Jaywalking, or crossing the street illegally, is a common occurrence in California. However, many people do not realize the potential legal consequences and liability that can arise from jaywalking. If you have been injured in an accident and believe jaywalking played a role, it is essential to understand how this can impact your personal injury case. 

At Setareh Law, we understand the complexities of California traffic laws and the potential legal issues that can arise when jaywalking is involved in an accident. We can help you determine if you have a case and advise you on the best way to pursue a personal injury claim. Our English- and Spanish-speaking team will help you every step of the way.

Understanding California Laws on Jaywalking

California Vehicle Code Section 21955 states that pedestrians must use marked crosswalks when crossing the street between two adjacent intersections controlled by traffic signals or police officers. Jaywalking is considered a violation of this law and can result in fines and penalties. However, the legal implications of jaywalking do not end with just a ticket. In some cases, jaywalking can lead to a pedestrian being found partially or fully responsible for an accident.

The California Freedom to Walk Act

In recent years, California has taken steps to address the issue of jaywalking and its impact on pedestrian safety. One such measure is the California Freedom to Walk Act, which aims to decriminalize jaywalking in the state. The bill seeks to remove certain penalties associated with jaywalking, recognizing that these penalties disproportionately affect low-income and minority communities.

Under the Freedom to Walk Act, pedestrians are still required to follow traffic signals and exercise caution when crossing the street. However, the bill eliminates fines and penalties for crossing streets outside of marked crosswalks, provided that the pedestrian does not endanger themselves or others. This change in legislation aims to promote pedestrian safety while reducing the disproportionate impact of jaywalking penalties on vulnerable communities.

It is important to note that while the Freedom to Walk Act may remove certain penalties associated with jaywalking, it does not eliminate the potential for a pedestrian to be found partially or fully liable for an accident if they were jaywalking. In personal injury cases, the concept of comparative negligence still applies, and a pedestrian’s decision to jaywalk could be considered a contributing factor to the accident. 

Understanding Compensation in Pedestrian Accident Cases

In pedestrian accident cases involving jaywalking, it is important to be aware of the types of compensation that may be available to you as an injured party. This compensation can include both economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to cover the financial losses incurred by the injured party as a result of the accident. These can include:

Medical Expenses

This includes the cost of any medical treatment you have received or may require in the future as a result of your injuries. This can cover expenses such as hospital bills, doctor’s visits, physical therapy, medication, and medical equipment.

Lost Wages

If your injuries have caused you to miss work or reduce your work hours, you may be entitled to compensation for the income you have lost as a result.

Loss of Earning Capacity

In some cases, your injuries may limit your ability to work in the future, resulting in a decreased earning capacity. Compensation for this loss can be awarded to help cover the difference in your potential earnings.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are awarded for the intangible losses that result from your injuries. These can include:

Pain and Suffering

This compensation accounts for the physical and emotional pain you have experienced due to your injuries.

Emotional Distress

Injuries can result in significant emotional trauma, and compensation may be awarded to address the psychological impact of the accident.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

If your injuries have limited your ability to participate in activities or hobbies you once enjoyed, you may be entitled to compensation for this loss.

Connect With Setareh Law for Pedestrian Accident Personal Injury Assistance

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, it is important to understand how jaywalking may affect your rights and potential compensation. While the California Freedom to Walk Act may remove certain penalties associated with jaywalking, it does not eliminate the potential for a pedestrian to be found partially or fully liable for an accident.

At Setareh Law, our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you understand your rights and assess your case. We will work to gather evidence to support your claim and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at (310) 659-1826 today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we may be able to help.