Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, especially when pedestrians are involved. Drivers are expected to yield the right of way to pedestrians and may be held financially responsible if they collide with them.
However, it’s common to wonder: can a jaywalking pedestrian be liable for an Ohio car crash? The short answer is yes, pedestrians could be liable for an accident where they were jaywalking. A car accident lawyer in Cincinnati may be able to provide a more detailed analysis of your case.
Ohio’s Jaywalking Laws and Regulations
In Ohio, the term jaywalking refers to the act of a pedestrian crossing the street at any place other than a designated or unmarked crosswalk. Per Ohio Rev. Code 4511.48, pedestrians are expected to yield the right of way to motorists when they cross in this manner. If they are struck by a vehicle while crossing mid-street, not only could they sustain significant injuries, but they could also bear liability for any damages. Ohio law mandates pedestrians to adhere to traffic laws and use pedestrian bridges or tunnels when available.
However, this does not absolve drivers of their responsibilities. While pedestrians must exercise caution, drivers are governed by Ohio Rev. Code 4511.46. This law requires drivers to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at crosswalks, regardless of whether there’s a visible marking.
Situations Where a Jaywalking Pedestrian May Be Liable for a Crash
Several scenarios can arise where a jaywalking pedestrian could be deemed responsible for an accident:
- Darting Out Mid-Block: If a pedestrian suddenly runs or walks out into traffic away from a crosswalk, leading a driver to swerve and crash, he or she may be held liable.
- Ignoring Pedestrian Bridges or Tunnels: When these facilities are provided, pedestrians are expected to use them. If a pedestrian chooses to cross the road directly instead and causes an accident, he or she could be at fault.
- Crossing Against Traffic Lights: This occurs when a pedestrian enters the road when traffic lights signal to wait, leading to a collision. Pedestrians are expected to obey the right of way, and if they don’t, they could be liable for a crash.
However, there are situations where the pedestrian may not be at fault, such as when a driver speeds, is distracted, or is under the influence, even if the pedestrian is jaywalking. Determining liability in a crash that involves jaywalking requires a careful investigation to pinpoint the main contributing factors.
What Happens If You File an Accident Claim After Jaywalking?
Ohio follows a modified comparative fault system; if a plaintiff is found partially responsible for the accident, any compensation the plaintiff receives will be reduced according to his or her percentage of fault. If the plaintiff is 51% or more at fault, he or she is not eligible to recover any damages. For a jaywalking pedestrian, the court may very well find him or her more than 50% at fault due to a failure to follow the rules of the road.
Discuss Your Case with a Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been involved in a car crash while jaywalking, it’s imperative to understand your rights and your options for moving forward. Engaging with a Cincinnati personal injury lawyer can offer clarity, provide expert guidance, and help you navigate the complexities of the legal system. As soon as possible after the collision, schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your next steps.