What to Do After a Hit and Run Pedestrian Accident
On Saturday, May 30, a 65-year-old woman was killed in a fatal hit-and-run accident near downtown Las Vegas. The woman was at a bus stop on Owens Avenue when a 2020 Toyota Camry traveling at high speed veered off the roadway. The driver crashed into a light pole on the Owens Avenue sidewalk, and then crashed into the bus stop. Once the Camry hit the bus stop, it also hit the woman, who was dragged onto the sidewalk. The driver fled, while the woman died at the scene. This was a gruesome reminder of the consequences of hit-and-run car accidents. It is also a reminder of how dangerous and deadly speeding is. What if you are a pedestrian who is struck by a motorist who then flees the scene of the accident? We break down what you should do after a hit-and-run accident and offer tips on how to avoid motor vehicle involved pedestrian accidents.
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What is a Hit and Run Pedestrian Accident?
A pedestrian is a person who is walking or running on a road or sidewalk. According to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, the state of Nevada ranks among the 10 worst states for pedestrian fatalities.
A hit-and-run is a type of traffic accident where the motorist does not stop or help after the accident. In Nevada, you are required by law “to stop at scene of crash involving death or personal injury” (NRS 484E.010). Nevada law also states “to stop at scene of crash involving damage to vehicle or property” (NRS 484E.020). You have a “duty to give information and render aid” (NRS 484E.030). If you do not stop and render aid, you could face fines and jail time.
A hit-and-run pedestrian accident is when a motorist hits a pedestrian and leaves the scene of the accident without stopping or giving aid. Charges can range from misdemeanor to felony. Penalties for an injury or fatality from a hit-and-run accident include up to twenty years in prison and a fine of $2,000 to $5,000 in Nevada. If only property damage occurred, penalties could include a misdemeanor charge. Punishment could also mean suspension or revocation of your license.
What to do After the Hit and Run Accident
A hit-and-run accident can happen practically anywhere. Whether you are in your car on a highway or a pedestrian on the street, you can be hit without a moment’s notice.
If you or another person was hurt, call 911 as soon as possible. Make sure that you or anyone injured gets proper medical care immediately. Remember to keep all medical records and bills related to the accident. Often insurance companies rely on this information to determine your case and compensation.
If you are well enough after the crash, write down everything you can remember about the accident. It is much harder to recall details the longer you wait after the hit-and-run. Write down the date, time and location. Details you might remember are the color, make or model of the car. You might remember something unique about the car like a vanity license plate or special feature like a sunroof. These details will help law enforcement track down the car that hit you.
Collect Contact Information of Witnesses
If there were any witnesses, get their contact information. Try to get a name, phone number or e-mail address. Their account can help you and your personal injury case. Witnesses can also be crucial in finding the motorist who fled the scene.
Photograph the Scene
These days, many people have a smart phone with camera capabilities. Take photographs of the scene of the accident. Try to capture aspects of the scene like the position of the involved cars or bikes. Photograph any property damage. Make note if there are any video cameras in the area that law enforcement can review for more details of the accident.
Report the Accident
File a police report as soon as you can. The sooner you file it, the sooner police can track down the driver and charge them with the appropriate offense. The police report will also help you if you file an insurance claim and when you look into your legal options.
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Tips to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian
- Be Visible. Wearing bright or reflective clothing can help drivers see you at night or in poor weather. You might consider bringing along a flashlight or headlamp. Wearing reflectors can make you visible in headlights to a car that is 500 feet away.
- Use Sidewalks. Crosswalks and sidewalks are made specifically for pedestrians. Use them as much as you can when you are out walking or running. If the crosswalk seems out of the way, use it! If there isn’t a sidewalk available, stay as close to the edge of the road as you can. If you must be on the road, walk against traffic so you can see cars coming towards you. Walking with traffic can put you more at risk of getting hit by a car that didn’t see you.
- Stay Alert. The same way you have to be alert and active when driving, you should remain aware when you are walking. When crossing a driveway, be aware of cars pulling out. When walking through a parking lot, be aware of cars entering or exiting parking spaces. Try to avoid using headphones or be on your cell phone, as you might not hear a car honking or approaching traffic.
- Remember Common Safety Rules. Every time you cross a street, remember to look left, right, and then left again. If walking with children, hold their hand when crossing the street. Obey pedestrian signs like walk signals.
- Avoid walking while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They can impair your judgement and put you in danger. Instead, call a taxi or ride sharing service.
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Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers
The decisions you make after an accident can greatly affect your future. Once you get to safety and report the accident, the next step is to call a car accident lawyer. If the victim is a loved one that has passed away due to a hit and run, you will need a lawyer who can fight for justice for your family. If you or a loved one has been the victim in a pedestrian hit and run in the Las Vegas area, you’ll want to consult with Anthem Injury Lawyers as soon as possible.
But you may wonder if you really need a Las Vegas car accident lawyer – what about looking up information online to inform yourself? It’s okay to inform yourself with some data from the Internet. But when it comes to seeking maximum compensation, you’ll want to put your case in the hands of the car accident law experts. Our car accident lawyers are experienced at handling all types of car accidents. These accidents include: large trucks or SUVs and accidents involving motorcyclists and bicyclists. Our accident lawyers are also familiar with accidents where there was a driver who was driving under the influence or with an elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC). You can be assured that our attorneys will expertly review the facts. If we determine that you have a case, we’ll aggressively represent you. We want you to receive the best opportunity to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Call us today for a free case analysis: (702) 857-6000. Our law office is located in Henderson, but we work with clients all over the Las Vegas Valley. Should you need us to, we can come to you. Contact us today if you’ve been an accident victim in the Las Vegas area.
Please note: Not only do we have extensive car accident case experience; we are up to date on current legal challenges. This includes the latest events surrounding COVID-19. We will work aggressively to protect your rights and help you receive maximum compensation.