At Ladah Law, PLLC, we know that even if you were hit by a vehicle while jaywalking, you may still have legal claim against the driver who hit you. Here are some things you need to know about jaywalking and any claim you may have. Call us today: 702-252-0055.
Our area is a popular destination for tourists as well as locals. On any given day of the week, you can find streets and walkways crowded with motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. Unfortunately, the combination of sights and sounds, as well as the around the clock excitement present in Las Vegas, can easily result in an increased likelihood for accidents and injuries. In Clark County, jaywalking enforcement is serious business. While the ticket is no more serious than a parking offense, the typical fee is $198, and can be as high as $275. This should be a major deterrent, but accidents still happen.
Pedestrian accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence in our area, and victims often suffer injuries that are severe and even life threatening. In fact, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation, pedestrian deaths increased by 11.86 percent between 2006 and 2013. More than a hundred pedestrians were killed on Las Vegas streets in 2013 alone. This accounts for more than 20 percent of all deaths in vehicle-related accidents in the city.
When you have been injured in this type of accident, you need an injury attorney who understands these situations, as well as the difficulties you may be facing physically, emotionally, and financially. While you cannot always prevent an accident from occurring, you can arm yourself with the facts you need to ensure your recovery.
While we’re all taught to look both ways before we cross the street to avoid being hit, there is more to remember when crossing busy streets such as those in Las Vegas. The law states that jaywalking in Las Vegas is a crime, and pedestrians who jaywalk may face stiff fines.
Anytime you cross the street without the right of way, it is considered jaywalking. The most obvious way is to cross the street outside of a marked crosswalk. However, many car versus pedestrian accidents in Las Vegas occur within the crosswalk. If the pedestrian is crossing against the signal, this is also considered a violation of the jaywalking law.
In determining why a pedestrian accident occurred and who is responsible, numerous states allow victims to recover damages for the injuries, even if they are found to be partly to blame for the accident occurring. According to Claims Journal, a leading information resource for the insurance industry, whereas a small portion of states bar an injured victim from recovering any compensation in an accident in which they are found to be even one percent to blame, others allow victims to recover regardless of fault. In still others, including the state of Nevada, the legal theory of comparative fault is followed, in which an accident victim who is partly to blame can recover compensation, provided the other driver was more to blame. In these cases, the total amount of compensation the victim is entitled to received is reduced by the percentage for which they are liable for the accident occurring.
Under Section 41.141 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, if responsibility for an accident is determined to be 50 percent or less the part of the injured party, a jury would award compensation based on the total amount of damages suffered, but the actual judgment itself would be reduced by the judge, according to the percentage at which the injured victim was to blame. An example of this type of situation might be where a pedestrian walked out on to the road from between two parked cars, but the driver who hit them was speeding or driving under the influence at the time. If the victim was determined to be 20 percent at fault for the accident, and the amount of compensation awarded was $100,000, the total amount the victim would receive would be $80,000.
Many pedestrians in busy areas assume traffic will stop for them, that they can beat oncoming traffic, or that they will have time to cross before the signal turns. Unless these pedestrians can prove negligence on the part of the motorist that struck them, they are not likely to win their case. It is not uncommon, though, for a driver who is speeding, under the influence, or distracted to fail to notice a pedestrian who is jaywalking. If these factors contributed to the accident, there is a chance damages may be rewarded to the injured pedestrian.
Even if you were cited for jaywalking, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. At Ladah Law, we will listen to the facts you provide and may see a liability against the motorist that you had not considered. Our attention to detail helps you obtain the compensation you deserve.
We have experience with a number of Las Vegas jaywalking and pedestrian cases. If you or a loved one were a pedestrian (or a cyclist) and hit by a vehicle in Las Vegas, Ladah Law Firm may be able to help you recover money spent on medical costs, lost work, and other expenses. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.
According to the latest research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 4,500 people are killed in pedestrian accidents each year in the United States, while more than 150,000 others suffer serious injuries. While these types of accidents can happen to anyone, the CDC identifies children and older adults as being among the most common victims. In terms of risks factors, the use of alcohol has been shown to increase your overall odds of being injured as a pedestrian. Among fatal pedestrian accidents, close to 35 percent of these cases involved victims with a blood alcohol content at or above the legal limit.
Locally, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVNV) reports that our state is among the 10 worst in the nation in terms of pedestrian accidents and injuries. While natural and manmade attractions draw tourists from throughout the country, crash reports indicate that, surprisingly, unfamiliarity with the surroundings is not a significant factor. In more than 90 percent of all fatal accidents within the state, the parties involved included residents and those who work within the city of Las Vegas. The following are among the most common causes for pedestrian accidents in our state:
Traffic offenses, such as speeding and running red lights;
Drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians in right of ways;
Pedestrians who fail to use crosswalks or obey traffic signals;
Poor visibility at night;
Children stepping out from between parked cars, or crossing without a crossing guard.
With little to protect them in the event of an accident, injuries in pedestrian accidents are often severe. The Nevada University School of Medicine states that, on an average monthly basis, approximately 21 people are treated in trauma centers throughout the state as a result of pedestrian injuries, while these types of injuries resulted in as many 100 pedestrian deaths. In addition to the heavy toll these accidents cause both physically and emotionally, crashes in which pedestrians are injured result in roughly $16 million in medical costs each year. According to research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the severity of injuries suffered in pedestrian accidents varies depending on such factors as the type of vehicle and the speed at which it was traveling, the angle of impact, as well as the height of the pedestrian and where they were hit. The NIH states that common types of pedestrian injuries include the following:
Muscle, tendon, and ligament sprains, strains, and tears;
Crushed and fractured bones, particularly in the legs and pelvis;
Dislocated joints, such as in the knees, hips, or shoulders;
Severe cuts, lacerations, and abrasions caused by broken glass and contact with pavement surfaces;
Crushing injuries and damage to internal organs;
Back and neck injuries, including herniated disks and damage to the spinal cord;
Head injuries, including concussions, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injury.
Even in a seemingly minor accident, you should also seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of potentially life threatening conditions, such as head and spinal cord injuries, may not be immediately apparent, and many of the above types of injuries can have lingering impacts for weeks, months, and even years after the accident occurs.
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you have suffered, either through an insurance company claim, or by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Under the Nevada Revised Statutes (Section NRS 11.190), those who have been injured or killed as the result of the wrongful or negligent acts of another are entitled to file a lawsuit against the at fault party up to two years after the accident occurred. The types of compensation you may be able to claim through a personal injury lawsuit include the following:
This type of compensation covers the actual costs associated with your injuries, including past and future medical expenses, hospital and rehabilitative costs, reimbursement for current lost wages and any losses in income you are likely to incur in the future due to lasting disabilities as the result of your injuries, and any property damages you suffered in the accident.
This type of compensation covers damages you have suffered that do not have a specific monetary value associated with them. Non-economic damages often include compensation for pain, suffering, and mental anguish, as well as your loss of enjoyment or participation in life as the result of your injuries. These damages may also include compensation for the loss of companionship suffered by your spouse and other family members, if your injuries prevent you from engaging in hobbies and activities you previously shared.
Under Chapter 42 of the Nevada Statutes, you may also be entitled to punitive or exemplary damages, which is a dollar amount the judge awards based on the particularly reckless or wanton conduct of the driver responsible for your injuries. This compensation may be up to three times the total amount of any other damages you have claimed.
Under Nevada traffic laws (NRS 484B.280), motor vehicle operators have a legal duty to exercise due caution and to take the necessary steps to avoid pedestrian accidents and injuries. Failure to do so can be considered negligent, and result in criminal charges against the driver, as well as making them legally liable for any injuries that occur. Black’s Law Dictionary defines negligence as a failure to do something a reasonable person would do under similar circumstances, or actually taking an action a reasonable person would not do in a similar situation. At the same time, pedestrians have a duty to protect themselves when out walking, and face similar legal requirements to ensure their own safety. Under Nevada law, the requirements for each party include the following:
Drivers are required to stop at intersections and crosswalks where pedestrians have the right of way, and to wait until they have had a chance to chance before proceeding. Drivers are also required to avoid reckless driving behaviors that could put pedestrians at increased risk, such as failing to stop at traffic signals, driving under the influence, speeding, and making improper lane changes.
Pedestrians are required by law to remain on sidewalks and to only cross busy streets and highways at designated crosswalks and intersections. In the event a sidewalk is unavailable, those walking should keep to the left side of the road, facing traffic, while using care to avoid stepping out in front of moving vehicles if no crosswalk is in place.
When seeking compensation for pedestrian injuries, either through an insurance claim or through a lawsuit, both the behavior of the driver as well as that of the injured pedestrian will come into play. In terms of dealing with insurance companies, many people mistakenly believe that the insurer will be on their side, and that any amount offered in a settlement is a fair representation of the compensation they are legally entitled to. Unfortunately, this is generally not the case. Insurers are in business to make money, and one way to accomplish this goal is by undervaluing or denying claims. In an Edmunds report on dealing with insurance companies after an accident, consumers are advised that there are several ways insurers can attempt to save themselves money, which include the following:
By assigning claims agents extremely large caseloads, which may prevent them from conducting a thorough investigation into your claim;
By undervaluing the costs of treating your injuries, both now and in the future;
By underplaying the severity of your injuries, and the impact they may have on your future employment;
By attempting to deny your claim by blaming your own behavior as being responsible for the accident.
Evidence can and will be gathered to use against you in an insurance claim or in a personal injury lawsuit for pedestrian injuries. This includes video footage of the accident, police reports and witness statements, testimony from the drivers involved, medical records and testimony from your doctor, and your own statements regarding what you were doing before, during or immediately after the accident occurred. These statements may include those made at the scene of the accident or to the insurance company, as well as comments made to friends, family members, or posted on social media.
At the Ladah Law Firm, we can assist you in getting the compensation you need to recover from your injuries and to make up for any lost wages or other damages you have suffered. From your very first call to our firm, our experienced pedestrian accident attorneys can begin building your case. We conduct our own independent investigation into your accident and how it occurred, reconstructing what happened in order to show how the driver involved was to blame. We gather important evidence to back up your claims, including accident reports, medical records and testimony, as well as testimony from experts in the field of pedestrian accidents and injuries. If an insurance company is involved, we can negotiate on your behalf and ensure you get the maximum amount you are entitled to in a settlement. In the event a settlement cannot be reach, we can begin the process of filing the necessary documents seeking damages in a personal injury lawsuit against the at fault driver. While we cannot predict how long it will take you to reach the point of maximum medical recovery for your injuries, we can help to ensure your case is resolved in the timeliest manner possible. As your trusted legal advocate, we work with you every step of the way, answering your questions and addressing your concerns, and fighting to ensure your rights and interests are protected.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, or in the event of an untimely car accident, you need experienced, aggressive legal representation from an attorney who understands these situations. For the legal knowledge and ability necessary to get results in your case, contact the Ladah Law Firm, PLLC today. We have built a solid reputation in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas for being a strong advocate for our clients. We know how insurance companies work, and will stand firmly by your side, ensuring responsible parties are held accountable and helping to secure your future. To discuss the details in your particular case, call 702-252-0055 or contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
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