Pedestrian Laws in Las Vegas
Las Vegas can be an incredible city to see on foot. But it’s also a busy town that sees far too many pedestrian accidents every year. Sadly, it’s also a statewide epidemic. Nearly one-quarter of all traffic deaths are pedestrians, according to recent Nevada Traffic Safety Crash Facts.
Contrary to popular belief, pedestrians don’t always have the right of way. Like all motorists, pedestrians must follow the rules of the road in Nevada. Obeying these laws gives you the best chance of collecting full compensation if you’re ever injured in a Las Vegas pedestrian accident.
What are the Pedestrian Laws in Las Vegas?
It’s crucial for all pedestrians in Las Vegas to understand the laws they must follow. This is not only so they can take the appropriate measures to keep themselves safe, but also so they are not found partially liable in the event of a crash.
Under Nevada Statute 484B.287, pedestrians usually have the right of way when they are in a crosswalk or at an intersection. The only time a pedestrian does not have the right of way is when they dart out in front of a vehicle and do not provide the driver with enough time to brake and come to a complete stop.
The law is also very clear that when pedestrians are trying to cross the road and there is not a marked crosswalk or intersection, they must yield the right of way to oncoming motorists. This means that pedestrians must wait on a sidewalk or at the side of the road until there is a large enough gap in traffic that allows them to cross the street safely.
The Nevada statute is also very clear that when a pedestrian is crossing a highway that has an overhead crossing or pedestrian tunnel, they must yield right of way to all vehicles on the road. These structures are there to protect pedestrians and when people on foot use them, they are generally out of the way of traffic and can walk much more safely.
While not the law, pedestrians should always try to make eye contact with drivers before they attempt to cross the street. Drivers do not always watch for pedestrians in the same manner they watch for other vehicles. Making eye contact with drivers prior to crossing can help increase the likelihood that the driver will stop when the pedestrian leaves the safety of the sidewalk.
Is the Driver Always Liable for Pedestrian Accidents?
Drivers and pedestrians are both expected to exercise reasonable caution on the road to keep others safe. In legal terms, this is called a duty of care. When either motorists or pedestrians breach their duty of care and someone is hurt as a result, they can be held liable for their negligent actions.
When is a Pedestrian Liable for an Accident?
A number of actions can lead to a pedestrian being found liable after an accident in Las Vegas, such as:
- Jaywalking: Jaywalking occurs any time a pedestrian dashes into the road or does not cross the street using a crosswalk or intersection. In Las Vegas, this is against the law and pedestrians can face hefty fines when they engage in this behavior.
- Failing to look both ways before they cross a road: Most people are taught from a very young age to look both ways before they cross the street, and for good reason. When pedestrians do not look both ways before crossing, they won’t know whether it is safe to do so.
- Negligently or intentionally throwing items into the road or near the lane of travel: Pedestrians may not think that dropping food wrappers or other debris into the road is cause for concern. However, these items cause an obstruction for drivers, which could result in an accident. While the driver cannot prevent these obstructions, pedestrians can, so they may be found liable for tossing items into the road.
- Walking or crossing the street while intoxicated: Just as drunk drivers can be held liable for their actions, so too can intoxicated pedestrians. Drunk pedestrians may inadvertently wander out into the road, run out in front of cars, or stumble off sidewalks into oncoming traffic.
- Rushing into the street to retrieve an item: Pedestrians may drop an item while they are walking, or simply see something in the street they want, such as money. Hopping into the street to retrieve an item is extremely dangerous behavior, particularly if the pedestrian forgets to check if the path is clear of vehicles.
- Walking while distracted: People on foot can also be held liable when they walk while distracted. Most of the time, a distraction for a pedestrian comes in the form of a smartphone. Walkers always need to look where they are going, just as drivers do.
- Entering a crosswalk when traffic signals indicate to wait: Pedestrians have the right of way in most cases when they are in a crosswalk. However, people on foot are also expected to follow traffic signs and signals. When pedestrians cross the road before the signal indicates that it is safe, they can be held liable for an accident.
Determining who is liable for a pedestrian accident is not a simple process. Many cases may involve some shared fault on both the part of the pedestrian and the driver. To improve your chances for maximum compensation, it’s best to talk to a pedestrian accident lawyer if you’ve been injured.
Proving Liability After a Pedestrian Accident
After being injured in a crash, it is critical that you prove who was liable so you can claim the full damages you deserve. To prove someone was liable after a pedestrian accident, you must prove four elements of your claim. These include:
- Duty of care: You must prove the other party owed you a duty of care, or that they were expected to act in a reasonable manner at all times to keep others safe.
- Breach: You must also show the other party breached their duty of care by behaving negligently in some way, such as running a stop light.
- Causation: A negligent act is not enough to claim damages in a pedestrian accident. You must also prove that the action, or failure to act, caused the accident.
- Damages: Personal injury lawsuits are intended to compensate accident victims for their injuries. You must show that you suffered damages that can be restored through an award of compensation.
Proving liability is important so you can recover the full amount of compensation that you deserve. If you are found even partially liable for the accident, it could greatly reduce the amount of money you are able to recover.
Under Nevada’s comparative fault laws, you can claim compensation if the other party was at least 50 percent at fault for the accident. When you are also partly at fault, but less than 50 percent, you can still claim damages but the amount you receive is reduced by your same percentage of fault.
Evidence is crucial when proving liability in your claim. Examples of evidence in these types of cases can include:
- Medical records
- Eyewitness testimony
- The police accident report
- Photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any damage to property
- Video footage from nearby surveillance cameras
- Expert testimony
A Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyer will understand the most important types of evidence in your case and collect it while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
How Can THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys Help Me?
If you have been hurt as a pedestrian, don’t hesitate to call the Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyers at THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys to schedule a free consultation. Our knowledgeable attorneys can explain Las Vegas pedestrian accident laws and how they apply to your case. Then we’ll fight for the maximum amount of compensation possible for you.
With more than 130 years of combined experience, our legal team will work to restore your financial security and ensure your long-term wellbeing. Let’s get started immediately. Call or contact us for your free case review.