While growing up, we all remember our parents reminding us to look both ways before we cross the street. However, pedestrians forget this reminder while crossing an intersection. As a general rule, it is always prudent to use the crosswalk, and only enter said crosswalk once you have been instructed to do so by the traffic device or licensed authority, while always making sure to “look both ways”.
Pedestrians are common in Las Vegas given the close proximity of casinos and entertainment. Whether individuals are walking down the strip or through their neighborhood, our great weather allows for walking as a means of transportation year-round.
Despite the popularity of walking, cars remain the primary form of transportation in Las Vegas. Due to a large number of both pedestrians and cars, pedestrian-car accidents are a common occurrence. The structure and frame of a car protect the driver and passengers. In contrast, pedestrians have no such protection, and consequently, their body absorbs the full force of an impact with a vehicle. This often results in tragic circumstances for the pedestrian, including death.
Statistically, a pedestrian vs. motor vehicle accident results in death more than 70% of the time. Those who cross prior to the signal or try and play chicken without using the designated crosswalk often do not have a case, unless speeding or failure to drive without lights-on played a role. Many pedestrian cases occur at night when drivers are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, misjudge speeds, have impaired depth perception or simply cannot see the pedestrian.
The state’s numbers are on the rise , too, from 35 pedestrian fatalities in 2009 to 91 in 2017. In one recent period in Las Vegas, almost 190 pedestrians died and almost 2,000 more suffered contact with vehicles.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a car as a pedestrian, you deserve to have an aggressive advocate fighting to protect your rights. The seasoned Las Vegas pedestrian accident attorneys at Benson & Bingham are ready to help you seek justice.
Pedestrian and vehicle accidents vary greatly. Some accidents occur at very slow speeds, while others occur at surface street speeds, which usually result in more serious injuries.
Common types of pedestrian accidents include:
Backup accidents. These accidents are more common in parking lots and around driveways. These usually happen at slower speeds, when a driver is backing out of a parking spot or driveway, and typically result in less severe injuries to the pedestrian, unless run over. Drivers must remain aware of their surroundings at all times, including the presence of pedestrians.
Sidewalk accidents. These accidents occur when a driver veers off the road. Many different causes exist for this type of accident. For example, the driver may have been distracted by a cell phone, involved in a vehicle accident which forced the car off the road, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These types of accidents tend to result in more severe injuries for the pedestrian because the car’s speed is usually higher. Pedestrian are often times killed or injured severely at intersections and sidewalks when traffic merges into the walking lane. Sidewalks were intended for pedestrian traffic, and unfortunately not much protection is allotted for those who use the sidewalks. Sadly, children in particular can be victims of distracted or intoxicated drivers who merge over the curbs, onto our sidewalks. and into bus stops.
Failure to yield. As a pedestrian in a crosswalk, you have the right of way. While it’s always best to check your surroundings before crossing a street, if a vehicle strikes you, it’s generally the driver’s fault under the law. Nevada law requires drivers to stop for anyone crossing the street when they’re using a crosswalk. Sometimes, impatient drivers fail to pay attention and speed through crosswalks. Such behavior can cause serious pedestrian accidents with severe injuries.
Jaywalking. Jaywalking or walking without the right to do so, is a citation commonly given in pedestrian accidents when a person is hit in a crosswalk, but may not have had the right to do so; hence the motorist is given the right of way. These accidents are horrific for the party walking whom are not only cited for jaywalking but also severely injured. Our law firm will look at the facts and circumstances surrounding the jaywalking citation and see whether liability may exist against the driver. We have represented many individuals whom nearly made it to the other side. Speed is also a huge factor to be considered when evaluating fault in a crosswalk accident. Those pedestrians who flat jaywalk in an unmarked crosswalk or street really take a huge risk when attempting to maneuver across the street. The Las Vegas street of Boulder Highway is frequently in the news given the long stretches of roadway without a crosswalk, making it quite unreasonable for those wishing to walk across the street. This unfortunately increases the risk for those who may be handicapped or not as fast when walking, as the long road is not often taken.
Crosswalks. Crosswalk accidents occur very frequently in Nevada given the shear volume of pedestrians who frequent the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Reno. Crosswalks are very dangerous given that oncoming traffic may or may not realize a crosswalk is present, nor the pedestrians who may be in the crosswalk. Crosswalks rely on the pedestrian to walk when the time is appropriate. The red stop walk sign is followed by the white hand stating it is OK to walk. Pedestrians often walk before the official countdown occurs and continue until the No walk sign is posted. Those who risk the timing of the light, also risk their life as oncoming motorists may just time the light as well and tragedy can strike.
Fremont Street. The world famous Fremont Street experience (formerly just Fremont Street) is abounded with car and foot traffic. The “Fremont Street Experience” closed down Fremont Street to automotive traffic so that all could use Fremont to navigate the hotels and casinos. Unfortunately, Fremont Street has become a nightmare for pedestrians who may not know when the pedestrian area ends. Up 4th street it is a ONE-WAY only street, but it directly intersects with Fremont and the pedestrian traffic.
Residential. Pedestrians are often victims of car accident cases in residential neighborhoods. Children can be victims of cars that speed or drive recklessly. Speed limits in neighborhoods are usually 25 mph or less. Vehicles that exceed the speed limit have a much tougher time stopping for children, bicycles, and others whom may be playing in the area.
Commercial Parking Lots. Malls, hotels, Walmarts and other commercial centers have huge parking lots with lots of parking lot or garage accidents. Because the area is a private property, the commercial parking lots are rarely visited by police to make accident reports; consequently many accidents go unreported. This should not be the case. If you are involved in a parking lot accident you are still allowed to file a police report with the local police substation. It is imperative that the party involved obtain the insurance information and description of the opposing driver. A license plate is excellent information to obtain. Commercial parking lots are prone for pedestrian accidents given the geography and layout of the parking spaces. Pedestrians often get lost or walk through alleyways to get to the next row of parked vehicles. Speeding cars will not stop in time and catastrophe can strike.
Airports: Pedestrians, taxi’s and other motion objects are constantly moving about the airport arrival and departure areas of the airport. Consequently, the amount of people who are in a hurry to exit, get to their plane, and rush to explore Las Vegas and Reno is enormous. Increasing the risk is the rush: the rush to not miss a plane, the rush to get their luggage, and the rush of taxi drivers. McCarron International Airport is home to over 30 million passengers every year and that number is expected to increase annually. Las Vegas’ newest attraction is airport terminal 3 which is going to increase the visitor traffic tremendously. To the north, Reno-Tahoe International Airport average over four million passengers a year and continues to grow.
Regardless of how you’re injured, the consequences are often life-altering. Following a pedestrian accident, you should hold the negligent driver who caused your accident accountable. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Benson & Bingham have helped many clients just like you in previous cases, and our results speak for themselves.
Injuries that stem from a collision with a vehicle are often severe. As a pedestrian, you lack the protection of a vehicle, so your body absorbs the full impact of the accident. Even at slow speeds, you may experience the following injuries:
Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
The more severe your injuries, the longer you will need to recover. Pedestrian accident injuries can cause more than just pain and suffering. They will likely leave you with extremely high medical expenses, but you shouldn’t have to pay these bills. The negligent driver who struck you should bear the responsibility of your medical costs. You played no part in causing the accident and thus should not have to endure the financial burden associated with your injuries.
Damages in Pedestrian Accident Claims
Injuries that stem from pedestrian accidents are often severe and involve extremely high medical costs. We can help you hold the negligent driver who caused your accident accountable and recover compensation for the following:
Pain and suffering
Lost earning capacity
Loss of companionship
Collecting these damages will help you focus on your recovery rather than on the financial burden associated with your accident. Many clients don’t like the thought of filing a lawsuit against another person. In reality, we help you file a claim against the negligent driver’s insurance company.
The negligent driver’s insurance company will likely contact you soon after your accident with a settlement offer. The company knows that you’re likely out of work and have medical bills piling up. Accordingly, it will offer you a low initial settlement that may cover some of your costs in hopes that you’ll accept due to your need for immediate cash.
The problem with these initial settlement offers is that they rarely include compensation for any future medical care. If you accept the initial offer, you may quickly find yourself in financial hardship again due to continuing expenses. Never accept an insurance company’s settlement offer without first consulting an experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer.
Contact a Las Vegas Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
When we meet with you, we will review your case, investigate the accident, and speak with witnesses to get a full and complete picture of what caused your accident. While most personal injury claims settle out of court, we will only settle if the insurance company’s offer compensates you fully for your injuries. We are prepared to take your case to trial to ensure justice, and we have significant experience litigating pedestrian accident cases.
We only take cases on a contingency basis, which means it costs you nothing for you to speak with us, and we only get paid if we secure compensation for you. Furthermore, we only accept cases that we believe have a good chance of success.
You have enough on your plate dealing with your recovery. Insurance companies are difficult to deal with, and personal injury claims are complex. You must review evidence, interview eyewitnesses, hire experts, and calculate the amount of your damages, including non-economic damages. By letting the skilled team of Benson & Bingham deal with the complexities of your personal injury claim, you can focus on your recovery. Our goal in every case is to get our clients back on their feet, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
In choosing a personal injury attorney, experience is crucial, and understanding the intricacies of pedestrian accident law is key. At Benson & Bingham we work with quality experts to ensure your claim is protected. Contact Benson & Bingham online or by calling (702) 382-9797 today to see how our experienced and trusted team of personal injury lawyers can help you secure the compensation that you need to get back on your feet.