Walking is a fantastic way to get some exercise, go somewhere you need to go, or simply get some fresh air. When walking, however, you must be cautious not to take excessive risks, such as crossing outside of crosswalks. Jaywalking is a dangerous behavior that can lead to major accidents, injuries, and even death.
As Riverside pedestrian accident attorneys, we understand how tempting it is to cut across roadways to get where you need to go — but that doing so increases your chances of being hit by a car. When a walker, runner, or jogger crosses a street or road without having the right of way, this is known as jaywalking. A person may, for example, cross a junction when the light is red (i.e., the light reads “do not walk” instead of “walk”) or cross the street outside of the crosswalk. In California, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in most cases, although this isn't always the case.
Your Legal Options Could Be Limited if You Are Hit While Jaywalking
If you cross the street without yielding to traffic or while doing anything risky — such as stepping out into traffic — you will not only increase your chances of being struck by a car, but you may also limit your capacity to heal from your injuries. If your personal carelessness contributes to an accident, your reimbursement will be reduced by the proportion that you were at blame, according to California law.
Contributory or comparative negligence is the term used to describe this situation. Consider the case where you were on your phone and jaywalked when you were hit by a car. The driver was judged to be at fault since he should have been paying attention, but you were also partially to blame for (1) being on your phone and not looking for traffic and (2) jaywalking, according to the verdict. If the jury determines that you were 30% at fault, your overall compensation will be reduced by 30%. You would earn $70,000 instead of $100,000 if you were awarded $100,000. Even if you were more than 50% at blame in an accident in California, you can still recover.
Pedestrians Commonly Experience Life-Threatening Injuries
Jaywalking is especially risky because, in the event of a collision between a vehicle of any size and a pedestrian, the pedestrian is likely to suffer life-threatening injuries. That is why pedestrians must do all necessary to limit the danger of an accident and avoid jaywalking wherever feasible.
If crosswalks are not provided, pedestrians should cross at intersections and cross streets only when traffic lights allow them to. Never walk into traffic, and keep distractions like mobile phones and headphones to a minimum. If you're walking, jogging, or running in poor light, wear light-colored or luminous clothes, and always look both ways before crossing any street or road.
A Riverside pedestrian accident lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve if you have been harmed in an accident. To book a free first consultation, contact the The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.