Published: February 29, 2024 | Jack Bernstein

Pedestrian accidents raise a whirlwind of questions. Do you have a case? How do you protect your rights? What if the driver claims it was your fault? This article will provide clear answers, giving you the information you need to navigate this complicated legal landscape.

Pedestrians are often at a disadvantage in accidents, but knowing your rights is the first step toward getting the help you deserve. Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers specializes in fighting for injured pedestrians here in Las Vegas.

Key TakeawayExplanation
Pedestrians have rights.Drivers must exercise caution, especially in crosswalks and areas where pedestrians are likely to be present.
Protect yourself after an accident.Seek medical attention, document the scene and gather information, and contact the police to file a report.
Don’t talk to the insurance company without a lawyer.Insurance companies aim to minimize payouts. Your attorney will protect your interests.
Proving fault can be complex.Insurance companies may try to blame the pedestrian, even if this isn’t justified.
Nevada operates on comparative negligence.You might still be entitled to compensation even if you were partially at fault.
You may be entitled to significant compensation.This includes medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
An experienced attorney increases your chances of a fair outcome.Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers specializes in pedestrian accident cases and fights for maximum compensation.

Pedestrian Hit by Car? Understanding Your Case

As a pedestrian, you have the right to safely use roads and sidewalks. Understanding your rights, how fault is determined, and the complexities of pedestrian accident claims is crucial to protect yourself.

Pedestrian Rights-of-Way: Where and When You Have Priority

  • Marked Crosswalks: At designated crosswalks, drivers must yield to pedestrians who are in or about to enter the crosswalk.
  • Unmarked Crosswalks: Even at intersections without marked lines, pedestrians have the right-of-way when already within a crosswalk.
  • Intersections: Drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing at intersections, regardless of whether there are traffic signals or crosswalks.
  • Sidewalks and Road Shoulders: When sidewalks aren’t available, pedestrians may walk on the shoulder, facing oncoming traffic for maximum visibility.

Driver Responsibilities Toward Pedestrians

Drivers have a legal duty of care toward pedestrians. This means:

  • Lookout: Actively scanning roads for pedestrians, especially in residential areas, school zones, and near crosswalks.
  • Yielding: Always yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks or intersections they’re crossing legally.
  • Speed adjustments: Slowing down where pedestrians are likely to be present.
  • Enhanced Caution: Exercising extra care in bad weather, at night, or other conditions where visibility may be reduced.

Factors Determining Fault in Pedestrian Accidents

  • Traffic Law Violations: Did the driver or pedestrian break any traffic laws (speeding, running red lights, etc.)?
  • Distracted Driving: Was the driver texting, eating, or otherwise distracted, affecting their ability to see or react to pedestrians?
  • Failure to Yield/Exercise Caution: Did the driver fail to yield the right-of-way or take reasonable steps to avoid hitting a pedestrian?

Joint Fault Situations (Comparative Negligence)

Nevada follows comparative negligence laws. This means even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still be entitled to compensation. However, your award will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Third-Party Liability/Premises Liability

In some cases, parties other than the driver may be liable:

  • Property Owners: If dangerous property conditions (icy sidewalks, broken curbs) contributed to your accident.
  • Government Entities: If poorly maintained roads or faulty traffic signals played a role.

Protecting Your Claim: Evidence, Insurance, and Deadlines

After a pedestrian accident, your priorities are getting medical attention and taking the right steps to protect your legal claim. Here’s what to do:

Immediate Actions After an Accident

  • Seek Medical Attention: Get checked out by a doctor immediately, even if you don’t feel badly injured. Some injuries have delayed symptoms.
  • Call the Police: A police report is vital evidence, documenting the accident scene and circumstances.
  • Gather Information: Get the driver’s name, insurance, license plate, contact info for any witnesses, and take photos or videos of the scene, your injuries, and vehicle damage.
  • Document Everything: Note the exact location, time of day, and weather conditions at the time of the incident. This includes taking video and photos of the scene, ideally from different angles.

The Importance of Medical Documentation

Your medical records are the most powerful tool for proving your injuries are a direct result of the accident. They help:

  • Connect Injuries to the Accident: Links your condition to the incident, not unrelated prior health issues.
  • Support Claims for Damages: Justifies compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and future medical care.
  • Address Delayed Injuries: Proves problems that appear later are related, not new or unrelated.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

  • Do Not Give Recorded Statements: Contact an attorney before speaking to the insurance company. Insurers may try to use your words against you.
  • Insurance Companies Are Not Your Friend: Their goal is to minimize payouts, not ensure you’re fairly compensated.
  • Be Wary of Initial Offers: Never accept a settlement without consulting a lawyer. Early offers are often far below what you’re truly owed.

Statute of Limitations (Deadlines for Filing a Lawsuit)

Nevada has a statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits, usually two years from the date of the accident. This means you have a limited time to file your claim. Acting quickly is crucial for preserving evidence and maximizing your chance of full compensation.

The Importance of a Lawyer in Pedestrian Accident Cases

Pedestrian accidents are often more complex than they initially seem. Having an experienced attorney protects your rights and fights for the compensation you deserve. Here’s why:

Why Early Legal Intervention Is Crucial

  • Preserve Evidence: Your lawyer can secure police reports, contact witnesses promptly, and obtain critical evidence (like traffic cam footage) before it disappears.
  • Avoid Costly Mistakes: Saying the wrong thing to the insurance company or missing deadlines can jeopardize your case.
  • Protect Your Rights: Insurance companies will try to downplay your injuries and minimize their liability. Your lawyer protects you from these tactics.

Complexities of Proving Fault

  • Insurance Company Tactics: Insurers often try to shift blame onto the pedestrian, even when that’s not justified. Your attorney fights back.
  • Disputed Scenarios: If there are no witnesses or conflicting accounts, a lawyer can hire experts to reconstruct the accident and establish fault.

Obtaining Fair Compensation

Pedestrian accident victims may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical Expenses: Past, present, and future costs related to treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Lost Wages: Income lost due to missing work for treatment and recovery.
  • Pain and Suffering: Physical and emotional trauma caused by the accident.
  • Other Losses: Loss of life enjoyment, disfigurement, etc. (will vary depending on your unique case).

Building a Strong Case

Pedestrian attorneys will:

  • Gather Evidence: Thoroughly investigate to strengthen your claim.
  • Handle Insurance Companies: Deal with insurers on your behalf, shielding you from aggressive tactics.
  • Negotiate Skillfully: Fight for a settlement that fully reflects your damages.
  • Prepare for Trial: If necessary, litigate your case to secure maximum compensation in court.

Pedestrian Rights in Car Accident Claims – FAQs

I was hit by a car as a pedestrian. Do I have a case? 

Most likely, yes. Drivers have a duty of care toward pedestrians, and violating it often creates grounds for a case.

What should I do right after a pedestrian accident?

Your priorities are getting medical attention (even for seemingly minor injuries) and calling the police.

Should I talk to the insurance company?

Never give a recorded statement to the insurance company without consulting an attorney first.

The driver claims I was jaywalking. Can I still get compensation?

Potentially, yes. Nevada’s comparative negligence laws mean you may have a case even with partial fault. An attorney can assess your specific situation.

I was hit in a parking lot. Is the driver still liable?

Yes, drivers must exercise caution in parking lots and other areas where pedestrians are expected.

What if the accident happened a while ago, but my injuries are getting worse?

You may still have a case. Medical documentation connects worsening conditions to the incident. Act quickly as time limits apply.

The insurance company offered a settlement. Is it fair?

It’s impossible to say without a lawyer reviewing your case. Early offers are often far below what you truly deserve.

My injuries seem serious. How do I know what my case is worth? 

A lawyer can consult with medical and financial experts to project the full current and future costs of your injuries to pursue maximum compensation.

Can you take my case on contingency?

Yes, Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers works on a contingency basis. This means you pay nothing upfront, and we only get paid if we win your case.

Final Thoughts

Pedestrians have rights, but drivers don’t always respect them.

  • Protecting yourself after an accident is crucial – get medical care, document everything, and don’t speak to the insurance company without a lawyer.
  • Pedestrian accident cases are complex. An experienced attorney is essential for maximizing your chance of a fair outcome.

Don’t face this fight alone. Contact Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. We’ll assess your case and help you understand your options.

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If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation with experienced Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyers. You will gain an advocate for every stage in the claims process until you have the compensation you deserve.

Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers is available to help you handle your injury claim in the Las Vegas metropolitan area and beyond. Jack Bernstein and his team can offer you the personalized service and legal representation you deserve after an accident.

Call us at (702) 633-3333 or contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

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