Pedestrian Accidents and Injuries in a Crosswalk
We use crosswalks everyday but do you really understand the laws and the reasons behind them?
Crosswalks exist to move pedestrian traffic safely on heavily traveled roads, and in places like Las Vegas to keep the traffic moving both pedestrian and automobile.
We hear about accidents all the time at the crosswalks or traffic intersections.
These accidents happen for many reasons but the main reason is human error.
All intersections where a sidewalk or road ends in Nevada are considered crosswalks even if they are not marked.
Under Nevada law pedestrians have the right of way as long as they obey traffic signals.
However, even if they violate the traffic laws vehicles must yield to avoid an accident.
So basically pedestrians in a crosswalk, marked or not, have the right of way and it is the driver’s responsibility to yield or stop to that person whether or not they are obeying the traffic laws.
Even if the pedestrian is somewhat at fault by disobeying the traffic rules, a pedestrian hit by a car in an intersection or crosswalk can file a personal injury claim against the driver.
On the other hand the driver who hits a pedestrian who is at fault can file a Nevada pedestrian knockdown lawsuit since the pedestrian caused the accident.
What is a Crosswalk or Intersection in Nevada
All intersections in Nevada are considered crosswalks or intersections even if they are not marked.
Marked crosswalks consist of traffic signals and walk signals for pedestrians.
Also they have painted white or yellow lines that actually mark where people can walk.
Unmarked crosswalks are also called implied crosswalks because they are unmarked but at the end of a road or sidewalk.
The same laws apply for implied crosswalks as well as regular crosswalks.
Some crosswalks exist in the middle of the road and not at an intersection, these are to keep high traffic areas moving.
These middle intersections are always clearly marked so cars have to stop in the middle of the road.
Pedestrian Laws For Crosswalks in Nevada
Even though pedestrians have the right of way at all intersections there are a few laws that they must obey.
- Pedestrians may not just dart into the intersection when a car oncoming is so close that it will cause an accident. For example if the driver has the light and is turning on the green a runner can’t run across the intersection because they don’t want to stop since this could cause a car to hit the runner.
- If you are already in the crosswalk when the “Don’t Walk” sign comes on you can continue through the crosswalk. However if you just got to the curb you cannot start to cross after the don’t walk sign comes on.
- Pedestrians must stay to the right in the crosswalk whenever possible
- Pedestrians may not cross the intersection diagonally unless the intersection is marked for that traffic pattern.
- Pedestrians who cross the street outside a marked crosswalk must yield to oncoming traffic and in this situation vehicles have the right of way outside marked or unmarked crosswalks.
- Pedestrians who enter a roadway outside of a crosswalk are guilty of the crime of jaywalking and can be issued a citation. Jaywalking citations are usually only given at busy intersections in busy cities like Las Vegas.
- It is a misdemeanor for pedestrians to walk on a road when a sidewalk is available. To stand in a road to hitchhike or panhandle. To be out on the road under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Laws for Drivers at Crosswalks in Nevada
The laws for drivers in Nevada at crosswalks or intersections are very simple.
Drivers must yield to all pedestrians at marked or unmarked crosswalks.
All drivers including automobile, motorcyclists, or motorbike drivers are to come to a yield that equals almost a stop when pedestrians are crossing the intersection.
They must treat the crosswalk like a stop sign.
Even if the pedestrian is crossing illegally, drivers are required to use caution to avoid an accident.
Drivers are guilty of a misdemeanor when failing to yield to a pedestrian.
As a side note, blind pedestrians always have the right of way and drivers are required to yield or stop for them when they enter the intersection no matter what.
Can I File a Lawsuit for a Crosswalk Collision
Being hit by a car is no small matter no matter who is at fault.
However in Nevada the driver has the responsibility to yield to pedestrians at all times.
If you were hit by a car at an intersection or crosswalk you may be able to file a claim against the driver for negligence.
This is also called reckless driving.
If the person hit by the car passes away then the estate or the family of the victim can file a wrongful death suit against the driver or business involved in the crash.
In Nevada however there is a two year statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim from the date of the incident.
If someone dies due to a crash the two year mark begins at the date the person passes away.
What Damages Can I Recover
Pedestrians hit by car in a crosswalk can recover damages for :
- Medical Bills – including future medical expenses for continued treatment, prescriptions, medical transport, physical therapy, and medical treatment devices.
- Lost Wages- including current wages from missed work, future wages for medical treatment, future earnings if not able to return to work after the accident.
- Pain and suffering- pain and suffering is at the court’s discretion and based on the severity of the accident.
- Punitive Damages- if the crosswalk accident goes to trial a judge or jury may award punitive damages to punish the defendant for their negligence that caused the accident.
If the victim or plaintiff was at some point the cause of the accident they may still be able to recover some damages under the Nevada Comparative negligence laws.
If the defendant is at least 50% at fault then the plaintiff can recover some money minus the percentage they are held at fault.
For example if you were drunk and walked into the crosswalk when the “Don’t Walk” signal was on but the driver didn’t yield or stop.
You are both guilty so you may be held 30% responsible for the accident.
If you are awarded any money it will be decreased by 30% to represent the 30% you are at fault.
When the pedestrian is completely at fault the driver can file a claim against the pedestrian if the pedestrian caused the driver to be in an accident with another car or object to avoid getting them.
Injuries In Crosswalk Accidents
When pedestrians are hit by cars at crosswalks or intersections many injuries can occur.
Since it is car against human the injuries can be severe including:
- Broken bones and contusions
- Internal or organ damage
- Spine, back or neck injuries
- Traumatic brian injuries
If you have suffered any of these injuries after a crosswalk accident you should immediately get medical attention since you may have injuries that you are not aware of.
Even if you think you don’t need medical attention you should always go get checked out just to be safe.
Before you speak to anyone at an insurance company you should always contact an attorney to make sure you get what you deserve.