Who is At Fault in a Las Vegas Pedestrian Accident

Pedestrian accidents can result in severe injuries and even fatalities, highlighting the importance of understanding who is at fault when these incidents occur. In many pedestrian accidents, the driver of a vehicle is found to be at fault due to negligence.

Primary Factors in Establishing Fault

Drivers are typically at fault in pedestrian accidents due to several factors related to their control over a vehicle’s operation and the duty of care owed to pedestrians. Common reasons include driver negligence, such as speeding, distracted driving, failure to yield at crosswalks, running red lights, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drivers are also expected to anticipate and react to pedestrian movements, especially in areas where pedestrians are likely to be present. As the operators of large and potentially dangerous vehicles, drivers bear a heightened responsibility to exercise caution and follow traffic laws to prevent accidents and protect vulnerable road users like pedestrians.

Can Pedestrians Be At Fault?

While pedestrians generally have the right-of-way in designated crosswalks and intersections, their actions can also contribute to accidents. Jaywalking, crossing against traffic signals, suddenly darting into the roadway, or walking while intoxicated or distracted (e.g., looking at a phone) may diminish or eliminate the driver’s liability.

Comparative Fault in Las Vegas

Nevada’s comparative fault law applies to pedestrian accidents. Under this law, each party is assigned a degree of fault, which can impact their ability to recover compensation.


NRS 41.141

“In any action to recover damages for death or injury to persons or for injury to property in which comparative negligence is asserted as a defense, the comparative negligence of the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s decedent does not bar a recovery if that negligence was not greater than the negligence or gross negligence of the parties to the action against whom recovery is sought.”

As a result, if a pedestrian’s actions contribute to an accident, they may be found partially to blame. However, they may still be entitled to recover damages as long as they are found no more than 50% at fault. Though the amount awarded will be reduced. For instance, if a pedestrian is found 20% to blame and awarded $100,000, they will receive 80% of the award, or $80,000.

Special Considerations in Pedestrian Accident Cases

Courts often apply special considerations when determining fault in accidents involving children or elderly pedestrians. Drivers are expected to exercise extra caution when children are present, and they may be held to a higher standard of care. Similarly, drivers are expected to be particularly vigilant in areas where elderly pedestrians are likely to be present.

Hit-and-Run Accidents

In hit-and-run pedestrian accidents where the driver flees the scene, fault can still be established through witness statements, surveillance footage, forensic evidence, and other investigative methods. Additionally, uninsured motorist coverage may provide compensation for hit-and-run accidents.

Navigating the complexities of determining fault after a pedestrian accident can be challenging, especially when injuries are involved. Consulting and hiring skilled representation from a trusted Las Vegas pedestrian accident attorney is crucial for understanding your rights, holding the appropriate party accountable, and pursuing fair compensation.