When a pedestrian gets hit by a car, most people immediately assume the driver is at fault. Often that assumption is true. Drivers are more protected than pedestrians, and drivers have a duty to yield to a pedestrian in their path. That said, a jaywalking pedestrian may be held partially, if not fully, liable for a crash.
Bernstein & Poisson discuss the dangers of jaywalking and when a pedestrian may be liable for a crash with a motor vehicle while jaywalking.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle versus pedestrian accident, our knowledgeable Las Vegas car crash lawyers are here to help. Find out if you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries and other damages. There is no cost or obligation for an initial consultation, and we are available to take your call 24/7.
Liability if a Pedestrian is Hit While Jaywalking
Liability for any traffic accident is assessed on a case-by-case basis. However, if a pedestrian is jaywalking and is subsequently hit by a car, he or she is often assessed with at least partial liability.
Pedestrians who share partial fault for an accident may still be able to seek compensation for their injuries and other losses, as long as they are not more than 50 percent liable. However, even though they may still be eligible to file a claim, any compensation they are awarded will be reduced by their assessed share of liability.
For instance, if a pedestrian is awarded $100,000 but found to be 20 percent liable for the crash, he or she will receive $80,000, less the 20 percent.
Pedestrians who are assessed with full liability for an accident with a motor vehicle – or more than 50 percent – will be unable to seek any compensation for their injuries.
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What is Jaywalking?
Jaywalking is when pedestrians walk in areas that are deemed unsafe for pedestrians or they ignore traffic laws for safe crossing in other areas that are considered dangerous.
Common areas where you may encounter jaywalkers includes:
- Crossing a street outside of a designated crossing area
- Going across busy motorways or high-traffic roads that do not have traffic controls
- Walking in places that are unsafe for pedestrians and have no legal access
That said, there are other times a pedestrian may walk through an unmarked area, and it is not considered jaywalking. For example, it is not jaywalking if you cross through a parking lot.
Jaywalking is Prohibited in Nevada
Jaywalking is illegal in Nevada, and it is a law that is taken very seriously. In the downtown areas of Las Vegas and other highly populated areas, especially, this law is regularly enforced. Pedestrians are required to cross only at designated crossing areas or at the right angles of a curb.
Those who violate the law commit a misdemeanor and can be ticketed and assessed with a fine of $160 in Las Vegas.
Other Times Pedestrian May Share Liability for a Crash
Both drivers and pedestrians owe a duty of care to take reasonable steps to maintain safety. Drivers are responsible for following traffic safety laws and staying alert for pedestrians, cyclists and others. Even if a pedestrian walks into a road without looking, a driver is required to make every reasonable effort to avoid hitting that pedestrian.
Pedestrians Also Owe a Duty of Care
Drivers are not alone in owing a duty of care. Pedestrians also owe a duty to help prevent traffic incidents that can lead to serious or fatal injuries. Pedestrians should:
- Not walk into a street while distracted by their cellphone
- Pay attention to all traffic laws that apply to pedestrians
- Check both ways for traffic, even in designated crossing areas
- Not walk into a busy street while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Be aware that they may be harder to see in areas where light is poor
- Not jaywalk or dart into the road unexpectedly
Nevada’s statute § 484B.287 also requires pedestrians to yield the right of way to all vehicles at certain times, including when:
- Crossing at areas not marked with a crosswalk or at an intersection to yield the right-of-way to all vehicles
- Crossing a highway where there is a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian walkway
- Between intersections where there are intersections with official traffic control devices
- Attempting to cross diagonally unless authorized by an official traffic control device
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Our Attorneys Are Ready to Protect Your Rights
If you were injured in a motor vehicle crash involving one or more jaywalkers, you can learn about your legal options at no risk to you. Contact our law office to schedule an initial consultation. There is no obligation to file a claim. If we find you are eligible to seek compensation, and you choose to work with our firm, there is nothing for you to pay up front. You only pay us if we win your case.
We have a proven track record, recovering millions for our clients. This recovery record includes a $9,000,000 settlement for a client who suffered a neck injury in a motor vehicle accident.
Our office is conveniently located just eight minutes from Kindred Hospital Las Vegas.