Navigating the busy streets of Honolulu can be a challenge, especially on foot. There are times when it may seem more convenient or safer to cross a road outside of an intersection or crosswalk, but this can be extremely dangerous for pedestrians.
The Honolulu Police Department reports that more than a dozen pedestrians are killed and hundreds more are injured while crossing Oahu streets every year. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says Hawaii has the fourth-highest pedestrian fatality rate per capita in the United States, tied with Louisiana.
While there are laws against jaywalking in Honolulu, Hawaii drivers must exercise caution to avoid striking pedestrians at all costs. If you were hit crossing the street, the pedestrian accident attorneys in Honolulu, HI at Recovery Law Center can determine your rights to compensation. With a Top 100 ranking from the National Trial Lawyers, our law firm has the reputation and talent to provide the answers you need.
Call or contact our office today to learn how we can help after a Hawaii jaywalking accident. The first consultation is free.
What is Jaywalking?
The Honolulu Police Department defines jaywalking as “crossing the street outside of a crosswalk or away from a street corner.”
If you cross the street at any spot other than at a crosswalk or roadway intersection, you are jaywalking. This is true regardless of whether your actions affect anybody else on the road or cause an accident.
Is Jaywalking Illegal in Hawaii?
Jaywalking is illegal in Hawaii and potentially carries a $130 fine. The state sets this law, so it applies to all Hawaii roadways, not just in Honolulu.
When it comes to Hawaii crosswalk laws, jaywalking isn’t the only potential offense you should be aware of. Here’s some more information on state rules for pedestrians:
- Pedestrians should not cross outside of a designated crosswalk zone or move into the path of an oncoming vehicle, even if they are within a crosswalk.
- If pedestrians are on the road outside of a crosswalk or crossing at an intersection without a designated crossing area, they should yield the right of way to any oncoming vehicles.
- Pedestrians should not cross an intersection diagonally unless there’s a sign, monitor, or other traffic control device that indicates they may do so.
- Drivers should always yield the right of way to any pedestrian in a crosswalk.
- Drivers should stop at all crosswalks and intersections if there’s a pedestrian nearby, even if the pedestrian hasn’t stepped into the road or is on the opposite side of the street.
- Drivers should not proceed through a crosswalk or intersection until all pedestrians have passed their vehicle and moved out of the street.
When it comes to pedestrian accidents involving jaywalkers, it’s essential to know that jaywalking does not necessarily prevent you from recovering compensation for your injuries. First, you could recover compensation for your medical costs through the driver’s no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. You may also be able to file a pedestrian accident lawsuit in Honolulu if your injuries meet certain thresholds set by state law.
Hawaii uses a modified comparative negligence standard for personal injury claims, which means you can recover compensation even if you are partially liable for an accident that causes serious injuries.
As long as you do not bear 51 percent or more of the responsibility for a crash, you can recover compensation for your losses. However, if you are assigned a portion of the blame for a pedestrian accident, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of responsibility.
Let’s say you were jaywalking when a distracted driver hit you. You may be found partially liable for the pedestrian accident because you were jaywalking. However, the driver who hit you might still bear the majority of the responsibility because they were texting while driving at the time of the crash. That means you could still obtain compensation for your injuries. A Honolulu pedestrian accident lawyer at Recovery Law Center can represent you so you are assigned a fair portion of fault and compensated accordingly.
Staying Safe in a Crosswalk
Because vehicles weigh thousands of pounds and can travel at high speeds, they can inflict massive injuries on pedestrians. Here are some tips for staying safe while crossing the street:
- Always cross the road at an intersection or designated crosswalk.
- Look left, right, then left again before stepping into the street.
- Always be on the lookout for vehicles while you’re on the road.
- Yield to any approaching vehicles while you’re crossing, even if the law says you have the right of way.
- Be aware that oncoming vehicles can reach you faster than you might think.
- Walk across the street. Do not run.
- Be watchful for turning vehicles at an intersection. A driver turning left or right may be looking out for other vehicles rather than pedestrians.
- If a bus or another large vehicle is blocking your view, wait for them to pass before you cross the street.
- Adults should keep an eye on young children near the road and accompany them while crossing the street.
What To Do if You’re Injured in a Crosswalk
Here’s what to do after getting hurt in a crosswalk:
- Call 911 — Bring emergency responders to the scene so they can evaluate your injuries and file a report about the accident.
- Document the crash scene — If you can, take pictures of the accident scene to document what happened. Take photos of the vehicle that hit you, any injuries you sustained, and the area around the crash site. If there are any nearby eyewitnesses, get their names and contact information.
- Don’t talk to the insurance company — The driver’s insurance company may try to get you to accept a quick settlement because they know you’re in a difficult position. Don’t talk to any insurance companies until you’ve spoken to a pedestrian accident lawyer.
- Hire a pedestrian accident attorney — At Recovery Law Center, we can start work on your personal injury claim you’re recovering from your injuries. The sooner you speak to a lawyer, the better chance you’ll have of protecting your case and your right to full and fair compensation.