What to do if you're hit by a car in Las Vegas
Protect your health and your rights after an accident
Las Vegas is a highly walkable city, particularly downtown, but too many motorists fail to properly share the road with pedestrians, with serious and often fatal consequences. In Clark County, 62 pedestrians were killed in accidents in 2020, up from 51 in 2019. Being hit by a car is a nightmare, and while the accident itself may have happened in a moment in time, the consequences can stretch on for years. Taking the right actions immediately after a pedestrian accident is critical to protect both your health and your legal rights.
Get to safety, but remain at the scene if you can
Obviously, if you need emergency medical attention, that takes priority, but otherwise, you need to stay at the scene. Get out of the road and onto the sidewalk or another safe location, call 911, and stay where you are until the police arrive. Take pictures of the scene, the vehicle, and any visible injuries. If there are surveillance cameras with a view of the scene — major intersections in Las Vegas have them, as do many businesses — take note of that as well.
Just as importantly, the driver needs to stay at the scene, give you their insurance information, and wait for the police. That said, if the car that hit you flees the scene, don't try to pursue it. Try to remember the license plate number and any other identifying details about the car, and get contact information for any witnesses.
While at the scene, don't say anything regarding fault for the accident. Don't apologize. Keep your comments brief and stick to the facts of what happened. That said, do make sure the investigating police officer gets your side of the story so that it will be reflected in the police report.
Get medical attention right away
You might think you're incredibly lucky if you feel okay after a pedestrian accident, but you aren't out of the woods just yet. When you're hit by a car, your "fight-or-flight" response goes into overdrive. Your adrenaline levels are high, which means you have increased energy, decreased pain perception, and faster blood clotting. This is important to help you survive a dangerous situation, but it can also mask symptoms of a serious injury. Pedestrian accidents often cause concussions (traumatic brain injuries), internal injuries, and other injuries that may take time to become apparent.
See a doctor as soon as possible, whether that's at the emergency room, an urgent care clinic, or your own primary care provider. Tell the doctor what happened and describe all your symptoms in as much detail as you can. The doctor may need to order tests such as an X-ray or an MRI to diagnose your injuries. Then, follow your doctor's instructions and take your medications as prescribed. Keep copies of all the medical records: visit summaries, prescriptions, discharge instructions, and so on.
Get an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer
Nevada is a "fault" state for motor vehicle accidents, which means the person responsible for the accident is responsible for paying your damages. Usually, that's the driver of the car that hit you, or occasionally it's another party such as a vehicle manufacturer. Regardless, the at-fault party's interests are represented by their insurance company, and they have every incentive to reduce or deny your claim, considering the long-term cost of a pedestrian accident can be quite high, and the insurance companies fight hard to reduce or outright deny claims. Meanwhile, as a pedestrian, you don't even have your own insurance company nominally looking out for you. That's why it's so important to get a lawyer who knows the system and can advocate for your rights.
In short, after a pedestrian accident in Las Vegas, the safest bet is to put experience on your side. It's important to act quickly so that we can secure evidence (such as camera footage) before it disappears and so we can start dealing with the insurance company while you focus on healing. Contact Lasso Injury Law in Las Vegas today for your free consultation with a highly skilled pedestrian accident attorney.