents include traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and death. But, most accidents involving pedestrians are preventable. Accident experts stress that these accidents are preventable if drivers are more careful while driving. Some driver mistakes that could lead to a pedestrian accident include:
- Distracted driving
- Running stop signs and red lights
- Driving while intoxicated
- Failing to give pedestrians the right of way
- Ignoring traffic lights
If you or your loved one is involved in a pedestrian accident in Nevada, you must file a lawsuit in a civil court within a specified period. The statute of limitations is the law that imposes this time limit, after which your claim will not be admitted in court. The state-imposed time limit for these cases is usually two years. You must investigate your case, gather evidence, and prepare and file your claim within this period. Your competent car accident attorney will be your guide to avoid missing critical legal deadlines that could deny you the chance to recover compensation for your injuries.
Recovering Compensation In Pedestrian Accident Cases
If you or someone you know was in a pedestrian accident, you could file a lawsuit against the responsible party for compensation for your damages. The money obtained through this lawsuit will enable you to pay your medical bills and meet other needs that resulted from the accident. For instance, it could help you meet your daily needs during the recovery period before you can return to work.
But, recovering compensation after a pedestrian accident in Las Vegas is not as straightforward as it sounds. It involves several legal processes you must follow to the latter for the court to award your damages. Working closely with a skilled car accident attorney will ensure you have all you need, including a solid case against the defendant, to recover the compensation you deserve. Here are some of the processes you must go through while recovering compensation for your injuries after a pedestrian accident:
Liability is essential when filing a personal injury lawsuit in Nevada. It involves determining the accident cause and identifying the party responsible for the accident.
Nevada personal injury laws offer compensation if the cause of an accident is another party's negligence. For instance, if a driver is speeding or driving while distracted or intoxicated, they will be held responsible if they cause an accident in which a pedestrian is injured.
Remember that many causes of car accidents are many, including speeding, recklessness, failed brakes, or poor road conditions. Thus, the driver is not necessarily the only possible liable party in a pedestrian accident. Other parties could be blamed for the accident. The most probable responsible parties in a pedestrian accident are:
1. The Driver
The driver of the car that hit you (pedestrian) will be the first possible liable party in the accident. Negligent drivers cause most pedestrian accidents in Nevada. Thus, the driver will be the first suspect when establishing liability.
The driver will be responsible for your accident if the police and accident experts conclude that the cause of the accident was recklessness, distracted driving, operating while intoxicated, speeding, failure to observe traffic rules, or any other infraction while on the road. It could be that the driver did not see you crossing the road because they were checking their phone while driving. Or, the driver was speeding and could not stop in time to avoid hitting you.
If the driver is determined liable for the accident, they will be held responsible for your damages. The court will order the driver to compensate you for all your damages.
2. The Pedestrian
Pedestrians also have a role to play in ensuring their safety while using public roads. For instance, pedestrians must remain in a place of safety, that is, the crosswalk. Leaving that place of safety and suddenly walking or running to the road could result in an accident. You could be partly or wholly responsible for the accident if you portrayed irresponsible behavior on a highway. In that case, you will receive part of the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
3. Vehicle Mechanical Issues
Sometimes the driver can fail to stop in time because the vehicle's brakes failed, resulting in a devastating pedestrian accident. In that case, the vehicle manufacturer or company responsible for the repair and maintenance of the car will be held accountable for the resulting damages.
4. Poor Road or Weather Conditions
Some car accidents are caused by poor road or weather conditions. Extreme weather conditions could pose a challenge for drivers, affecting their visibilities and ability to operate a vehicle carefully. Poor road conditions, like unrepaired potholes, could also cause a driver to lose control of their car, causing a pedestrian accident.
The judge will assess the circumstances of your case to determine liability and ensure that you are fully compensated for your damages. If the court establishes that the government body responsible for road maintenance was negligent in causing the accident, it will be held accountable for the resulting damages.
Preparing and Filing a Compensation Claim in a Civil Court
After establishing liability, you must start preparing your compensation claim. Remember that you have two years after the accident to prepare and file a lawsuit in a civil court. You must be determined to recover all your damages in the accident.
Start by gathering sufficient evidence to support your claim. Civil court judges rely on evidence presented in court by plaintiffs and defendants to make decisions. Thus, you must have solid evidence to support your claim against the alleged defendant. For instance, if the driver was negligent in causing the accident, you must demonstrate in court that the driver owed you a duty of care, that they breached that duty of care, and you suffered injuries.
You must also prove your injuries in court to receive your compensation. Gather all medical reports to prove your injuries and the kind of treatment you received.
A doctor's report will also show any future medical needs you will need and how much they cost. Provide evidence of lost or damaged property and more that could support your claim. If you suffered emotionally after the accident and would like compensation, you must also demonstrate that in court. A skilled car accident attorney will help you compel the court to award your damages.
When you have solid evidence, prepare it with other required documents for filing. Your attorney can try to negotiate an out-of-court settlement with the insurance provider to speed up the process and reduce the costs for both parties. Sometimes insurance companies are quick to give an offer, which, in most cases, is below what you intend to recover. Do not be in a rush to accept the first offer. A skilled car accident attorney will negotiate until you receive the compensation you deserve. If the insurance provider is unwilling to compensate you for what you deserve, your attorney will file the case in court.
Personal injury cases can take time before the judge makes the final verdict. That is why it could be a good idea to try and settle the matter out-of-court with the insurance provider. Once the insurance company receives the claim, its adjuster will evaluate, carry out investigations and respond to it on behalf of the company. You will not receive compensation as fast as you would have wanted. Thus, you will have to seek alternative means to settle your medical bills and other needs before the verdict is out.
The adjuster can decline to pay or provide a counteroffer. Your attorney will try to agree with the company. If both parties do not agree, your attorney will file a petition in court seeking compensation for your damages.
You could be partly liable for the crash. In that case, the defendant will not be fully responsible for your damages. The judge will use comparative negligence law to ensure you only receive the compensation you deserve. For instance, if the court finds out that you were 20% responsible for the crash, the defendant will only be required to compensate you for 80% of your losses.
Negotiating With Insurance Provider
Legal processes in Nevada take a long time. It could take several months or years before the court's verdict is out. If you want to speed up the processes, you could try negotiating with the insurance company through your attorney.
Remember that insurance companies are in business. They are willing to use tricks or even deny claims to avoid compensating accident victims. Once the company receives your share, an insurance adjuster will contact you to hear your side of the story and try to make a deal with you. Insurance adjusters work on behalf of the companies they represent. They do not have your interests at heart and will try their best to avoid compensating you.
Thus, it is not a good idea to speak to the adjuster. Do not answer any of their questions. Let your attorney handle all issues on your behalf as you concentrate on your recovery.
The insurance company can quickly deny compensation if you do not have enough evidence to support your claim. Remember that the adjuster will conduct an independent investigation into the accident to determine your contribution to your damages. Keep safe all your medical records and other evidence that could support your case in court.
The type of evidence that you need for cases like these include:
- Eyewitness account of how the accident happened and your injuries
- Details of anyone else that was injured in the accident
- Pictures and videos of the accident scene
- Weather and road conditions when the accident occurred
- A general description of how the accident happened and how the accident scene looked like moments after
- Police report
If you have sufficient evidence against the defendant, their insurance provider will have minimal issues paying the compensation you deserve. The adjuster would be willing to settle the matter out-of-court since it could cost the company a lot more money if you filed the case in a civil court.
If the insurance company is willing to settle the matter without the court's involvement, your attorney will send them a demand letter. The letter should provide details of the accident, your injuries, the extent of your damages, and how the defendant is responsible for your injuries. While all these are serious issues, and you will be demanding your rights for compensation, the letter should be polite. It should also include the amount you wish to receive as compensation.
Back the compensation claim with more evidence from your medical records, a record of missed working days, and other expenses you have incurred due to the accident. Once you send the demand letter, the company must respond within thirty days.
The insurance provider will send an adjuster within thirty days to negotiate the claim with you. Again, allow your attorney to handle any issue with the insurance company. These negotiations will determine whether your attorney will file the case in a civil court.
Recoverable Damages in a Nevada Pedestrian Accident
Remember that you must be aware of the extent of your injuries and damages incurred, as this information will be required in your claim. An experienced car accident attorney will guide you into listing your damages and determining how much money you deserve as compensation. Here are recoverable damages in Nevada pedestrian accidents:
These are the quantifiable losses you incurred in the accident. They include the following:
1. Medical Bills
A pedestrian accident will likely result in devastating physical injuries. Thus, you will need medical care. In most cases, victims of pedestrian accidents suffer catastrophic or life-changing injuries that take time and cost a lot of money to recover. Some wounds do not heal completely, and the victim is forced to adapt to a new way of living.
Medical bills start accumulating right after the accident.
Did you need an ambulance or other means of transportation to the emergency room?
They will also include doctors' consultation fees, medications received (including any over-the-counter medications you bought out of your pocket), and other costs of the treatment you needed after the accident.
Include any specialized medical care you needed after the accident and future medical needs (if any). You must provide evidence to support these damages for the judge to award total compensation.
2. Lost Earning Ability
Some pedestrian accidents leave victims with injuries that render them incapable of performing gainful employment. For instance, if you have lost your limbs in an accident or have suffered a severe brain injury that leaves you wholly incapacitated, you lose your earning ability. It means you will no longer be able to work to support your and your dependents' needs. The defendant will be held responsible for this loss.
3. Lost Wages and Earnings
If you are a productive member of society and were working before the accident, you will miss some days off work to recover after a pedestrian accident. That will translate to lost earnings, without which you will not pay for your daily needs. The defendant must compensate you for the days you will miss work to recover from your injuries. Your compensation will consider the number of days you will not work and how much you will have earned in those days.
Non-economic damages are the losses incurred in the accident that do not translate to a direct loss of money. They could include the following:
- The pain and suffering you have experienced after the accident — Could be due to your injuries or how your life was interrupted by the accident.
- Loss of life enjoyment — You will not enjoy all that you want to enjoy in life after the accident and until your full recovery. For instance, you will not be able to go out for fun, travel, or even visit friends and relatives.
- Mental anguish — An accident is a life-changing event. It comes when least expected and will likely disrupt your life significantly. That could result in mental anguish due to stress, anxiety, worry, fear, depression, and even grief.
- Disfigurement — Any change in your physical appearance will affect you for a very long time. For instance, physical injuries could leave you with stubborn scars that affect your look and feel. Some people lose their limbs or other parts of the body in the accident, permanently disfiguring them. You deserve compensation for this.
If the pedestrian accident victim is your loved one and lost their life, you will pursue compensation for their wrongful death against the defendant. Nevada laws allow the close family of an accident victim to seek compensation for their wrongful death. Compensation recovered will enable the family to plan for the funeral and burial of their loved one.
You can also seek compensation to ensure that the victim's dependents are taken care of before the family can seek alternative means of taking care of their needs.
Find a Skilled Car Accident Attorney Near Me
Recovering compensation is necessary if you or your loved one has been injured in a Las Vegas pedestrian accident. A skilled car accident attorney will help you through all legal processes until you recover the compensation you deserve. We offer professional and quality legal advice and support to all car accident victims at Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm. We also fight alongside our clients until they obtain the compensation they deserve. Call us at 702-576-0010, and let us review your case for a more informed legal strategy.