CAN I SUE A DRIVER IF I WAS JAYWALKING?
Posted on Friday, January 20th, 2017 at 6:41 am
One of the safest places to cross the street is in a crosswalk or at an intersection. However, crossing the road in a crosswalk does not guarantee you will not be injured in a pedestrian accident. Even though drivers are supposed to stop for pedestrians, drivers do not always obey the law. Therefore, pedestrians must take steps to protect themselves when crossing the road.
Recovering Compensation in A Sacramento Pedestrian Accident
To receive compensation for your injuries from a pedestrian accident, you must prove that the other party was at fault. In most car-pedestrian accidents, proving that the driver was at fault is usually a straightforward process. However, several things can complicate the process.
For example, if you were crossing the road in a crosswalk but you were crossing when the pedestrian sign was directing you to wait, the driver can argue that you were at fault. The driver may also argue that you were at fault if you were jaywalking instead of crossing at an intersection or in a crosswalk. On the other hand, are you at fault if a driver is speeding or texting and hits you while you are jaywalking?
Determining fault and recovering compensation for damages can be difficult in a car-pedestrian accident because of California’s comparative negligence law.
Comparative Negligence in Pedestrian Accidents
Under California’s comparative negligence laws, your recovery in a personal injury claim can be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you for the accident. In other words, if a jury finds that you contributed to the cause of the accident, you will not receive 100 percent of the compensation for your injuries. In a jaywalking accident, comparative negligence can be a huge factor.
If you are jaywalking when you are hit by a car, the driver may argue that you contributed to the accident by jaywalking. If a jury agrees with the driver’s argument, the jury may decide you are partially to blame for the accident and assign a percentage of fault to you. Your recovery is reduced by the percent of fault assigned to you for jaywalking. For example, if your damages are $100,000 but the jury assigns 30 percent of fault to you for jaywalking, you only receive $70,000 for your damages ($100,000 less 30 percent).
Don’t Assume You Cannot File a Claim If You Are Jaywalking
Even though you are jaywalking, a driver still has a responsibility to avoid an accident. As discussed above, if the driver is speeding, texting, drowsy, or impaired, the driver may be partially or fully liable for your damages. You should always consult with a Sacramento pedestrian accident attorney for a free case evaluation before discussing the accident with an attorney or insurance adjuster for the driver.
The insurance adjuster and its attorneys may try to convince you that you are not entitled to compensation because you were jaywalking — don’t trust them. Call our Sacramento pedestrian accident attorney for a free consultation.
Call Now for A Free Appointment
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, call the Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 for a free consultation with an experienced Sacramento pedestrian accident attorney.