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How negligence laws help less-than-perfect victims

Our law office has yet to represent a perfect person who has been injured in a car accident or other type of vehicle accident. There is always something that someone could have done just a little bit better in order to avoid an accident, even if they wound up getting the worst of the injuries.

The fact that a person did not do everything, right, however, does not mean that he or she deserves no compensation when another motorist, through negligence, causes him or her to suffer serious or catastrophic injuries.

Nevada's negligence laws recognize this important point. In Nevada, an injured cannot sue for compensation if their own negligence renders them primarily, that is, at least 51 percent, at fault for the accident.

However, someone who was less than half at fault can still recover compensation from other negligent parties, but their compensation will be reduced by the percentage of the accident that is attributable to them.

To give a practical example inspired by a previous post, let's say that a pedestrian starts to cross the street at a crosswalk, but only starts to cross when the red hand or "Don't Walk" sign starts to flash. Technically, this is not appropriate since no one is supposed to enter the cross walk once the sign starts to flash.

While the pedestrian is in the middle of the intersection, a motorist makes an improper right turn on red, as the motorist was not paying attention and did not see the pedestrian. The motorist hits and injures the pedestrian.

Although it is ultimately up to the judge or jury, the pedestrian will likely be able to get compensation in a lawsuit after this accident, but he or she may see his or her compensation reduced slightly since the pedestrian should not have been in the crosswalk at the time of the accident.

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