What happens if you hit a jaywalking pedestrian? Are you still liable, or is the pedestrian responsible for the accident? Unfortunately, these questions have no simple answers. Talk to a reliable attorney today to understand the applicable laws, build a solid defense, and achieve a favorable case outcome.
Jaywalking As Defined By Nevada Law
Jaywalking is a pedestrian traffic law violation where someone crosses the roadway or street where there’s no designated crosswalk or any other unlawful manner that’s considered dangerous. In short, a jaywalking pedestrian is probably negligent.
Statute § 484B.287 outlines clear guidelines that pedestrians should follow with regards to yielding the right of way. For instance, the law states that any pedestrian crossing a highway or street at a section that’s not an intersection crosswalk must yield the right of way to motorists using the road.
Of course, being legally wrong isn’t definite proof that there was negligence on the pedestrian’s part, but it’s compelling evidence. As such, they need to provide a legitimate explanation why it wasn’t dangerous to jaywalk in their situation.
What Appears as Jaywalking at First Glance May Not Actually Be Jaywalking
Also, remember that not everything falls under jaywalking. For example, pedestrians walking in areas with no marked roadways like across the university or in a parking lot aren’t jaywalking. Therefore, they would not be considered liable.
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Both Motorists and Pedestrians Owe Each Other a Duty of Care
In Las Vegas, fault is determined based on negligence principles, which basically means failing to apply sufficient care. Both pedestrians and motorists are obliged to be careful, which means they’re obliged not to cause an accident that could end up harming someone.
If your inattentiveness leads to injury, then you’re the “at-fault” party for the accident. This is crucial because Nevada state laws require the one at fault to compensate the victims. So it’s always wrong to believe that the involved driver is always at fault since the pedestrian is also supposed to act carefully.
Both Pedestrians and Motorists Can Be Found Negligent
When a pedestrian or motorist breaks their duty to be careful, the law considers this negligence. The state has numerous traffic safety regulations that are crucial in analyzing responsibility and negligence. But you must never forget these two things:
- If you break the law, you aren’t automatically negligent
- Someone can be careless even if they haven’t broken the law
Instead, the most significant consideration is “how would a reasonably cautious individual acted in similar circumstances?” If the pedestrian’s or driver’s conduct falls below the standard, they’ll be liable for the accident they cause. A motorist can be considered negligent if they:
- Are destructed behind the wheels
- Ignore a stop sign
- Drive under the influence
- Pass illegally
- Decline to yield to the pedestrian
- Run the red light
- Drive faster than the available conditions
When you engage in any of these behaviors and hit a pedestrian, you’ll be at fault even if their current state would be considered jaywalking.
How an Attorney Can Help You Build Your Case
Even though the state laws consider jaywalking an illegal activity, it’s not as easy to prove liability after an accident. The pedestrian definitely has a legal expert by the side to create a strong defense for their jaywalking situation to escape liability. As such, you also need a qualified attorney to guide you and protect your rights, especially in this situation where drivers are mostly assumed to be at fault.
An attorney will help you prove fault after the accident. They’ll also negotiate with insurance companies and ensure you meet all the case deadlines and steps. Finally, the experts will help you create a strong defense and ensure your liability is as limited as possible.
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Pacific West Injury Law Will Help You Fight for Compensation
Pacific West Injury Law is your trusted legal partner if you’ve hit a pedestrian jaywalking. Our experienced attorneys will do everything possible to relieve you from liability or negotiate a fair outcome even if you’re partly responsible. Start with our free case evaluation today.