Pedestrian Accidents and Injuries in Las Vegas, Nevada
Posted by: Mark Albright on Mon, May 06, 2013Share this post
Pedestrian Accidents in Las Vegas, Nevada
At some point, Nevadans of all ages are exposed to the risk of pedestrian injury. Whether walking from their parked car to their place of employment, walking to school, taking the bus, or jogging for exercise, Nevadans share public roadways with motor vehicles, placing themselves at direct risk for pedestrian injury. While pedestrian crashes represent only 0.2% of all traffic crashes in Nevada, they almost always result in injury. These disproportionately fatal crashes account for an average of 6.4% of severe injuries and 17.8% of all motor vehicle related fatalities in Nevada each year.
Consequently, pedestrian accidents are usually the most serious traffic incidents that can occur, in Las Vegas, or elsewhere. Lacking any protection whatsoever, a pedestrian is completely vulnerable to serious injuries when struck by a moving vehicle, unlike occupants in a vehicle who are strapped behind metal and have air bags that can be deployed to mitigate damages.
Almost 100,000 pedestrians are injured every year in the United States and almost 6,000 pedestrians are killed. People of all ages are affected by these staggering and sad statistics, but school age children and the elderly are the most vulnerable. A common type of pedestrian accident occurs when a car hits a pedestrian in the crosswalk because the driver is looking at traffic, and not at the pedestrian. Similar problems occur with motorcycle drivers and those riding bicycles, who are often unseen by vehicle drivers. Las Vegas in recent years has seen a rash of well publicized pedestrian accidents where the pedestrian was actually on the sidewalk or waiting at a bus stop. Efforts are being made to construct safer sidewalks and more pedestrian bridges over major streets, including high traffic tourist areas on the Strip as well as in the suburbs. As a result, Las Vegas is actually a safer place to walk and drive than several years ago.
Even a relatively slow-moving vehicle can cause bone fractures and other major life threatening injuries to a pedestrian due to the significant momentum of the vehicle’s mass and the hardness of the vehicle’s outside metal surface in comparison to human flesh.
For example, in the year 2010 alone, 4,280 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States and some 75,000 were injured. This averages to one crash-related pedestrian death every 2 hours, and a pedestrian injury every 8 minutes. Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash on each trip.
Leg fractures are particularly common due to the position of car bumpers with the legs at the moment of impact. Pedestrian accidents can also result in severe injuries such as head trauma, brain injury, paralysis, mental distress, disfigurement, and even death.
Our law firm of local Las Vegas attorneys understands that the goal after going through such trauma is to get your medical bills paid and covered, make sure you do not suffer financially through any lost wages, and make sure your insurance company or that of the driver will pay for future treatment relating to your injury.
The seriousness of pedestrian injuries, of course, depends largely on how fast the car was traveling. Leg injuries can range from torn cartilage and tendons to broken bones (fractures of the kneecap (patella), tibia and fibula of the lower leg, and femur in the upper leg). If the pedestrian is thrown into the air, injuries can include brain damage, herniated discs, internal injuries to the kidney or spleen, and liver lacerations.
Pedestrian accidents are almost always very serious. As a result, it’s extremely important to obtain full financial compensation so the injured person can receive the medical care and rehabilitation services they will need, and get on with their lives as best as physically and financially as possible.
In the last decade, Nevada has made substantial progress in improving safety for pedestrians. Total pedestrian crashes and crash fatalities have decreased over the last decade. Pedestrian fatality rates per 100,000 population have also declined since 1994, but remain consistently 25% – 30% higher than U.S. average rates per 100,000 population. Many of these decreases correspond to changes in street design, engineering consideration of the pedestrian and implementation of public awareness and education campaigns.
Groups at greatest risk for pedestrian injury share common risk behaviors: inability to judge the distance or speed of approaching vehicles, risk taking behaviors such as running or darting out into intersections and streets, and inattention while crossing streets and intersections. Children, adult males aged 25 to 44 years who are intoxicated, and the elderly have more difficulty judging vehicle speed and distance are more apt to cross in an unsafe or impulsive manner, ignore traffic control devices such as crosswalks and traffic signals, and to lack sufficient attention while moving within traffic. In Nevada, these same groups are at greatest risk of being involved in a pedestrian crash. The age group with the highest rates of pedestrian injury and death is adult males aged 35-44 years followed by adult males aged 45-54 years. Pedestrian crashes among these particular age groups overwhelming involve alcohol.
Driver non-compliance to pedestrian right-of-way most frequently occurs at street crossings with no lights or signals and less frequently at signalized crossings. At intersections, conflicts between pedestrians and motor vehicles arise during free yield left turns (proceed on green) and right hand turns (right turn on red permitted). Motor-vehicles running red lights directly also put pedestrians at risk of serious injury.
Driver error was indicated by investigating law enforcement officers in 38% of all pedestrian fatalities in Nevada during 2006. Improper crossing by the pedestrians is most often associated with fatal pedestrian crashes. That is to say, in almost 60% of the cases, it was the pedestrian who was at fault. For example, in Nevada, in 2006, 55% of all pedestrian fatalities involved improper crossing behavior on part of the pedestrian. Because of Nevada’s comparative negligence statutes, an attorney should be contacted immediately to help analyze who was at fault. Expert witnesses may need to be retained early on in the process.
Alcohol intoxication (on the part of the pedestrian as well as the driver) is associated with increased risk of pedestrian injury. Alcohol intoxication reduces a pedestrian’s ability to judge the speed, distance and arrival times of motor vehicles, increases inattention and decreases dexterity. Intoxicated pedestrians are more likely to sustain more severe or fatal injuries in crashes with motor vehicles.
The terrible impact of intoxication is revealed in the following statistics. In Nevada, 43% of all pedestrian fatalities (and 22% of all pedestrian injuries) involved alcohol consumption by the pedestrian, the vehicle driver, or both. In Nevada, in 2006, the majority of pedestrian injuries involved adult males aged 35-54 years. Among these crashes, 82% involved alcohol on the part of the pedestrian. This illustrates a clear association between alcohol consumption and pedestrian injuries.
The blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) associated with decedents involved in fatal alcohol related pedestrian crashes in Nevada tend to be very high. The mean BAC for the alcohol involved pedestrian fatalities in 2006 was .1 mg/dL, significantly past the legal intoxication limit. Such high BACs could be associated with chronic alcohol abuse, and/or the easy availability to alcoholic beverages in Nevada around the clock.
Accident Lawyers at Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright
If you or a loved one are involved in a pedestrian related accident, you need to contact a Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyers who will be able to help you receive fair compensation that will help to pay for medical treatment, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
We at Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright have been fighting for your rights for more than 40 years. Contact our office at 702-384-7111, so we can help you with your case.
We have been handling pedestrian related accidents for many years, and we have the experience you need when you go to court. Our trial lawyers have 165 years of combined litigation experience, and we can help you with all manner of personal injury cases including those related to pedestrian accidents. You can contact our office for a free initial consultation, and you don’t have to pay legal fees unless you win money for your personal injury or wrongful death case. Our lawyers will listen to your story and help you find the best way to proceed with your case.
When a pedestrian accident occurs, the pedestrian has the same right to seek financial compensation as any motorist. Just like other accidents involving motor vehicles, it is important to hire a sophisticated and knowledgeable attorney familiar with the unique issues involved in pedestrian accidents and pedestrian injuries, who will conduct a prompt investigation of the accident and your injuries, who has credibility with auto insurance companies, and who will work tirelessly to obtain for you the compensation to which you are entitled.
Should I wait before contacting a pedestrian injury attorney?
If you or a loved one has been in a pedestrian accident, it is extremely important to talk to a qualified pedestrian accident attorney immediately. If you wait too long to speak with a lawyer, evidence in your case may be lost, witnesses may disappear, and insurance companies may take advantage of you. Once we accept your pedestrian accident injury claim, an investigation is immediately begun and swift action is taken to secure and preserve evidence relevant to your claim. We often retain experts immediately to investigate the accident scene to take measurements and photos while evidence such as skid marks are still evident.
In a pedestrian accident claim, what compensation can I receive?
The Law Office of Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright handles many types of personal injury and wrongful death claims, has a distinguished reputation for obtaining for its clients the compensation and accountability they rightfully deserve. An injured pedestrian can recover all of the same types of damages that someone injured in a car accident or bicycle accident would be entitled to recover, including past and future medical expenses, lost earnings and earning potential, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, loss of parental or spousal financial support, loss of spousal relations, property damage, incidental expenses, and other types of physical, economic, and sometimes even punitive damages that result from the accident. We work extremely hard to maximize your damage recovery, and endeavor to relieve you of as much burden and hassle as possible so you may put all of your energy towards healing.
Do I really need a pedestrian injury lawyer?
Many pedestrian accident victims think that they can resolve their injury claim directly with the other party’s insurance company rather than hire a pedestrian or personal injury accident lawyer. Most who try to resolve their cases on their own end up regretting it later. When an injured pedestrian is not represented by a qualified pedestrian or personal injury accident attorney, the insurance company, which is in the business of paying out as little as possible, will usually lead the victim to believe they will be dealt with fairly and adequately compensated. The adjusters can be very friendly and persuasive. However, the reality is that insurance companies will usually take advantage of the unrepresented party and end up offering them an amount grossly below what they are entitled to receive. Do not fall for this early settlement tactic, and do not allow the insurance company to take a recorded statement from you or induce you to sign any papers or see their doctors. Immediately call our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers who will zealously protect your interests. We collect no fees or expenses unless we recover damages for you by way of settlement or verdict. Call Albright Stoddard at 702-384-7111 today!
About the Authors: The law firm of Albright, Stoddard, Warnick & Albright is an A-V Rated Nevada-based full-service law firm having attorneys licensed in Nevada, California and Utah. Our firm’s practice includes a strong emphasis on personal injury accidents. Call us at 702-384-7111.
Note: This article, and any other information you obtain at this website, is not offered as legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such, nor is it a solicitation for legal services. Only a licensed attorney can advise you with respect to your specific legal needs. We welcome your contacting our firm to discuss such representation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.