Jaywalking Accident: Jaywalker Awarded $100,000

jaywalking, jaywalking accident, pedestrian


Our client was walking home during the afternoon. It was a bright and sunny day. He was walking down a sidewalk across the street from his house. He decided to cross the street mid-block on his way home. There were two oncoming lanes, and he looked for traffic.  He stepped off the curb and walked in between two parked vehicles. He began crossing the curb lane and was entering the second lane when struck by a motorist. 


We argued that the driver was inattentive and driving at an unsafe speed. The driver contended the client was jaywalking and was the sole cause of the collision.

Applicable Law

California has “right-of-way” laws.  Drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing in a marked crosswalk, or at the corner of an intersection, whether or not there is a marked crosswalk.

California also has a speed law that states no person shall drive at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent, and at a speed which endangers the safety of others. 

Another rule of law is that drivers must always be attentive to the roadway.

The law prohibits jaywalking, defined as crossing outside a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Pedestrians who are jaywalking must yield the right of way to motorists. 


We executed one of our proven strategies for winning pedestrian cases. We showed that the driver had plenty of time to avoid hitting our client, and the collision occurred because the driver was distracted.  The curb lane was about 12 feet. A pedestrian walking at average walking speed walks about 3-4 feet per second. Thus, our client was visible for 3-4 seconds as he was walking in the curb lane before impact.  The driver, therefore, had plenty of time to observe and avoid the accident if he had been driving the speed limit and paying attention. 

Based on this analysis, the insurance company accepted liability and paid the driver’s policy limit of $100,000.00.


No general rule covers all factual circumstances.  Evaluating who is at fault in a pedestrian accident can be difficult. If you are a pedestrian injured in a traffic collision, schedule a free consultation. No pressure, just answers.