In 2017, there were 78 pedestrians who died as a result of traffic accidents in Clark County, Nevada, home to Las Vegas. The number represented 21 more fatalities than in 2016.
“These numbers are more than data,” said a spokesman for the state’s Office of Traffic Safety, in an interview with the Las Vegas Review Journal. “They represent lives that were lost and families that were broken forever.”
Las Vegas is a pedestrian-friendly town. It is also a top tourist destination, which means that at any given time there are hundreds of thousands of out-of-town visitors, most of whom are unfamiliar with the city. In addition, it is legal for pedestrians to drink alcoholic beverages in many places in public, which can compound the possibility of pedestrian accidents.
Despite the 2017 spike, the problem is not a new one. In 2014, a study done by Smart Growth America named the Las Vegas-Paradise, NV area as the 13th most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians nationwide, ranking it above even such cities as New York, Los Angeles, the Washington-D.C. area, Chicago, and San Francisco. The research created a “pedestrian danger index” by combining a city’s pedestrian deaths and the number of people who commuted by foot from 2008-2012; the Las Vegas area had a pedestrian danger index of 102.67 (in comparison, New York’s index was 28.43 and the Los Angeles index was 66.91). The study was done in cooperation with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the American Society of Landscape Architects, and America Walks, a national organization devoted to pedestrian safety.
A pedestrian is no match for a motor vehicle, and injuries can be devastating even when the victim survives. Traumatic brain injuries, broken bones and spinal cord injuries can require months or years of treatment and rehabilitation, and disabilities can still be permanent. Even less severe injuries can have lasting effects. Holding those responsible for the injuries is important, and helps victims who can be financially devastated by their injuries.
Media reports often say that a pedestrian was at fault for jaywalking, but this is not always the case; even when it is, the pedestrian may be entitled to compensation. The vehicle that hit the person may have been speeding, or the driver could have been distracted. In addition, there could have been environmental circumstances – poor signage, construction areas, or sidewalk/parking-lot defects – that contributed to the accident itself.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious pedestrian accident, it’s important to consult with an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney to find out whether you are entitled to compensation. In the case of a pedestrian death caused by someone else’s negligence, wrongful death litigation may be appropriate.
The attorneys of Mazzeo Law, LLC, are Las Vegas personal injury attorneys with more than 29 years litigation experience. We can help you understand the laws surrounding pedestrian accidents and make decisions as to how to move forward.
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