Can Pedestrians Be At Fault for Accidents in Nevada?
Many people perceive pedestrians as almost universally protected in the event of auto accidents. Indeed, motorists of all varieties are always expected to yield to pedestrians in their path of travel and are held to higher standards of accountability due to the need to possess a license, whereas no such prerequisite exists for day-to-day pedestrian activity. Thinking that pedestrians are faultless is a common misconception. In truth, pedestrians can reasonably be (and commonly are) liable for pedestrian accidents in Nevada.
Reasons Pedestrians May Be At Fault
Pedestrians are most commonly at fault when they break one of Nevada’s pedestrian laws, although this isn’t always necessary to constitute liability. As such, there are generally two categories of infractions that can render a pedestrian fully or partly liable for a crash:
- Jaywalking or ignoring traffic lights: Nevada crosswalk laws dictate that, while pedestrians do usually have the right of way, this only applies while they appropriately utilize intersections. Except for in cases where no intersections are available in either direction, pedestrians are never permitted to jaywalk. Doing so forfeits their right of way and makes them liable for causing an accident by being in an unexpected region of the roadway. Similarly, if a pedestrian ignores signage or traffic lights at an intersection, they forfeit their right of way and may be liable for any accidents caused.
- Poor decision making and impairment: When a pedestrian acts in a reckless, unreasonable, and dangerous fashion which renders it impossible (or very difficult) for a motorist to avoid them, they’re generally liable for any resultant accident. Reckless behavior can involve darting into traffic, making night-time crossings without being illuminated by streetlights, deciding to enter the path of travel of a noticeably impaired driver, and other dangerous decisions. However, the causes of these behaviors tend to vary. Drug or alcohol impairment, being too distracted by texting, among other negligent actions.
Of course, there are a few exceptions to these cases. The visibly blind (marked via service animal or white cane) have an absolute right of way in all scenarios, and thus can’t be at fault for most pedestrian accidents unless they wilfully or negligently throw themselves into harm’s way. Similarly, children are usually given more leeway as they can’t be expected to consistently make good decisions and protect themselves.
Talk to a Nevada Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrian safety in Nevada is among the worst in America, being ranked among the top ten states for pedestrian fatalities. Even if a pedestrian has done something wrong, rendering themselves at fault, they might not be entirely to blame. For example, if a pedestrian were to dart into traffic unexpectedly, only to be targeted and struck by an annoyed driver in an act of road rage, both parties would have a complex quantity of fault to take into consideration.
A Nevada pedestrian accident attorney can help you figure out the finer nuances of shared fault, shifting things in your favor to ensure that you receive fairer compensation. As such, if you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s a good idea to talk to Aaron Law Group at (702) 550-1111 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your options. We can make things simple, handling communications with insurance adjusters, and other parties on your behalf so that you can focus on recovery and your personal life.