Can I sue if I was hit by a car while jaywalking?

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pedestrians walking on crosswalk

Navigating the busy streets of New York City can present various challenges for both motorists and pedestrians. However, vulnerable road users such as pedestrians are at significant risk of injury of being struck by a vehicle, as they are afforded little to no outside protection. Therefore, the impact of the collision can result in life-altering and fatal injuries. As such, New York legally requires pedestrians to walk in and cross the street from designated areas. When pedestrians walk outside of designated areas, they are considered to be jaywalking. Jaywalking is incredibly dangerous as it increases the chances of pedestrians being hit by motor vehicles. It is illegal, making accident victims wonder whether they retain the right to file a personal injury claim. Keep reading to learn how jaywalking can impact your accident claim, and discover how a dedicated New York City Pedestrian Accident Lawyer can help you fight for the rightful compensation you deserve. 

What is jaywalking?

Jaywalking refers to when individuals illegally cross or walk in the street outside designated areas without regard to approaching traffic. Despite jaywalking being illegal, many pedestrians still engage in this unlawful practice. When pedestrians don’t see a vehicle coming, they may attempt to cross a road outside of a designated area. However, reckless motorists may quickly whip around a corner, resulting in a collision, as motorists have the right of way when they cross the street anywhere other than a designated crosswalk or intersection. Even if it seems safe to cross the road from outside the lines of an official or unmarked crosswalk, you should refrain from doing so. This will reduce your chances of being hit by a car. If you are caught jaywalking, you can be subject to hefty fines.

Can I file a personal injury claim if I was jaywalking at the time of the accident?

Fortunately, even if you were jaywalking at the time of the accident, you still have the right to file a personal injury claim. You can claim damages for your injuries as long as you can prove the motorist that hit you was also at fault for the cause of the collision. New York follows pure comparative negligence rules. This system splits liability between the parties involved in the crash. Essentially, the state allows accident victims to recover compensation for their damages even if they were partially at fault for the cause of the accident. However, their award will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. Therefore, you can claim damages for the 1% you were not at fault even when the motorist is found 99% at fault.

Contact a qualified New York City pedestrian accident lawyer from the Law Office of Brian J Elbaum if you need legal assistance. With years of experience, you can trust our legal team to help you seek reasonable compensation for your losses.

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