In a significant percentage of pedestrian accidents, the vehicle driver acquires little to no injuries, whereas the pedestrian is left with a broken arm or leg. Because pedestrians are mostly the ones who get hurt in such accidents, they are generally thought to have the right of way. However, if pedestrians are not careful and disobey the traffic laws, the vehicle driver may not be in a position to prevent a collision.
Jaywalking is the cause of many pedestrian accidents in the United States. Jaywalking is not a proper practice and should be avoided to prevent accidents. If you have been injured while jaywalking, chances are you won’t get compensated. However, a pedestrian accident lawyer can analyze your case and help you explore your legal options to protect yourself.
What is referred to as jaywalking?
Jaywalking is when a person crosses the road even when a “Do Not Walk” sign or red traffic light indicates that pedestrians should not cross the road. Jaywalking is a traffic violation, and a pedestrian should cross the road at the nearest intersection or crosswalk.
Are pedestrians at fault in jaywalking accidents?
Every person who uses the road is obligated to obey the traffic laws, whether a vehicle driver or a pedestrian. Jaywalking is not allowed on the road, and if you have gotten injured while jaywalking, you are liable for your injuries. Even if you have sustained the worst injuries among the two parties, you are still liable as you caused a breach of duty on the road.
Can drivers be partially liable in a jaywalking accident?
The short answer to this is yes. Pedestrians and drivers both must take utmost care and be precautious when using the road. While the pedestrian must not cross the road in dangerous situations, vehicle drivers must also always drive safely.
Drivers must do everything possible to avoid an accident, even if the pedestrian is breaking the rules. For this, the drivers must always keep their eyes on the road, drive at a safe speed, press brakes at the right time, and not get distracted while driving. If the pedestrian successfully establishes that the driver had an opportunity to stop the accident but failed to do so, they can be held partially responsible.
For example, suppose a pedestrian is crossing the road at a red signal and can be seen by drivers from a distance. Motorists keeping their eyes on the road will be able to see the pedestrian from a distance and slow down their vehicle to avoid a collision. However, distracted drivers would not be able to do the same. Therefore, pedestrian accidents almost always have shared liability.