A pedestrian always has the right of way as against a motor vehicle or bicycle. However, pedestrians have a strict duty to conduct themselves reasonably under any circumstances. When walking on busy streets, pedestrians must constantly maintain a sense of safety and prudence to avoid injuries and possible fatalities. While true that cars must yield to pedestrians in every situation, there are quite a few instances when motorists do not see a pedestrian, or the pedestrian does not see the oncoming car, and a collision ensues.
Jaywalking is a crime in most California jurisdictions. Jaywalking is a misdemeanor minor offense punishable by a fine. A person is guilty of jaywalking when they cross the street in an area not designated for pedestrian crossings. The purpose of jaywalking laws is to protect pedestrians from motor vehicles and injury from being hit. Pedestrians are required to cross streets only in designated areas and in adherence to crosswalk signs.
Disobeying jaywalking laws will not necessarily preclude a pedestrian from recovering in a personal injury claim, it can significant reduce his damages amount due to California’s pure comparative negligence statute.
In a tragic occurrence, a woman was struck and critically injured late Wednesday night when she crossed a busy street outside of designated pedestrian areas. The woman, who appeared to be in her mid-20’s, was crossing Adams Avenue when she was struck. The driver was proceeding through a green light and obeying all traffic laws when she suddenly came upon the pedestrian. Not having enough time to stop, the driver was without choice and hit the pedestrian in the street.
The driver was questioned and released without a traffic charge.
The victim was immediately transported to Western Medical Center-Santa Ana where she remains in critical condition. The victim reportedly suffered head trauma and internal injuries.
Costa Mesa police are continuing to investigate the incident.