If you hit a pedestrian who is jaywalking, the consequences will depend on the circumstances of the accident, such as the severity of the injuries, who was at fault, and whether any traffic laws were violated.
If the driver is found to be at fault for the accident, they could face legal and financial consequences, such as a traffic citation, criminal charges if the accident resulted in serious injury or death, and civil liability for any damages caused. In addition, their car insurance may cover some or all of the costs associated with the accident, including medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages.
An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer may assist you with how to file a claim, how to proceed, and what to do after facing severe pedestrian accidents.
What Is Jaywalking?
Jaywalking is the term used to describe crossing a street illegally or recklessly, typically outside of a designated crosswalk or intersection, or against a stop sign, traffic light, or “do not walk” light. In most places, pedestrians are required by law to use crosswalks or pedestrian crossings when crossing a street.
The law against jaywalking exists because crosswalks and pedestrian crossings are designed to be safer for pedestrians. Crosswalks help regulate traffic flow and minimize the risk of pedestrian accidents.
Why Is Jaywalking Dangerous?
Jaywalking is dangerous because it increases the risk of accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles and can lead to serious injuries or fatalities. Crossing a street outside a designated crosswalk or intersection can be risky for several reasons, such as lack of visibility, traffic flow, unpredictable movements, limited space, and the pedestrian’s misplaced assumption of safety.
Is It Your Fault If You Hit Someone Jaywalking While Driving?
If a driver fails to exercise reasonable care and hits a pedestrian who is jaywalking, the driver may still be found at fault or partially at fault for the collision, depending on factors such as speed and visibility. Pedestrian jaywalking may also cause severe consequences in situations when a driver is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
It is also important to note that pedestrians have a responsibility to follow traffic laws, including laws related to jaywalking, and to exercise reasonable care for their own safety.
Why Do People Jaywalk?
People may jaywalk for various reasons, including convenience, lack of awareness, or cultural norms. Some of the reasons people may jaywalk include:
- Convenience: Jaywalking may be more convenient than walking to the nearest crosswalk or pedestrian crossing, especially if the designated crossing is far away or has heavy traffic.
- Lack of awareness: Some pedestrians may not be aware of traffic laws or realize the risk of crossing outside a designated crosswalk or intersection.
- Cultural norms: In some places, jaywalking may be more socially acceptable or even expected as part of everyday life.
- Infrastructure: In some areas, there may be a lack of crosswalks or pedestrian crossings, or crossings may not be well-maintained or well-marked, making it more difficult for pedestrians to cross the street safely. At less used corners, there may be no markings whatsoever, and drivers should give way to pedestrians crossing at corners as though there was a crosswalk, in such cases.
Can You Go to Jail for Hitting a Jaywalker?
Whether or not you can go to jail for hitting a jaywalker will depend on the specific circumstances of the incident. If the jaywalker was not seriously injured or killed, you may not face any jail time, but you could still be fined or issued a traffic citation. However, if the jaywalker was seriously injured or killed, you could face criminal charges, including vehicular manslaughter, which could result in jail time.
In order to be convicted of vehicular manslaughter, the other party need to prove that you acted with criminal negligence, meaning that you failed to exercise reasonable care while driving and that your actions were a significant factor in causing the pedestrian’s death.
If convicted, the punishment could include substantial fines and significant jail time, depending on the severity of the offense.
Need legal help? Contact an Experienced Law Firm
The Law Offices of Samuel Fishman have developed extensive experience of over 30 years in handling personal injury cases in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. They have helped many accident victims pursue compensation in a variety of cases, such as car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and pedestrian accidents.
If you are a jaywalker hit by a car and do not know whether you have a valid claim, you may contact a lawyer. Schedule a free consultation, fill out our contact form, or call us at 215-883-8213.