Hitting a pedestrian is always going to be a difficult moment for any driver. Naturally, in many of these incidents, the pedestrian tends to suffer worse injuries than the driver. That's why most of the laws around these interactions tend to favor the person who's walking.
Causing an injury to a pedestrian usually leads to the driver having to pay for the damages they caused. Drivers, for their part, can also argue that it was actually the pedestrian who was in the wrong. When a pedestrian is caught jaywalking before an accident, they could lose the upper hand in a subsequent legal battle. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can advise on the average settlement for a pedestrian hit by a car.
Texas Laws that Apply to Pedestrian Crosses
Texas law is very clear on this matter. Pedestrians have the right of way when crossing the street at a crosswalk.
That means every driver has to yield when they see a pedestrian set foot on the street at a crosswalk. However, what happens if a pedestrian uses a marked crosswalk to cross the street but does so when traffic lights show green for drivers to go?
If a pedestrian accident takes place under these conditions, the driver involved in the matter can still argue that the pedestrian was at fault.
One thing to keep in mind about car accidents in general is that they always get resolved by determining who was "more at fault" for the accident. The person who is deemed to be liable in court will be the one who has to pay the most in recoverable damages.
Who Has the Right of Way in Texas?
As mentioned, pedestrians have the right of way under Texas law. It's important to point out, though, that they have the right of way in crosswalks. This doesn't mean that a pedestrian can be walking by the side of the road and automatically sue for damages in every accident they may be involved in.
When there's a sign that alerts pedestrians not to cross or enter a property, they also do not have the right of way in these areas.
While many of these situations aren't necessarily traditional jaywalking scenarios that people picture, it's important to have them in mind when accidents happen.
Where was the accident scene? Are there any traffic signals that indicate pedestrians should not enter or cross in that area? Signage determines the right of way on most occasions. In the event of an accident, traffic signals will help determine who may be held liable in that instance.
Is a Jaywalking Pedestrian Breaking the Law?
Technically, jaywalking is illegal in Texas. People who are caught jaywalking can be subject to a fine or hit with other charges. The truth is that even though jaywalking laws exist and carry real penalties for jaywalkers, they are usually never enforced.
Also, the jaywalker is only going to see real consequences for their actions when they're involved in an accident. This is where Texas jaywalking laws can be enforced to prove that the pedestrian can be held at least partially responsible for the accident.
Crossing in an Unmarked Crosswalk
Crossing the street in unmarked crosswalks is not considered jaywalking. People who think they'll be able to build a case after hitting a pedestrian at stop sign intersections may not want to get their hopes up as much. The best defense in a case like this may be to say that the pedestrian was weaving through traffic, and the driver wasn't able to see them.
Pedestrian accidents that happen at unmarked or marked crosswalks leave the driver in a very unfavorable position. More often than not, drivers will end up paying for most of the damages in these cases.
Regardless of the situation, anyone who is part of a car accident involving pedestrians will benefit from calling an attorney almost immediately following the incident.
The Role of an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in a Jaywalking Accident
The driver is always going to be playing from behind when pedestrians are involved in the accident.
According to Texas pedestrian laws, drivers must be aware of the presence of pedestrians virtually at all times.
In spite of the fact that laws don't tend to favor drivers, pedestrian accident lawyers can help a driver after an accident in a variety of ways.
With an attorney, getting access to traffic cameras to prove that the pedestrian was jaywalking is a possibility. Otherwise, any person trying to defend themselves in court is going to have a really tough time gathering evidence and building a case. The situation could get even worse if the person is accused of driving recklessly.
Most attorneys can provide a free consultation before the defendant has to officially hire them. This is a perfect opportunity to present the case to an expert before making any decisions that could have negative consequences.
Jaywalking accidents where the pedestrian suffers a severe injury can lead to a conviction.
It's not a good idea for any driver to take any personal injury claim against them lightly. There are certain situations that can't just be taken care of by the driver's insurance company.
Final Thoughts on Texas Jaywalking Laws
Is jaywalking illegal? Yes, but the jaywalker will usually get away with the crime unless they are involved in an accident.
When a driver hits someone who is jaywalking, they have a better chance to build a case that won't make them liable for major damages. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are here to help answer questions like Do pedestrians always have the right of way in Texas?
In court, all car accidents become a battle about determining liability. When pedestrians are involved, the driver is going to face an uphill battle, especially if the incident occurs directly in a pedestrian crossing.
Could a driver build a case against a pedestrian even if the pedestrian they injured was not jaywalking? There could be ways to build a case when the driver had no way to avoid hitting the person crossing, especially in a situation where this person crossed right as the light turned green.
Drivers who are a part of these personal injury cases should not overlook the fact that they could face criminal charges if they don't build a strong defense. That's why the best thing that they can do in these situations is to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.