Speak to Our Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Los Angeles About Jaywalking Laws
When you leave your car in the garage and instead take a walk downtown, you may think you are actually doing something very safe. However, if you fail to follow certain laws pertaining to where you can properly and safely cross a street, you may find the opposite to be true. According to 2017 data from the CDC, pedestrians in the United States are killed in auto accidents once every 88 minutes. Rather than let a simple stroll turn into a tragedy, it is best to keep in mind various jaywalking laws that exist in California. If you or a loved one have been injured while walking in and around the streets of California, contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer from Gutierrez Law.
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Based on California Vehicle Code 21955, jaywalking is defined as crossing a street that contains no clearly marked crosswalks or intersections. Though most people make light of jaywalking as an illegal act, the fact is the state of California does take it very seriously due to the many dangers associated with it. Unfortunately, many drivers do not give pedestrians the consideration they deserve when crossing a street. Thus, if you are hit by a vehicle while crossing a street within a marked intersection, it is imperative you speak with pedestrian accident lawyers Los Angeles victims trust from Gutierrez Law.
Risks and Penalties
For those who take jaywalking lightly and assume they will get nothing more than a slap on the wrist, they are often surprised to learn the opposite may happen. Based on current California law, pedestrians can receive a ticket that can be as high as $250. In addition, should other violations involving pedestrian crosswalk laws be discovered to have taken place as well, the $250 fine could possibly be doubled to $500. Because of this, it is best to make every attempt to follow these laws. Nevertheless, if you have been struck by a vehicle while walking across a street, meet with pedestrian accident attorneys Los Angeles victims know will fight hard for your rights, such as those with Gutierrez Law.
When Can Police Charge You with Jaywalking?
Since most people are unfamiliar with basic jaywalking laws in California, they are often confused and surprised when police decide to issue them a ticket. Under California Vehicle Code 21955, a pedestrian may not cross a road or street unless it contains a marked crossing. In addition, this means for you to cross the street safely, there must be either a police officer directing traffic or traffic signals at the intersection. Since jaywalking rules are strictly enforced, police do not hesitate to issue tickets. Yet if you are hit by a car under these circumstances, do not hesitate to seek compensation for your injuries. Therefore, learn about your legal options by consulting with Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyers at Gutierrez Law.
What if I'm Struck By a Car While Jaywalking?
If you are struck by a vehicle while in the process of jaywalking, do not think this means you cannot gain compensation for your injuries. Due to California having laws pertaining to comparative negligence, this means that even if you were cited for jaywalking, you can still be entitled to receive financial compensation for such things as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages. However, if you were partially at-fault and still decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, you as the plaintiff will need to show the driver was also at fault in the accident. Therefore, always choose to hire the services of an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer from Gutierrez Law. By doing so, you will have an attorney who will know how to develop a legal strategy that can minimize your role in the accident, resulting in a potentially larger settlement.
Is Jaywalking Ever Acceptable?
While it may sound as if California jaywalking laws are extremely strict, they do actually make room for times when jaywalking may in fact be acceptable under the circumstances. For example, if you are deemed to have used care and caution while crossing a street, you may cross if not doing so at an intersection. But if you are at an intersection, even if it is unmarked, jaywalking laws apply. As a pedestrian, even when an oncoming car has more than enough time to stop, you are not allowed to step off the curb and walk across the street. If you do this in an unmarked intersection, you are committing a jaywalking violation. Yet even if this is what happened prior to your accident, do not let this deter you from seeking compensation. To get started, meet with pedestrian accident lawyers Los Angeles accident victims trust to help them win their case, such as attorneys at Gutierrez Law.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In some of these situations, a pedestrian is not just injured, but instead killed by a driver. When this happens, it is imperative the loved ones left behind to mourn the loss meet with pedestrian accident attorneys Los Angeles families rely on to help them file a wrongful death lawsuit. In many of these situations, even if the person who was killed was in fact jaywalking, other factors in the accident can place far more of the blame on the driver. Since these cases can often be extremely complex and involve many different versions of what may have transpired, rely on the sound advice of Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyers from Gutierrez Law to help navigate the complex legal process.
Since accidents involving pedestrians happen each and every day, most people automatically assume the person who was hit was totally to blame for the accident. However, that may not be the case. If you or a loved one were struck while crossing a street, do not hesitate to seek significant financial compensation for whatever injuries occurred. To discuss your case in greater detail, schedule a consultation immediately with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at Gutierrez Law.