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Las Vegas is frequently listed in the top 10 cities with the most pedestrian accidents in the US. In the state of Nevada, over 300 pedestrians died and nearly 700 more were seriously injured between 2011 and 2015. It’s a very frightening idea that an individual could be severely hurt or even killed when crossing the street. If you have been one of these victims or know somebody who has, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer in Las Vegas immediately for legal representation.

Pedestrian Accidents

Research data shows that most pedestrian accidents that result in a fatality occur outside of marked crosswalks. This is probably because drivers don’t anticipate a pedestrian to be walking in undesignated areas, so they aren’t on the look out or being especially careful.

The CDC also has data showing that around 20% of all fatal vehicular accidents involving children between 5 and 15 are pedestrian accidents.

Precautions for Pedestrians

There are many ways pedestrians can limit their likelihood of being a victim of a car accident:

  • Use Marked Crosswalks Wherever Available.
    • It may seem inconvenient to cross the street just to use the crosswalk and have to cross back later, but it’s much better to be inconvenienced than to be injured.
    • If there are no marked crosswalks, pay attention to the traffic lights and walk as directly from one corner to the next closest corner of the intersection, unless a diagonal crosswalk is clearly marked and the sign indicates your right of way. Be sure to watch for cars that are turning and act defensively! Cars can move very quickly and may have trouble stopping, especially in bad weather. Though it is the law to yield to pedestrians, it’s important to understand not everyone knows the laws or is paying enough attention to adhere to them properly.
    • Stay on the right side of the crosswalk.
  • Use Pedestrian Bridges and Tunnels When Available.
    Again this may seem unnecessarily inconvenient but in a match between a pedestrian and a 4,000 pound car, it’s easy to imagine the catastrophic effects.
  • Pay Attention to Traffic Signals.
    Many individuals get in the habit of following the person in front of them instead of making independent decisions. Even when an individual is acting independently, many don’t pay attention to the crosswalk signs and tend to jaywalk. This is very dangerous! When cars think they have the right of way, they are less likely to watch for pedestrians. It’s also harder to notice a lone walker, especially when wearing dark clothing.
  • Use Sidewalks Whenever Possible.
    When there are no sidewalks, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road. Facing oncoming traffic is the safest thing to do so you can anticipate oncoming cars and they may anticipate your movements.
  • Be Aware of Visibility.
    If possible, wear bright or reflective clothing when walking, especially at night. When this is not available, using a flashlight or a light on one’s phone can help improve visibility.

Drivers’ Responsibilities

There are several laws in Nevada regarding the interactions between cars and pedestrians. Drivers have a responsibility to ensure safety of everyone on the road. If you have been hit by a driver due to negligence, call a pedestrian accident lawyer in Las Vegas as you may be entitled for compensation.

  • Pedestrians have the right of way. This includes unmarked crosswalks. Pedestrians do not have the right of way when walking against the crosswalk sign or jaywalking. Pedestrians do not have the right to just run out into the street and expect cars to stop for them.
  • Blind pedestrians have the right of way at all times.
  • Drivers must stop in the presence of a school crossing guard. They may not continue driving until all parties have exited the crosswalk.
  • Drivers must slow or stop when another driver has stopped within a lane. This stopped driver may be waiting for a pedestrian to cross, so all other drivers must be sure there is no pedestrian before proceeding.

Pedestrian Accident Claims

In Nevada, victims of negligent accidents such as a pedestrian accidents, may be entitled to compensation. These may include:

  • Financial losses
  • Medical costs
  • Lost income
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering

Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Las Vegas

Keep in mind, Nevada is a partial fault state. This means that any individual involved in a car or pedestrian accident may be held responsible to some degree. For example, if a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, but happened to be jaywalking, they could be 50% responsible for the accident.. Partial fault laws can make it more difficult for victims to be properly compensated. For this reason, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. The opposing party will do everything possible to avoid responsibility for damages.

At Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers, our compassionate attorneys are dedicated to providing our clients with the best legal service possible, maximizing their compensation through negotiations or trial. Give us a call at (702) 384-1414 for a free consultation with an accident lawyer in Las Vegas. You can also fill out an online contact form here.