According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 5,000 pedestrians are killed every year in traffic accidents. And while walking is supposed to be a healthy, enjoyable, and environmentally friendly means of transportation, it comes with significant risks. Often, pedestrians suffer catastrophic and even fatal injuries due to negligent drivers’ failure to yield, speeding, running red lights, or even getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, despite the risks of negligent motorists, in some cases, pedestrians are responsible for the cause of a collision. Jaywalking is extremely dangerous, which is why it is illegal in most jurisdictions. Although jaywalking may not seem like a big deal, it significantly increases the risk of being struck by a vehicle. If you were hit by a vehicle while jaywalking, you might be surprised to learn that jaywalking can hinder your ability to collect compensation for your losses. Please continue reading and contact a determined Birmingham Pedestrian Accident Lawyer who can help you determine whether you are still eligible to file a personal injury claim.
What is jaywalking?
Jaywalking is the act of pedestrians walking in or crossing a roadway unlawfully without regard for approaching traffic. Essentially, the most common example of jaywalking is crossing the street outside a crosswalk. Another typical example is when pedestrians cross the middle of the road and exit from between parked cars. Pedestrians are required to walk within the lines of marked crosswalks if one is available. If a pedestrian fails to do so, it can result in fines, severe injury, or even fatality.
Can I still file a personal injury claim?
If you were struck by a vehicle and were jaywalking at the time of the accident, it will impact your ability to recover compensation for your damages. Generally speaking, since you were technically breaking the law when you suffered your injuries, the driver may not be held accountable as, in this case, you are negligent. However, there are a few instances in which there are exceptions.
When the road does not have a sidewalk or is inaccessible, you may be forced to walk in the street. In such cases, this is technically not considered jaywalking as long as you yield to oncoming traffic. If the driver who struck you while you were jaywalking is also found negligent, they could be liable for your injuries. However, Alabama is among the five states following contributory negligence rules. Therefore, if you are found even 1% at fault for the cause of the collision, you will be barred from recovering any compensation for your damages. Ultimately, if you are partially responsible for the cause of an accident, you are not eligible to recover monetary compensation for your injuries.
If you have been struck by a vehicle while jaywalking, contact a knowledgeable lawyer from the legal team at Alabama Personal Injury Lawyers, LLC, to discuss your legal options.