The Las Vegas Strip gets plenty of foot traffic, as countless locals and tourists walk along this iconic boulevard each day. Although most visitors leave without any problems, pedestrian accidents are common on the Strip and in other parts of Las Vegas. Sometimes, pedestrians are injured in accidents caused by the negligence of another party, such as a driver who was speeding or breaking other traffic laws.
If you or a loved one has recently been injured as a pedestrian in Las Vegas, you have legal rights. The dedicated Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyers at the Cottle Firm help our clients fight for the financial compensation they deserve after injuries caused by negligence. Contact the Cottle Firm today at 702-722-6111 to learn more about your legal rights in a free consultation.
Common Causes of Las Vegas Pedestrian Accidents
According to data from the Nevada Strategic Highway Safety Plan, intersection accidents are the most common type of pedestrian accident in Nevada, accounting for 34% of all fatal pedestrian-involved motor vehicle accidents in the state. Driver impairment is the second-leading factor in fatal pedestrian crashes, at 23%. Accidents involving senior drivers rank as the third-most common contributing factor, at 13%.
Most pedestrian accidents occur due to negligence by the driver or another third party. Here is an overview of some of the most common forms of negligence our Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyers have seen in our cases.
Ignoring Traffic Signals and Signs
Traffic signs and signals exist for a reason. When drivers do not obey these traffic control devices, they put themselves and others around them at risk of a preventable accident.
Pedestrians are especially vulnerable to drivers running red lights, failing to stop at crosswalks, or making illegal turns at intersections. When a driver breaks one of these traffic laws while a pedestrian is legally crossing the road, they could strike and seriously injure that pedestrian.
In cases where a pedestrian is injured by a driver who broke a traffic law, the pedestrian may have grounds for a personal injury claim based on negligence.
Speeding drivers are much more likely to be involved in accidents, and accidents involving speeding often result in more severe injuries. When exceeding the speed limit, a driver has less time to react to pedestrians or roadway hazards. In addition, vehicles traveling at higher speeds have longer stopping distances and may not be able to come to a complete stop in time.
If a pedestrian is crossing the street and a speeding driver strikes them, the pedestrian will likely suffer severe or even fatal injuries. According to data from the National Safety Council, speeding was a contributing factor in about 29% of all fatal traffic accidents in 2021.
Las Vegas is one of the most famous party destinations on the planet. While most visitors are responsible and avoid getting behind the wheel after a night out of drinking, drunk driving is a major problem in the area.
Driving under the influence drastically increases the risk of being involved in an accident and is one of the top contributing factors to fatal pedestrian-vehicle accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), alcohol was a contributing factor in 44% of all fatal pedestrian accidents in 2019.
Pedestrian accidents are much more common at night, partly because of lower visibility, but also because more drunk drivers are on the roads after dark. Drunk drivers who strike and injure pedestrians (or anyone else) in Las Vegas may be held liable for damages.
All motorists have a legal duty to drive as safely as possible, which includes paying attention to the road at all times. But sadly, distracted driving is a major problem and cause of accidents in Las Vegas. Distracted drivers not only put themselves at risk of an accident, but anyone else they come across while behind the wheel – including fellow drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
Some common examples of distracted driving that can result in a pedestrian accident include:
- Using a smartphone
- Looking at a GPS navigation device
- Adjusting the car radio
- Eating and drinking
- Failing to pay attention due to mental distractions
A distracted driver can easily fail to see a pedestrian who is crossing the road with the right of way. When this happens and the pedestrian is struck and injured, they may have grounds for a personal injury claim against the distracted driver.
Liability For Las Vegas Pedestrian Accidents
Nevada is an “at-fault” insurance state, which means that the party responsible for causing an accident is liable for covering the costs of anyone injured in the accident. In most cases, these costs are covered through the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. But in some cases, damages may also be sought via a personal injury lawsuit.
One of several parties can potentially be held liable for a pedestrian accident, depending on the circumstances of the crash.
In most pedestrian accident cases, the driver involved in the crash is the negligent party. All drivers are legally required to drive in a reasonably safe way and avoid dangerous actions that could put others at risk of injuries. A driver who fails to meet this legal duty is considered negligent and may be held liable for damages.
Employers of Professional Drivers
When a pedestrian is struck and injured by a professional driver who was on the clock at the time of the crash, that driver’s employer could also potentially be held liable. Nevada uses a legal doctrine called vicarious liability, under which an employer may be considered liable for the negligent actions (or inactions) of their employees. This doctrine applies if the employee was under their employer’s control and acting within their job duties at the time of the accident.
Employers can also be held liable for negligent hiring, supervision, or retention of employees. For example, let’s say a commercial truck driver is intoxicated and strikes a pedestrian. This employee had a history of drunk driving offenses, but their employer never ran a background check before hiring them. In this example, the employer would likely be considered negligent.
City or State Governments
In rare cases, pedestrian accidents occur due to negligence by a city or state government agency. An example might be a pedestrian accident caused by a defective traffic signal device that gave a green arrow to both the pedestrian and the driver who struck them. In such cases, the city or state government could potentially be held liable for damages.
Las Vegas Pedestrian Accident FAQs
What Damages Are Available to Victims of Pedestrian Accidents?
As in any other personal injury case, pedestrian accident victims may seek financial compensation for all damages related to their accident and injuries. This includes both economic damages (such as medical expenses) and non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering).
Some of the most commonly awarded damages in pedestrian accident lawsuits include:
- All medical expenses (ambulance costs, hospital bills, rehabilitation, physical therapy, etc.)
- Lost wages due to missed time at work because of injuries
- Loss of future earning potential (if the victim is unable to return to the same job)
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of quality of life
- Wrongful death benefits for families of fatal pedestrian accident victims
- Punitive damages in cases of intentional disregard for others
How Can a Las Vegas Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help?
Individuals who are injured in pedestrian accidents should consider speaking with an experienced Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyer. At the Cottle Firm, our dedicated personal injury lawyers can provide legal guidance throughout each step of the claims process while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Some of the main ways a Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyer can help with your case include:
- Review your case and determine if negligence was involved
- Calculate the desired financial compensation based on the damages suffered
- Determine who could be held liable for damages
- File a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier
- Negotiate a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurer
- File a personal injury lawsuit if a fair settlement is not reached
Should I Talk to the Driver’s Insurer After a Pedestrian Accident?
If you were struck by a driver as a pedestrian in Las Vegas, that driver’s insurance provider may attempt to contact you. In general, it is best to avoid speaking with these insurance company representatives.
Insurance adjusters represent the interests of the insurance company, which means they look for ways to deny claims and avoid payouts. An adjuster may attempt to elicit statements that admit fault for the accident. This is why it is best to avoid talking to the driver’s insurance company and to let your pedestrian accident lawyer communicate with them on your behalf.
Contact Our Las Vegas Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Were you or a loved one recently injured in a Las Vegas pedestrian accident? At the Cottle Firm, our dedicated Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyers take pride in helping our clients seek the financial compensation they deserve. Contact us today at 702-722-6111 for more information on filing a personal injury claim after a pedestrian accident in Nevada.