Jaywalking. We’ve all be guilty of it at one time or another. The street is clear but you aren’t quite at the crosswalk yet. Do you risk it? Many of us do in order to get to our destination faster. But sometimes, jaywalking can result in an accident. A car doesn’t see you crossing the road, or you misjudge the amount of time you have before a car comes. Even though you will most likely receive the majority of the injuries in a jaywalking accident, you still could be partially at fault.
Everyone, including pedestrians, has to follow the traffic laws. These laws were put in place for everyone’s safety and it is against the law to jaywalk. Jaywalking includes crossing the road not at a crosswalk or walking on areas of the road where pedestrians are not permitted (side of highways etc.).
If you do not follow these rules and a car hits you, you are partially responsible for the accident. This means that you may not be able to receive as much compensation to help pay for any injuries you received as a result of the accident. The court takes into account the pedestrian’s negligence – did you willingly jaywalk or be in a place on the road that is illegal for pedestrians? There are two different types of negligence which vary by state:
- Contributory negligence: Any negligence on the part of the pedestrian will result in zero financial contribution from any other at-fault parties (i.e. the driver). This means that if someone hit you after they ran a red light, but you were jaywalking, then you would receive no financial contribution from the driver because you both were at fault.
- Comparative negligence: This rule determines how financially responsible each at-fault party is based on an at-fault percentage. For example, say your injuries from the above red light jaywalking accident cost $100,000. If a jury found you 40% responsible and the driver 60% responsible, then the maximum monetary amount you could receive from the driver is $60,000.
How is fault determined?
As you can see, percentages of fault are very important in determining your compensation level. How are these numbers determined? A jury will look at all the facts in the case before deciding a percentage. This includes things like if the pedestrian texting and walking, listening to music, talking on the phone — anything that would distract the pedestrian from looking both ways to see if it was clear before crossing. The same goes for the driver – were they texting? On the phone? Not paying attention to their speed and surroundings?
If you live in a no-fault car insurance state, most likely your car insurance or the driver’s car insurance will pay for your injuries. If you live in a traditional fault state, things might be a little trickier as you will need the driver to state they were completely at fault for the accident. The best thing to do after you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident is to reach out to a personal injury attorney. They can help you through the process and get you the compensation you deserve.