If you get hit while jaywalking, you may be able to get compensation if you can prove that the driver was negligent. Even if you were jaywalking, a driver who is texting while driving, speeding, driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs, or engaging in other dangerous behaviors is still negligent.
According to statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of fatal accidents involving pedestrians has increased over the years. For example, in 2018, there were more than 6,000 pedestrian deaths. This is a 3% increase from the previous year. If the vehicle was moving at high speeds when the accident happened, serious injuries are likely to occur. You can also suffer serious injuries even when a car is moving at just 10 miles per hour.
The applicable laws vary from one state to another. A pedestrian accident lawyer is knowledgeable about the laws in your area and will offer insights to help you get compensation. Without legal assistance to protect your rights, the jury may find you completely at fault.
How Is Fault Determined?
Assigning the fault is this simple in some accidents. Insurance adjusters rely on the following information to determine whether the driver had adhered to all the relevant legal provisions:
- Witness statements
- Police reports
- Surveillance tapes
If someone witnesses a car accident involving a jaywalking pedestrian, they are likely to maintain that the pedestrian was at fault for walking or running out in front of a moving vehicle when talking about the incident.
What Happens If the Driver Is at Fault?
If a driver is wholly at fault, you can easily receive compensation from their insurance policy for economic and non-economic damages. The main challenge in such scenarios is fighting with insurance providers to raise their low offers.
However, if it’s determined that you were the one at fault, chances are you won’t recover any damages you may incur during the auto accident. The driver may even decide to file a claim through a personal injury lawyer’s help if they get injured after swerving or if your insurance carrier fails to pay the full cost of property damage.
Some of the situations when a pedestrian is liable for the accident include crossing busy roads without traffic controls, using highways, or other areas where pedestrians are not allowed to access, or failing to look before crossing a highway. You can visit this website to learn more about the leading causes of pedestrian accidents.
How Does Comparative Negligence Work?
In most jurisdictions, the principle of comparative negligence is applied to determine the percentage of fault in personal injury lawsuits. For example, if you get hit while jaywalking, you share some of the blame for an auto accident. The victim can collect a settlement, but it will be reduced by their share of fault.
One example of this would be a driver who causes a pedestrian accident while texting and driving. The judge may determine that the driver was 70% at fault and the pedestrian was 30% at fault. In a case like this, you would only be able to recover 30% of the total damages. If your total damages were $10,000, you would only recover $3,000.
In states with pure contributory negligence laws, if the same scenario were to take place, you would not be able to recover any damages due to the fact that you were partly at fault. This means if you are hit while jaywalking in Alabama, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, or Virginia, you may be out of luck.