What Is Jaywalking?

Jaywalking is, along with speeding, one of those violations that many of us have probably committed at least a few times in our lifetimes. The excuses range from being in a hurry to not having a crosswalk nearby, and the consequences can be severe. Although we never recommend jaywalking under any circumstances, it’s also important to know that you may be eligible for compensation if anything happens to you while doing it.

What Is Jaywalking?


Jaywalking is the act of illegally crossing a street. Most infrastructure systems built to accommodate both pedestrians and vehicles have designated crosswalks and color signals indicating when it’s OK to cross the street. Any attempt to do so in an area that doesn’t include a crosswalk or when there’s a red pedestrian light signal is considered jaywalking. Although it’s often considered to be a minor offense, jaywalking can have serious consequences. These include the following:

  • It can cause pedestrian injuries and fatalities: The most obvious risk associated with jaywalking is that the person doing it can be seriously injured by an oncoming vehicle. According to preliminary data from the Governors Highway Safety Association, there were 3,434 pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. in the first half of 2022 alone.
  • It can cause traffic accidents: Besides the risk you’re exposing yourself to when jaywalking, there’s also the risk of a driver swerving to avoid hitting you and causing a car accident. This puts other people’s lives and property at risk.
  • It can make traffic worse: Multiple pedestrians crossing the street randomly usually results in drivers having to brake and make evasive maneuvers to avoid them. This can lead to traffic jams.

How Do Nevada’s Negligence Laws Affect Jaywalking Situations?

Nevada has a modified comparative negligence system. This means that whenever an accident happens, such as one with jaywalking as its root cause, the authorities and insurance companies analyze the situation and determine the percentage of blame for each party involved. Under this system, the compensation that one party must pay the other is proportional to their share of the responsibility.

For instance, if one party is 60% at fault and the other is 40% at fault, the former owes the latter 60% of the total compensation. If a party is 51% at fault or higher, they’re not entitled to any compensation. This means that a person who was hit by a car while jaywalking and the person who committed the misdemeanor can share the blame for the accident.

Could I Be Eligible for Compensation if I’m Hit While Jaywalking in Nevada?

Nevada’s modified comparative negligence rule means that you may be eligible for compensation if you can prove that you were less than 50% responsible for the accident. While you won’t likely be receiving the entire sum of money to compensate for your resulting physical and emotional struggles, you can receive a part that’s proportional to the driver’s share of responsibility. Here are some examples of how you may be able to make a claim for compensation:

How Can a Driver Be Negligent in a Jaywalking Situation?

Drivers are legally required to be reasonably careful and focused while operating a vehicle on a public road. If they fail to prove they did so, the law may consider them partially responsible for hitting a pedestrian who was jaywalking. Some common ways in which a driver can be negligent are:

  • They drive at a speed above the limit for the area they’re in.
  • They’re distracted by another person in the vehicle or by their phone.
  • They fail to stop at a red light or stop sign.
  • They’re driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances that impair their driving abilities.
  • They make a maneuver to pass another vehicle in an area where it’s forbidden to do so.
  • They display malicious intent by failing to avoid a pedestrian despite having the opportunity to do so.

How Can I Prove Driver Negligence and Build a Successful Case After Jaywalking?

If you have reasons to believe that the driver who hit you while you were jaywalking is mainly responsible for the accident, consider discussing the case with a lawyer. If you’re in the Las Vegas or Reno area of Nevada, our experienced attorneys at De Castroverde Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers can help you maximize your chances of being compensated for your post-accident injuries and emotional struggles.

Demonstrating that the driver is mostly responsible for the accident typically requires proving this sequence of events:

  1. The driver was on a public road and therefore had a duty to display reasonable care.
  2. They failed to be reasonably careful, for one of the reasons listed above or due to other factors.
  3. Their lack of attention and awareness directly led to them hitting you and causing your injuries.
  4. The event has caused you multiple financial losses, such as hospitalization costs, loss of wages, trauma counseling, and others.

How To Proceed After Being Hit by a Vehicle While Jaywalking in Nevada

If you’re jaywalking in the state of Nevada and a vehicle hits and injures you, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention for your injuries. Do it yourself if you’re able to, or ask a bystander to call 911 on your behalf if you’re not in a position to do so yourself.

Your next priority after seeking appropriate medical attention is to gather as much evidence as you can regarding the accident. This can include eyewitness reports, any video surveillance footage from a nearby institution, and multiple photos of the respective area. It’s also essential to get the driver’s name and insurance information.

De Castroverde Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers Can Help You Seek Compensation

You may be eligible for compensation from the driver after being hit while jaywalking. You can build a strong case and explore every legal opportunity for receiving compensation by contacting and hiring a lawyer with specific experience in these types of situations and knowledge regarding the Nevada state legislature. Contact us at De Castroverde Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers if you’re in the Las Vegas or Reno area and find yourself in this situation. Our legal experts will work with you and potentially negotiate with the driver’s insurance company on your behalf.

Photo Credit: photo of road with pedestrian lane by Kristaps Grundsteins is licensed with Unsplash License