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Who’s Liable for Damages When a Pedestrian Jaywalks?

Wagner Reese

a pedestrian jaywalkingJaywalking is when a pedestrian crosses in the middle of a roadway rather than at a designated crosswalk. This is a dangerous activity that puts both pedestrian and driver at-risk of an accident.

So, given the dangerous and illegal nature of jaywalking, can a motorist still be held liable for damages resulting from a jaywalking accident? Our Indianapolis attorneys explain.

Understanding Jaywalking Accidents

Pedestrians must follow the “rules of the road” just like motorists. These rules are intended to keep everyone on the sidewalk and road safe. However, many pedestrians decide to violate one of the most important rules of the road: crossing the street at designated crosswalks.

If a pedestrian violates these rules and decides to jaywalk, and this violation contributes to an accident, the pedestrian will likely be held at least partially at-fault for the accident. The amount of blame put on the pedestrian will depend on whether the state in which the accident occurred follows “contributory” or “comparative” negligence laws.

Indiana applies the legal theory of modified comparative negligence, which means that the plaintiff’s level of fault determines the total amount they can recover from any other at-fault parties. The threshold for comparative negligence is often 50%. So, if the jaywalker is found to be 50.1% (or more) at-fault for the accident, they will recover no damages.

Therefore, it is quite feasible that a jaywalker will be found over 50% liable since their violation of the law directly led to the accident.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that all cases are unique. If you have been injured in a pedestrian or car accident, our Indianapolis attorneys can help you identify any and all liable parties and help you recover the compensation you need to get well.

Contact Wagner Reese at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation.


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