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What To Do If You’re Hit by a Car While Jaywalking

Posted on October 21, 2022 in

Jaywalking is a dangerous practice that involves crossing the street in places other than a designated intersection. Serious accidents can happen while a person is jaywalking, leading to financial hardships and pain and suffering. 

If you find yourself in this situation, you may wonder if you are eligible for an insurance claim or lawsuit. Contrary to popular belief, you still have the right to file a claim if you are hit by a car while jaywalking. However, the court or insurance company could reduce the value of your settlement if it finds you to be partially at fault. 

Your Legal Options as an Injured Pedestrian in Portland

Portland is a fault-based state when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. If a driver’s actions lead to a collision, he or she is financially responsible for any damages that occur as a result. Injured pedestrians can file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the driver to recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other losses.

Many people often assume that the jaywalker caused the accident by entering the road when the driver wasn’t expecting it. However, this is not always the case.

Perhaps the driver was speeding in a school zone and would have had enough time to stop if he or she had followed the speed limit. Maybe the driver was texting while driving, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or committing another illegal act. If you can show that the driver’s actions caused your accident, you could pursue a claim for financial compensation.

Comparative Negligence in Portland Pedestrian Injury Claims

Although you may establish the driver’s liability, you could share some of the fault for the accident. In these situations, the court may reduce your settlement by the amount of liability that you allegedly share.

Oregon follows a modified comparative negligent statute. Under this rule, you could recover compensation as long as you were 50% or less at fault for the accident. If you are found to be 51% or more responsible, you will not recover any compensation.

Steps to Take If You Are Hit While Jaywalking

If you are hit by a car while jaywalking, the most important step is to remain calm and stay silent. Do not say anything to the driver, do not apologize for the accident, and do not say that you are uninjured. These statements could impact your ability to recover compensation in the future.

What you should do is seek help as soon as possible. Take the following steps to document the accident and gather the evidence that you need:

  • First, call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement. The responding police officer will create a report that you can use as evidence.
  • Next, seek medical attention for any injuries that you may have. Always go to the doctor after an accident, even if you do not feel injured at the time of the accident.
  • If you can, take as many photographs and videos of the accident as possible. If any witnesses saw the accident, ask for their contact information.
  • Briefly exchange your information with the driver. Ask for the motorist’s license, contact, and insurance details as well.

Once you have taken these steps, it is time to enlist the help of a Portland pedestrian accident lawyer who can represent your claim and defend you against unfair accusations of fault. Contact a pedestrian accident attorney in Portland as soon as possible following your accident to discuss your case and plan your next steps.