If you are hit by a car when jaywalking, you could receive some compensation if the driver was negligent in some fashion. However, if you crossed without a crosswalk, the driver can argue you broke the law and were at fault.

For the pedestrian to make a valid claim the driver was at fault even if he was jaywalking, the pedestrian must prove the driver also was negligent. Negligence is defined legally as the duty to perform in a certain manner to avoid hurting other people.

If a person does not act ‘reasonably’ and causes harm to someone else, this is negligence.

In most states, there are four legal elements that must be proven for there to be negligence in a car accident claim:

  • Duty of care: The defendant has to owe you a duty of care.
  • Breach of duty: It has to be shown that the defendant breached the duty of care. For example, if you were jaywalking and the driver was speeding, it still could be shown the driver breached the duty of care, even though you were breaking the law.
  • Causation: Plaintiff must prove the breach of the defendant caused injuries. If the driver did not cause the injuries through their actions, you may not be able to collect as a jay walker
  • Damages: you need to show that you suffered damages in a monetary amount.

Depending upon the state, it is possible both the jaywalker and driver could be found at fault. If you suffered injuries, your possible compensation could be reduced by the percentage of fault you share for the accident. This is known in most states as comparative fault. If the driver was 50% at fault, you would have your potential compensation reduced by 50%.

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