Are Oregon Jaywalkers Eligible to File a Lawsuit If Hit by a Car

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Sep 14, 2020 in Auto Accident

jaywalker in roadWhen pedestrians are hit by a car, the injuries are often serious. While drivers may typically be at fault for causing the accident, what happens if the pedestrian was jaywalking? Can you still obtain compensation for your injuries in that situation?

Rizk Law discusses Oregon’s approach to pedestrians and jaywalkers involved in car accidents, including whether they could be eligible to recover compensation.

If you were injured by a car as a pedestrian, even if you were jaywalking, it is important that you seek legal help as soon as possible. Our knowledgeable attorneys are prepared to review how your accident happened and whether you may have legal options. This initial consultation is completely free and carries no obligation, so there is no risk to you.

Modified Comparative Fault

The short answer is that if you were injured after being struck by a car, you may be able to pursue compensation for the injuries you sustained. However, it is best to speak with one of our Portland car accident lawyers who can give a more definitive and accurate answer after learning more about how your accident happened.

Even if the driver carries most of the liability, pedestrians are sometimes assigned a portion of fault in an accident involving a car. If you are not assigned more than 50 percent of the liability for an accident, you are still able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. However, you will have to pay your percentage of fault out of any compensation you may be awarded.

We are prepared to review all the contributing factors that may apply in your situation and determine your legal options for recovering damages.

Oregon’s Jaywalker Laws and Pedestrian Responsibilities

In Oregon, statutes against jaywalking are far milder than in other states. Oregon Revised Statute 814.070 refers to the offense as an “improper position upon a highway” if a pedestrian chooses to walk in the road or along a lane of traffic instead of utilizing an available sidewalk or road shoulder. Pedestrians are legally permitted to walk from any point on one side of the road to any point on the other. However, Oregon’s Department of Transportation (ODOT) states that pedestrians who do not use a provided crosswalk when there is one, forfeit their right-of-way to vehicles on the road.

Oregon law states that no jaywalking offense is committed if the pedestrian is obeying warning signs and traffic signals, wearing high visibility clothing and not interfering with or blocking traffic or creating any other traffic hazard.

Jaywalkers who do commit a traffic offense may be charged with a Class D traffic violation, which may include fines and other penalties.

Driver Responsibility

When operating a car, drivers must adhere to the state’s traffic laws and avoid any careless or reckless behavior that could endanger others on the road, including:

  • Distracted driving
  • Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Excessively speeding
  • Ignoring traffic signals or warning signs
  • Failing to properly use a turn signal or other safety lights

In 2017, Oregon implemented the Vulnerable Roadway User (VRU) Law to enhance Oregon Revised Statute 811.135, a class B traffic violation which penalizes drivers for reckless operation of a vehicle that endangers property or any VRU.

A VRU is defined as any one of the following:

  • Skateboarder
  • Pedestrian
  • Highway worker
  • An individual who is riding an animal
  • A person who is walking or operating a tractor, scooter, bicycle, roller skates, inline skates, skateboard on a public roadway, in a crosswalk or on the shoulder of a highway

Oregon’s VRU law enables the court to enhance the already severe penalties assigned to ORS 811.135, including a fine that may be up to $12,500 and a one-year driver’s license suspension.

Contact Rizk Law for Legal Help Today

If you were injured after being struck by a car, we encourage you to seek legal help and learn about your eligibility for a claim as soon as possible. Our initial consultations are completely free, and there is no obligation to file a claim or hire our services. If we represent you, there are no costly upfront payments and no attorney fees to pay. We are only paid at the end of your case, and only if we recover compensation for you.

At Rizk Law, we have been helping injured victims for nearly 20 years in Portland and other counties throughout the state. We have obtained millions in compensation for injured victims, and we are prepared to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.