Pedestrian Rights in Nevada

Pedestrian Rights

While every Nevada pedestrian does have rights, they may not be exactly what people believe. To make matters worse, not all drivers are entirely certain of how the law expects them to behave when encountering pedestrians in or beside the roadway.

Unfortunately, traffic accidents between drivers and pedestrians in Nevada are common, and many result in fatalities. This type of mishap will often occur when the driver is:

  • Distracted by some type of cellphone use.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Speeding.
  • Failing to yield.
  • Passing a school bus.
  • Backing up without looking.
  • Operating a defective vehicle.

However, we have found that many accidents involving motorists and pedestrians result from either ignorance or misinterpretation of the law on the part of the individual who is traveling on foot. There are times at which Nevada pedestrians do have the legal right of way and others at which when they have none whatsoever. Many such accidents occur between vehicle operators and:

  • Nevada pedestrians at intersections. At any intersection and especially in a marked crosswalk, there is never any question: The rights of the pedestrian will almost always supersede those of the driver. Nevertheless, the law expects everyone to use some common sense when trying to cross the street. If one should choose to step off the curb directly into the path of an oncoming vehicle that is already too close to stop or go around him, the fault lies with the on-foot individual and not with the driver. In other words, no pedestrian in Nevada has the legal right to dart into oncoming traffic for no good reason.
  • Nevada pedestrians who jaywalk. While the pedestrian may think he always has the right of way, this is only true at marked intersections and only when conditions allow him to cross the street safely. The pedestrian who attempts to cross at any other location does not have the right of way and must wait until all vehicles have passed or face the chance of receiving a hefty fine. On the other hand, if the motorist should come upon a pedestrian who is already in the roadway after having begun to cross when conditions were still safe, that driver must immediately yield the right of way.
  • Nevada pedestrians who walk in the road while impaired. If any person attempts to enter a roadway on foot while impaired by drink or drugs and lands in the hospital as a result, he or she may have little to no legal recourse. That is because the law will find such individuals to have been at least partially responsible for what has taken place. The same is true of someone who attempts to cross the street while texting or doing anything else that takes his attention away from traffic.

When the Driver Is at Fault

When a vehicle hits a pedestrian, the results can be serious and often deadly. Many who survive this type of accident suffer bruises at best and broken bones, burns, amputations or brain and spinal cord damage at worst. Therefore, if a pedestrian who has the right of way is hit by a car or bicycle, he or she has the option of suing for damages from:

  • The driver or bike rider whose negligence may have caused the accident.
  • The vehicle’s manufacturer if a braking or steering defect should prove to have been responsible.
  • The vehicle’s owner if failure to perform routine maintenance made the conveyance unsafe to operate.
  • The county or city in which the accident occurred if bad roads or inadequate signage played a significant role.

Unless the injured party should prove to have been mainly responsible for the accident, he or she can receive monetary damages to cover doctor and hospital bills; lost wages; inability to work; pain and suffering; or wrongful death. Of course, if misconduct or negligence on the part of the pedestrian should have played any part in having caused the mishap, any compensatory damages received will be reduced by the percentage at which the Nevada courts find him or her to have been at fault. If the percentage of the pedestrian’s fault should exceed 51 percent, the damage award will amount to zero.

Furthermore, if the courts should find malicious intent on the part of the vehicle operator to have played a role, that driver will additionally be on the hook for punitive damages. He will, of course, face criminal charges as well.

When You Need Legal Assistance

If you require legal assistance concerning an accident between a vehicle and a pedestrian, the law firm of Gregory & Waldo stands ready to help. Whether you face charges for having caused the accident or seek a financial settlement for your injuries, we will be glad to offer legal advice and represent you if need be. Call today for a free consultation.