Injured While Jaywalking – Do I Still Have A Case?

What is “jaywalking”? Jaywalking is a term commonly used to refer to unlawful or reckless pedestrian crossing of a roadway.

As a general rule, jaywalking is never a good idea. The consequences of a vehicle-on-pedestrian collision are often catastrophic if not fatal.

Here’s a recent example of a pedestrian fatality in San Francisco when a man was struck by a bus after stepping onto the roadway from between vehicles.

However, jaywalking doesn’t necessarily mean your personal injury claim will fail. Why is that?

In California, there are specific “Rules of the Road” that drivers and pedestrians are supposed to follow. These rules are found in Division 11 of the California Vehicle Code.

California Vehicle Code, Division 11, Chapter 5, Sections 21950 and 21954 establish the respective duties of vehicle drivers and pedestrians in this type of situation.

In essence, pedestrians are prohibited from suddenly moving in front of dangerously close vehicles. At the same time, vehicle drivers are required to exercise due care for pedestrian safety – regardless of whether the pedestrian is lawfully in the roadway.

For example, a jaywalking pedestrian hit by an inattentive driver that’s texting and driving 20 mph over the speed limit may still have a viable claim.


About The Author

Allister R. Liao is a bilingual English-Chinese attorney. He represents injured victims of negligence.

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