California Pedestrian Accidents – Jaywalking and the Freedom to Walk Act in 2023
In law, jaywalking occurs when someone illegally crosses a street.
Jaywalking is a traffic violation that could result in a fine, but a new law may blur the lines of who and who doesn’t have the right of way.
From exercising more to saving money, Californians no doubt made many resolutions on January 1st. With a new year may come many changes, including new state laws.
The “Freedom to Walk” act states that pedestrians can legally cross the street outside of designated intersections “unless a reasonably careful person would realize there is an immediate danger of collision with a moving vehicle or other device moving exclusively by human power”.
This means that you technically could jaywalk if there are no dangers of being hit by a moving vehicle. It’s not completely decriminalizing jaywalking, as there are still certain cases where a person could be ticketed.
Think of a situation where someone headed to a restaurant looks both ways and crosses the street on San Fernando Boulevard in Burbank. Even though this is regarded as jaywalking, if there was no imminent danger like an oncoming car, they would be OK to cross.
Now, imagine another situation where there are multiple cars driving along San Fernando Boulevard. A person runs into the street and cuts between them to get to their restaurant. This could still result in a ticket, as there was an “immediate danger of collision” from the other vehicles.
The general fear amongst many is that while decreasing the number of jaywalking fines, it could increase the number of pedestrian accidents. California’s pedestrian fatality rate is already almost 25 percent higher than the national average. Furthermore, 26 percent of pedestrians hit by vehicles moving 20 MPH or greater suffered severe or critical injuries in Los Angeles.
If you were hit by another vehicle while crossing the street, whether or not you were jaywalking, your safety is most important. If you do not feel as if you are safe to complete any of the following recommendations, you are not required to do so.
The following are suggestions to help in the immediate aftermath of a pedestrian accident:
- Call 911 – police officers, paramedics, and other first responders should arrive shortly to help at the scene.
- Get the police report number – a police report will contain information about the accident, and could be used as evidence in a future claim.
- Seek medical attention if you are seriously injured – don’t turn away paramedics. You may have serious injuries that are not external.
- Document every aspect of the accident with photos and videos – capture the area around where the incident occurred, the car that hit you, and any property damage.
- Collect the other driver’s information such as contact info (name, phone number), driver’s license, and insurance.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer for help with filing a claim.
At C&B Law Group, our Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorneys will ensure that you get the justice you deserve. If you were “jaywalking” under the knew act, you still may be entitled to compensation.
We know how harrowing it can be to deal with the effects of a pedestrian accident. You may be suffering from one or more injuries.
Common injuries from a pedestrian accident include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Traumatic Brain Injury or other serious head injuries
- Cuts and lacerations with deep wounds past the skin
- Chronic back pain or other serious back injuries
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Pinched nerves, fractured vertebrae, or other serious neck injuries
- Internal injuries, such as hemorrhaging or damage to vital organs
- Psychological trauma after the accident, such as PTSD
We believe we can help you on your road to recovery following a pedestrian accident. Our attorneys at C&B Law Group have a long track record of recovering notable compensation for our clients.
Call today about a free consultation!