Key Points of This Article:
- Jaywalking can be considered a dangerous and illegal habit that can cause serious accidents.
- If a truck hits a pedestrian, the driver certainly may be at fault but is not immediately considered 100% at-fault for the accident.
- A truck accident attorney can help you navigate the complicated details of a truck accident involving a pedestrian.
Vehicle-pedestrian accidents frequently lead to serious or even fatal injuries. It’s no surprise that pedestrians are far more likely to suffer significant injuries in a collision than those within a car or truck. Because pedestrians are more susceptible to serious injury or death, many assume that drivers are always at fault.
Although it is often most totally or at least partially the truck driver’s fault, pedestrians can also be partially or wholly responsible for an accident, especially if they break the law and jaywalk. If your car or truck hits a jaywalker, you may wonder if you’re liable for their damages. The answer to this question will depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident and whether you’re partially responsible.
In this blog, we answer the question, “What happens if you hit a jaywalker?” We’ll unpack the definition of jaywalking, when pedestrians are liable for accidents, and what you should do after a pedestrian accident.
What Is Jaywalking?
Jaywalking refers to when a pedestrian crosses a street illegally. In Kentucky, pedestrians must follow traffic signals in order to cross the road, and failing to follow pedestrian signage may result in a ticket.
KRS 189.570 states that pedestrians must use sidewalks and crosswalks when they’re available, and if a pedestrian crosses outside of a designated zone, they must yield to oncoming traffic.
Jaywalker was Hit By a Car. Who’s at Fault?
Trucks and automobiles have to keep their vehicles under proper control and keep a lookout ahead. Therefore, pedestrian accidents are oftentimes at least partially the fault of the driver. However, Kentucky’s pedestrian laws illuminate the fact that jaywalkers can be partially at fault for collisions as well. . If a pedestrian crosses the street outside of a designated zone, they have a duty to yield to vehicles. Drivers have the right of way, so if a pedestrian steps out in front of a vehicle or takes another dangerous maneuver resulting in a crash, they may be found partially at fault, but this doesn’t absolve the driver of his/her negligence.
One important note is that both a pedestrian and a driver may be partially at fault for the same accident. For example, imagine that a pedestrian crosses a busy street illegally and fails to yield to oncoming traffic. At the same time, a driver operates their vehicle at a reckless speed or they are a distracted driver, leaving them little time to avoid the jaywalker. In this scenario, both the driver and the pedestrian may be found partially liable, as they both broke traffic laws and contributed to the accident in question.
A jaywalker may still be able to recover damages even if they’re partially at fault, but their percentage of liability will directly impact the amount they can recover. Kentucky is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning that a person can recover partial compensation even if they were mostly responsible for the accident. If a pedestrian is considered 75% at fault, they may still be able to recover damages for their medical bills and other losses. That said, the amount they can recoup will be 75% less than if the accident had been the driver’s fault. If their total losses amount to $20,000, they’ll only be able to recover $5,000 ($20,000 x 25%).
Fortunately, if your truck hits a jaywalker and if either is partially at fault, you can still recover damages. Just like with the previous example, the total amount you’ll be able to recover will depend on your damages and percentage of liability.
What Happens If You Are Hit by a Truck or Automobile While Jaywalking?
If you are a jaywalker who might even be partially at fault for your accident, you need to take steps to ensure you’re not wrongfully or wholly blamed. First and foremost, you need to call 911 if the collision injured you. This is especially important in pedestrian accidents because the walker may suffer life-threatening injuries. If no one suffered a serious injury, you should still contact the police and wait for them to arrive. You should then answer all of their questions to the best of your ability.
While at the scene of the accident, you should exchange information if physically able. Make sure to obtain the other person’s name, contact information, and insurance information.
Additionally, you should collect evidence indicating that the other person may be at fault. Take many photos and videos of the scene of the accident, and speak with anyone who witnessed the crash. You should write down the names and contact information of all eyewitnesses because you may need to use their testimonies to help prove what happened
Were You Wrongfully Blamed For a Pedestrian Accident? Contact a Lawyer
The sad reality is that the wrong person is often unjustly blamed for pedestrian accidents. Even if a pedestrian jaywalked at the time of the accident, insurance companies may still determine that the driver was liable.
If you require legal assistance after an accident in Owensboro, Kentucky, contact the pedestrian accident lawyers at Rhoads & Rhoads Attorneys at Law. We’ll work to help you prove that you weren’t liable for the pedestrian accident. Additionally, depending on your case, we may be able to help you recover damages for past and future medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.
You can schedule a free case evaluation with our team today online or by calling 888-709-9329.