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Pedestrian accidents are some of the greatest tragedies we see here at Claggett & Sykes Law Firm. Vulnerable pedestrians don’t stand a chance when going up against motor vehicles. Pedestrian accidents can easily cause bones fractures, internal bleeding, crush injuries, concussion, spinal cord injury, and death. In the bustling streets of Las Vegas, pedestrians are especially at risk. They must interact with vehicles day and night. If you or someone you love was recently injured while walking in Las Vegas, talk to our pedestrian accident attorneys right away.
A pedestrian accident often leaves victims with high bills. If you or a loved one recently sustained injuries in an accident, you may have to contend with medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. Serious injuries present a true financial hardship not only to the victims, but their entire families. Claggett & Sykes Law Firm helps ensure the safety of the community by holding negligent parties responsible for their actions. By winning landmark cases for our clients, we not only help people recover financial compensation for their injuries, but make our community a safer place to live and work.
Hiring an attorney to handle your personal injury case takes much of the stress and hassle out of the experience. Our firm does everything from dealing with the insurance claims adjusters, negotiating a fair settlement, and performing independent investigations to evaluating claims. An insurance company will do everything in their power to get you to accept a lower settlement than you deserve. At Claggett & Sykes Law Firm, we’re dedicated to taking that power from the insurance company and giving it back to you. Don’t settle for less. Contact the attorneys at Claggett & Sykes Law Firm today to schedule a free review of your legal options.
Clark County logged its deadliest year for pedestrians in 2017, eclipsing the previous all-time high of 60 killed pedestrians in 2015. One of the most dangerous areas in the state for pedestrians is Southern Nevada’s Boulder Highway, cited by the Nevada Department of Transportation as the deadliest roadway in Southern Nevada. Between 2013 and 2016, 24 people suffered fatal injuries along the Boulder Highway.
Several safety initiatives are in the works to make Boulder Highway safer for pedestrians, including flashing traffic beacons, crosswalks at eight major intersections, and larger medians. While Boulder Highway is statistically the most dangerous area for pedestrians in Las Vegas, the reality is that any major roadway can be a fatal hazard for pedestrians.
Pedestrians are most vulnerable near highways or major intersections with multiple lanes of traffic going in different directions. Pedestrians are also vulnerable when they fail to abide by some best practices for walking safety in busy areas. Improper crossing and suddenly darting into the roadway are very common causes of pedestrian accidents.
If a car hits you while walking, it’s vital to know what to do next. Your ability to remain calm and make the right decisions after an accident are crucial to protecting yourself medically, legally, and financially. If possible, stay calm and get out of the road. Call 911 for anything more than a minor cut or scrape. If you hit your head at all, try to stay still until medical personnel arrive on scene. Attempting to move around with a concussion can lead to more severe injuries.
You’ll likely feel a rush of strong emotions after being hit, so take care to keep yourself in check when the police arrive. If you are combative or hostile, it can come back to haunt you later if you decide to seek legal action against the driver who hit you. By law, the driver must remain at the scene until the police give him or her permission to leave, typically after they finish investigating the scene and questioning everyone involved. If it’s a hit-and-run, try to take a photo of the car or the license plate if you have time. If there are any eyewitnesses in the area, try to see if they can take a photo if you cannot.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, first responders will either transport you to an emergency room immediately or give you permission to leave after they investigate the accident. In either case, medical attention should be your top priority. A doctor’s examination may uncover injuries that did not manifest noticeable symptoms yet, and delaying treatment could cause such injuries to worsen.
If you are able, take as many photos of the accident scene as possible with your cell phone while you wait for the police to arrive. Try to take pictures of the driver’s vehicle and its resting place, your injuries, the street around the accident site, and any notable landmarks in the area. You should also look for debris or skid marks in the road that could indicate the driver’s behavior prior to the accident. The more photos you have, the better picture you can create for an insurance investigator or jury.
Your doctor should provide you with a medical report that lists your injuries, prognosis, and treatment plan. Once you secure this document, you should contact the police department that responded to your accident and request a copy of its police report. If you notice any glaring inaccuracies in the police report, you can have an attorney help you sort them out so the report is true and factual. Your medical report and the police report will be cornerstones of your case if you decide to file a lawsuit against the driver who caused your accident. Your Las Vegas car accident attorney will help you gather any other supporting evidence such as eyewitness statements and traffic camera recordings.
According to the Nevada Strategic Highway Safety Plan, there were 336 pedestrian deaths and 688 injuries in Nevada from 2011 to 2015. In those four years, there was a consistent upward trend in the number of pedestrian fatalities, steadily rising from 43 deaths in 2011 to 73 in 2015. Middle-aged males (ages 46 to 55) were the most common victims.
Half of all pedestrian collisions occurred in conditions that were dark, but somewhat lit. Pedestrians often contribute or cause their own injuries in cases throughout Nevada.
Drivers are responsible for their actions on the road and are held to a standard of reasonable care. They are required to drive carefully and operate their vehicle in a way that a normal and careful person would do in the same circumstances.
However, drivers are not always completely at fault for pedestrian collisions. Pedestrians don’t automatically have the right of way throughout Las Vegas. Pedestrians have a responsibility to abide by roadway, sidewalk, and crosswalk rules when navigating the city. Walking into oncoming traffic or crossing the road without waiting for the signal is against the rules, and such behavior may constitute negligence on the part of the pedestrian.
Don’t assume that if you contributed to your injuries, you cannot pursue a personal injury claim. Nevada is a contributory negligence state, meaning a judge may contribute a percentage of fault to the plaintiff yet still give compensation. You may still be eligible for a sizable settlement or judgment even if you were partially at fault.
As long as the pedestrian is less than 51% responsible for the accident, he or she may still be able to recover damages. The courts subtract the plaintiff’s award amount by a percentage of fault. For example, if the case resulted in a $100,000 settlement, but the judge assigned 20% of fault to the pedestrian for improper crossing, the pedestrian would receive $80,000 of the award ($100,000 minus $20,000, or 20% of the total).
A good lawyer may be able to help a pedestrian prove the defendant’s fault was greater than his own for the incident, maximizing compensation. The driver may have been texting or otherwise distracted, and failed to look for pedestrians before crossing. A thorough investigation of the incident can result in evidence of the driver’s fault. For legal assistance with your recent pedestrian accident case, come see our personal injury attorneys at Claggett & Sykes Law Firm. We offer free initial case evaluations.