Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit if I Was Jaywalking When Struck By a Vehicle?

woman standing in the middle of the road

It’s no secret that many cities and towns have been designed for cars and other vehicles, making it unsafe for pedestrians to travel. However, when there are designated areas for those traveling by foot, it’s essential to adhere to these areas to protect yourself. If you’re jaywalking when struck by a passing vehicle, understanding how this could impact your ability to file a claim is crucial. Keep reading to learn how a Houston pedestrian accident lawyer can assist you through this challenging time.

What Is Jaywalking, and Is It Illegal in Texas?

Jaywalking is a term for when pedestrians walk outside of designated areas, like sidewalks and crosswalks. Most commonly, this refers to the act of crossing the street in the middle of the road rather than walking to the nearest crosswalk.

Like most states, Texas has laws against jaywalking to help keep pedestrians and motorists safe. As such, pedestrians who violate these laws can be subject to hefty fines of up to $200. However, in most instances, the officer will educate you on the dangers of this act.

In some instances, pedestrians may have no options. You may be forced to walk on the road if there is no sidewalk or crosswalk. If you must walk on the road, you should stay as close to the side of the road as possible. If there is no crosswalk, you may cross the street. However, you must cross at a ninety-degree angle and yield to vehicles before walking on the road.

What Happens if I’m Outside of a Crosswalk When a Car Hits Me?

Though you may not receive a ticket for jaywalking, this action can impact your ability to recover compensation in the event you are struck by a vehicle. In general, crosswalks provide a safe zone to travel, as cars are obligated to yield to those waiting to cross. However, if you are not in a crosswalk, cars may not be able to stop in time.

Texas follows the modified comparative negligence statute. Essentially, this means that if the victim in an accident is found 50% or more at fault for the incident, they cannot recover compensation for the damages they’ve endured. As such, because you are technically violating the law when your accident occurs, the driver who hit you may not be found liable for the injuries you’ve sustained.

However, if the driver of the vehicle was negligent in some way, they may be held responsible. For example, if they were speeding, driving under the influence, or texting and driving, you may be able to prove that they were significantly more negligent than you as a way to recover compensation.

When you’re hurt, the Gonzalez Law Group is here to help. Our dedicated legal team understands the complexities of pedestrian accidents, so we will do everything possible to assist you through these challenging times. Schedule a free consultation with a member of our firm today.