Whether you are driving or walking, being involved in a jaywalking accident in Ohio is traumatic. According to 2017 statistics, a pedestrian in the United States is killed every 88 minutes. There’s certainly onus on both pedestrians and drivers to be safe—but who’s really at fault when the pedestrian is jaywalking?
When someone files a lawsuit, the court will consider all the factors involved. Weather conditions, sobriety, time of day, and potential distractions can all determine who is at fault. When it comes to jaywalking, there’s already a presumption that the pedestrian failed to follow the rules of the road. Whether other factors determine or detract from fault will depend on the facts of the individual case.
Who Has to Yield and When?
Jaywalking is covered under Ohio Rev. Code 4511.48. In short, pedestrians must yield the right of way to drivers when they cross the street anywhere except a marked or unmarked crosswalk. If they’re hit while they’re crossing in the middle of the street, not only will they suffer the brunt of the injuries, they’ll also be liable for damages if they survive. Pedestrians have a duty to follow basic traffic laws and signage. If there’s a pedestrian bridge or tunnel, they must use that instead. They also do not have the right-of-way during a funeral procession, or when emergency vehicles using their lights and sirens are involved.
That doesn’t mean that drivers can ignore pedestrians everywhere but crosswalks, of course. You still have a general duty to exercise reasonable care when driving. The above law simply means that you won’t be presumed at fault if you hit someone outside of a crosswalk. Ohio Rev. Code 4511.46 states that drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks and on sidewalks, even if there are no crosswalk markings at the intersection. If someone else is stopped in front of you at a crosswalk, you’re not allowed to go past them.
Comparative fault is a legal concept to allocate fault. Ohio uses modified comparative fault: if a plaintiff wants to recover damages, but they’re found to be partially to blame, their compensation is reduced by the percentage they are at fault. If they are found to be 51 percent or more at fault, they may not recover any damages.
Therefore, if a jaywalking pedestrian sues a driver for negligence, it’s possible the court could find them to be 51 percent at fault since they weren’t following the rules of the road.
Contact an Ohio Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one were hurt in a jaywalking accident, call me at 877.944.4373. Together, we’ll discuss your options and decide on the best course of action. If I take on your case, I’ll Make Them Pay!®.