23-year-old Christian Fujita-Miyashiro, who failed field sobriety tests at the scene, is being held without bail after an alcohol-involved pedestrian-auto crash.
The wreck happened near the intersection of Cambridge Street and Flamingo Road. The pedestrian, whose name was not released, was apparently crossing the street against the light and outside a marked crosswalk. The victim, who was a woman in her 50s, was rushed to a nearby hospital after the accident, where she later died.
Traffic was shut down in the area for several hours as authorities investigated the incident.
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In 2015, almost 130,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms following pedestrian-auto crashes, and over 5,000 of these victims did not survive. Speed is a factor in many of these crashes, as the serious injury/fatality rate is less than 20 percent if the car is travelling 20mph, and well over 70 percent at 40mph. Some of the serious injuries in these crashes include:
- Broken Bones: These wounds are particularly common in the legs, because most victims are either thrown from the scene or caught between two objects. Even if they heal properly, seriously broken bones often permanently impair mobility.
- Head Injuries: With no crash helmet or seatbelt for protection, there is nothing to prevent the pedestrian’s head from hitting the pavement or another solid object.
- Nerve Damage: When most people fall, they naturally extend their arms to break their falls. In high-speed falls, this reaction often results in damage to the nerve bundle under the arms, and like broken bones, this damage is usually permanent.
Damages in these cases usually includes compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
If a pedestrian jaywalks, insurance company lawyers, who will do anything possible to reduce the victim’s compensation, often turn to the sudden emergency defense, a legal doctrine that’s illustrated in this clip from Tommy Boy.
- Unexpected Event: The hood fly-up is a true sudden emergency, because these events hardly ever happen. In contrast, a jaywalking pedestrian is more like a stalled car, because these events are commonplace.
- Reasonable Reaction: Despite the hood fly-up, Tommy would be unable to use the sudden emergency defense in court, because he drove recklessly instead of reacting reasonably.
The damages would be interesting in a hypothetical lawsuit, as Richard’s car had been mostly destroyed by an animatronic deer in a previous scene.
Although a complete liability defense is probably not available in jaywalking pedestrian cases, insurance companies can still use the contributory negligence rule to reduce the amount of compensation to the victim. If both the tortfeasor (negligent driver) and victim are partially at fault, the judge will divide damages between the two parties.
Nevada is a modified comparative fault state with a 51 percent threshold, so to recover a proportional share of damages, the tortfeasor must be at least 51 percent responsible for the car crash.
Rely on an Experienced Attorney
Pedestrian-auto crashes usually cause serious or fatal injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.