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Pedestrian Injured While Jaywalking in St. Louis: Who is At Fault?

In accidents that involve jaywalkers, it’s important to review the circumstances of the incident to determine who is at-fault .

Generally, you’d think that people who break the law have what’s coming to them. If a person jaywalking gets hit by a car, tragic as it may be, you may think the accident is automatically their fault.

pedestrian walk sign

It is true that they should not have been jaywalking in the first place. You may think that since they broke Missouri law, the case is closed right from the beginning. Well, not quite. Yes, if you jaywalk you are breaking Missouri law, and as frustrating as this action may be for drivers, it doesn’t always mean that if you get hit it is your fault alone.

The driver can also be held accountable.

What Does the Law Say?

In Missouri, you are required to walk and cross the street only on the areas specifically designated to do so like public sidewalks or crosswalks, and only when the relevant traffic signs allow you to.

If you break this rule, you can end up paying a fine. While it’s not considered a very serious offense, it’s best not to conduct any act of jaywalking to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

Drivers are not automatically exempted if they hit someone just because they were jaywalking. According to the road traffic law that oversees jaywalking offenses, drivers must give way to pedestrians crossing the road, even if they do not do so on an existing crossing facility. Failing to do so may result in paying a hefty fine.

What This Means

Drivers still have the obligation to watch out for pedestrians. In accidents that involve jaywalkers, it’s important to review the circumstances of the incident to determine who is at-fault – the driver or the pedestrian.

In some cases, there is little action a driver can take to avoid a pedestrian. If a person runs into the street thinking they could cross before the oncoming vehicle, the driver may not have sufficient time to slow down or change lanes. As a result, the pedestrian is injured, but it’s unlikely for the driver to be found guilty if they did not have a reasonable time to react.

If, however, it is established that the driver had the means to avoid the pedestrian but did not, then they’re behavior may come into question:

  • Were they speeding?
  • Were they distracted?
  • Did they intentionally try to hurt the pedestrian?

The details of the case are, therefore, essential in establishing fault. Jaywalkers should never be dismissed as guilty automatically until all the details of the case are reviewed.

Have an Attorney Review Your Case

Jaywalking is a law violation punishable with a fine, but if you get injured in a car accident because of it, it doesn’t necessarily mean you were 100% to blame. Reach out to a St. Louis car accident lawyer to see if your case is eligible for an injury claim or learn about what other legal options you have. 

Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.

Updated: January 6, 2023