Determining Right of Way in a Pedestrian vs. Car Accident

Author:
James Oronoz

Pedestrians are some of the most vulnerable individuals on the road. Whether you’re on a sidewalk, in a crosswalk, or in a parking lot, you deserve to feel safe. Unfortunately, careless motorists, the increasing speed of vehicles in the road, and human error can lead to serious accidents. While the driver of the car may have minimal damage, a pedestrian vs. car accident can leave you with debilitating injuries and crushing medical debt.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, reach out to Oronoz & Ericsson Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. You may be eligible for financial compensation.

What is Right of Way?

Right of way is a set of rules that governs what type of driver has precedence over another to move forward on the road. At an intersection with a four-way stop, the car that arrives at the intersection and comes to a complete stop first has right of way to proceed through the intersection. Right of way can be granted by signs, general road rules, traffic lights, and the lines painted on the road.

Pedestrian Right of Way in Nevada

Many drivers assume that pedestrians always have right of way. This myth is usually passed on out of a desire to protect pedestrians. After all, it is generally safer to assume pedestrians have right of way and avoid unnecessary injuries and devastating accidents.

However, pedestrians should be aware that they do not have universal right of way. In fact, outside of certain pedestrian safety zones, you may find yourself at fault and out of luck if you seek compensation. In Nevada, drivers have a duty to take every caution to avoid hitting a pedestrian. However, if you should step suddenly off a curb, run into a busy road, or fail to follow foot traffic laws, you may find yourself out of luck in the event of an accident.

Pedestrians are expected to stay out of the road except at designated crosswalks. Obey all road signs. Failure to obey right of way can be considered jaywalking and could earn you a ticket, particularly in Las Vegas.

On roads with no designated crosswalks, sidewalks, or pedestrian zones, right of way can be difficult to determine. Both drivers and pedestrians have a responsibility to public safety to use the roads responsibly. Pedestrians should yield to traffic and cross only when it is safe to do so.

How Right of Way Impacts Compensation

Nevada relies on a comparative fault system to determine compensation after an accident. If you are less than 50% at fault for the accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your damages. However, your compensation will be decreased by the amount of fault you hold.

For example, if the court finds you 15% at fault, and your damages are worth $100,000, you will only receive $85,000 in compensation.

Right of way is a major component of determining fault. If you were crossing the interstate, for example, you have no right of way, and likely will be found at fault for most of your damages. If, however, you were in a crosswalk during a walk cycle when the collision occurred, you would likely hold very little fault for your accident.

If you’ve been the victim of a pedestrian accident, reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand the stakes of your case and decide what to do next.

Road Safety in Nevada

Nevada has had rising numbers of pedestrian deaths over the past decade. In the first six months of 2020 alone, 28 pedestrians lost their lives. It’s particularly important for both pedestrians and motorists to stay alert on the road and make every effort to avoid accidents.

Recently, Las Vegas has been cracking down on pedestrian traffic violations. If you’re caught jaywalking, you could face steep fines. Pedestrians in Nevada should take care to obey all road signs, exercise caution near roadways, and yield to vehicle traffic when in doubt.

Contact Oronoz & Ericsson Injury Lawyers

No one leaves their home expecting to get into an accident. After a serious car accident, you may be faced with financial strain, loss of work, and serious health concerns. Don’t let someone else’s negligence take away your peace of mind. Call Oronoz & Ericsson today.

With over 40 years of cumulative experience, our team is ready to fight for the rights of accident victims in and around Las Vegas. If you’ve been the victim of an accident, contact us online or at (702) 878-2889 to schedule your free consultation.

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