What happens if you hit A Pedestrian Jaywalker?
If you happen to hit someone while they are jaywalking, you may be held liable for the damages, mainly when you broke the law or are found negligent. However, you can argue that the jaywalking individual was at fault and not following the law.
When someone jumps in front of your oncoming car where you did nothing wrong and was adhering to the law, they are less likely to receive compensation for their injuries since you didn’t have any other option, and couldn’t get out of the way. In that case, witness evidence or video footage can help prove who is at fault for the arising injuries.
As a driver, you are more likely to cause harm to a pedestrian than they do, which explains why you always need to be careful. When an accident happens, you’ll have less wiggle room to defend yourself compared to a pedestrian, meaning; you are almost always going to be held accountable for the injuries. There are rare cases where the pedestrian is held entirely liable; even when s/he was jaywalking.
Your best option is often to explore the comparative negligence concept. In this theory, the pedestrian can also be held responsible if s/he was partially at fault. If this is determined, then the amount you’d pay for the injuries would reduce. And if you and the pedestrian cannot reach an agreement, then you can take the case to court for the jury or judge to determine who was more responsible than the other, the percentage of responsibility that each person holds and the compensation that has to be paid.
For instance, if you hit a pedestrian who was jaywalking, the judge might determine that the pedestrian was 30% responsible for the accident. So you would need to pay 70% of the total amount that would take care of all the pedestrian losses resulting from the crash. But if the pedestrian was 50% or more liable, s/he cannot get any compensation. Texas follows the 51% rule, which means that the injured party can get compensation if s/he is 50% at fault or less. The pure comparative negligence theory allows the pedestrian to obtain compensation even when s/he was 99% responsible – but the final recovery would be lowered by that much.
This theory states that the pedestrian’s negligence in tandem with the underlying accident, regardless of the extent, will prevent the person from any monetary compensation from other at-fault parties. For example, if a pedestrian was jaywalking and you hit them while speeding – they won’t recover anything from you. But this law only applies in Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, Washington DC, and Maryland.
Working with a lawyer
If you happen to hit a pedestrian jaywalker, it is in your best interest to bring in an experienced lawyer to guide you through the process, and even represent you. It can be challenging to defend your reasonableness against that of the pedestrian, and that’s where a lawyer will apply their experience and skills to get you the best possible outcome.