Can I Get a Ticket for Jaywalking in Florida Even if There are No Cars Around?
Bill Allen | March 17, 2021 | Gainesville Florida Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Yes. Florida police can ticket you for jaywalking anywhere in the Sunshine State, even if there were no cars around when you jaywalked. Jaywalking is when a pedestrian crosses a roadway illegally. You’ve probably seen others jaywalk or even done it yourself. While it might seem like jaywalking is no big deal, there are several things you should keep in mind before deciding to jaywalk.
The cost of a jaywalking ticket isn’t high—only $15. However, there is a reason the law requires pedestrians to cross only at designated areas. Other jaywalking costs, such as accident injuries to yourself or others, can be enormous. The prohibition against jaywalking is designed to deter individuals from risky behavior that could cause serious motor vehicle accidents.
Crossing the street can be extremely dangerous. Pedestrian accidents are among the most deadly traffic incidents, with the pedestrian usually suffering the most severe consequences.
Even when a pedestrian thinks no one is around, it can be dangerous to cross the street outside of a crosswalk. A car could unexpectedly appear, a pedestrian could misjudge a vehicle’s speed, or a driver could be distracted and hit a pedestrian.
Why Else You Shouldn’t jaywalk
In addition to keeping you safe and protecting you from a fine, there is another reason you should avoid jaywalking. By avoiding jaywalking, you will likely ensure you aren’t liable for an accident or ineligible for compensation if a crash occurs. If you are hit by a car while you are in a crosswalk and abiding by the rules of the road, you are presumably entitled to significant damages.
However, when you break the law by jaywalking, you risk your rights to full compensation. In fact, if a car causes an accident because they were trying to avoid hitting you while jaywalking, you could be held liable for the accident. In this situation, you could be responsible for the accident victims’ economic and non-economic damages.
If you jaywalk and cause an accident, you might have to compensate the injured parties for their:
- Medical expenses, including future medical costs
- Lost wages due to injuries and recovery
- Lost earning potential due to the accident
- Pain and suffering
- And more
Accordingly, you should be careful not to jaywalk at an intersection. This will enable you to avoid liability if you are involved in a crash, and it will preserve your right to recover full damages if someone caused your injuries as a pedestrian.
Other Rules Pedestrians Should Know
Every pedestrian should know the rules and penalties for jaywalking. Florida has a comprehensive list of laws governing pedestrian behavior designed to keep roads orderly and everyone safe.
Some of the most important rules and regulations include:
- If there is a sidewalk, pedestrians need to use it and cannot walk on the road or shoulder.
- Pedestrians are not allowed to stand on the road to hitchhike or try to conduct business with the driver of a vehicle.
- Pedestrians have the right of way in all crosswalks.
While this last point should give you confidence, pedestrians still need to exercise extreme caution when crossing at a marked crosswalk. A distracted driver could fail to yield you the right of way at the crosswalk and cause you serious injury.
When to Hire a Lawyer
Believe it or not, there could be situations when you might want to consider legal representation for a car accident or traffic incident, even if you were only a pedestrian. If a car hits you or causes you harm while you were following Florida’s code for pedestrians, there is a good chance you are entitled to damages.
The best way to maximize your recovery and get your life back to normal is by hiring a skilled personal injury attorney. A good lawyer will investigate your case and determine the best path forward.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida
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