Unfortunately, many places across the country have been designed with cars in mind, making it difficult for pedestrians to safely navigate their communities. In many instances, drivers rarely even yield to pedestrians patiently waiting at crosswalks. As such, you may be forced to walk in the road or cross outside of a crosswalk. However, if you are injured while doing this, you may be shocked to discover that it can impact the compensation you are entitled to since you are jaywalking. Keep reading to learn more about how this will influence your case and why you need to enlist the assistance of an experienced Tom Green County, Texas personal injury lawyer.
What Is Jaywalking?
Jaywalking is a term for those who walk in or cross the street outside designated areas with little regard for traffic. For example, if there is a clear and accessible sidewalk, but someone chooses to walk in the road, they would be jaywalking. Similarly, failing to walk fifty yards to the corner to access a crosswalk and instead crossing in the middle of the street is jaywalking.
Though it may not seem like a big deal, this act is against the law in most states, including Texas. If caught jaywalking in the Lone Star State, you can incur a fine of up to $200.
Am I Still Eligible to File a Claim?
If you were injured while jaywalking, it’s essential to understand that this will impact your case. Unfortunately, the driver may not be held liable as you were technically breaking the law when struck. However, there are exceptions to this.
For example, if there is no sidewalk, or the sidewalk is inaccessible, you may have had no choice but to walk in the street. Similarly, if you must cross the street and there is no sidewalk, you can cross the street so long as you yield to traffic.
However, if you were jaywalking and the other driver was also negligent, such as driving under the influence, speeding, or driving distracted, they may also be held liable for the injuries you sustained.
Texas follows a modified comparative negligence statute. This means you are unable to recover compensation if you are found to be more than 51% liable for the collision. If you are jaywalking, but the driver was drunk and speeding, the courts may only hold you 25% responsible for the incident. As such, your award amount would be reduced by 25%.
In order to ensure you recover the most compensation possible for the injuries you’ve sustained, it’s essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible. At the Mathis Law Firm, we will fight to help you by building a case on your behalf. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our dedicated legal team.