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

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pedestrians jaywalking

While walking as your mode of transportation can help you keep in shape, it comes with significant risks. Unfortunately, when motorists and pedestrians fail to comply with the rules of the road, serious accidents, and injuries occur. In New York, pedestrians can cross the street in crosswalks and designated areas. When pedestrians fail to use crosswalks, it is considered jaywalking. Jaywalking is incredibly dangerous as it increases the likelihood of pedestrians being struck by oncoming traffic. It is also illegal and can result in serious infractions. However, despite it being unlawful many pedestrians still do it. If you have been injured in an accident and were jaywalking, contact a skilled New York City & Westchester County Pedestrian Accident Lawyer who can help you fight for the just compensation you are entitled to for your damages. Please continue reading to learn whether you can file a personal injury claim. 

What is jaywalking in New York?

Jaywalking is often described as walking in or crossing the street outside a marked crosswalk or designated area. Essentially, it is when a pedestrian illegally crosses the road. Across the U.S., official and unmarked crosswalks are provided to pedestrians to ensure they have a designated area to cross the street safely. Pedestriancanto cross the road at the nearest intersection when marked crosswalks are unavailable or inaccessible. However, they must yield to oncoming traffic.

Since jaywalking is incredibly dangerous, it is illegal in most jurisdictions, including New York. This is primarily because it causes an immediate hazard for pedestrians and motorists. Jaywalking is strictly enforced, as it can result in fines of up to $250. However, despite jaywalking being dangerous and illegal, many pedestrians still engage in this unlawful activity as they hurry to their destination or become impatient while waiting to cross.

Can I take legal action if I was hit by a car while jaywalking?

In New York, pedestrians and motorists must adhere to the rules of the road to keep everyone on the road safe and prevent serious accidents. It is critical to understand that motorists have the right of way when crossing the street anywhere other than a marked crosswalk or intersection. When pedestrians are walking in or crossing within the lines of a designated crosswalk, motorists must yield to pedestrians.

If you were struck by a vehicle and jaywalking at the time of the accident, you are likely concerned that you won’t be able to file a personal injury claim to collect monetary compensation for your damages as you were unlawfully crossing or walking in the street. However, despite jaywalking being illegal, you still have the right to file a personal injury claim to collect compensation for your losses as long as you can prove that the driver that hit you was also at fault for the cause of the accident. New York follows pure comparative negligence rules when determining fault.

Therefore, you can recover compensation if you are partially at fault for the cause of a collision. Even if the court finds that the driver is 99% at fault for the cause of the crash, you have the right to claim damages for the 1% you are not at fault for causing. For example, suppose you were jaywalking, and the motorist that struck you with their vehicle was driving recklessly. In that case,y, liability will be split as both of your negligent actions are responsible for causing the accident. Ultimately, you can file a personal injury claim if you were jaywalking during the accident. However, the amount you can recover for your damages will be impacted by your degree of fault for the collision.

For more information on pedestrian accidents involving jaywalking, contact an attorney from The Bàez Legal Group today. Our firm is prepared to help you file a personal injury claim to seek reasonable compensation for your losses.