It’s safe to say that everyone is guilty of unknowingly breaking the law. It is usually simple, minor mistakes such as driving five miles over the speed limit or forgetting to clip your seat belt when you were only driving three blocks up the street.
While jaywalking may seem like a harmless crime, it can leave devastating results.
What is Jaywalking?
The term jaywalking is often confused with the dance made famous by Michael Jackson: “moonwalking”; but it is not a situation to be considered entertaining.
Jaywalking is the act of crossing a street or intersection at an area that is not designated for pedestrians. For example, crossing the overpass of a highway or even simply in the middle of the road where a crosswalk signal is not in place can result in a ticket.
The punishment for jaywalking differs from state to state, but the act is illegal in all fifty. In some states, jaywalking is a minor infraction, but others can result in a misdemeanor.
Why is Jaywalking Illegal?
There are a number of major reasons why jaywalking is illegal, but one of the main reasons is because of the safety precautions being taken by the government. Crossing the road at any time or place can result in an accident if a driver isn’t paying attention, but doing so at an undesignated area can be much more hazardous to your safety.
If a pedestrian is crossing in the middle of the road, this does not allow the driver to take time to slow down or stop. When a driver is reaching an intersection or a place where a crosswalk signal is in place, the driver knows to slow down, keep their eyes open for walking pedestrians, and come to a complete stop.
Avoiding an Accident
Pedestrians know that the main way to avoid being hit by a car while walking is to only cross the road at designated crosswalks or intersections where a stop sign is in place for oncoming traffic.
Drivers can stay calm behind the wheel following some great tips, which will allow them to pay more attention to what is going on and avoid hitting any passing pedestrians, even if they are crossing the road at the wrong place.
Jaywalking and Car Accidents
Getting into an accident with a vehicle while jaywalking can be a difficult case to argue. While a driver may be punishable if he or she is breaking the law or driving recklessly in any way, a driver will often argue that you were in the wrong for crossing the street at an undesignated area. You can sue a driver if he or she hit you while you are jaywalking, and the courts can decide who was at fault in this situation.
Some courts now use a theory called “comparative fault,” where a jury decides who was at fault and at what percentage. For example, if the driver was 65 percent at fault, you may be able to receive 65 percent coverage for your damages, such as medical expenses.
Contact West Palm Beach Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been involved in a jaywalking accident, follow the guidelines as if you were the driver behind the wheel. Contact West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. at 561-687-5660 immediately before speaking to your insurance company or admitting fault. We can help you determine whether or not you are able to file a personal injury suit for the accident. We will do whatever is necessary to fight for you and get you the compensation you deserve.