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Pedestrians may be able to sue for compensation if they’re injured or they suffer property damage related to a motor vehicle accident. In Nevada, however, this right is determined by the state’s comparative negligence statute.

Can Pedestrians Recover Damages From Motor Vehicle Drivers?

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 76,000 pedestrians were injured in 2012 after being struck on the road by a car or truck. About 5,000 incidents resulted in death. Pedestrians may be able to recover damages if they’re injured in a motor vehicle-related accident that was caused in whole or in part by driver negligence. In Nevada, however, a pedestrian may not be able to recover compensation if his or her own carelessness contributed to the accident by a factor of more than 50 percent.

The Duty of Care

Both pedestrians and motor vehicle drivers are charged with following rules when they use public roadways. These rules are known as a “duty of care.” Drivers are expected to operate their vehicles within posted speed limits, obey traffic signs and signals, signal before making a turn and yield the right of way to pedestrians who are using crosswalks. Drivers have an even higher duty of care when they are operating their vehicles in areas where children play. Pedestrians are expected to obey the rules that were established to help keep them safe. Pedestrian negligence can be said to be a contributing factor in motor vehicle accidents caused when a pedestrian jaywalks, ignores traffic signals or darts out unexpectedly in front of a vehicle.

Comparative Negligence

Relatively few accidents are solely caused by the actions of a single party. Nevada uses a standard of comparative negligence as defined in § 41.141 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. Essentially, this means that if more than half the responsibility for an accident falls on your shoulders, you won’t be able to collect anything in the way of damages even if you were injured or your property was damaged.

An Attorney Can Help You Protect Your Rights

The determination of negligence is a complex matter. It’s wise to consult with an accident lawyer in Las Vegas before you move forward with any legal actions pertaining to a motor vehicle accident.