Accidents involving pedestrians are frightening and can be extremely distressing to everyone involved. If you were struck by a vehicle while jaywalking, you might still have legal options available against the at-fault party. Contacting a pedestrian accident attorney can be vital to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. A pedestrian accident attorney can help gather evidence and contact experts to help determine exactly what happened that led to the accident. In most cases, pedestrians suffer the worst injuries and are at fault less often.
It is against the law for a pedestrian to jaywalk—but jaywalking is not a license for a motorist to collide with you. If you were a pedestrian who was injured while jaywalking, you might not know whether you have any legal course of action.
Who was at fault? Pedestrian accidents involving jaywalking are common, but they are not always simple to deal with. In most cases, you will want to discuss what happened with a car accident lawyer to figure out the best next steps and whether you can pursue compensation for your injuries after an accident.
What Counts as Jaywalking?
Cities and towns in America have crosswalks specifically designed for pedestrians, usually found at stoplights with specific signs regulating when pedestrians can cross the street. Some pedestrians, however, may decide to cross the street elsewhere.
Jaywalking is illegal across most of the United States, although every city has different rules and penalties. Generally, pedestrians must yield the right of way to cars when crossing the road in unmarked areas and use sidewalks when available.
Unfortunately, many pedestrians are injured while jaywalking. According to the most recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics, 7,668 pedestrians died in accidents with cars in the last year. Seventy-three percent of those deaths occurred when a pedestrian was walking somewhere other than in a marked crosswalk. The majority of incidents occurred in the dark and on weekends.
If a pedestrian is walking outside the limits set by the city, police can issue a traffic citation. However, a jaywalking pedestrian might not cause the accident if the driver who hit them acted negligently. Contact a pedestrian accident attorney today to see if you may pursue compensation after being hit by a driver while jaywalking.
Who Is at Fault in a Jaywalking Pedestrian Accident?
Pedestrians must obey the laws in their state. However, drivers also must exercise due care to avoid a collision with a pedestrian, regardless of where the pedestrian is on the road.
In some cases, the fault is clear in an accident. If a pedestrian did not pay attention to their surroundings and ran into the road in front of an oncoming car, the pedestrian is more likely to bear responsibility. If a pedestrian walked carefully and safely in a crosswalk and a driver was texting and failed to stop before hitting the pedestrian, the driver is more likely at fault.
Most cases, however, are not this clear-cut. This is why you must speak with a pedestrian accident attorney after an accident resulting in injury.
In most states, fault in an accident is determined using a legal concept called comparative fault. Comparative fault, also sometimes referred to as contributory negligence, is a standard used to determine percentages of fault for each party involved in an accident.
To determine comparative fault, insurance adjusters or others in the case gather evidence from witness statements, camera or video footage of the scene, and other records or expert opinions to determine what percent of fault each person should bear. It is best to let a lawyer fight on your behalf so you can pursue the fairest compensation available to you.
How Are Damages Awarded if You Were Hit By a Driver While Jaywalking?
In most cases, after an insurance adjuster has determined fault, they make a settlement offer to the injured person. It is then up to that person whether to accept the offer or fight for something better. This may mean continuing settlement negotiations or filing a case in civil court.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
After an accident, regardless of whether or not you were at fault, you likely feel confused about what happened and concerned for all the damage the accident has caused you and your family. If you believe the driver acted negligently, you are probably feeling stressed about having to prove that to the insurance company or in court.
If you are concerned about your case after an accident involving jaywalking, reach out to a car accident lawyer for further guidance. Car accident lawyers know how to determine fault, deal with insurance companies, and fight for what their clients deserve. Instead of worrying about the accident and trying to deal with the fallout yourself, contact a car accident lawyer near you to help you get the verdict you deserve.