If a pedestrian in Oklahoma is struck by a vehicle while walking outside of the crosswalk, he or she is not barred from filing a lawsuit to receive compensation for injuries that occurred as a result.
The state has a comparative negligence system — Title 23, §12-§14 of the Oklahoma Statutes. This means that the negligence of the injured victim (plaintiff) is compared with the negligence of the person or entity that caused the injury (defendant). A plaintiff can still gain compensation from a negligent defendant, even when the plaintiff is considered somewhat negligent, as long as the plaintiff is less negligent. The amount of recovery for the plaintiff is simply reduced in proportion to the contributory negligence.
For example, you may have been crossing the street outside a crosswalk. The driver of the vehicle that struck you might be proved more negligent than you if he or she were texting or surfing the web.
Distracted drivers, along with the layout of many towns and cities, can make walking dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publishes a wealth of helpful material on pedestrian safety, including these safety tips:
- Walk on the sidewalk, facing oncoming traffic
- Wear bright colors, use a flashlight and wear reflective clothing at night
- Do not use electronic devices while walking — being an inattentive pedestrian is dangerous, too
- Be alert for cars entering or leaving driveways
- Cross only in crosswalks or at intersections
- Make eye contact with drivers when crossing streets
If you have been injured, or if a loved one has been killed, after being struck down by a vehicle in the street, an experienced Oklahoma personal injury attorney can provide a free consultation to evaluate your case.