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Hit By a Car While Jaywalking: My Fault or Theirs?

Posted on: February 16, 2017 by Edwards & Patterson Law

hit by a car

If you are jaywalking and, as a result, hit by a car, there is a good chance that you are at least partially at fault. However, getting hit by a car while jaywalking is not always a clear-cut case of attributing blame to the injured party. First of all, let’s look at the definition of jaywalking.

According to Merriam Webster, the definition of jaywalking is: “to cross a street carelessly or in an illegal manner so as to be endangered by traffic.”

In law, the meaning of definitions is extremely important. Therefore, establishing that a claim stands up to scrutiny often depends on whether definitions are being used correctly. In the case of jaywalking, there is obviously a lot of room for the liberal interpretation of the factors which contributed to the accident.

Plaintiff’s Foreknowledge

In order to break jaywalking laws, you must disobey a pedestrian traffic law. In Oklahoma, pedestrians are required to obey traffic crossing devices, use crosswalks or yield to traffic, and use marked crosswalks only, when attempting to cross at adjacent intersections with traffic control systems in place.

In many instances, it is impossible for the pedestrian to know that they are jaywalking, however. If warning signs are poorly placed or otherwise obscured, for instance, it is unreasonable to expect the pedestrian to know that there are stop signs or walkways nearby.

Oklahoma Law

Oklahoma operates under a 51% Bar Rule, which means that if you are found to be 51% at fault you won’t receive any compensation. However, if it can be established that the driver shoulders most of the fault, you can receive up to 49% percent or more of the maximum award. Therefore, establishing liability is extremely important if you were jaywalking when your personal injury occurred.

Examples of liability on the part of the driver include: driving too fast, not paying due care and attention, and distracted driving etc. Proving liability, however, will require evidence to support your claim that you were not entirely at fault. In order to do so, you will need the expert guidance and representation that a personal injury lawyer can offer.

Legal Representation when Hit by a Car

When you have been hit by a car, but feel that it was your own fault, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer. There are a number of circumstances which could prove that the driver was liable, even if all the evidence suggests you were jaywalking and shouldering the blame.

A representative from the driver’s insurance company may contact you, in order to get your version of events. However, you do not have to speak to them until you have sought your own legal advice. In fact, speaking to the driver’s insurance company could severely damage your chances of seeking any sort of compensation.

Before you speak to anyone representing the driver, contact Edwards-Patterson. We are experts in personal injury claims. Our personal injury lawyers know the law – we will make sure you are not hung out to dry. You are entitled to pursue a claim for compensation, so let us deal with establishing the facts and getting you the payout you deserve.

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