Multiple vehicles struck a man crossing the road outside a marked crosswalk, killing him almost instantly.
The wreck occurred near the intersection of Burnham Avenue and Flamingo Road. According to police and witnesses, a man tried to cross Flamingo Road outside the crosswalk. A 2014 Honda knocked him to the ground and another car ran over him while he was prone. First responders arrived quickly, but the man was declared dead at the scene.
None of the names were released.
How Speed Affects Nevada Pedestrian Accidents
Excessive velocity increases the risk of a pedestrian-auto crash and also increases the fatal forces in these crashes.
Many pedestrian accidents are similar to the one in the above story. The victim crosses a semi-residential street outside the crosswalk. Rightly or wrongly, many victims feel safer near their own homes. So, when they are inside their comfort zones, they do not take basic safety precautions. That includes things like waiting for the green light to cross and looking both ways before stepping into traffic.
Speeding drivers have less time to react to situations like these. At 20mph, most cars travel about sixty feet in the time it takes the driver to see a hazard, apply the brakes, and stop the vehicle. At 40mph, stopping distance multiples to about 170 feet.
Speed also multiplies the force in a collision. This factor is especially important in pedestrian-auto collisions. Even small cars weigh about 4,000 pounds. At 30mph, the pedestrian fatality rate is under 10 percent. But at 40mph, the pedestrian fatality rate skyrockets to 90 percent.
In fatal Las Vegas car crash cases, the survivors are usually entitled to pecuniary losses. This term is broadly defined to include the decedent’s medical bills and pain and suffering, as well as losses the survivors suffer, such as lost future financial support and lost future emotional guidance.
Liability Issues in Las Vegas Pedestrian Accidents
When pedestrians cross outside the crosswalk, insurance company lawyers often use the sudden emergency defense. This legal doctrine excuses tortious conduct if the tortfeasor (negligent driver):
- Reasonably reacted to
- A “sudden emergency.”
In this context, a sudden emergency is synonymous with a completely unexpected event, like a hood fly-up. Jaywalking pedestrians, stalled cars, large potholes, and other such obstructions are quite common. Drivers should be ready to respond to them. Therefore, they arguably do not qualify for the sudden emergency defense.
More commonly, crossing outside the crosswalk may give rise to the contributory negligence defense. This legal loophole shifts blame from the tortfeasor to the victim. If there is other evidence of fault, like failing to look both ways or running into the street, a Clark County judge is more likely to allow this defense. It’s then up to the jury to divide fault on a percentage basis.
Nevada is a modified comparative fault state with a 51 percent bar. So, even if the victim/plaintiff is 49 percent responsible for the crash, the victim/plaintiff is still entitled to a proportional share of damages.
Connect with an Assertive Lawyer
Even relatively low speed auto-pedestrian collisions often cause fatal injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.