After looking both ways and stepping off a curb in a crosswalk, the last thing you think may happen is you will get hit by a car. Truth is that pedestrians are hit by vehicles every day and the results can be deadly.
Whether a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, a parking lot, or along the road, if hit by a car, the victim may be able to receive compensation for the accident. The driver could be held accountable and liable. If this has happened to you, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to fight for you.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney and Making Your Case
Employing a pedestrian accident lawyer with pedestrian case experience is critical. In the areas of Henderson and Las Vegas, Kris Hemrich of Pacific West Injury Law has that experience. Whether your injuries are relatively minor, or you have suffered a major life setback due to them, the vehicle driver needs to be held accountable.
When you sit down with Kris, he will need to learn everything you can provide about the accident. Be prepared to provide such information as:
- The location of where you were hit and when including the time of day
- What you were doing when hit
- The make, model, and color of the car that hit you
- Driver and his or her insurance information
- Your recollection of the events
- Contact information for eyewitnesses
- If you were taken to the hospital from the scene
- Other medical information and records from the incident for all injuries you suffered
- A copy of the police report
- Photographs of the scene as soon as possible following the incident
Additionally, the clothing you were wearing when the accident occurred may be beneficial to your case. Even your belt and shoes and a purse or backpack can reveal blood, rips and tears, and debris from the crash which could be valuable to your case. Your attorney will want to gather as much information as possible to aid in determining just what happened and, if appropriate, proving the fault of the driver.
Drivers and Pedestrians Each Have a Duty of Care to Each Other
People normally want to assume that a driver is responsible when a pedestrian gets hit by a car. It is not always that cut-and-dried. Sometimes both driver and pedestrian can be found partially to blame.
In Nevada, drivers and pedestrians alike should use the utmost care to not cause an accident, referred to as the care of duty. The question to ask comes down to whether the driver was being careful behind the wheel and was the pedestrian aware and careful of traffic. The biggest offender to the care of duty is negligence.
What Constitutes Negligence Under Nevada Law
Not all forms of negligence fall under the category of breaking the law. Nor does breaking the law always fall under negligence. Some forms of negligence behind the wheel include:
- Distracted driving such as texting
- Driving under the influence
- Failing to stop at a red light or stop sign
- Speeding, or driving too fast for traffic conditions
- Illegally passing another vehicle
- Failing to yield to a pedestrian
Drivers are not alone in negligence though. Pedestrians can also be distracted by texting or by wearing earbuds. And some pedestrians fail to stop at a stop sign or red light, too.
Jaywalking is against the law in Nevada. Furthermore, many pedestrians struck by vehicles are intoxicated or under the influence. In fact, in one-third of fatal pedestrian accidents, the pedestrian had a blood-alcohol level of at least 0.08 g/dL.
What If You Are Partially at Fault?
If there is proof that the driver was negligent, he or she should be found at fault. But the pedestrian can be found partially at fault, too. For example, if jaywalking, the pedestrian was breaking the law. Was there a valid reason for that?
Nevada is one of many states that follows the comparative negligence law and the 51% rule. If you, the pedestrian, are found to be less than 51% at fault, you can still recover some damages. However, the compensation will be lessened by your degree of fault.
Realize that the driver’s attorney will be fighting to lower his client’s at-fault percentage points. You want your attorney to fight, too. That is why the police report, eyewitnesses, surveillance videos, and all other evidence can be so crucial to your case.
Compensation You May Be Able to Receive
No doubt you will be looking for compensation for your physical injuries in the form of payment for your medical bills, but you may qualify for more. Other compensation which may apply to your case includes:
- Future medical treatment including therapy and rehabilitation
- Mental anguish and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of income from being off work
- Lost earning ability due to disabilities incurred by the accident
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages
Choosing the Right Attorney for You
If you have suffered from being hit by an automobile, you should be worrying about your recovery, not finances and legalities. You need to find an attorney with whom you are comfortable, and you know will fight for you and your interests. Kris Hemrich of Pacific West Injury Law is a compassionate attorney who will go the extra mile for you.
Contact Kris at Pacific West Injury Law for your free consultation, today!