Getting hit by an automobile weighing over 2,000 pounds can lead to severe and fatal injuries to a pedestrian. With serious injuries come extensive medical bills and recovery times. Injured victims should find a pedestrian injury lawyer to fight for their rights and securing fair compensation after an accident.
In 2021, according to the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety, Nevada recorded its most lethal year on the roads since 2006. Due in part to speeding and impaired drivers, Nevada had 382 deaths on the road in 2021. That’s up nearly 18% compared to 2020 when there were 324 deaths. In Clark County alone, there were 235 documented fatalities in 2021, up 21% from 2020.
Pedestrian deaths statewide continue to climb. In 2021, there were 85 pedestrian fatalities, up from 82 the year before. A Nevada personal injury attorney can help victims struck by cars navigate the claims process.
Risks to Pedestrians in Las Vegas
There are few places in the country where it’s more dangerous to be a pedestrian than in Las Vegas. In little more than 60 hours in August of this year, four pedestrians were killed in automobile accidents in the Las Vegas Valley:
- An unidentified female pedestrian was killed in an accident as she was hit by a pickup truck while crossing South Rainbow Boulevard and Palmyra Avenue.
- Another pickup truck struck and killed a pedestrian at West Flamingo Road and Arville Street. The driver immediately fled the scene of the accident.
- On the edge of the school zone at Brookman Elementary School on East Washington Avenue, a 50-year-old female pedestrian was killed when a car struck her near Mount Hood Street in the East Valley. She died of blunt force injuries to the chest, head, and extremities. Near the school, a car was seen smashed into a lamppost.
- Finally, a 3-year-old boy was struck by an SUV in East Las Vegas and tragically died moments later at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. The driver began to make a U-turn on Roxella Lane, near east Bonanza Road and Page Street. The boy darted toward the vehicle, was hit, and then run over by the left front tire.
Obviously, efforts to prioritize pedestrian safety in Las Vegas have fallen on deaf ears.
Find a Pedestrian Injury Lawyer with Experience
You may feel overwhelmed by medical expenses, severe injuries, and other stressful circumstances following a serious pedestrian injury. Additionally, you may be unsure of what to do after a hit-and-run accident. This is no time to try to navigate the complexities of the legal system on your own. While thousands of personal injury lawyers are out there, not all of them have experience in pedestrian accidents. Many injury attorneys concentrate on other areas, such as medical malpractice or slip and fall injuries. To win your case and maximize your financial restitution, you need to find a pedestrian injury lawyer with experience. In fact, you need to find a number of them, so you can interview each one and determine which one is the best fit. Here’s how to compile your initial list:
Ask your friends, family, and coworkers whether they or someone they know had a positive experience with a Nevada personal injury attorney specializing in pedestrian injuries. Referrals from family and friends can be a trusted resource when looking for an injury attorney to handle your case.
Ask a Lawyer
You might know lawyers in Nevada whose practices don’t include personal injury or pedestrian accident law—like corporate or tax attorneys. You can ask such lawyers for a referral to a top pedestrian injury lawyer. They will generally refer you to the highest caliber lawyer they know in that field. Be careful, however. There are lawyers in non-competitive practices who regularly refer business back and forth. Make sure your referral is based on the referred lawyer’s competence, not merely on an opportunity for the tax lawyer to get a referral in return.
Check Online Directories
Directories can provide you with lawyer reviews and ratings. Read through and evaluate the experiences people have had with the attorneys on your list. You can also search on Google, Facebook, and Yelp to find local attorneys and browse their ratings and reviews.
Check State Bar Records
One thing you want to ensure is that the lawyers on your list have not been reprimanded by the state bar association for any type of unethical behavior. The Nevada Bar Association has a database of every lawyer licensed to practice law in the state. Its site allows you to search by a lawyer’s name to determine whether any disciplinary action has been taken against him or her.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential pedestrian accident lawyers, you can schedule consultations. When interviewing attorneys, the following focus areas can help you determine which lawyer is a good fit for your case.
Ask for References
To continue paring down your list, always ask the attorney for references. You can ask the lawyer to compile a list of a few of his or her former clients so that you can contact them. Be aware, however, that every lawyer has his or her stock list of three former clients who he or she knows will give a first-class review. To verify a lawyer’s experience and skill level, you should specifically request references from five former pedestrian injury clients. If a Nevada personal injury lawyer cannot provide you with those, it’s probably time to cross him or her off your list.
Ask About Fees and Billing Practices
At this point, you should have narrowed your list down to no more than three or four Nevada personal injury attorneys with significant experience in pedestrian injury law. Before you interview each of the lawyers in person, ask them to explain their fee structures to you. Personal injury lawyers generally take a case on a contingency fee basis, which means they get a percentage of whatever you’re compensated. It also means the attorney only gets paid if they win your case. Many attorneys customarily charge 33.5% for all pre-trial and settlement work, which often rises to 40% for trial work and 45-50% for appeals. Asking an attorney about his or her fees upfront allows you to be prepared for the costs involved with filing a claim.
Determine Which Lawyer Is Right for You
A quality personal injury lawyer offers free consultations. The consultation is your opportunity to ask questions about experience, availability, chances of prevailing in the case, and the expected compensation if you settle or win in court. To determine these factors and to gauge your comfort level with each lawyer, you should ask the following questions.
- Why do you think I have a good case?
- What are the weaknesses of my case?
- How much is my case worth?
It’s essential to find out how strong or weak each lawyer feels your case is and to get a range of settlement amounts you can expect. An attorney that believes you have a strong case is more likely to be a good fit to represent your claim.
- How many cases like mine do you have experience handling?
- How many successful verdicts have you won in court?
How much experience each attorney has with pedestrian injury cases and what percentage of their cases they have won are crucial factors for pedestrian accident victims looking to file a claim. An attorney who specializes in pedestrian accidents, or one with a history of success, will be a better fit to represent you.
- Do you have enough time to focus on my case?
- How many personal injury cases are you handling at the moment?
You’re interviewing these lawyers to handle your case themselves—not their partners or associates. Ensure that each lawyer has the capacity to handle your matter and will be the lead attorney on it. Make sure your attorney will be your point of contact and will answer your calls directly.
In addition to the above questions, ask the attorney if they are willing to go to trial for your case. If these attorneys have the requisite experience with pedestrian injury cases, they should be able to outline the specific approaches they use to reach a settlement or win a case.
Asking personal injury lawyers these questions will help you know if they have the skills, experience, and resources to handle your case. It will also help you get a better understanding of each lawyer’s style and determine whether your personalities are compatible. Most importantly, you should feel that the Nevada pedestrian injury attorney you choose will always have your best interests at heart. Once you have met with all the lawyers, compare and contrast their responses. Then, take some time to consider your decision and clarify which lawyer feels like the best fit. However, the sooner you get moving on a claim, the higher your chances of approval.