Jaywalking is a crime you may have already committed without even realizing it. By understanding the definition of jaywalking and the California laws that regulate it, you can keep yourself, other pedestrians, and drivers safe on the road. Let our pedestrian accident law firm explain.
Jaywalking is defined as the act of crossing a street illegally, for example by walking outside marked or designated cross-walks. It is considered reckless or negligent behavior as it demonstrates a disregard for the law and general safety of others.
Many pedestrians are tempted to jaywalk on roads that are considered less populated with traffic, as it seems simple enough to run across the street after looking both ways. However, jaywalking poses a serious risk for pedestrians and car drivers alike, and should be avoided at all costs.
Always remember to obey traffic laws when on foot to mitigate the risk of an accident occurring. Never cross the street outside of cross-walks. Similarly, never cross a cross-walk if a light flashes “do not walk”. Be sure to wait for the sign to change. It’s smart to walk on designated sidewalks and pathways designed to keep foot travelers safe. Your life and the life of the drivers around you may depend on it.
What Are Jaywalking Laws In California?
Like in many states, jaywalking is illegal in the state of California. This offense, albeit minor, is still penalized by a fine. Typically fines for jaywalking do not exceed $250. The California jaywalking statute states that if there is an adjoining intersection controlled by a traffic signal device, then a pedestrian shall not cross the road at a place except within a crosswalk.
Since California law prohibits jaywalking, jaywalkers never have the right of way on the road. Pedestrians should always stick to designated crosswalks and, of course, should always stay aware of oncoming traffic.
If you were jaywalking in California and were hit by a car, it might be difficult to prove that you were not at fault in this situation. If a court decides that the car who hit you was not operating negligently, you may not be able to receive compensation for your medical bills or lost wages. However, jaywalkers are not completely defenseless. Speak with a pedestrian accident attorney in California to understand what legal options you have.
Who Is Held Liable When A Jaywalking Pedestrian And Car Collide?
In the event that a car hit you while you were jaywalking, it may be difficult to prove that the car was at fault in this situation. The driver will likely argue that you were not following the law, which would deem you negligent and responsible for your own injuries. However, pedestrian accidents are seldom black and white.
As a pedestrian accident victim, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries if the driver that hit you was negligent or broke the law in any way. For example, if you were jaywalking, but a drunk driver swerved out of his or her lane and hit you, that driver was operating unlawfully and will likely be deemed the negligent party in this specific case.
If a pedestrian is walking in the middle of the road or directly into oncoming traffic, and a court of law deems the driver did no wrong and was following the law, it is unlikely that the pedestrian will be able to recoup their economic losses for their injuries. Consult with a lawyer in either case, as you may have legal options for acquiring compensation that you are unaware of.
How Can I Strengthen My Pedestrian Accident Case?
As with any personal injury case, evidence of the accident is crucial for supporting your stance and proving the at-fault party’s liability. After an accident, always seek medical help first. Addressing your injuries is of the utmost importance.
Next, be sure to collect as much evidence as possible. Talk to any eye witnesses and physically document their statements, whether by recording or pen and paper. Take a photo of the car’s license plate, registration, and insurance information if possible.
If there are any street signs that state you were permitted to be walking where you were walking, take a photo to prove you were not at fault. The more information you can present that supports your case, the stronger your personal injury lawsuit will be.
As daunting as it may seem to prepare for a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to remember that the right lawyer will handle all the legwork of your case on your behalf. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, what is most important is that you seek the medical attention you deserve and take the time to nurse your injuries. Your lawyer will communicate with your insurance company as well as the defendant’s insurance company in order to make the process of filing a case as easy as possible for you.
Schedule A Free Consultation With A Pedestrian Accident Lawyer If You’ve Been Hit By A Car Under Any Circumstance
Whether you were hit by a motor vehicle that did not recognize you had the right of way while crossing the street or you were simply struck by a reckless or negligent driver, a pedestrian accident lawyer can help you recover damages for any serious injury you sustained and any parts of your life that were affected by your pedestrian injury.
Not all pedestrian accident cases end up going to trial. Our attorneys can save you time and money and get you the relief you need by avoiding trial and negotiating a significant settlement for your injuries.
At The Accident Network Law Group, our team of pedestrian accident attorneys and car accident lawyers are skilled in navigating cases just like yours. Even if you were jaywalking, you have a right to speak with a lawyer and discuss your options for seeking compensation.
Contact The Accident Network Law Group to schedule a free consultation at no obligation to you. Send our legal team an email at [email protected] to plan a visit to our Riverside or Costa Mesa offices.