Can Jaywalkers Be at Fault for Causing a Car Accident?

pedestrians at crosswalk during daytimeWhen a pedestrian gets struck by a vehicle, most people automatically assume the driver is at fault. This assumption is often true. Drivers have a duty to keep an eye out for vulnerable road users. However, if a pedestrian crosses the street illegally, he or she may be held at least partially at fault for a crash.

Below, Greg Monforton & Partners discuss the dangers of jaywalking and when a pedestrian may be at fault for causing a car accident while jaywalking. If you have been injured in a pedestrian-related accident, our legal team is here to help. You may be eligible to pursue compensation to help cover your medical bills and other related damages. The initial consultation comes at no cost and there is no obligation involved.

Our intake staff is available to take your call anytime, day or night. If we determine that you have a case, we charge zero upfront fees for our services. We only get paid if we help you obtain a recovery.

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What Exactly is Jaywalking?

Jaywalking is when a pedestrian crosses a street in a non-designated area or when not permitted. Pedestrians who ignore traffic laws for safe crossing are putting themselves and drivers in danger.

You may be more likely to encounter jaywalkers on busy high-traffic roads that do not have traffic controls. There are instances when a pedestrian may walk through an unmarked area, which would not be considered jaywalking. For instance, you are not jaywalking if you cross through a parking lot.

Is Jaywalking Illegal in Ontario?

Jaywalking may not considered illegal if pedestrians yield to the right-of-way traffic.

Section 144(22) of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act also states that pedestrians cannot cross a roadway when portions of it are marked for pedestrian use. This means that if a street has a marked pedestrian crossing, it is illegal to cross at any other point.

However, there is no law that stipulates how far from the nearest marked pedestrian crossing a pedestrian must be to legally cross mid-block. Generally, a pedestrian may cross mid-block if he or she is over 30 metres away from the nearest crosswalk. Pedestrians may also cross mid-block in case of an emergency.

Fault if a Pedestrian is Hit While Jaywalking

Fault for any car accident is determined on a case-by-case basis. However, if a pedestrian was jaywalking when struck by a vehicle, he or she will likely be held at least partially at fault for the crash.

In most cases, when a driver and jaywalker are involved in a car accident, fault is usually split between both parties. The jaywalker may be deemed at fault for disobeying traffic laws and the driver may also be deemed at fault for not being vigilant while operating his or her vehicle on the road.

Pedestrians who cause a car accident while jaywalking may still be able to pursue compensation for their injuries and damages, but the amount awarded will be reduced according to their percentage of fault.

For instance, if a jaywalker is issued $50,000 in compensation but found 30 percent liable for the crash, $15,000 would be deducted and the jaywalker would receive $35,000 to cover his or her damages.

Pedestrians Also Have a Duty of Care

Drivers are not the only ones that owe a duty of care to other road users. Pedestrians also have a responsibility to help prevent road accidents that can lead to serious injuries or death.

It is important to note that pedestrians do not always have the right of way. They must use proper judgment when using a marked or unmarked crosswalk. A pedestrian’s duty of care includes:

  • Obeying traffic rules that apply to pedestrians
  • Checking traffic in both directions, even in designated crossing areas
  • Not crossing a street while using his or her cellphone
  • Not walking into a busy street under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Not suddenly moving or running into the path of a vehicle

We Are Ready to Fight for Your Rights

If you have been involved in a pedestrian-related accident involving jaywalking, it is important to know your rights and available legal options for pursuing compensation. A dedicated vehicle crash lawyer in Windsor is ready to review your situation during a free initial consultation.

Our firm has successfully recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. This includes a settlement of $6.3 million for a car accident victim who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. You are not obligated to have us represent you after meeting with us, but if you do, there are zero upfront fees.

Experienced. Local. Lawyers. Ph: (866) 320-4770