Feb 27, 2024 | pedestrian accident

Compensation in a Pedestrian Accident Case: Can You Still Receive Damages if You Were Jaywalking?

Pedestrian accidents are unfortunately common, and determining liability is a crucial aspect of any legal case. However, a question that often arises is whether a pedestrian can receive compensation in a personal injury case if they were jaywalking at the time of the accident. The quick answer is maybe. Please contact a skilled injury attorney now if you were injured in any type of pedestrian accident.

Understanding Jaywalking

“Jaywalking” refers to the act of crossing a street unlawfully, typically outside of designated crosswalks or against traffic signals. While it is a violation of traffic laws, it does not automatically absolve a driver of responsibility in the event of an accident involving a pedestrian.

Comparative Negligence

Many jurisdictions follow the principle of comparative negligence when assessing liability in personal injury cases. Comparative negligence essentially means that even if a pedestrian was jaywalking, the court will consider the actions of both parties involved in the accident (the driver and the pedestrian) and assign a percentage of fault to each.

For example, if a driver was speeding or driving while texting, their actions might contribute to the accident despite the pedestrian’s jaywalking. In such cases, the court may assign a percentage of fault to both parties, and the compensation awarded will be reduced accordingly.

Here, the court may say that the driver was 70% at fault for the accident, while the pedestrian was 30% to blame. If the pedestrian suffered $10,000 in damages, the driver would have to compensate the pedestrian in the amount of $7,000, or 70% of the total damage award.

Pedestrian Rights and Duties

Pedestrians are generally granted certain rights on the road, and drivers are expected to exercise caution and yield to pedestrians in designated crosswalks. However, these rights come with responsibilities as well. Pedestrians are expected to follow traffic laws, use designated crosswalks, and wait for traffic signals. If a pedestrian fails to do so, and there was no way a driver could have avoided the accident, the pedestrian be fully at fault for the accident and prove unable to receive any compensation for his or her injuries.

Proving Negligence

To receive compensation in a pedestrian accident case, the injured party (whether they were jaywalking or not) must still prove that the driver was negligent and that this negligence directly led to the accident. This may involve gathering evidence such as witness statements, surveillance footage, and police reports.

Navigating the legal complexities of a pedestrian accident case, especially when the pedestrian was jaywalking, can be challenging. Consulting with a personal injury attorney is crucial to understanding your rights and building a strong case. An experienced attorney can assess the details of the accident, evaluate the applicable laws in your jurisdiction, and help you pursue fair compensation.

Contact Justice Through Compensation for Help

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, please know that the law firm of Justice Through Compensation is here to help. Our legal team is skilled, experienced, and passionate in their representation. Let us shoulder the burden of an injury claim or lawsuit while you focus on healing from your injuries. Contact us today for the quality legal help you deserve.

* Main image at top by freepik