Las Vegas Pedestrian Accidents
With so many people walking on the Strip, it’s easy to understand how pedestrian accidents occur. Las Vegas has a great deal of foot traffic and negligent driving leads to serious accidents involving pedestrians. In 2016 alone, 80 of our friends and family members died in Nevada in pedestrian accidents. In other words, our community and state lost 1 person every 4 ½ days to pedestrian accidents. Looking back further, between 2011 and 2015, 336 pedestrians lost their lives and 688 were seriously injured on Nevada roadways. Unfortunately, the rate of deaths and injuries from pedestrian accidents continues to increase each year.
U.S. Statistics for Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are not just a problem in Nevada, they are a systemic issue throughout the country. The following are the most recent statistics concerning pedestrian accidents in the United States:
- A total of 5,987 pedestrian deaths occurred in 2016. Although pedestrian fatalities in 2016 were 20 percent lower than in 1975, they increased 9 percent from 2015. Pedestrian deaths have increased 46 percent since reaching their lowest point in 2009.
- Twenty-one percent of pedestrian deaths in 2016 occurred in hit-and-run crashes.
- Seventy percent of pedestrians killed in 2016 were males.
- Forty-five percent of pedestrians 16 and older killed in nighttime (9 p.m. to 6 a.m.) crashes in 2016 had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) at or above 0.08 percent. The rate of high BACs among pedestrians 16 and older killed in daytime (6 a.m. to 9 p.m.) crashes in 2016 was 25 percent.
- Seventy-six percent of pedestrian deaths in 2016 occurred in urban areas.
- Fifty-eight percent of pedestrian deaths in 2016 occurred on major roads other than interstates and freeways.
- In urban areas, fifty-two percent of pedestrian deaths in 2016 occurred on roads with speed limits of forty miles per hour or less; in rural areas, 22 percent of deaths occurred on such roads.
- Twenty-six percent of pedestrian deaths in 2016 occurred in crashes between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and twenty-three percent occurred between 9 p.m. and midnight.
- The largest proportions of pedestrian deaths in 2016 occurred on Saturdays (17 percent).
- Pedestrian deaths in 2016 were most frequent in October (11 percent).
Mitigating Pedestrian Collisions
As suggested in the statistics above, pedestrian deaths occur primarily in urban areas. Engineering measures that separate vehicles from pedestrians such as sidewalks, refuge islands, overpasses and underpasses, and barriers can reduce the problem. Increased illumination, improved signal timing at intersections, and beacons that alert drivers to stop at crosswalks when pedestrians are present also can be effective. Because traffic speeds affect the risk and severity of pedestrian accidents, reducing speeds can also lower pedestrian deaths.
Vehicle factors are also important. Most serious injuries result from pedestrians hitting vehicle bumpers, hoods, or the windshield area. Serious head, pelvis, and leg injuries are common. Improved vehicle design can mitigate the severity of such injuries may be mitigated. In addition, some vehicles have crash avoidance technologies that detect pedestrians and may automatically brake the vehicle prior to impact. Although these technologies have the potential to reduce the likelihood of serious injuries to pedestrians, their effectiveness in real-world crashes is unknown.
Protecting the Rights of Pedestrian Accident Victims
Pedestrians are anyone who is not inside a vehicle. A pedestrian can be injured or killed while walking, running, biking, standing, using equipment such as a skateboard, or even using a wheelchair.
Just because a driver has insurance does not mean that an accident victim will be appropriately compensated for their injuries. Nevada has some of the lowest coverage requirements for motor vehicles in the country. Despite these low coverage requirements, many Las Vegas residents do not carry lawfully required coverage. Even when a pedestrian accident is due to a driver’s negligence, victims can be blamed. It’s a common defense to claim that an injured party ran into traffic or was not following traffic rules.
Attorneys providing defense for insurance companies attempt to minimize the damages that a pedestrian accident victim receives. They may claim that a victim is exaggerating their injuries or not taking responsibility for their actions. Personal injury attorneys, like the attorneys at Valiente Mott, help accident victims to stand up to insurance companies and receive compensation to pay for the expenses that their injuries have caused.
Examples of Driver Negligence
There are many forms of driver negligence and wrongdoing that can result in a serious injury or wrongful death. A driver may be accountable for a crash if he or she was:
- Exceeding the speed limit or traveling at a speed unsafe for the roadway conditions;
- Driving while fatigued or sleepy;
- Operating a vehicle while sending a text, checking email, answering the phone, playing with an electronic device or looking away from the roadway;
- Under the influence of drugs or alcohol; or
- Behaving recklessly such as street racing, weaving through traffic or running through intersections and crosswalks.
It is not always easy to hold an at-fault driver accountable for a Nevada pedestrian accident. Victims and their families often need assistance from investigators, police officers, medical professionals and eyewitnesses. However, injury claims and civil litigation is often the only way to receive fair compensation following a serious or fatal crash.
Do I Have a Right to Compensation for a Pedestrian Accident?
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident as a result of a driver’s careless conduct, you likely have a right to be compensated for your injuries and other losses, such as wages you could not earn while recovering from your injuries and your pain and suffering. There are essentially two options after a pedestrian accident: filing a claim with the driver’s insurance company or, should the insurance company fail to be reasonable in evaluating your claim, filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.
Claim negotiation and settlement can be time consuming and difficult to navigate without assistance from a lawyer. The claims adjuster from the insurance company will try to settle your claim for as little as possible and will require you to give up your rights to sue the driver in court in exchange for paying your claim.
Because pedestrian accidents can cause such devastating injuries, filing a personal injury lawsuit is often the only way to get the compensation you deserve.
How Long Does a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit Take?
If you are considering filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit, you probably want to know how long your case will take. In Nevada, you typically have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit under the statute of limitations. Once you file your lawsuit, the amount of time it will take to resolve depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries, the complexity of the legal issues involved in your case, and the reasonableness of the adjustor defending your case.
If you were seriously injured, the defendant (or his or her insurance company) may be eager to settle the case before it goes to trial. This is because they anticipate that the amount of damages that you’re awarded by a judge or jury will be very high. If you receive a settlement offer before trial, your lawyer will help you determine whether you are being offered a fair amount of money for your injuries and other losses. And, if your pedestrian accident case goes to trial, final resolution can take several years. Your lawyer can help you better understand how long your pedestrian accident lawsuit will take once he or she begins working on your case.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help in a Pedestrian Accident Case?
Working with a reputable personal injury lawyer offers you the best chances at succeeding in your pedestrian accident claim or lawsuit. An attorney will gather the evidence to present the best case possible. Your lawyer will relieve the stress of navigating the insurance claim negotiation and settlement process or legal system. You should hire an attorney you trust who has succeeded in obtaining large settlements and verdicts on behalf of their pedestrian accident clients.
The team at Valiente Mott has experience in successfully litigating pedestrian accident cases and they are eager to help you with your case. Give us a call today for a free consultation.