Our client was walking home from work. The indicator at the crosswalk started flashing red. She decided to cross anyway. And because the indicator was flashing red light thought it made sense to jog across the intersection.
A driver was stopped at the crosswalk. He had made a left hand turn but stopped to wait for pedestrians (who had crossed when the indicator was green).
After the pedestrians cleared the intersection the driver pulled forward. That’s when he hit our jaywalking client.
There were two violations of law. Our client violated the Seattle Municipal Code. SMC 11.40.160 provides: No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices; and, when authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic-control devices pertaining to such crossing movements.
The driver violated Seattle Municipal Code Section 11.58.301. SMC 11.58.301 reads: “[E]very operator of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or person riding a bicycle upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary….”
Even though she was jaywalking we argued that the driver had the ultimate responsibility of looking and seeing her. The insurance companies involved–the driver’s liability insurer and our clients’ UIM carrier–agreed and paid over $500,000 to settle the case.