Pedestrians should always strive to cross roadways at intersections or crosswalks. At these locations, other drivers are more attentive to pedestrians on or around the roadway. However, there are times when individuals choose to cross the road in areas where there are no crosswalks or where there is not an intersection. This is commonly referred to as jaywalking, and it is a traffic offense under Colorado law. However, what happens if you sustain an injury when jaywalking? Here, we want to discuss whether or not jaywalking individuals will be able to recover compensation if an injury occurs.
Laws regarding where pedestrians can cross the road exist for a reason. Drivers in this state are already fairly inconsiderate when it comes to pedestrian safety, even at marked crosswalks or intersections. However, if a pedestrian attempts to cross the road in an area where a driver absolutely does not expect it, the results could be disastrous.
Regardless of where an individual crosses the road, any impact with a vehicle is likely to result in major injuries for the pedestrian, including severe lacerations or puncture wounds, road rash, broken or dislocated bones, spinal cord injuries, head trauma, brain injuries, internal bleeding, and more.
Anytime an accident involving a vehicle and a pedestrian occurs, the police need to come to the scene to conduct an investigation. If a driver is found to be at fault for causing the incident, then their insurance should be responsible for paying compensation for the pedestrian’s injuries. For example, if a driver fails to stop at a marked crosswalk when a pedestrian is crossing, the driver will likely be at fault.
Additionally, even if an individual is crossing in an area where they are not supposed to, a driver could still be at fault if their negligence contributed to the incident. Common types of driver negligence in these situations includes speeding, failing to yield even after seeing the pedestrian, driving while impaired, driving while distracted, and more.
However, because jaywalking is against the law in Colorado, pedestrians may receive reduced compensation if they failed to cross at a marked crosswalk or intersection and then were involved in an accident. Colorado operates under a modified comparative negligence system. This means that, even though individuals can receive compensation if they are partially at fault for a collision, the total amount of compensation may be reduced.
First, any individual found to be more than 50% responsible for a crash will not be able to receive compensation at all. This means that if a person jaywalking is found to be predominantly responsible for the incident, it is unlikely that they will recover compensation. However, if a jaywalking individual is found to be less than 50% responsible for the crash, they could still receive compensation, but at a reduced rate depending on their percentage of fault. For example, if a person sustains $100,000 worth of medical bills due to a collision with another vehicle, but it is determined that they were 40% responsible for the incident because they were jaywalking, they would receive $60,000 instead of the full $100,000.
Call us today to speak with a Denver pedestrian accident lawyer.