Published: April 23, 2024 | Jack Bernstein

Most of us assume car accidents are always the driver’s fault. But what if it was the pedestrian who caused the collision? If you’ve been involved in this situation, understanding your rights under Nevada law is crucial. Attorneys like Jack Bernstein are experienced in pedestrian accident cases, ensuring you’re protected even when the situation isn’t as clear-cut as you might think.

Key TakeawayWhat That Means For You
Pedestrians can sometimes be at fault for car accidents.Don’t assume you’re automatically not liable based on their actions.
Nevada uses comparative negligence to determine liability.Even a small percentage of fault on your part can reduce (or even eliminate) the compensation you might receive.
You can still be sued by an at-fault pedestrian.Being sued is costly and stressful, even if you’re likely to win in the end.
Your car insurance might not offer enough protection.If the pedestrian has severe injuries, you could be personally responsible for damages beyond your policy’s limits.
Documenting the accident scene is crucial for protecting yourself.Photos, witness statements, and a police report can all help prove the pedestrian’s negligence.
A specialized attorney is your best advocate in pedestrian accident cases.These cases are complex, and an experienced lawyer can build a strong defense and navigate insurance negotiations.

When Pedestrians Cause Accidents: Understanding Your Rights as a Driver

It might seem counterintuitive, but pedestrians can sometimes be at fault in car accidents. Understanding when this might occur is the first step toward protecting yourself if you find yourself in this situation.

Yes, Pedestrians Can Be Liable

While drivers carry a significant responsibility for safety, pedestrians also have a duty to follow the rules of the road. Here are some common scenarios where a pedestrian’s negligence could lead to an accident:

  • Jaywalking: Crossing outside of designated crosswalks or against traffic signals.
  • Distraction: Using a phone or being otherwise inattentive while walking.
  • Impairment: Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, affecting their judgment.
  • Darting Out: Suddenly stepping into traffic without giving drivers time to react.

It’s important to remember: Even if the pedestrian made a mistake, that doesn’t automatically absolve you of all responsibility as the driver.

Nevada’s Law: It’s Not Always Black and White

Where pedestrian accidents get complicated is that Nevada follows a comparative negligence system. This means fault might be shared between both the driver and the pedestrian, which makes understanding your legal rights even more important.

Comparative Negligence Matters

  • How It Works: The court will determine the percentage of fault assigned to each party. Your potential compensation will then be reduced by your own percentage of fault.
  • Example: Even if you were only 10% at fault in the accident, your award could be reduced by that amount.
  • Extreme Cases: If you’re deemed more than 50% at fault in Nevada, you might not be able to recover any compensation at all.

What Could Happen to You as the Driver

Unfortunately, even if the pedestrian was primarily at fault, that doesn’t mean you won’t face some consequences. Here’s what might happen:

You Might Still Get Sued

  • Injured Parties Can Seek Compensation: Regardless of how strong your case might be, someone seriously injured in an accident might sue you anyway, trying to shift some of the financial burden.
  • It Costs Money to Defend Yourself: Lawyers don’t work for free, and a lawsuit can be financially and emotionally draining, even if you ultimately win.

Insurance May Not Be Enough

  • Policy Limits: Your auto insurance likely has limits for bodily injury liability coverage. If the pedestrian’s injuries are severe, their medical bills and other damages might exceed what your insurance will pay.
  • Personal Assets at Risk: In some cases, the injured person might be able to sue you personally for assets beyond what your insurance covers.

How to Protect Yourself

The best way to safeguard your interests after a pedestrian-caused accident is to be prepared and informed. Here’s what you need to do:

Evidence Is Your Best Friend

  • Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident location, damage to your vehicle, and any visible injuries the pedestrian has.
  • Witnesses: If anyone saw the accident, get their names and contact information.
  • Police Report: Even if the pedestrian seems fine initially, always file a police report. This creates an official record of the incident.

Why a Lawyer Can Help:

  • Defense Building: Lawyers experienced in pedestrian accidents know how to gather evidence and build the strongest possible case demonstrating the pedestrian’s fault.
  • Insurance Battles: Attorneys handle communicating with your insurance company and that of the pedestrian and fight to protect you from unfair payouts.
  • Protecting Your Future: If the injured party sues, your lawyer becomes your advocate in the courtroom.

Get the Legal Guidance You Need

Don’t go through this alone. Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers offers free consultations to help you understand your rights and options in pedestrian accident cases.

FAQs: When a Pedestrian Causes a Car Accident

I hit a pedestrian, but they were jaywalking. Am I automatically in the clear?

Not necessarily. Nevada’s comparative negligence law means that even if the pedestrian was mostly at fault, you might still share some percentage of liability. It’s crucial to have a lawyer assess your case.

Can I sue a pedestrian for causing an accident?

Technically, yes. However, unless they have significant assets or special insurance, you might not be able to collect much even if you win. A lawyer can advise if it’s worth pursuing.

I was texting while driving and hit a pedestrian who ran into the street. Am I completely at fault?

Very likely. Distracted driving drastically increases your degree of liability. Even if the pedestrian made a mistake, your inattention will be a major factor in determining fault.

The pedestrian who caused the accident seems okay. Do I still need to call the police?

Absolutely. Some injuries aren’t immediately obvious, and having an official police report protects you if the pedestrian later claims serious injuries or changes their story.

The pedestrian’s insurance company is contacting me. Should I speak to them?

Never give a recorded statement or sign anything without consulting a lawyer first. Insurance companies will try to minimize payouts and may use your words against you.

What if I don’t have much car insurance coverage? Could I lose my house?

In extreme cases, it’s possible. If the pedestrian’s injuries are severe and your insurance isn’t enough, they might attempt to sue you personally for your assets. This is where a lawyer’s protection is crucial.

I think a pedestrian caused my accident on purpose, trying to get hit. What should I do?

Document everything meticulously! This is rare, but not unheard of. A lawyer can help you build a case to prove the pedestrian’s fraudulent intent.

This whole situation is stressing me out. Where can I get help understanding my options?

Schedule a free consultation with a Las Vegas car accident lawyer who specializes in pedestrian accidents. They can explain the law, assess your case, and advise you on the best course of action.

Our Location

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you have been injured in an accident, contact Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation with experienced Las Vegas 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.

Get a Free Consultation!

Fill the form and we will contact you immediately. NO FEES UNLESS WE WIN
Contact Us
By submitting you agree to our Terms & Privacy Policy