Perhaps you were running to catch a taxi or you simply were not paying as much attention as you should. Maybe your child ran out into the street before you could grab their hand. Whatever the case may be, you may find yourself searching for answers after being hit by a car while jaywalking. Although this can be a difficult situation, there are steps you can take depending on the laws in your state and the driver’s fault during the accident. If you sustained injuries when hit, there are questions that must be answered to ensure you receive the correct support.
To Sue or Not to Sue
You have a right to a fair trial. Unfortunately, both you and the driver are seen to be at fault; you for jaywalking and the driver for hitting you. The driver may state that you are at fault for walking in front of them, no matter if you were injured or not. Fortunately, there are laws and standards in place to keep motorists from getting away from any fault at all. These standards are called: negligence, contributory negligence and comparative fault.
Negligence can be described as the responsibility to act reasonably to avoid an accident or causing injury to other people. Motorists that do not act reasonably and cause harm to someone or something in their path have committed negligence on their part. If the motorist does commit negligence, they are then responsible for the damage that was caused. Unfortunately, this leaves plenty of room for the motorist to respond negatively and state that you are at fault for crossing in front of them. They may state that they should not be responsible for injuries that you indeed caused. However, there are two important standards that can be used to combat these statements, depending on the state you are in.
Simply put, if defense can prove that the plaintiff was at fault, there is no liability. This does not matter how much fault the defendant has. If you were jaywalking and the motorist was doing her makeup or he was reading a book, you could agree that the motorist is more at fault due to not paying attention to the road in front of them. Unfortunately, it does not matter and you would not be able to receive any money for the damages, although the fault is not your own. If the state you are in uses this standard, you may be responsible for your injuries.
Fortunately, a lot of courts within the United States use comparative fault as their standard of conducting these proceedings. During the proceedings, the jury looks at both sides of the story and the relative degrees of fault. After this, they then assign each of you a percentage of fault. During the case of Murdoch v. Biggers, 2012 BCSC 747, a woman was found to be jaywalking when running to catch a bus. Although she did run in front of the vehicle the judge found the motorist to also be at fault to some degree. The plaintiff was awarded 25 percent of the cost of her injuries. This is how comparative fault works.
It is important to research your state’s standards of negligence and how to proceed. If you feel you need to proceed, you should take the next step to locate a professional attorney to aid you in the process.
Consult an Attorney
After viewing these standards, the next step is to consult an attorney if you wish to proceed. The attorney will be able to explain your state’s standards as well as the next steps to take in the process. Your attorney will discuss the laws and explain whether or not you will receive compensation for your injuries or damages. If you do go to court, the attorney will be able to plead your case for you and give you the ultimate turn around for your injuries. You don’t have to do this alone.
If you are dealing with injuries sustained after a jaywalking accident, there are laws that must be followed to ensure your safety and your assets. You should discuss with an attorney the laws within your state and also the proper steps to take to receive money or action against your damages.