Did you know there was a new J Walking Law? Yes, now under certain circumstances, Jaywalking is legal as of January 1, 2023.
That is because California has surprisingly relaxed its Jaywalking laws. Under the new “Freedom to Walk Act”, pedestrians will no longer be ticketed for jaywalking… unless they are crossing in a dangerous manner. This means that pedestrians will be able to cross the street outside of a crosswalk, as long as they do so safely.
The new Jaywalking law was passed in response to concerns that the old law was too harsh and disproportionately affected people of color. Studies have shown that Black and Hispanic pedestrians are more likely to be ticketed for Jaywalking than white pedestrians, even when they are crossing the street in the same way. I won’t comment on my thoughts on this reasoning, but I did want to inform my CV Weekly readers of this major, and unexpected, change in the law.
The new law is expected to make it easier for pedestrians to get around, especially in urban areas where there are often few crosswalks. However, it is important to note that pedestrians still have a responsibility to cross the street safely. They should always look both ways before crossing, and they should yield to oncoming traffic.
If you cross safely and get hit by a car, you need a good, local, lawyer. I recently had a client come into my office who was hit by a car on El Paseo, without insurance. They initially talked to another lawyer who rejected the case………..that I now accepted.
Why did I accept the case when another local PI lawyer rejected it? It was because I asked one more question than the other lawyer. I asked the victim if they had auto insurance with Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage? Even though they were not in their car, the UM would cover and protect them…and no it would not raise their insurance rates.
This I because it was a non-chargeable accident, as they were not at fault. Though the client was concerned about going getting medical treatment and not having a way to pay for the med bills, I assured them their auto coverage would pay, as if it were the insurance for the uninsured vehicle.
When injured, drivers should seek a medical evaluation asap. An ambulance, validates the injuries severity and provides the information lawyers need to get you a maximum recovery. Unfortunately, often victims do not want to spend money on the hospital, ER, or ambulance. They don’t realize they will get it back in SPADES in the settlement, if they were not at fault.
A clients talking to the defense lawyer, or adjuster, puts one’s lawyer at a disadvantage, as it provides INFORMATION to the defense. A client does not always remember what they told the adjuster and it is not just what the victim said, but what the adjuster/attorney THOUGHT s/he heard them say.”
I advise clients to take down social media, as it is the latest trick used by the defense in Accidents cases and by the DA in DUI’s. The insurance company and DA, will Google you in an accident, and check Facebook etc, to gather information on you. They may also contact your Facebook friends to get negative information about you.
For instance, IF you post you were just in an accident and thus were 1 hour late for golf or tennis, it arguably suggests you were not hurt that badly. If while treating, you post about playing a sport, going dancing, or on a ski vacation, this might suggest you were ok and thus faking your injuries…..or so the defense would argue. Obviously, one can be injured and still play tennis or golf, but with some pain.
The bottom line is, “If you don’t see a doctor on a regular basis, the delay reduces the case value, and the case may not be financially worthwhile for an attorney. In other words, the insurance company will argue if you were really injured you would have found a way to get medical care.”
Insurance companies think most claims are false. They ponder whether you slipped and fell while running around the pool or fell in your shower and then thought, “I will say it is from my recent accident.” The bottom line is that adjusters are paid to downplay the severity of the accident and the amount to be paid to you.
Sooo, protect yourself and retain an experienced LOCAL PI/ACCIDENT lawyer!