Experiencing a collision with a vehicle as a pedestrian can change your life dramatically. The bodily harm that has occurred already could not be the end. Long-term impacts could make it more difficult for you to work and enjoy everyday activities. Anxiety and increasing medical bills only add to the stress.

You can file a personal injury action if you believe the driver is at fault. However, you should remember a few issues that will help you navigate the complexities of the lawsuit. When medical costs mount, and the agony does not go away, things can get out of control. If the accident was not your fault, remember you still have choices. However, pursuing a personal injury lawsuit is a wise course of action.

If you are considering filing a lawsuit, speaking with a pedestrian accident lawyer is in your best interest. We at Dallas Horton & Associates can help you understand the intricacies of your case, deal with your worries, and fight for just compensation. Get in touch if you are looking for a Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyer.

Types of Pedestrian Accidents

The details of a pedestrian collision can significantly impact the type and degree of injuries sustained and the total amount of losses. For example, a collision at a designated crosswalk will have different consequences than a vehicle turning into you. The following are a few frequent incidents involving pedestrians:

  1. Play and Work Accidents

Pedestrian accidents can happen in seemingly safe places like neighborhoods and schools, especially when children are involved. For example, a child in a residential area could misjudge the distance and speed of the on-coming vehicle when crossing the road. A child could also be playing and wandering off the road. Similarly, school zones present specific dangers, especially at peak hours like drop-off and pick-up.

For various reasons, pedestrian safety is increasingly threatened in construction zones. Obstacles in the way of a driver's view, like obstacles and temporary signage, can make navigation difficult. In addition, even while lane closures and detours are required for construction, improper marking or implementation can mislead drivers and cause accidents.

Speeding poses an additional risk in areas under construction. Drivers who speed or go too quickly for the conditions have a slower reaction time, which makes them much more likely to be involved in accidents. In other instances, accidents could arise from a failure to cede the right of way at junctions or points of merging with other vehicles, workers, or construction trucks.

  1. Reversing Car Accidents

Pedestrians are especially susceptible to reversing vehicle accidents. They can occur in parking lots or on public roads when a car backs up and strikes a person walking behind it.

These incidents result from several circumstances. Limited sight and blind areas can be problematic, particularly for larger vehicle drivers. Consider strolling behind a vehicle or SUV. You never know when the driver will see you.

Distractions are also to blame for these accidents. It is unlikely that a driver fiddling with their GPS unit or talking on the phone will be paying attention to what is happening behind them. The situation is further compounded when speed is involved. Rushing to back out of a parking spot can reduce a driver's reaction time if someone is in the way.

  1. Pedestrians Crossing Highways-related Accidents

Pedestrian accidents are a concern not only at designated crosswalks but also in places without adequate pedestrian infrastructure. Several factors may cause these incidents.

Inadequate infrastructure, like sidewalks or crosswalks without markings, can confuse motorists and pedestrians. Lack of lighting owing to inadequate illumination, obstacles like parked cars, or poor weather might worsen the situation. Drivers traveling at high speeds on the road have reduced reaction time, mainly if a pedestrian suddenly appears in the travel lane.

Pedestrians who are lost in their thoughts on their phones or music players may miss approaching cars.

  1. Accidents that Occur When Pedestrians are Walking on the Street

Numerous circumstances lead to accidents involving people crossing the street. One prevalent problem is the lack of pedestrian walkways or sidewalks. This causes people to walk along the road's edge and increases their danger of being hit by oncoming traffic. Furthermore, it is difficult for most drivers to see pedestrians in poor visibility. This is the case, especially at night or in bad weather. Therefore, accidents are likely to occur in these conditions.

An important contributing factor is also distracted driving. Distracted drivers are more prone to crashes because they fail to see people crossing the road. Speeding also increases the danger because it impairs a driver's ability to react to pedestrians crossing. Thus, the collisions are more severe when they do occur.

Another frequent reason for accidents is not yielding. Accidents can occur when drivers fail to give way to people crossing the street, particularly at crosswalks or junctions. Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or medication can affect an individual’s judgment and reaction time. This raises the possibility of collisions with pedestrians.

Not all accidents are the driver’s fault. In other situations, the pedestrians bear the blame. They could cause an accident when they cross the street against traffic signals or stroll while intoxicated or preoccupied.

  1. Dooring Accidents

When a car occupant opens a door straight into the path of an approaching biker or pedestrian, it can result in dooring accidents that cause injuries to pedestrians. These accidents are common, particularly in urban environments where parking lots flank the roadways.

Accidents can occur when drivers or passengers unintentionally open their car doors into the path of oncoming cyclists or pedestrians. In addition, it could be challenging for a driver to see approaching cyclists or pedestrians in hidden areas, especially behind parked cars. This raises the possibility of collisions.

If the car is moving at high speed, it becomes difficult for the driver to respond quickly enough to prevent an accident if you are crossing the road or running or jogging alongside the road.

Distractions are also contributing factors. Drivers or passengers who are distracted by phone conversations or other activities that take their focus away from the road are at a higher risk of crashes. The same applies to pedestrians who run, jog, or walk beside the road. They lose situational awareness and increase their risk when they use electronics or are otherwise distracted.

Injuries that Result From Pedestrian Accidents

Victims of pedestrian accidents suffer a greater degree of injury than those in the vehicles at the time of the crash. Pedestrians suffer catastrophic injuries, such as:

  1. Multiple Fractures

Depending on the type of collision, pedestrian accidents can cause a wide range of injuries with varying degrees of severity. Fractures of the limbs, ribs, pelvis, and even the skull are frequent injuries. Multiple fracture healing can be a drawn-out procedure that calls for extensive medical care and rehabilitation.  This is because there is a chance for severe discomfort, restricted movement, and long-term issues.

Amputation can be the only option in the worst situations. When fractures are complicated or made worse by elements like the following, medical practitioners may be forced to consider amputation to protect the patient's general health and well-being.

  1. Traumatic Brain Injury

Because of the severity of the impact, pedestrians are more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in accidents. A traumatic brain injury can occur from a pedestrian falling or being hit by a car. The impact can force the pedestrian's head to hit a hard surface.

Moreover, pedestrians are more vulnerable to head injuries because they lack the vehicle's protective framework. Significant head trauma can result from even low-speed crashes or falls, raising the risk of traumatic brain injuries.

During the collision, pedestrians could also be flung or propelled, increasing the risk of head injuries when they collide with the ground or other objects.

  1. Internal Organ Damage

Accidents can damage pedestrians' internal organs. The force that strikes the pedestrian could cause lacerations, contusions, or punctures to internal organs, like the intestines, kidneys, liver, or spleen.

If not identified and treated quickly, internal organ damage can result in major consequences and potentially fatal situations.

  1. Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are considerably more likely to occur in pedestrian-related crashes. Spinal cord injuries arise from the force of a car striking a pedestrian, causing trauma to the spine. These injuries, which can cause paralysis, loss of sensation, and reduced motor function below the injury site, can vary in severity from small spinal fractures to total spinal cord severance.

Paralyzed people can benefit from ongoing care and rehabilitation for spinal cord injuries. Rehabilitation programs use physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other interventions to improve function, strength, and mobility. Furthermore, continuing medical attention and assistance are essential for controlling problems, encouraging recovery, and enhancing the patient's quality of life.

In other unfortunate cases, a full recovery may not be feasible, especially if the victim is paralyzed. In these cases, doctors recommend long-term care.

  1. Psychological Trauma

Being in a violent accident or watching one could result in emotional trauma and psychological discomfort. After an accident, pedestrians could have symptoms of anxiety, despair, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among other mental health issues. These psychological impacts significantly influence their well-being, day-to-day functioning, and relationships.

  1. Death

Tragically, pedestrians can lose their lives in collisions. The force of impact from collisions between cars, other dangers, and pedestrians can result in serious injuries or even fatalities. Several variables can increase the probability of a fatal accident, including the vehicle's speed, the angle of impact, and the pedestrian's susceptibility.

Actions You Can Take After Being a Victim of a Pedestrian-Related Accident

If you were injured due to another individual's carelessness or wrongdoing, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. This entails pursuing compensation for lost income, pain and suffering, medical costs, and other accident-related losses. Similarly, if a loved one passes away as a result of someone else's carelessness or wrongdoing, the surviving family members can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

Nevada law allows you to pursue any of the following cases:

  1. A Negligence Claim

Negligence is at the heart of personal injury cases. In these situations, you, the victim (plaintiff), claim that the defendant violated the law or behaved carelessly, causing you pain or injury. Legally speaking, negligence is the failure to use reasonable care that results in reasonably foreseeable injury to others.

A personal injury case must establish three things to be successful:

  • The defendant must have owed you a duty of care
  • The defendant must have violated that obligation by careless acts or omissions and
  • The violation must have directly resulted in your damages or injuries

You can pursue a claim against the following parties:

  • The government or any of its agencies is responsible for failing to erect or maintain traffic signs or lights and for failing to maintain proper walkways.
  • The vehicle driver, cyclist, or motorcycle driver
  1. Negligence Per Se Claim

When a defendant breaks a law or statute and that breach directly causes you harm or injury, you have a negligence per se claim. You do not have to establish the defendant's negligence in certain situations. Rather, it is presumed based on the breach of the statute itself. The Latin word "per se" means "in itself," signifying that the lawbreaking is regarded as careless in and of itself.

Usually, you must provide evidence of the following components to support a Negligence Per Se claim:

  • The defendant broke a law intended to safeguard a particular group of individuals or stop particular harm.
  • Your injury or harm was a direct result of the legal breach.
  • You belong to the group of individuals that the law was designed to safeguard.

For example, suppose a motorist runs a red light and hits you, inflicting harm. In that case, the driver breaches traffic regulations (NRS 484B.307) intended to safeguard pedestrians. This breach constitutes negligence in and of itself. By running a red light, the driver violates laws about pedestrian safety. This includes those concerning pedestrian right-of-way and traffic signals. You bear the direct cost of this infraction regarding the injuries you sustained. Therefore, as a member of the class of people that these traffic rules are designed to protect, you become the intended beneficiaries of these laws.

  1. Respondeat Superior

If an employee causes an accident while conducting his/her duties, the respondeat superior lawsuit holds employers vicariously liable for the employee's behavior. You can hold the driver’s employer responsible for your injuries. However, your injuries should be due to an employee's careless behavior.

The respondeat superior lawsuit applies in the following circumstances:

  • The employee’s behavior must be consistent with their job obligations or responsibilities. For example, it is probably within the purview of their employment if a delivery truck driver strikes you while doing a delivery.
  • Employers are liable for any damages caused by their employees' activities, even if they did not directly support or engage in them — This principle holds employers responsible for their workers' acts even when they had no direct involvement in the situation.
  1. Strict Product Liability

Irrespective of the pedestrian's or driver's carelessness, producers and sellers of faulty vehicle parts could be liable for damages under the legal doctrine of strict product liability.

You can file a claim for damages under strict product liability regulations should a defective auto component have contributed to the collision, for example, an inoperable braking system or an airbag that failed to deploy. This legal principle makes producers and retailers liable for releasing a faulty product onto the market, regardless of whether they knew about the flaw.

According to the strict product liability doctrine:

  • The vehicle or vehicle part must have a problem, which could be due to poor design, poor manufacture, or insufficient warning or instruction.
  • When the vehicle or vehicle part left the manufacturer's or seller's control, the problem had to exist.
  • When using the vehicle in a reasonably foreseeable manner, the defect must have directly caused the injury.

The vehicle manufacturer and/or vehicle dealer become the defendants.

  1. Wrongful Death Suits

If a loved one dies as a result of a pedestrian accident, surviving family members could actively seek wrongful death lawsuits. Survivors of loved ones lost to the carelessness or wrongdoing of another have a legal avenue to pursue damages.

Survivors of a fatal pedestrian accident can file a wrongful death claim in the tragic wake of the incident. The grieving family of the deceased seeks damages in this lawsuit against the person believed to have been irresponsible and responsible for the accident.

This lawsuit benefits the deceased's spouse, kids, or parents. In certain situations, damages could be given for both the mental anguish the loss caused and any monetary losses related to the death. These include funeral costs and lost income support.

Damages Recoverable in a Pedestrian-Accident Lawsuit

You could seek different damages in your lawsuit to compensate for the losses you endured. The damages make up for how the accident affected your life. Here are some you could pursue:

  • Medical expenses — You can be reimbursed for previous and upcoming hospital stays, surgeries, and prescription drugs. The compensation also covers rehabilitation costs associated with your injuries.
  • Disfigurement or disability — The law allows you to recover damages for the effects of your injuries on your quality of life and future earning potential. In this case, these injuries must leave you permanently disabled or disfigured.
  • Lost wages — If your injuries keep you from working, you can receive past—and future-paying compensation for lost wages.
  • Pain and suffering — You may be able to recover damages for the accident-related physical pain, discomfort, and psychological suffering you experienced.
  • Loss of consortium—Your injuries could result in your spouse or other family members enjoying your companionship, love, and support. You can seek compensation for this loss.
  • Property damage—If the accident damages your personal property, like clothing, phones, or other possessions, you are entitled to reimbursement for repair or replacement costs.

In certain situations, you can claim punitive damages. These damages penalize the criminal for grave misbehavior and discourage future offenders. The courts will likely award you punitive damages if they determine that the driver acted with extreme recklessness or malicious intent, like driving while intoxicated or engaging in risky activities like street racing.

In Nevada, there are restrictions on punitive damages under specific circumstances. The cap is $300,000 for compensatory damages of $100,000 or less. Above $100,000, the cap is often three times the compensatory amount.

Punitive damages are unlimited if the defendant is a producer, vendor, or distributor of a faulty product.

What Happens If I’m Partially to Blame for the Accident?

Personal injury cases resulting from pedestrian accidents can be subject to the legal notion of comparative negligence. According to this theory, the responsible parties for the accident split the blame. The percentage of your fault will directly affect your compensation if the court finds that you, the pedestrian, were partially to blame for the collision.

For example, if the court determines that you were 20% at fault for the accident, even though the total amount of your damages is $100,000, your compensation award will be $20,000. In this case, you would get $80,000.

In Nevada, a plaintiff will not be awarded damages under the modified comparative negligence rule if they are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident. Hence, you would not be qualified for reimbursement for your damages or injuries if the court determined that you bear more than 51 percent of the blame.

Statute of Limitations in Nevada

In Nevada, accidents involving pedestrians have a two-year statute of limitations. This implies you have two years from the accident date to launch a lawsuit to recover damages for your injuries. If you miss this deadline, you may forfeit your ability to file a lawsuit and recover damages for your injuries. To ensure your rights are upheld and you have enough time to pursue your claim, you must move quickly and speak with a personal injury lawyer.

Find a Pedestrian Accidents Attorney Near Me

The aftermath of an automobile accident can be physically, mentally, and financially draining. Navigating the legal system to seek compensation could feel overwhelming, but you are not alone.

If you are a pedestrian in a Las Vegas collision and considering bringing a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit, get in touch with us at Dallas Horton & Associates. We will assess your case, choose the appropriate action, and pursue fair compensation. Call our team at 702-820-5917.